Social Media

What is Social Media? Everything You Need to Know

May 29, 2023 by

Imagine a world where people from different corners of the globe can effortlessly connect and share their lives with just a few taps on a screen.

A place where ideas, news, and creativity flow freely, transcending geographical boundaries.

Welcome to the realm of social media, a digital landscape that has revolutionized the way we communicate, express ourselves, and engage with the world.

In this article, we will take you on a journey to explore the vast realm of social media, uncovering its definition, its impact, and everything you need to know to navigate this ever-evolving digital phenomenon.

So, buckle up and get ready to dive into the captivating world of social media.

We’ll be covering the following topics (click on a bullet point to jump to that section):

Let’s dive in!

Table of Contents

What is Social Media?

Social media is a way to create and share content through social networks.

The term can be used in many different contexts but generally refers to the use of websites such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, or Pinterest.

It includes using social media tools such as hashtags and sharing links with followers on various platforms.

social media

How Do I Get Started on Social Media?

You can’t exactly create a profile on social media if you don’t have the right tools.

In order to get started with your presence on any of the major social networks, you will need an account for each one.

This typically requires a valid email address and password, as well as choosing a username that is not already in use (and hoping that no one else will take it before you do).

What are the Popular Social Media Platforms?

The most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, and Instagram.

While some people think that these are the only social networks worth getting involved in, there are several others you should consider such as LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+.

LinkedIn is the go-to place for professional networking with a focus on career advancement.

YouTube can be used as a video-based marketing platform where you share your ideas, products, or services with potential customers.

Lastly, Google+ may not have as big of a user base as Facebook, but it’s important to have a presence here because it’s the search engine giant’s social media platform.

To learn more about Instagram, check out our Instagram hub:

To learn more about Facebook/Meta, check out our hub:

Common Features Used on Social Media Platforms

Almost all social media platforms offer the ability to:

  • create an account
  • choose a username
  • upload profile photos
  • share your ideas with others

Other features that are common across most or all of them include uploading videos, text-based posts on timelines, hashtags (which is how you may find other people who are interested in discussing a specific topic), and the ability to follow other users who post interesting stuff.

What are Hashtags?

Hashtags allow you to categorize or label a post for easier discovery by others on social media platforms that use them.

Not only does this give your posts more visibility, but it also draws more people in and can lead to social media fame.

For example, if you use a popular hashtag in a post about a particular topic, your content can be found by other users who were searching for that very same thing.

For example, if you want to promote rose gold iPhone cases and want others to see them, then using the hashtag #rosegoldcases will bring up all the posts related to rose gold iPhones.

social media hashtag

What Do I Need to Know About Using Social Media?

Social media can be used for many purposes including marketing your business or yourself.

However, it is an art form and has its own set of rules. The first rule is to do your research and know who you are trying to reach, or what you want to promote.

You can’t just create a Facebook page, Twitter account, and Pinterest page for your business without knowing that it will reach the right people.

Each platform has its own form of marketing and algorithms that one needs to know if one wants to leverage that platform. For example, there are Facebook Marketing tactics, Instagram Marketing Tactics, Pinterest Marketing Tactics, TikTok Marketing Tactics, etc.

What Should I Post?

What you post will depend on the purpose of your social networking.

Here’s one use case — for example, you can use a Facebook group to promote an event or sell tickets, find people who want to buy a certain item you have for sale and take advantage of the instant market that is created through this online process.

You should also post information about your business in order to keep your clients updated on your company’s information, services, and products. That way they will return to you for more.

Why Does Social Media Exist?

Social media exists so people are able to connect with each other, stay up-to-date on news, share ideas and information, express their creativity, and network with friends around the world.

Why is Social Media Popular?

Social media has become so popular because it is easy to use, fun, and free.

People also love the ability to connect with friends around the world without spending money on expensive travel plans.

For those who are looking to be famous, social media has also created an outlet to gain this fame.

social media famous

What are the Pros of Social Media?

The pros of social media are that it is:

  • free to use
  • easy to get started
  • allows people to stay up-to-date on news and events around the world
  • provides a way to connect with friends and family members who live far away
  • allows people an avenue for self-expression.

What are the Cons of Social Media?

There are several cons associated with social media including:

  • being exposed to fake news
  • having access to too much information (comparing yourself to others) can lead to stress or depression
  • exposure to explicit content which could be triggering for some people
  • reliance on the internet because not everyone has access to or knows how to use social media, etc.

How Can I Make Social Media Work For Me?

Social media can work for you if you set a goal and find out who your ideal customer is.

You should also focus on brand development, be consistent with your posts so that people know what to expect from you, and use proper hashtagging to reach the right audience.

How Was Social Media Created?

Social media was created when the internet came into existence.

People began connecting with each other, sharing information, and posting original content which is what social media is all about today.

What Was the First Social Media Platform?

Although up to debate, we believe the first social media platform was ARPANET, short for Advanced Research Projects Agency Network.

This is the network where the technology used in social media first began to be developed.

What Was the First Social Media Platform Used For?

The first social media platform created was used by employees of different military agencies who wanted to stay connected with each other and share information quickly without having to meet face-to-face.

social media network

What Can We Learn from Social Media?

Social media can help teach us how to be more creative, helpful, and social with the people who surround us.

