Learn to tweet: demystifying social media

By Carmina Tiscareño

New Media & Fashion Editor

Source: helloarchipelago.com
Source: helloarchipelago.com

Students walking around campus looking down at their phones is a common sight. Some might be texting, while others could be checking Facebook or sharing a picture of their lunch on Instagram.

It seems like almost everyone uses social media, but some are hesitant to hop on the technological trend. Social media platforms are a popular way for individuals to connect with others and share ideas. Below are a few facts about popular social media platforms.

Source : underconsideration.com
Source : underconsideration.com

The largest social network with more than 1 billion users worldwide according to
gcflearnfree.org. Ideal for connecting with long-distance family or friends.

This site allows users to share their own or others’ posts, pictures and videos. Facebook allows users to message their Facebook friends directly. Other social media platforms, such as Instagram and Pinterest, have integrated with Facebook allowing their users to sign into different services.

What is unique about Facebook is that it allows users to connect and share with people in real time as opposed to email. Facebook users share 1 million links every 20 minutes, according to leveragenewagemedia.com.

instagram-logo-side
Source : static1.squarespace.com

Allows users to share photos and 3- to 15-second videos. Great for artists, photographers, videographers and small brands that want to share content. It has 300 million active users.

Content uploaded via Instagram can also be shared on Facebook and Twitter. Users can follow family, friends, public figures and brands that have Instagram accounts.

The use of hashtags in captions allows others to see related images. If a person uploads a picture of a Blue Bell ice cream cone with scoops, some hashtags that might be used include: #icecreamcone and #bluebell.

Popular categories of shared pictures, other than selfies, include food, pets, nature and fashion photos. The most followed brand as of press date is Nike, according to leveragenewagemedia.com.

Source : i2.wp.com
Source : i2.wp.com

Based on microblogging, posts are limited to 140 characters. Users can share posts by “retweeting.” The site has 289 million users according to leveragenewagemedia.com. 

Twitter is for anyone who wants to speak their minds online. Useful posts users may find on Twitter include breaking news and weather updates. Live tweeting, or tweeting events as they happen, has become a popular way for journalists to keep the public updated.

Tweets range from the totally random to important issues. The use of hashtags was popularized on Twitter. Hashtags are indexed keywords preceded by a pound sign (#). They help users find track keywords in real time.

Users can tag and direct message each other by including the recipient’s Twitter handle, usernames that begin with the at symbol (@). Twitter allows users to share photos and videos in their posts.

Twitter users post 9,100 tweets every second according to leveragenewagemedia.com.

Source : upload.wikimedia.org
Source : upload.wikimedia.org

Perfect for discovering new things or for those who have inspiration boards. Focuses on visual presentation. Has 70 million users, according to leveragenewagemedia.com.

Pinterest is a virtual inspiration board, according to sheknows.com. This site allows users to pin, the Pinterest term for bookmark, a recipe or images of other inspirational links on their Pinterest site instead of emailing it to themselves or printing it out.

Other things users may find on Pinterest include do-it-yourself projects for home décor, bathroom remodeling and hairstyle ideas.

Pins are easy to access and can be categorized into different boards. For example, a user can have one board with pins of different recipes they like and another board with pins of jewelry items they want.

Users can see, and follow, the boards of friends and even collaborate on a team board. Pinterest allows vendors to sell unique items, such as jewelry and arts and crafts, through their boards.