Social Media Simplified by Media Strategist, Mayura Amarkant (1/10 series)

I belong to the Stone Age. 

Here in Mumbai, India, we were introduced to the fascinating world of Internet during our post graduation (about 19 years ago). The Social Media wave hit India about 16 years ago. Just like scores of my counterparts, I joined Orkut, chatted in Yahoo chatrooms, used Yahoo & MSN messenger.
From there I graduated to Facebook. LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Quora, SnapChat, YouTube and Blogging followed in quick succession. I learned each platform through trial and error.
Analysing social media behaviours, platforms and content gave me an edge over others.I kept looking at what the best in the business are doing. My detective-like, curious nature made me read, watch videos and tutorials to understand the mediums better.

social-media-landscape

In the recent past, people have been asking me questions about each social media platform. The number of queries is increasing. This is why decided to write this 10 part series – #SocialMediaSimplified

Anyone who wishes to use Social Media to enhance their personal brand image will benefit from this series. Let’s look at which are the popular social media platforms that individuals can engage with. I have restricted the list to my favourite platforms. I will be giving tips on effectively using each social media platform. This post serves as an overview.


Facebook (since 2004)

#FacebookSimplified: Remember your college canteen? The memories, the friends? What about the place where all your neighbours gathered every evening? Or the family situations that made you happy? Facebook offers you an opportunity to relive all those memories. Connect with friends and family. Like-minded individuals divide themselves into groups and discuss their favourite topics there. One can also join pages of their interest. If used correctly, Facebook can prove to be a great source of learning and interaction. This social network is available as an app and website. The chat feature is separately available as a messenger. Recently Facebook introduced coloured backgrounds for status messages. Just before this, they had introduced emotion expression and check-in features for status updates. Some may argue that Google+ is their favourite. However, I am not a fan.

Content type on Facebook: Status update, Photo Album, Videos, Sharing (Links, status, articles, videos etc.), Contests on Liked Pages, Chats with friends, Joining Groups of interest, Writing detail articles in Notes section amongst other things.

Tonality: Friendly, Informal

Here is a video that will give you an overview:


LinkedIn (since 2003)

#LinkedInSimplified: Here is your opportunity to be connected to almost every professional across geographies. Users can search professionals, learn more about the companies they wish to join, use address books, establish a professional identity and participate in group chats. This social network is available as an app as well as a website. Recently, they introduced LinkedIn Learning, an app that trains participants on basics of Management. It is an excellent tool for students up to mid-level working professionals.

Content type on LinkedIn: Sharing and Update, Uploading a Video, Writing an article, Endorsing a connect, Writing recommendations for connects, Personal Chat, Group Chat, interaction in like-minded groups, connecting to company pages.

Tonality: Professional & Formal

Here is a video that will give you an overview:


Twitter (since 2006)

#TwitterSimplified: It is a micro-blogging platform. Here is a place where you can reach out to your favourite celebrities, industry experts and friends. It is basically a platform to exchange thoughts and ideas. One can participate in conversations, push an ideology and reach a message to someone they usually don’t get access to. Some miscreants use this platform to indulge in mud-slinging and trolling important people. You can use this vehicle to showcase your thought process. This social network is available as a website and as an app. Recently they introduced Twitter Moments – where one can curate their best tweets and create a visual story – a brilliant feature for ideology dispensing or event coverage.

Content type on Twitter: Tweets in 14o characters, share links to videos, contest participation, create or participate in polls, share photos. Interact with other handles (people) through Direct Message, Tweet, Retweet, Likes and Quoted tweets. Hashtags play an important role in Twitter. However, more than two hashtags can prove detrimental for visibility of a tweet.

Tonality: Lucid language, brevity is the key.

Here is a video that will give you an overview:


Instagram (since2010)

#InstagramSimplified: This is essentially a photo and video sharing application platform that used to work only on the phone. Recently, the app introduced a web version. The app has Instagram Stories where users can upload videos in real-time and anyone can interact directly with the person who posts the story. Some readers may swear by Pinterest. However, it is not my favourite application and therefore I am leaving it out.

Content type on Instagram: Photos, images & videos. Each can go with a description, user can tag friends who they follow. A large number of hashtags can be used on Instagram. Each hashtag leads to a string search of images/videos that contain the same hashtag.

Tonality: Friendly, informal

Here is a video that will give you an overview:


SnapChat (since 2011)

#SnapChatSimplified: Just like Instagram, this app is also available on smartphones only. It lets one choose whom they want to interact with. Users can see live stories from across the world from their favourite celebrities and brands. There is a fantastic channel feature where one can view videos or read articles as per their preferences, interest and age. Hashtags don’t work on Snapchat.

Content type on Snapchat: It is a real-time app where your friends can get an instant update on where you are and what you are doing. The videos are restricted to 10 seconds only. One can save the information as a video or photo. They can choose to send photos to friends or save it as a story that will run 24 hours on their feed. Snapchat offers a wide range of filters just to add spice to the sharing feature.

Tonality: Extremely informal.

Here is a video that will give you an overview:


YouTube (since 2005)

#YouTubeSimplified: It is a popular video-sharing platform. You can go to the website, browse channels and view videos for free – yes! Free! What’s more, you can have your own channel and create your own videos. The YouTube Creator Studio offers a brilliant interface for editing your videos. Your YouTube channel is an expression of your own creativity. Viewers can subscribe to the channel or view a video without subscribing. If the channel is monetized, you can even earn money from the channel. This platform is available as a website and an app.

