What is Social Media? Everything You Need to Know
Whether you’re brand new to social media, or want to learn some new tips, this is your hub for social media tips and insights.
We’ll be covering the following topics (click on a bullet point to jump to that section):
Table of Contents
Let’s dive in!
What is Social Media?
Social media is a way to create and share content through social networks.
It includes using social media tools such as hashtags and sharing links with followers on various platforms.
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:
What You’ll Learn
Learn tips and insights about Instagram.
View our Instagram resources.
To learn more about Facebook/Meta, check out our hub:
What You’ll Learn
Learn tips and insights about Facebook/Meta.
View our Facebook/Meta resources.
To learn more about TikTok, check out our TikTok hub:
What You’ll Learn
Learn tips and insights about TikTok.
View our TikTok resources.
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.
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.
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.
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) which 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 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 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.
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 is often referred to the platforms and involves posting information and content online while social networking is the process of interacting with others through social media platforms.
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 most popular social media platforms fall under this category.
Social networks include Facebook, 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.
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.
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 and share on 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.
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.