Welcome to The Beginner's Guide to Social Media! Whether you're new to social media or just looking to close a few knowledge gaps, we're glad you stopped by. By now, we've all heard how valuable—even essential—social media can be. Whether your current sentiment leans more toward enthusiasm or trepidation, there's no way around the fact that social media is a far more complex field than it first seems. Diving in without a sense for what it's like can be overwhelming, and building a network that provides real value takes both savvy and hard work, but fear not—we're here to help! We hope you'll find this to be one of the most comprehensive social media resources available, and that no matter what your skill level is, there's plenty in here to help you improve your social presence. What are we waiting for? Let's dive in!

According to a 2016 article diving into the topic of sharing privately and the effect social media has on expectations of privacy, "1.18 billion people will log into their Facebook accounts, 500 million tweets will be sent, and there will be 95 million photos and videos posted on Instagram" in a day. Much of the privacy concerns individuals face stem from their own posts on a form of social network. Users have the choice to share voluntarily, and has been ingrained into society as routine and normative. Social media is a snapshot of our lives; a community we have created on the behaviors of sharing, posting, liking, and communicating. Sharing has become a phenomenon which social media and networks have uprooted and introduced to the world.[183] The idea of privacy is redundant; once something is posted, its accessibility remains constant even if we select who is potentially able to view it. People desire privacy in some shape or form, yet also contribute to social media, which makes it difficult to maintain privacy.[184] Mills offers options for reform which include copyright and the application of the law of confidence; more radically, a change to the concept of privacy itself.
Another survey conducted (in 2015) by Pew Internet Research shows that the Internet users among American adults who uses at least one social networking site has increased from 10% to 76% since 2005. Pew Internet Research illustrates furthermore that it nowadays is no real gender difference among Americans when it comes to social media usage. Women were even more active on social media a couple of years ago, however today's numbers point at women: 68%, and men: 62%.[43] In the United States, a 2018 survey reported that 88 percent of people 18-29 years old have at least one social media account[44]. Over 60% of 13 to 17-year-olds have at least one profile on social media, with many spending more than two hours per day on social networking sites.[45] According to Nielsen, Internet users continue to spend more time on social media sites than on any other type of site. At the same time, the total time spent on social media sites in the U.S. across PCs as well as on mobile devices increased by 99 percent to 121 billion minutes in July 2012, compared to 66 billion minutes in July 2011.[46] For content contributors, the benefits of participating in social media have gone beyond simply social sharing to building a reputation and bringing in career opportunities and monetary income.[47]
First of all, thanks for sharing this list. It’s really useful, but it would be great to supplement it with some kind of statistics regarding the audience who is using each of these social networks. This statistics could be valuable for different kind of marketers, bloggers or business owners because with such statistics it would be possible to plan a strategy for business in different niches, like e-commerce, paper help online, any kind of services, or use it for the purpose of self-promotions for bloggers/website owners.
Social media originated as a tool that people used to interact with friends and family but was later adopted by businesses that wanted to take advantage of a popular new communication method to reach out to customers. The power of social media is the ability to connect and share information with anyone on Earth (or multitudes of people) as long as they also use social media.
Teenagers not ready to quit entirely are stepping back for a while. Dr Amanda Lenhart, who researches young people’s online lives, conducted a survey of US teenagers, asking them about taking time off social media. “We found that 58% of teenagers said they had taken at least one break from at least one social media platform. The most common reason? It was getting in the way of schoolwork or jobs, with more than a third of respondents citing this as their primary reason for leaving social media. Other reasons included feeling tired of the conflict or drama they could see unfolding among their peer group online, and feeling oppressed too by the constant firehose of information.”
Develop a unique voice and presence: Millions of people over the world have social media accounts. It's important to make yours stand out from the crowd by offering a unique voice, perspective or persona. Maybe you want to establish a comedy sketch channel on YouTube for example, or a Facebook page that promotes your custom-made jewelry. In any case, be sure to make your services different from the competition.