Content type on YouTube: Videos only. There is something for everyone on YouTube – tutorials, movies, serials, short films, features – just about everything under the sun! I firmly believe that it is the best video sharing platform that we have in the internet space today. Hashtags don’t work on YouTube i.e. there is no searchability using hashtags. However, you can enter a keyword in the search field and find what you are looking for. Usage of copyrighted material without permission can lead to a ban.

Tonality: No profanity is discouraged. Simple content with informal tonality works.

Here is a video that will give you an overview:


WordPress (since 2003)

#WordPressBloggingSimplified: A blog is a regularly updated website or a web page that is run by an individual or a small group. Blogs are today being used as a mode of self-expression and thought-leadership. There are several free and paid options for blog hosting. While Blogger is famous, my favourite is WordPress. You may often see Tumblr blog mentioned in several places –  Tumblr is a photo blog. A person who has a lot of text/video/photo-based stories to tell should use a blogging platform to express views. While professional developers use WordPress to develop company websites, WordPress offers a platform where one can easily create their own blog and maintain it. The Tutorials (video and text) on WordPress serve as a guide. WordPress is available as a phone app, desktop app and website. The interface is very user-friendly and thus one can easily build and maintain a blog.

Content type on WordPress: Videos, photos, images, text. No character or space limit. Depending on the theme chosen, the user can create a number of pages. There are interactive and mobile responsive themes that help the user to create a kickass blog.

Tonality: Informal or conversational style.

Here is a video that will give you an overview:


Quora (since 2009)

#QuoraSimplified: Ever had a question and didn’t know whom to ask? Most users simply type a query in Google and sometimes get lost in the information overload. Many times a person is looking for a specific answer to a question instead of going round and round. This is a user-generated website that is available as a Website and an App. Many may argue that Yahoo Answers is where their comfort zone lies. My answer – to each his own. I find Quora the most useful resource for answers. What’s more, it allows you to establish yourself as a thought-leader and information expert. Your opinion can be upvoted or downvoted depending on how useful the user found it. At the same time, you can gain a large follower base who will intern interact with you. Quora also forms a great platform for promoting an ideology or a blog.

Content type on Quora: Open-ended questions, no trolling or mud-slinging, link-sharing, knowledge-sharing platform.

Here is a video that will give you an overview:


SlideShare (since 2006)

#SlideShareSimplified: Remember those times when you were looking for a professional presentation that will encapsulate an entire chapter or a thought-process in just a few slides? Many of us were left thirsting for relevant case studies that would give us in-depth knowledge about a concept or business model. As management students, we used to envy the corporates for their professional presentation skills and access to industry research reports.
Slideshare that changed it all. Since 2006, Slideshare has become a platform for industry experts all over the world to share their knowledge through powerpoint presentations. This platform joined the LinkedIn family in 2012 and ever since it has become a one-stop destination for information exchange through powerpoint.
Apart from being an excellent resource pool, SlideShare offers you with the opportunity to showcase your ideology, thought-process, views, research and thought-leadership. All this, using PowerPoint as a tool for communication. This platform is available as a website and an app.

Content type on SlideShare: Audio/Video/PowerPoint/pdf/documents/Webinars/keynote. You can set up webinars and web meetings here. Users can like, comment, share, discuss and follow the person who posted the presentation.

Tonality: Lucid, brief, visual. Research-based.

Here is a video that will give you an overview:

I hope you found the overview of #SocialMediaSimplified useful. I will be giving out useful tips and tricks to use these platforms effectively. Stay Tuned!!

Got a question? Please ask! I will be happy to answer. 

Add a comment, like and share the post – show some love! Looking forward to your reactions! 

——-Penned by Mayura Amarkant

The author is a Business & Media Strategist with 17 years of experience. At present, she is the Digital Custodian with Kohinoor Education Trust and Lead Connector at AGENCY09.


Video source: YouTube
Featured Image Source: Click here

I am giving my blog a boost with the Ultimate Blog Challenge – January 2017 edition.

 

Disclaimer: The content in this blog post is purely for educational purpose. There is no commercial use of the above content. The author claims no right over the videos/photos featured here. Users are urged to make independent inquiries before making any decisions to engage with social media networks.
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14 comments

  1. I haven’t used slideshare and snapchat… I love Pinterest too… Currently instagram is my favorite… Loved the article 🙂 looking forward to more in the series

    Like

  2. GREAT overview on many social media platforms! (Although, you may surprised yourself if you revisit Pinterest 🙂 and find it very useful!) Thank you for providing such detailed information!

    Like

  3. Wow..so much good information in only one post. Although Facebook is my favourite and used it for the maximum time..twitter is my new love. I am also getting a hang of insta but not used Linkedin much. I love wordpress too as I moved from blogger to wordpress and made my own website few months ago. It was a trial and error but I learned a lot while doing it. I never used snapchat and slide share. The latter looks liek a very useful tool. Will surely try it now. Thanks Mayura for this detailed informative post. Looking forward to next one already. 🙂

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  4. Yes! I have a question.
    How ? How on earth someone can give detailed description of such social platforms in a simplified way? How Mayura How?
    You have shared things so clearly and in a manner that a non user will also go and check these sites. Your and my taste of websites, though match a lot. Look forward for further series. Keep going girl. That pinch of salt makes articles “chatpata” 😉😉

    Like

  5. Great information! Thanks for sharing and educating me. I had not heard of a couple of them, so I will have to go check them out.

    Do you see anything on the horizon that is worth keeping an eye on, especially for branding?

    Like

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