What should the definition of social media be for the layperson?


Last week, I was at another baseball game, I go to a lot of them, and someone asked me what I did. In this situation a couple of things have to happen very quickly. The first of which is that I have to size up the person I am talking with. Can I give them the high level deep answer or do I give them the “lite” version?

For example, my 75 year aunt gets the, “I’m in computers” answer… which she then yells to my 82 year old uncle, “He’s in computers”…That’s the “lite” version.

If I have someone who I think might understand what I do, I then have to decide how “deep” do I go then? Do I go the route of the, “I work with the internet, internet marketing, online marketing, marketing, search engine marketing, social media marketing,  social media consulting, branding?”

If I do go that route.

What will best describe what I do to the layperson, who may actually “get it”, so that I don’t get the following question:  So you’re a webmaster?

I digress.  So last week I’m talking to this person in the stands and I decide to go for it. She’s a lawyer, she’s smart, knows her stuff. Who knows? Right?  I tell her about my company and how we are all about search and social media and marketing, and how awesome social media is and continues to be etc. etc.  and I decide to try and give her a suitable yet understandable definition of social media.  I stumble a bit but think I’ve done a pretty good job and she looks at me and says…

So you’re a webmaster?

What is YOUR  lay-person definition of what social media is? Help me out.


2 Responses to “What should the definition of social media be for the layperson?”

  1. 1 Ari Herzog May 15, 2009 at 7:07 am


    I tell people I’m an astronaut. Then they ask questions and I start talking like I’m sure you did to the webmistress–at which point I get a question like, “So you help businesses use Facebook?” to which I say, no, it’s more than that, they get the far-off glaze in their eyes, and I say, yeah, an astronaut.

    Else, tell people you are a physicist and are on the verge of patenting a new element. They wouldn’t know any different. You can call the element socialmedianite.

  1. 1 How Do You Systemize Social Media? | Social Media and Interactive Marketing Blog Trackback on June 18, 2009 at 9:46 pm
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Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.


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