Many of you interested in search engine optimisation or internet marketing may have heard of the term social media. It is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot nowadays in the search engine marketing world but, upon questioning, many people do not know what social media actually is and what types of websites are classed as social media websites.

So what is social media?

Essentially, social media incorporates the online technology and methods through which people can share content, personal opinions, swap different perspectives and insights into world issues and generally discuss the evolution of media in itself.

Social media website content can come in many shapes and forms:

Text – text is often used to put across opinions or write blog posts.
Images – images and photos can display anything from holiday photos to shots by professional photographers.
Audio – social media lets you create podcasts for users to download.
Video – video sites mean that you’ll be able to record a video of your child’s birthday for friends all over the world to see.

The most popular types of social media websites are huge at the moment. A few examples of these social media websites are:

Social networking – websites that allows you to create a personal profile about yourself then chat, discuss and share information with others such as friends and family. Prime examples of social networking sites are MySpace, Bebo and Facebook.

Wikis – wikis are websites that allow you to create, edit and share information about a subject or topic. Wikipedia, for instance, is one of the world’s most popular wikis.

Video sharing – video-sharing sites allow you to upload and share your personal videos with the rest of the web community. A perfect example of a video sharing website is YouTube.

Photo sharing – photo-sharing websites allow users to upload pictures and images to a personal account which can then be viewed by web users the world over. Flickr acts as a great example of a successful photo-sharing site.

News aggregation – news aggregators provide a list of the latest news stories published by users from a range of different websites. Digg, for instance, is one of the web’s largest news aggregators with one of the most dedicated communities.

Social bookmarking – social bookmarking sites allow users to publicly bookmark web pages they find valuable in order to share them with other internet users.

Online gaming – online gaming is often based around communities. World of Warcraft is prime example of online gaming.

Presence apps – these websites allow you to post micro blog-like posts to announce what you are currently doing. Twitter is a good example of a presence app.

This list is by no means exhaustive and there are many more types of social media sites available on the internet. And because the social media front is moving so fast, even if it was possible to list all the varieties of social media websites that exist, it would likely be out of date by the time you read this article as new and innovative social media sites spring up nearly everyday.

Category : News & Events