Beginner's Guide to Social Media
Social media can be intimidating at first, but it is all about websites and applications which allow people to communicate with each other, sharing information and content such as photos, short movies, etc. Most people use social media to keep in touch with friends and family members; according to statista.com, Facebook has over 2.7 billion users.
There are dozens of popular social media platforms now. Some of them are used by people who want to share short text messages and links to interesting articles, while others have been built with the goal of making it easy and enjoyable to share and view other people's images or videos, for example.
You can get access to the top social media sites for free by making use of an Internet browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, or you can install one or more dedicated apps on your smartphone. Please note that your experience may vary from one device to another; as a general rule, social media platforms offer a more rewarding experience when they are accessed through an Internet browser that is installed on a computer or laptop, because the larger screen makes it much easier to display the website's various windows and tabs.
So, if you have access to the Internet, you will be able to sign up and create a social media account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on. You will need to choose a unique username and password, and then register using a valid email address. Most social media platforms will send you an email verification message, which includes a link that must be clicked to validate the creation of your social media account. So, set up a free Yahoo or Gmail email account if you don't have one yet.
Many people make the mistake of opening accounts on every social media site, and then they abandon those accounts because they don't have enough free time at their disposal. It's best to start with one of the most popular platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, and then move on from there.
No matter what platform you choose, you will be able to "follow" or become "friends" with other people, and then see what they share with their virtual friends. Also, your content can be viewed by your followers/friends. You could take a picture of a beautiful sunset using your phone's camera, and then upload it to your Instagram account, adding a nice caption to it, for example. You can also comment on other people's posts if you like them.
To make it easy to discover a particular type of content, social media users have invented hashtags such as #SimpleRecipes. This makes it much easier to search for something that interests you; it's as if you searched Google looking for a specific piece of information, but the search is conducted locally, on that particular social media site, thus being much more relevant.
Here are some of the most popular social media terms:
- Social media profiles are personal pages created by social media users. Your profile page should include a photo, a quick biography, links to personal websites/sites you like, and so on.
- Followers are people interested in seeing your content.
- Likes are votes from other social media users who enjoy and/or agree with the ideas promoted by a certain post on social media.
- Shares are reposts of other people's content. If a social media user likes a particular post, he/she can share it with his or her followers.
- Direct messages are sent from one user to the other privately. They are similar with email messages but use the social media platform's built-in messaging system.
- Stories have been made popular by Instagram. A story is a piece of content that will self-destruct after 24 hours. Since the Internet capitalizes on the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO), this type of short-lived content has become very popular.
Now that you know what social media is about, it's time to put everything you've learned in this article into practice. So, head over to one of the top platforms which have been highlighted in this simple guide, create a free account, and then start posting. Good luck!
"The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes". Frank Lloyd Wright