If you are like most of the marketing and communication professionals I talk to regularly, you are probably thinking about the impact of top social networking sites on your company, your projects and your job description.

How do you go from contemplating a plan of action to producing tangible results?

First, understand the difference between “broadcast” and “social” distribution. Broadcast is defined as any traditional media, such as TV and print and includes “central-to-many” online communication, such as corporate Web sites, blogs or e-mail newsletters. Social is a new term uniting and replacing concepts known as word-of-mouth, buzz and viral marketing.

Why a new term? Because top social networking sites are transforming into social network application platforms (SNAP), with Facebook leading the way. SNAP provides a structured environment for creating applications that spread through existing friend networks via member profiles and targeted messages. Distribution can be tracked and tuned at every step along the way. Minor tweaks can make a difference between a flatline and explosive growth.

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