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During the week, I did a short explanatory presentation on social media to a group of busy, skeptical SME operators whose typical  age meant that they came to computers generally and social media in particular “a bit later” in their commercial lives.

In other words, their typical response to social media is something like WTF!.

I sought a metaphor that would explain the different characteristics and role of social media platforms having defined Social Media sufficiently widely to include, as well as the obvious, the emerging collaborative platforms like Airbnb, and established e-businesses like E-Bay. Whilst some of these may not be seen strictly as  “Social Media”, they are nevertheless social platforms, so I felt they warranted inclusion. 

I like “chips” French Fries to some of you, so they were the core of describing the role of various social media platforms.

Here are some of the examples, were I to describe my chip habits on each platform:

Facebook:” I like chips”

Twitter: “I am eating chips”

4 Square: “This is where I buy my chips”

Instagram: “Here is a picture of my chip”

Youtube: “Here I am, eating chips”

Pinterest: “Here is my favorite chip recipe”

Linkedin: “My skills include advanced chip eating”

Google +:” I am a Google employee who likes chips”

Slideshare: “The development of the chip market”

E-Bay: “What will you pay me for my chip”

Kickstarter: “I’ve invented this super-cool thing called a “chip”, wanna invest?”

You get the idea, and so did my audience.