Social networking apps are going to grow even bigger as people adopt them into their everyday lives. Here we have listed the mobile-first social media platforms. But the Facebook mobile app would dominate this list with 1.37 billion monthly active users. As smartphones’ adoption continues, the share of the desktop use of social media platforms will fall .
Social media refers to websites and applications that are designed to allow people to share content quickly, efficiently, and in real-time. Most people define social media as apps on their smartphone or tablet, but the truth is, this communication tool started with computers. This misconception stems from the fact that most social media users access their tools via apps. 
According to the Pew Research Center, a majority of Americans at least occasionally receive news from social media. [123] Because of algorithms on social media which filter and display news content which are likely to match their users’ political preferences, a potential impact of receiving news from social media includes an increase in political polarization due to selective exposure. [124] Political polarization refers to when an individual's stance on a topic is more likely to be strictly defined by their identification with a specific political party or ideology than on other factors. Selective exposure occurs when an individual favors information which supports their beliefs and avoids information which conflicts with their beliefs. A study by Hayat and Samuel-Azran conducted during the 2016 U.S. presidential election observed an “echo chamber” effect of selective exposure among 27,811 Twitter users following the content of cable news shows. [124] The Twitter users observed in the study were found to have little interaction with users and content whose beliefs were different from their own, possibly heightening polarization effects. [124]
But quitting social media can create new anxieties. “Our research shows that the biggest fear of quitting or pausing social media is missing out,” Bielby says. Some are more sanguine than others. “Do I miss out on stuff?” Morgan asks. “Yeah, of course. People find it hard to keep in contact with me. They say: ‘It would be easier if you had this or that.’ But I don’t think it’s that hard to type in my number and send a text. You’re just not willing to do it.”
Mobile social media tools can be used for marketing research, communication, sales promotions/discounts, informal employee learning/organizational development, relationship development/loyalty programs,[24] and e-Commerce. Other applications include marketing research, communication, sales promotions and discounts, relationship development and loyalty programs, and informal employee learning/organizational development is facilitated by the social media.
Social media is also often used for crowdsourcing. Customers can use social networking sites to offer ideas for future products or tweaks to current ones. In IT projects, crowdsourcing usually involves engaging and blending business and IT services from a mix of internal and external providers, sometimes with input from customers and/or the general public.

Copyblogger published an interesting article several years ago, making the argument that blogs are indeed social media, despite the fact that people tend to put them in a category all on their own these days. In fact, blogs are one of the oldest forms of social media that dominated the web long before we were friending and following everyone on social networks.
Hi Maina, I have checked the social sites recommended by you. May be itis important to update on your article that Delicious no longer accepts bookmarks as it is now bought by Pinboard. Most of these social sites are being bought off and may discontinue their programs. May be you can even dedicate a new post for that. Otherwise, great piece of work there.
WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform instant messaging client for smartphones, PCs and tablets. The app relies on the Internet to send images, texts, documents, audio and video messages to other users that have the app installed on their devices. Launched in January 2010, WhatsApp Inc. was acquired by Facebook on February 19, 2004, for about $19.3 billion. Today, more than 1 billion people use the service to communicate with their friends, loved ones and even customers.
There are a number of ways to make money on social media: You can promote your own products or services, you can become an affiliate of other companies or you can set up a YouTube channel that comes with paid advertising. All of these strategies have the potential to become lucrative, but only if you are able to build a substantial following. You won't be able to raise any significant funds from your personal Twitter or YouTube account if you only have 10 followers. So how do you build a large social media following? According to Yahoo, to ensure social media money-making success, do the following:

The picture here is a bit different if we look at the brand names. WhatsApp and Messenger are in a close race for the top spot. But both of these most popular social media apps are owned by Facebook so the competition may not be as fierce as between completely separate companies. Then there’s a lot of Asian apps and then on the sixth spot is Instagram, again owned by Facebook.
