If you’re stumped by Snapchat and befuddled by Facebook, welcome to your social media cheat sheet. We’ve broken down five of the most popular social media sites including Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram to help you get to grips with it all.
We’ve broken down five of the most popular social media sites including Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram to help you get to grips with it all
From planning your dream home decor to keeping tabs on what the kids are up to online, here’s how each social media site works – and how to use to them like a pro.
WHAT IS IT? Probably the most popular photo sharing app of all, Instagram is a place where you can easily edit all your photos and short video clips using ready-made artistic filters, before showing them off to the world.
HOW DOES IT WORK? You can follow as many people as you like: friends, family, brands, celebrities, designers, photographers and so on. Your feed will show you all the images posted by the people you follow, so the more the better. Once posts are appearing in your feed, you can then ‘like’ them by tapping the heart icon underneath, leave a comment by tapping the speech bubble or share it yourself by tapping on the arrow icon. You can see who has liked the posts you’ve shared yourself and search for images and videos of things you’re interested in by using hashtags.
TOP INSTAGRAM TIPS
- Use hashtags in your image captions so that they appear in search results for other like-minded Instagram users. If you’ve snapped a picture of the roses in your back garden for example, you could add #roses #flowers or #nature.
- Follow people who are into what you love. Whether you’re passionate about interior design, photography or travelling, look for people who post lots of inspiring ideas on the subjects that you’ll enjoy.
- Experiment with the photo filter options to make your pictures look their best. An average looking snap can become a thing of beauty with the right filter.
- Follow brands that you love for more insider info. You’ll find plenty of food and recipe ideas on our own Instagram @ASDA and tons of fashion ideas at @GeorgeAtAsda.
- Instagram also has a direct messaging feature so that you can share a text-based message or image privately with just one person, rather than posting on your public feed.
WHAT IS IT? The king of social networks, Facebook lets you share and follow activity from your friends and family via status updates, photographs, videos, articles and more. You can like, share, comment and interact with everything you see and follow updates from the official pages of your favourite brands, celebrities or public figures.
HOW DOES IT WORK? Once you’ve signed up for an account, start adding people that you know via the friend request tool. Once they accept your invitation (everyone has the option to decline, which gives greater control over who sees your posts and profile), their Facebook activity will start to appear in your news feed and vice versa. See what they’re up to, share photographs, videos and status updates and interact with your new online community.
TOP FACEBOOK TIPS
- Remember that everything you do on Facebook (apart from the private messages) is public, so anyone who is your Facebook friend can see what you have posted or shared. It’s not a place to reveal sensitive information, personal data or things you wouldn’t normally want others to know.
- Search for public figures, celebrities and brands that you like and follow them. They’ll often share news, updates and sometimes offers, competitions and discounts.
- When you upload a new photograph, ‘tag’ people who are in the snap. That way they’ll be sent a notification and can easily see and share it too. It’s easy to miss things on a busy news feed.
- There’s a whole host of games that can be played and shared through Facebook. However, if you’re prompted to invite your friends to play, bear in mind that not everyone will welcome lots of game invitations in their inbox. Be considerate.
- Be wary of friend requests from people you don’t know. If you can’t place the person in your mind, it’s safer to decline the request than risk giving a stranger access to the snippets of your life you’ve shared on Facebook. Hackers often try to steal personal information this way.
- Control who sees everything from your profile picture to your posts by adjusting your privacy and security settings in the settings tab. You can block people completely here too and control whether your Facebook profile appears in search engine results.
WHAT IS IT? Twitter is a fast-paced app for sharing short text-based messages (everything has a 140 character limit), photographs, videos and links to articles or webpages. Lots of news gets broken on Twitter thanks to its immediacy and easy ‘retweet’ (sharing) function.
HOW DOES IT WORK? You can follow whoever you like from friends to celebrities plus news outlets and brands, regardless of whether they follow you back. You’ll see updates from everyone you follow in your home feed, and can ‘favourite’ a tweet by tapping on the heart icon, reply to it by tapping the single arrow, or ‘retweet’ it to your own followers by tapping the squared rotating arrows icon. You’ll be notified if somebody mentions you in a tweet or interacts with something you have posted.
