Social Media 101: A Practical Guide for Beginners


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The first in an upcoming series for Battleground Texas volunteers on getting started with social media. This training focuses on Facebook and Twitter and goes through the very basics of how these two networks function, privacy and security and basic tips for success.

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  • Have you seen The Social Network? It happened just like that except no one was that cool.
  • *Step 1 to being a savvy Facebook user is understanding that you are not the customer; you are the product.*Facebook makes money by selling sponsored posts (ads) and uses the information you give through your profile and activity to help advertisers target very specific audience segments.*Every feature of Facebook—from privacy settings to recommended friends—is designed to make you do things that will give them more information about you so they can put more targeted ads in front of your eyeballs.
  • Vocab Words*Profile vs. Page – Profiles can be public or private and are typically associated with individual users; pages are public and typically associated with a brand; you must have a profile to create or have admin rights to a page; friend status between two user profiles is two-way (mutual) while liking a page is one-way*News Feed — The constantly updating feed of posts that appears on your home page when you log into Facebook; includes posts from friends, pages you like and sponsored posts; can be sorted by top stories or most recent*Wall vs. Timeline — These both refer to what you see when you view your own or someone else’s profile; wall is an older term from before Facebook changed its design to the timeline format; the timeline concept comes from the idea that your Facebook profile tells your story
  • Vocab Words*Facebook App — Applications that provide added functionality to basic Facebook use; some come with Facebook (e.g. Events, Messages, etc.); some you add on (e.g. Spotify, Instagram, CandyCrush); because Facebook’s API is public, anyone can create a Facebook app, so be careful about authorizing apps you don’t know a lot about
  • On Facebook, you can post content of your own (status updates, photos, videos, articles, etc.), and you can interact with content others post (like, comment and share). Vocab Words*Tag — You can tag another Facebook user (one of your friends) in posts, photos and comments; when you tag someone, your post will appear on his/her timeline and will be visible to that person’s friends; depending on the person’s privacy settings, he/she may have to approve the post before it appears on his/her timeline.*Like, comment and share — The three main ways you can interact with content others post on Facebook Liking a post is easy—just one click—but tends to give the impression that you agree with what’s being said. Commenting allows you to contribute to the conversation surrounding a post. Sharing will display that user’s post on your own timeline; how the post displays and to whom may vary depending on the other user’s privacy settings as well as your own.
  • You can configure your privacy settings when you initially create your Facebook account, but you can also go back and change your privacy settings at any time. Access your privacy settings from either of these two menus on the navigation bar at the top of the page.
  • No security system is fool proof, but Facebook is one of the more secure social networking sites. Taking advantage of some of Facebook’s more advanced security features will help protect your account and your personal information from being compromised.
  • Facebook makes its privacy settings convoluted on purpose. The more open your profile, the more opportunities there are for activity. The more activity you have, the more data Facebook collects about you. The more data Facebook has, the more ads they can sell. Remember, you are not the customer; you are the product.However, you do still have control over your own privacy on Facebook. You just have to work a little harder to navigate the system. Your general Privacy Settings and Tools mainly control who sees your personal information and your timeline.
  • You can also set individual posts to be visible only to certain groups.*Public — anyone can see your post, even if you’re not friends*Friends — only your friends can see your post*Only Me — only visible to you*Custom — select specific groups or individual friends who won’t be able to see your post
  • Timeline and Tagging Settings control who can post on your timeline and whether you want to review posts in which you are tagged before they appear on your timeline.
  • Manage Blocking settings allows you to block specific users, app invites, event invites and apps. You can also create a restricted list of friends who will only be able to see posts you make public.
  • Vocab Words*Handle — Your Twitter username; others may use in @replies, mentions, modified tweets and quote tweets*@Reply — A tweet directed at a specific user; begins with that user’s handle; shows up publicly on your tweets*Direct Message (DM) — A tweet sent privately to a specific user; Twitter now has built in direct message functionality to make this easier*Mention — When you mention a user’s handle within the text of your tweet (not at the very beginning); similar to tagging friends in a Facebook post*Hashtag — One or two words strung together behind a # symbol to tag tweets into a particular category or conversation; helpful in starting a conversation, joining an existing conversation and searching for what people are saying about a particular topic*Retweet (RT) vs. Modified Tweet (MT) vs. Quote Tweet—All ways of quoting another user’s tweet-Retweet is the oldest and most generic term; it can mean copying the text of another user’s tweet into a new tweet with the letters RT and the user’s handle, or it could simply mean clicking the retweet button, which makes the tweet visible in your tweets without actually duplicating it.-Many users will use MT (modified tweet) in place of RT (retweet) to indicate that some part of the original tweet has been changed; helpful when you want to add your two cents but need to shorten the original tweet first so you have enough characters.-Quote tweet is a newer feature available on Twitter’s mobile app that copies the content of someone else’s tweet into a new tweet that you can then modify.*Fail Whale — When Twitter’s servers can’t handle current traffic and fail, causing the site to temporarily crash; used to happen regularly when Twitter’s use jumped from 20,000 tweets per day to 60,000 in less than a week during SXSW Interactive 2007; Twitter’s current server farm can usually handle the traffic, so this doesn’t happen too often today
  • For the most part, anything goes. Remember, you have a maximum of 140 characters. Twitter automatically shortens URLs to 22 characters, so that leaves you with 118 if you include a link.Basic etiquette tips:*Don’t be a jerk, especially if you’re tweeting from a BGTX event.*Ask permission before tweeting photos of ordinary citizens, especially children; there’s no law about it, but some people just don’t want their pictures online; crowd shots are usually fine; public figures and officials are totally fair game.*Abbreviations are helpful in keeping tweets short, but in excess can make your tweets hard to understand.*Avoid spamming people — tweeting many users who don’t follow you or who you don’t know out of the blue with the same or similar messages.*Too many mentions or hashtags can also make your tweets hard to understand; try limiting to no more than three short hashtags or two longer ones and no more than three users mentioned in one tweet.*Did I mention don’t be a jerk?
  • Twitter’s privacy settings are much simpler than Facebook’s. You can have Twitter send login verification requests to a mobile phone, just like with Facebook, for an added layer of security. Other than that, your options are pretty limited to public or private.If you choose “Protect my Tweets,” your account becomes completely private. Only your followers will see your tweets, and you will have to approve anyone who wants to follow you. If you do not select this option, your tweets are completely public. Anyone can follow you, view and retweet anything you tweet.NOTE: Like Facebook, Twitter’s API is public, which means anyone can create an app for Twitter. Be circumspect about authorizing apps to access your Twitter account.
  • Because Twitter’s security isn’t as sophisticated as Facebook’s, Twitter accounts can be more vulnerable to attack. Bots are programs that generate automated Twitter posts. They may be designed to artificially boost the number of followers a public figure or brand has, spam users or even to gain unauthorized access to accounts. They’re very common on Twitter. Most users have encountered at least one. Luckily, they’re usually easy to spot, if you know what you’re looking for.
  • Social Media 101: A Practical Guide for Beginners