This is the biggest social media network on the Internet, both in terms of total number of users and name recognition. Founded on February 4, 2004, Facebook has within 12 years managed to accumulate more than 1.59 billion monthly active users and this automatically makes it one of the best mediums for connecting people from all over the world with your business. It is estimated that more than 1 million small and medium-sized businesses use the platform to advertise their business.
If you use social media you need to engage with your customers, involve them in a dialogue, and ask them for their opinions. Post a picture of two items you are considering carrying in your store and ask customers which one they like best. This creates a dialogue which leads to shared posts which leads to engaged followers. Plus, if you follow this example, it will also lead to enhanced margins because your back and forth conversation will prevent you from buying the item that won't sell as well.
Another great thing about LinkedIn is that you can create “groups” where professionals can all come together and share thoughts and ideas. If you have a question or want to know of someone’s experience with something, you have a group of people who have “been there, done that.” They’ll be able to help guide your decisions and help you make your business more profitable than it has ever been before.
Social media often features in political struggles to control public perception and online activity. In some countries, Internet police or secret police monitor or control citizens' use of social media. For example, in 2013 some social media was banned in Turkey after the Taksim Gezi Park protests. Both Twitter and YouTube were temporarily suspended in the country by a court's decision. A new law, passed by Turkish Parliament, has granted immunity to Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) personnel. The TİB was also given the authority to block access to specific websites without the need for a court order.[196] Yet TİB's 2014 blocking of Twitter was ruled by the constitutional court to violate free speech.[197] More recently, in the 2014 Thai coup d'état, the public was explicitly instructed not to 'share' or 'like' dissenting views on social media or face prison. In July of that same year, in response to WikiLeaks' release of a secret suppression order made by the Victorian Supreme Court, media lawyers were quoted in the Australian media to the effect that "anyone who tweets a link to the Wikileaks report, posts it on Facebook, or shares it in any way online could also face charges".[198]
^ Bányai, Fanni; Zsila, Ágnes; Király, Orsolya; Maraz, Aniko; Elekes, Zsuzsanna; Griffiths, Mark D.; Andreassen, Cecilie Schou; Demetrovics, Zsolt (2017-01-09). "Problematic Social Media Use: Results from a Large-Scale Nationally Representative Adolescent Sample". PLOS ONE. 12 (1): e0169839. Bibcode:2017PLoSO..1269839B. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0169839. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 5222338. PMID 28068404.
Next, instead of spamming links on Twitter and hoping for the best, keep in mind that the most honest and effective way of promoting affiliate products is through reviews. If you personally use a product and like it, and know that your followers serve to benefit from it, then write a long-form review on your blog, and share why you like the product. Don't be afraid to talk about what you like and don't like about it. You can even use video if that's more your style.
Earnings Disclaimer: While we are here to help you at every step of your blogging journey, we cannot make any guarantees about your success as a blogger or the amount of money you will make from blogging. Any examples in our content, including our sales pages and marketing campaigns, are not to be interpreted as a promise or guarantee of earnings. Your earning potential as a blogger is entirely dependent upon you and your efforts to become successful.
Priit is the founder and CEO of DreamGrow Digital, an internet marketing and social media company. With his 20+ years internet marketing experience he is Helping companies to understand and use the digital marketing to reach their target audiences. He's also writing on a personal growth website Fixwillpower.com. He has spoken at hundreds of seminars and conferences on different aspects of internet marketing. Priit is also the organizer of Digital Elite Camp, a leading traffic and conversion event.
One of the biggest mistakes retailers make is to open up accounts on every social media platform they think is relevant and then leave them alone with no activity. Having an account with any of the social media platforms does not mean your business is into social media any more than owning golf clubs makes you ready for the PGA. In fact, social media users are turned off by the retailer who opens accounts and does not engage with clients and the public and consequently become labeled a pretender.
