Back to the Basics
This article is for those of you who hear people talking about social media you feel like you walked into to a math class halfway through the course while the class is learning how to multiply and divide and you still need to learn what numbers are. Too many people assume that “everyone” already knows what social media is so it’s nearly impossible to find a simple, beginners breakdown on the subject. Well we’ve decided to include a short and simple run down of social media and a follow up article explaining social media advertising to help catch you up to speed on the subject; let’s dive in.
You’ve Probably Heard of Social Media but What is it Really?
The technical definition of social media is, “websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.” Do you have that math class feeling again? It’s okay, essentially there are websites you can log in to for the purpose of ‘connecting’ or in other words, communicating, with people. Once you log in you can begin ‘connecting’ with all the other people who have logged into the website. It’s a little like how the party lines used to be, except it’s done through typing, not talking (except for video sites, but that’ll be a topic discussed in future, more advanced blog, so don’t worry about that now).
Since all of social media is used electronically, you communicate through typing messages or uploading photos of what is going on in your life. Many people share about themselves, their family, or what they find to be interesting. The communication is instant, meaning the other people you have decided to share with, can see what you typed or uploaded immediately. Since the internet allows for worldwide connections, these social media websites provide you with the ability to connect with people around the world, however each social media site does have its own niche that sets them apart. Think of how all car companies are focused on making a car that drives, but some are focused on looks and speed, while others are focused on safety and practicality. The website with the largest community currently is Facebook.
You can login by clicking www.facebook.com/login
That is social media in a nutshell; with your quick and easy explanation to get you started. If you’re interested in moving forward and want to begin learning what social media advertising is, click here for the next article.
**BONUS CONTENT: Social media has it’s own keywords and phrases that makes it easier to understand, here are a few of those phrases and their meanings to get you started.
- Wall – a page dedicated to you that others will see about you, some items included on your wall are shared photos, your posts, what you’ve liked, photos other people have shared of you and more
- Post – written text, photos, or videos you would like to share with others (some social media sites have limitations on the number of characters, which are letters, punctuation, and spaces, you can use at a time)
- Tweet (Twitter) – this is what Twitter call their posts (“tweets” for plural)
- Direct Message (DM) – this is when you send another user a message that is not public to everyone else, this is best used when you need to have a private conversation with a friend or family member
- Instant Message (IM) – Facebook allows you to type to other users, like a text message, and if they’re online you can send messages back and forth instantly
- Likes – the icon to like someone’s post or when others like your post is usually a thumbs up or a heart
- Comment – you can comment on other user’s posts or reply to a comment on your post (be aware these are public so don’t share personal information)
- Share – when you see another user’s post there is typically a curved arrow icon that allows your to share the post which means you take that post and then re-post it to your wall so all your friends can see it too (you can even write your own message to explain why you shared it)
- Status – this is a quick phrase or sentence Facebook uses to allow people to share how their day is going and what they’re doing (similar to a post)
- Friend (Facebook) – you have to request to be someone’s friend on Facebook and when they accept, you can see all of their posts and photos to share in their life (keep in mind, you should only friend people you know in person since there is a lot of personal information shared on Facebook)
- Hashtag – this is used on Instagram and Twitter and acts as a tag to categorize your post so others that are interested in the category may see your post; to hashtag just use the number sign and a descriptive word or phrase (ex. You posted a photo of a baby, then put #baby so others can find it); hashtags are not required and not everyone uses them on a personal level, but for businesses, they are great
- Follow (Instagram and Twitter) – most people will allow you to follow them and then you can see everything they have posted (some people will keep their account private and you will have to request to follow them); here is where people follow other people they don’t know like celebrities, businesses, or brands to see what their lives are like or find out about new products
There is also a ‘shorthand’ way of communicating through social media, here are some of the more common ‘words’ and their meanings:
- IDK – I Don’t Know
- LOL – Laugh Out Loud
- OMG – Oh My God/ Goodness/ Gosh
- BTW – By The Way
- TBH – To Be Honest
- THX – Thanks
- SMH – Shaking My Head
- JK – Just Kidding
- ROFL – Rolling On The Floor Laughing
- BRB – Be Right Back
- IDC – I Don’t Care
- NVM – Nevermind
- LMK – Let Me Know