TOP TWITTER TIPS
- Who you follow really does make or break your Twitter experience. Try to follow a mix of people who really interest you, so that your feed is always full of things of you’ll enjoy.
- Hashtags rule on Twitter. Use them to search for subjects you’re interested in (e.g #fashion or our own, very festive #BecauseItsChristmas), track popular topics (also called trending topics) and to make sure your own posts appear in relevant Twitter searches.
- Stay up to date on what’s happening in the news and on the pop-culture scene by checking Twitter’s real time trending topics list. Visible on the phone and tablet app when you tap the search icon, a list of the most talked about subjects will appear that is constantly updated with new and relevant tweets.
- Beware of the trolls. Sadly, Twitter can be a hotbed for users who enjoy dishing out negativity. If you do receive any negative feedback, ignore them, block them and if you feel it’s inappropriate, report the account to Twitter.
WHAT IS IT? A place where you can share and save creative inspiration, Pinterest lets users create and curate mood board-style collections of images and recipes called pins. Now here’s the good bit: you can research anything! Interior design ideas, fashion inspiration, dessert ideas, dinner recipes - let your creativity run wild.
HOW DOES IT WORK? Each user can ‘pin’ images to the boards that they have created (e.g. bathroom ideas, wedding hairstyles, chocolate cake recipes) either by browsing around the images already uploaded to Pinterest by other users, or by uploading pics that you choose yourself. You can create as many boards as you like and pin as many things to them as you can find. Follow your friends and other users that share your interests to see what they’re pinning as well.
TOP PINTEREST TIPS
- Download the Pinterest button for your web browser. It’ll sit near the top of the screen alongside the address bar and lets you pin images from anywhere on the internet. To get it, visit the Pinterest help section and follow the simple instructions.
- Pinterest is a hive of life hacks, beauty hacks and cleaning hacks – the pinning community have a top tip for everything imaginable. Plus, there’s normally a diagram of sorts too...
- Visit the settings area to stop your Pinterest profile from appearing in search engine results if you want to increase your privacy. It won’t stop Pinterest users from being able to find you via searches within the site, but will limit attention from outsiders.
- Invite people to collaborate on a board with you. If you’re planning to redecorate the living room for example and want your partner to be able to share ideas too, you can invite them to collaborate by clicking ‘edit’ on the board and adding their email address to the ‘collaborators’ box. Group boards can have several collaborators.
WHAT IS IT? Arguably the trickiest social network to get to grips with, Snapchat is essentially an app where you can share lots of quick videos (up to 10 seconds) and photographs, which then disappear after recipients have watched them (unless they have bought the app’s new Replay credits). The idea behind the app is to make conversations more spontaneous via fun visuals.
HOW DOES IT WORK? We’d suggest visiting the Snapchat support blog for a thorough walk-through of the app while you’re still getting used to it. This can be a tricky one to navigate! But to get you started, add friends to your Snapchat either by searching for them via their Snapchat username (if they have one already) or via the contacts in your phone’s address book. Then you can start snapping. The ‘stories’ tab is where you can see snaps from your friends and even explore readable articles from media brands too.
TOP SNAPCHAT TIPS
- Play around with new updates like stickers and filters to add a little more fun to your snaps.
- Remember that you can add text captions and drawings to your snaps by using the icons in the top right corner of the screen, once you’ve captured what you want to send.
- Try weaving several photographs and videos together to create a ‘story’. Your friends can then watch this collection of visuals an unlimited number of times over the next 24 hours. To add things to your story, simple capture your snap and then tap the square-shaped plus icon near the bottom of the screen.
- Beware of Replays. Users can now buy credits in the App Store which allow them to rewatch Snapchats that you may have intended to disappear after mere seconds. Each user gets one free Replay per day too.
- Don’t send anything too personal. The fact that snaps ‘disappear’ can tempt people to send visuals of things that they may not share under other circumstances. Recipients can screenshot whatever you send also, so do think twice.