Social media is a marketing tool for businesses both large and small in the Internet age. Social media utilizes everything from news to PR-friendly humour to spread ideas a business wants heard throughout any social media website (or websites!).
Other than socialising with other people, imagine the wide reach you can get when you use social media for your business. It is an instant form of marketing that can use text, audio, video and much more to reach and appeal to people on the Internet.
What is the difference between social media and social networking?
Before answering this, it's important to note that many social media websites are also social networking websites. Facebook, for example, is primarily a social networking platform where people connect and chat with friends, but it is also a website full of social media.
So in essence, the difference between social media and social networking is not in the website you use, but the activity you undertake (or your marketing team undertakes) on that website.
Social networking is networking: in the same sphere where people talking, businesses generate buzz by both talking and listening themselves.
Social media is media: businesses provide press releases, news, and ideas that propagate, and do things to actively improve their bottom line.
What are the biggest social media platforms?
The largest social media platform is Facebook, with 1.44 billion active users. As noted above, Facebook is primarily a social networking platform and is designed for that, but any successful social media actions on Facebook can make a big splash. Facebook's child company Instagram is at 400 million users, while social media-heavy "microblogging" platform Twitter is over 300 million.