Social media and social networking are interrelated terms. However, before we get down to the basics, it is important to understand what social media and social networking exactly mean.
This is a form of electronic communication through which online communities are created which help in sharing of information, personal message, and other innovative ideas.
It is the creation and maintenance of relations both personal and professional.
On social media, the content is published. This can be in form of images, videos, and info graphics. The purpose is to get engagement with fans and followers. This is done with the idea of getting users to interact with the advertiser and promote the service or product.
Social networking, on the other hand, is a mix of talking and listening. The users can post updates on the service but the engagement quotient is less than social media since the major aspect here is on talking rather than listening.
The goals which the users are trying to achieve are different in social media and social networking. This perhaps is the biggest difference between both these mediums. In social networking, the aim is to build the network and strengthen the relationship. However, generation of business is not the biggest goal in social networking.
Social media is different in the sense that the objective is to generate buzz and aspire for data acquisition which will eventually lead to increase in sales.
Content is vital, both for social media and social networking. Social networking involves conversation and questioning with the objective of engaging the users and ultimately connecting with them for business purpose.
Social media is more about engagement and you can do so by posting videos, audio files and other means for promoting your service or initiative. This necessarily does not have to be for a business purpose and a person can share his or her passions through social media medium.
If you use social media, tools like HootSuite and Sprout Social can be used for saving time and measure the analytics. The posts can be created and scheduled as per the need. This is however not applicable in social networking and there are no automated ways for connecting. This has to be done real time and through interactions only.
Measurement of ROI is vital in today’s world. This is very easy in case of social networking as there are more direct responses. If the network of followers is increasing this means that your ROI is on the rise.
However, in social media, it is difficult to measure ROI. You will be able to measure the rate of success in social media too but the process is going to be slower.
Social media and networking are both important marketing techniques but each of these has their own challenges which need to be dealt based on the key differences listed above.