    1. 1. Social Media 101 a practical guide for beginners
    2. 2. It’s a jungle in there.
    3. 3. Megan Kilgore Digital Marketing Manager Capital Area Food Bank of Texas Website: Twitter: @meganekilgore Slide Deck:
    4. 4. Agenda Part I Part II • History & Business • Functionality & Lingo • Privacy & Security • Tips for Success • • • • History & Business Functionality & Lingo Privacy & Security Tips for Success
    5. 5. Part I: Facebook Mommy, where does Facebook come from? • Oct 2003—Facemash • Feb 2004—The Facebook – Exclusively for Harvard students – Gradually expanded to other universities • Sep 2006—Facebook open to everyone 13+ • Feb 2012—Facebook IPO Mark Zuckerberg, Boy Wonder
    6. 6. Part I: Facebook How does Facebook make money? You are not the customer. You are the product.
    7. 7. Part I: Facebook What’s all this, then?
    8. 8. Part I: Facebook What’s all this, then?
    9. 9. Part I: Facebook What’s all this, then? Tags Like, Comment & Share
    10. 10. Part I: Facebook Privacy Status: It’s Complicated
    11. 11. Part I: Facebook Privacy Status: It’s Complicated
    12. 12. Part I: Facebook Privacy Status: It’s Complicated
    13. 13. Part I: Facebook Privacy Status: It’s Complicated
    14. 14. Part I: Facebook Privacy Status: It’s Complicated
    15. 15. Part I: Facebook Privacy Status: It’s Complicated
    16. 16. QUESTIONS?
    17. 17. Part I: Facebook Tips for Success • Like Battleground Texas on Facebook: undTexas • Like, comment and share BGTX Facebook posts.
    18. 18. Part I: Facebook Tips for Success • Interact! Like, comment and share others’ content. • Share photos, graphics, memes, videos and interesting articles. • Add your two cents on what you’re sharing. • Use Facebook to coordinate events. • Schedule times to
    19. 19. QUESTIONS?
    20. 20. Part II: Twitter Let there be tweets! • July 2006—Twitter site launched • Built on SMS (Short Message Service) technology—same as text messages • March 2007—Twitter popularity explodes at SXSW Interactive • 2012—Twitter has 500 million users posting 340 million tweets per day
    21. 21. Part II: Twitter No money? No problem. • How does Twitter make money? – Promoted accounts, tweets and trends – Twitter ads not as sophisticated as Facebook • Twitter is still recording net losses.  • Analysts believe as
    22. 22. Part II: Twitter What are these Twits talking about?
    23. 23. Part II: Twitter Rules? What rules?
    24. 24. Part II: Twitter Privacy & Security Settings
    25. 25. Part II: Twitter Beware of bots! Watch out for: • New followers who look like this • @replies from users who look like this • ANY link from someone you don’t know • Unusual/suspicious DMs from people you follow, especially if they contain links – Hey, I saw this funny pic of you! – Have you tried this?
    26. 26. QUESTIONS?
    27. 27. Part II: Twitter Tips for Success • Follow Battleground Texas on Twitter: X • Retweet, quote tweet and reply to BGTX’s tweets. • See who BGTX follows; you may want to follow some of them too!
    28. 28. Part II: Twitter Tips for Success • Interact! Retweet, quote tweet and mention often. • Follow people who talk about topics that interest you. • Join conversations using existing hashtags or invent your own. • Share videos, infographics and articles—timely/breaking news is preferable. • Live tweet events you’re attending. – Mention handles of speakers you’re quoting. – Look for established event hashtags, use popular hashtags like #TeamWendy or make one up. – Tweet photos. – Tweet before, during and after.
    29. 29. QUESTIONS?
    30. 30. Get Involved Blog for Battleground Texas • Visit and share posts from Battleground Texas blog: ontent/home • Get inspiration for your own BGTX blog posts • Write a short blurb about BGTX event or activity you attend; be sure to include: – Who, What, Where, When, Why – Photos – Quotes from volunteers