Prior to starting my blog I had no idea about social media. I couldn’t understand why there were so many different platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest. How could they all be different? Seriously!
Then I started my blog and began using (perhaps even embracing) these platforms. And they all started to make sense. Now I’m that person who says cool things like “oh yeah I’ve got a board for that”, “what’s your handle” and “now there’s a hashtag!” Ummm…is cool still a cool word to use? Maybe I should have said “totes awes” or something.
Anyway whether I am in fact cool or not I’m pretty sure some of you reading are still wondering what the deal is. So I thought why not post a (albeit slightly tongue in cheek) guide to what each platform is for.
A Simple Guide to Social Media Platforms
Describe it in three words: say random stuff OR stalk others quietly
Technical Definition: an online social networking service.
People post anything that pops into their head. If you agree with said post, you like it. If you want to tell them something about it, you comment. If you think it’s totally awesome – you share it.
If you think it’s rubbish or of no interest to your life – you ignore it. Note this option is best even if you really, really want to say something about it. You may regret it and remember it takes all kinds to make up this world…this is when you just “stalk others quietly”.
Describe it in three words: save cool stuff OR time down toilet
Technical Definition: a web and mobile application company that offers a visual discovery, collection, sharing and storage tool.
Where do I start with Pinterest? How I love thee…let me count the ways:
- You can save stuff here to look at later (think anything and everything!)
- Create boards with witty titles like my “Getting my craft on”
- Be completely dead tired (for mums think 3am feed time) and still be able to pin like crazy
- Save awesome crafts you will never make and foods you will never cook
Seriously though, Pinterest is a great way to catalogue anything on the web you want to be able to reference later (recipes, holidays, craft ideas – the list goes on!). You simply create “boards” in your profile for your interests, so you can categorise things, then “pin” the link to one of the boards. Easy! Instead of “bookmarking” links I now pin them all, so I have one place I go to for EVERYTHING, from ANY device!
You can even create secret boards if you need to. I won’t judge.
Describe it in three words: photos of stuff OR selfie selfie selfie
Technical Definition: an online mobile photo sharing, video sharing and social networking service.
Photo heaven. I know that sounds obvious and like I am not actually telling you anything. But there are just photos. Photos of everything and anything. You post photos of whatever you are doing, add a filter (or not – then you can #nofilter) tell a little story about it if you like and that’s it. For me Instagram doesn’t feel as “intrusive” for posting photos as Facebook – I feel like I’m not annoying anyone!
If you decide to look up my account, you will see my photography, editing skills and creativity improves as time moves on. You can also see when I encounter illness in the household, as the number of photos declines for a period before picking up again.
A lot of people may say this is oversharing…and I probably would have before I signed up (actually I know I did!), but that’s just how it is. How much you share is up to you. And what you look at is up to you.
Instagram also allows you to participate in “photo a day” challenges, which I love. In a nutshell, this is when someone sets a prompt for each day of the challenge and you use these prompts to take a photo on anything related to it (and it can be loosely related – it is your photo after all). It encourages you to see the possibilities in all situations and be creative…and is lots of fun! A very popular one is the Fat Mum Slim Photo a Day Challenges.
Describe it in three words: say witty stuff OR use short sentences
Technical Definition: an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140 character messages called “tweets”.
What’s the deal with it:
Twitter is best for the witty…which is why I don’t go on there much! If you can think of funny, topical things to say in only 140 characters, this is for you! If you are like me and it takes you half an hour to think of something to say – perhaps stick to the old book or Pinterest.
Bonus Topic: Hashtags
Another thing I never used to understand was hashtags. And I didn’t use them. I won’t go into them too much but basically you add an appropriate hashtag to your picture, tweet or post and then other people can search by that hashtag and find your stuff. Example being – take a picture of something – add hashtag, maybe #hashtagsarestupid (it’s a thing) and then anyone who searches for “hashtagsarestupid” will see your picture.
Don’t worry, there are much better examples of using hashtags…but I could see the irony in that one. If you would like to read more, over at “A Little Bit OCD” there is a great summary of how to use hashtags (and Instagram in general!).
What About Google + and Linked In Kristy?
Well…they aren’t as fun to write about or to use (for me anyway) so I’ll save that for another day and a more “blogger-type” post. Are we cool? Totes.
I was going to cover my thoughts on whether we share too much these days…but as I started writing about it I wasn’t sure what I actually thought, so that’s another post perhaps! As I alluded to above, I think that really it’s up to you how much you share. Do what’s comfortable for you – and if you think someone is doing too much – either unfollow them or just stalk them quietly.
I’ve planned another, more serious post on this aimed more at blogger/business type folk, so stay tuned!
Ok over to you – if you don’t use any of the above platforms do you think you will have a look now? Do you still not get why we share so much? Or do you embrace it all? Ok enough questions.