It also provides a way for those who have been excluded from society to participate in everyday life, find support from those around them and learn new skills which may lead to better job opportunities.

What is the Difference Between Social Media and Social Networking?

Social Media

Social media is often referred to as the platforms that involve posting information and content online while social networking is the process of interacting with others through social media platforms.

Social Networking

Social networking includes but is not limited to creating a profile, joining groups, using hashtags, and commenting on posts.

What are the Types of Social Media?

The types of social media include social networks, bookmarking sites, social news, photo sharing, video sharing, interactive media, blogging, and social reviews.

1. Social Networking Site

A social networking site is a website where people come together to share information, links, photos, and videos with others who have similar interests as they do.

Most of today’s popular social media platforms fall under this category.

Social networks include Facebook and Linkedin.

2. Blogging Site

A blogging site is a website where people can go to post articles and other content to share with the world. These sites also usually allow comments and feedback from others.

Blogging is another form of social media where people are able to publish their own articles online for the world to read.

social media blogging

3. Bookmarking Site

A bookmarking site is a website where people can go to save their favorite websites and share them with others.

These sites allow users to organize bookmarks by topics so that they can find what they’re looking for more easily.

Bookmarking sites allow users to bookmark content which can then be shared with others or discovered by new audiences who are browsing through different bookmarks on the website.

Sites like Pinterest are examples of bookmarking sites.

4. Photo Sharing Site

A photo-sharing site is a website where people can go to upload, edit and share photos with others. These sites usually allow users to follow each other so that they see the latest updates from them as well as comment on posts.

Photo sharing allows users to upload photos online, create albums, follow other people who share similar interests, and interact with each other through the comments section. Sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Flickr allow people to use these features.

social media photo sharing
Photo Sharing

5. Video Sharing Site

A video-sharing site is a website where users can go to upload, edit and share videos with others. These sites usually allow for easy uploading and downloading of content as well as commenting on posts.

Video-sharing sites allow users to upload and watch videos online, create playlists, follow other people who share their interests, and leave comments on the videos

Video sharing is another type of social media where users can upload their own videos, follow others who like to post videos and leave comments for one another. Sites like YouTube, Twitch, and Vimeo are examples of video-sharing social media platforms.

6. Interactive Media Site

An interactive media site or platform is a website where people can go to discover the news of the day as well as comment on and share published articles.

Interactive media sites allow users to follow each other so they receive notifications when new articles are posted.

Interactive media is also a type of social media where users can connect with each other through the use of quizzes, games, and surveys which helps them learn more about one another. Sites like BuzzFeed are examples of interactive social media.

7. Social Review Site

A social review site is a website where people can go to find reviews on products and services by their peers.

Social review sites usually allow users to follow one another so they know when new reviews are posted.

Reviews consist of written feedback on various topics such as restaurants, music, books, and more. Sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor.

social review site

How to Use Social Media

people looking at social media

Social media can be a powerful tool for communication, self-expression, and networking when used thoughtfully and responsibly. Here are 5 steps to use social media effectively.


  • Internet Connection
  • Computer or Mobile Device
  • Social Media Apps or Websites
  • Content Creation Tools
  • Social Media Management Tools (Optional)


  1. Define Your Purpose and Target Audience: Determine the purpose of your social media presence. Is it to connect with friends, share your creativity, promote your business, or engage with a specific community? Identify your target audience to tailor your content and interactions accordingly.
  2. Choose the Right Platforms: Research and select the social media platforms that align with your goals and target audience. Consider factors such as user demographics, features, and the nature of content shared on each platform. Popular options include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
  3. Optimize Your Profile: Create a compelling profile that accurately represents your identity or brand. Use a clear profile picture, write a concise and engaging bio, and provide relevant information. Customize privacy settings to control the visibility of your content and manage your online presence effectively.
  4. Create and Share Engaging Content: Develop a content strategy based on your goals and target audience. Share a mix of informative, entertaining, and visually appealing content that resonates with your followers. Use a consistent tone, incorporate relevant hashtags, and encourage interaction through captions, questions, or call-to-action prompts.
  5. Engage and Build Relationships: Actively engage with your audience by responding to comments, messages, and mentions. Follow and interact with other users, join relevant communities or groups, and participate in discussions. Building relationships and fostering meaningful connections are essential aspects of effective social media use.

What Does the Future Hold for Social Media?

It is predicted that people will continue using social media which means that it will become more popular as well as advanced in terms of how it can be used and accessed.

You can bet there will be new social networks popping up over time and existing ones changing their approach.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main purpose of social media?

The main purpose of social media is to facilitate communication and connection between individuals, allowing them to interact, share information, and express themselves in a virtual environment. It serves as a platform for networking, staying updated with news and events, fostering communities, and promoting personal and professional relationships.

What is the biggest problem with social media?

One of the biggest problems with social media is the spread of misinformation and fake news, which can have significant real-world consequences. Additionally, social media can contribute to issues such as cyberbullying, online harassment, and mental health concerns due to the pressure of comparison and the addictive nature of constant engagement.

Who uses social media the most?

The usage of social media varies across different demographics, but generally, younger generations tend to be the most active users. Millennials and Generation Z are often at the forefront of social media adoption and engagement, while older demographics are also increasingly embracing social media platforms for various purposes, including staying connected with family and friends, accessing news and information, and promoting their businesses.