The most popular social media question is: "Where do I start with social media if I want to use it for my business?" The very first step is to understand the entire social media landscape before jumping on the bandwagon. This is paramount if you want to succeed with using social media for your business!
The social web consists of many categories and is not just about social networking. I have created the below diagram to help you understand the types of social media categories. The categories you decide to use for your business will depend on your business goals and what you are trying to achieve with social media.
Of course, there is a cross between many of these categories. For example, I placed Twitter under micro-blogging, but it also belongs under social networking; I placed Facebook under social networking but it is also the largest photo-sharing site.
The key to success with social media is to not put your eggs in one basket. Once you have a clear understanding of the social web, the next step is know how to integrate some or all these categories together so you can leverage and maximize your efforts with social media.
Please note, in this diagram I am giving a comprehensive look at the categories of social media. The tools in each category are only an example. There are literally thousands of tools out there that would fall into each category and would not be possible to fit into a single diagram. Please feel free to add tools that you think belong under specific categories in the comment section below.
The logos and images shown are trademarks of each site. Let's hope the sites don't mind that I borrowed them!