What the heck? Tell me what to call it.

Since I am in marketing I can’t seem to pin down what to call ‘social networking’ as a good ‘umbrella’ term. It appears that I am not alone – please see below what professionals are calling themselves.  But back to the ‘correct’ term. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  • Social networking
  • Social networking tools
  • Social automation
  • Social computing
  • Social business
  • Social media
  • Social collaboration
  • Enterprise 2.0 and Web 2.0
  • Knowledge Management

The last bullet is an odd ball as it is no longer considered a relevant term and is in disfavor by many, but I have seen the term when referring to “social ?” (I’m quite sure I left some out). Now at a granular level we can probably find differentiators for each term. I have one colleague who still doesn’t know what Enterprise and Web 2.0 are, no matter how many times I explain it to him. He constantly tells me that real people don’t know what that means, oh well.

Oddly enough, coinciding to writing this blog, it seems that ‘social’ professionals are now jumping on this bandwagon. In a blog by Brittany Ballenstedt she wrote, “In January 2013, the number of Twitter users with “social media” as part of their bio has grown significantly, to 181,000, up from a mere 16,000 in 2009. “Maven” and “ninja” were nearly tied for being used the most – nearly 22,000 times. Other popular titles were “evangelist” (20,829), “guru” (18,363) and “consultant” (9,031). “At this rate, everyone on Twitter will soon be a social media guru,” Ad Age’s B.L. Ochman writes.”

From a business perspective, what do you think is the best umbrella term to incorporate the various components? Or should there be unique distinctions in terms and not one ‘umbrella’ term. What does your organization use?

And, if you are an expert in social media, what title do you prefer?

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