It is a very important demarcation that i came across during the social media marketing course between social networking and social media. while the two may be very loosely used in our general conversation, there is a stark difference between the two. Most of us who feel that having an FB page or a twitter account makes us active social media users, it is required to know the difference in the two.
Social Networking is when we or for that matter a company use social networking sites to share views, gather information or give information but the communication is strictly one way. There is no close loop and so it can be simply a mass communication form where the information is shared with all and nearly nothing is received back. Interestingly, I might be participating in someone’s social media campaign by giving reviews, posting comments and sharing it but in my individual sphere it is just social networking.
Social Media is when one tries to close the loop by having an information flow to and fro. This is where today companies bet their money…they use social networking sites to engage the customer and to involve them in the flow of communication. at some level it may become a one to one communication when consumers express their concern, requirement or feedback and the organization can respond to it almost real time. This when used to promote or sell products/services is known as social media marketing.
Hope it helps in knowing where you are!