Someone who knows a thing or two about building an audience, strategic partnerships, and making a living off of being authentic and niched online is Michell C. Clark, social entrepreneur and cultural curator. Clark’s entrepreneurial journey began eight years ago online. And now with an audience of over 75,000 people, including major brands, he helps business owners and entrepreneurs transform their social media presence to help them achieve their professional goals.
The digital divide is a measure of disparity in the level of access to technology between households, socioeconomic levels or other demographic categories.[114][115] People who are homeless, living in poverty, elderly people and those living in rural or remote communities may have little or no access to computers and the Internet; in contrast, middle class and upper-class people in urban areas have very high rates of computer and Internet access. Other models argue that within a modern information society, some individuals produce Internet content while others only consume it,[116][117] which could be a result of disparities in the education system where only some teachers integrate technology into the classroom and teach critical thinking.[118] While social media has differences among age groups, a 2010 study in the United States found no racial divide.[119] Some zero-rating programs offer subsidized data access to certain websites on low-cost plans. Critics say that this is an anti-competitive program that undermines net neutrality and creates a "walled garden"[120] for platforms like Facebook Zero. A 2015 study found that 65% of Nigerians, 61% of Indonesians, and 58% of Indians agree with the statement that "Facebook is the Internet" compared with only 5% in the US.[121]
Keep in mind that neither your customers' experience nor your brand starts with Twitter, Facebook, or your blog. Social media should take your existing brand and solidify it, galvanize it, and bolster it. Your efforts in social media should be an extension of everything else you do in all departments of your company. Capturing your company's voice and sharing it with the world through social media will open up unique opportunities in all other channels of inbound marketing, including SEO, branding, public relations, sales, and more.
The ability to share photos, opinions, events, etc in real-time has transformed the way we live and, also, the way we do business. Retailers who engage social media as an integral part of their marketing strategy usually see measurable results. But the key to successful social media is to not treat it like an extra appendage but to treat it with the same care, respect, and attention you do all of your marketing efforts. 
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Pinterest is a social curation website for sharing and categorizing images found online. Pinterest requires brief descriptions but the main focus of the site is visual. Clicking on an image will take you to the original source, so, for example, if you click on a picture of a pair of shoes, you might be taken to a site where you can purchase them. An image of blueberry pancakes might take you to the recipe; a picture of a whimsical birdhouse might take you to the instructions.

^ Patton, George C.; Sawyer, Susan M.; Santelli, John S.; Ross, David A.; Afifi, Rima; Allen, Nicholas B.; Arora, Monika; Azzopardi, Peter; Baldwin, Wendy (June 2016). "Our future: a Lancet commission on adolescent health and wellbeing". The Lancet. 387 (10036): 2423–2478. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(16)00579-1. ISSN 0140-6736. PMC 5832967. PMID 27174304.


Becoming a brand ambassador is another viable way for social media influencers to make money. As of late, ongoing ambassadorships are quoted to be the most effective method of influencer marketing because of their structural nature. Companies hire brand ambassadors for long-term relationships and pay them on a retainer basis. It is the responsibility of the influencer to become the supreme expert on the brand or product and broadcast his or her partnership with the brand on all social media channels.
Whether you choose to promote your products, services, or talent, leveraging the power of social media can help you take your business to the next level. That is with the right plan and strategy, of course. That is why at this year’s Entrepreneurs Summit, experts will be sharing tips and advice to help business owners and entrepreneurs monetize their online presence.
Social media marketing has increased due to the growing active user rates on social media sites. For example, Facebook currently has 2.2 billion users, Twitter has 330 million active users and Instagram has 800 million users.[81] One of the main uses is to interact with audiences to create awareness of their brand or service, with the main idea of creating a two-way communication system where the audience and/or customers can interact back; providing feedback as just one example.[82] Social media can be used to advertise; placing an advert on Facebook's Newsfeed, for example, can allow a vast number of people to see it or targeting specific audiences from their usage to encourage awareness of the product or brand. Users of social media are then able to like, share and comment on the advert, becoming message senders as they can keep passing the advert's message on to their friends and onwards.[83]
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