The basic building element of social media is information. What is the information and how is it relevant to the audience are different zones within social media.

People are always more drawn to information which has a media they can interact with. They will consume information and interact through engagements like sharing and discussing the information. The more such elements allow them to interact with each other and with the platform, the more they will be drawn to it. Make sure you don’t neglect your other platforms as some people don’t use Social Media.

Now, broadly speaking there are four basic approaches when it comes to social media platforms. They are Community, Publishing, Commerce, and Entertainment.

Some social platforms use only a part of the available options. However, the most robust websites sites include each of them, creating a strong user experience and an irresistible pull to the platform.

To maximize your impact on social media, consider which zone you’re trying to tap into and your customer’s need.

The elements that are combined in a specific social media are not just platforms, like Facebook or LinkedIn. While Social Media is a term that is used commonly used to mean “anything found on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram,” there are more useful ways of observing Social Media.

The basic element of social media is your ability to create and share content that is a value.

For the sake of reaching a deeper understanding, let’s instead look at social media in terms of the activities that make social media tools particularly useful.

The Five Key Elements of Social Media

In this framework, Social media are a collection of technologies that enable people to, listen, create, share, connect, amplify and measure media (content) with one another. This all generally happens in an environment free from the constraints of one or another approval processes, and by definition on platforms that require two-way and multi-way communications.

As a result, five inter-related elements of social media have become available and a proper social media marketing mix will involve all five of these elements:

  • Listening (Research)
  • Content Marketing (Content Creation and Curation)
  • Engagement (Community Management)
  • Promotion (Advertising)
  • Measurement (Metrics, KPIs, and Analytics)

If we think of social media through these lenses, we can more clearly assess each platform, what it offers, why it offers it like that, how it engages its users and whether or not it is good for us as individuals or our business  as such.