What makes media social?

Faceache, Twitbook, Instamatic…What?! I don’t even know what people are talking about – even less why I should use them. They’re all for teenagers right? Why can’t people just pick up the phone?

Sound familiar? It certainly elicited a lively discussion and question time with some of our members recently so we thought we’d gather together some useful articles from around the internet to get you started.

What are the top social media platforms (as they are commonly referred to)? And what makes them ‘social’?

  1. Facebook: The best known amongst social media sites, Facebook allows registered users to create personal, business and community pages, groups or events about themselves or their organisation. You can then use these pages to connect and build relationships with friends, colleagues or even strangers from the other side of the world! Want to know more? This article from GCF Learn Free is helpful.
  2. YouTube: The free video sharing website that makes it easy to watch online videos. You can create and upload your own videos to share with others. The subjects are anything from silly, quirky things to how to guides – to full blown films! This article from Digital Unite tells you more about the basics.
  3. Instagram: Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life (or the life of your organisation) with friends and people who decide you are interesting to ‘follow’ (i.e.: keep an eye on) through a series of pictures. Here’s a great introduction to it by Lifewire.
  4. Twitter: Twitter is a fast-paced, worldwide, online community where anyone who has created a profile for themselves or their organisation can tweet (broadcast a public message of just 140 characters or less). It is mainly used by organisations (including faith and community groups and their people) and businesses (or business people). You can tweet about anything that is important to you, that you think others might be interested in. It’s a form of news broadcasting that can be used by anyone for all sorts of reasons. Used well, it can become a gateway to your website. This article explains the platform very well.

If you want to know what other sites are out there and commonly used have a look at this article by Dream Grow.

We’ve just picked the four most commonly used platforms above; each have their own emphasis (text, video, pictures, micro-blog) and each have their use. If you want to delve deeper, this article by Lifewire is a great place to start.

In future posts we’ll look at why faith groups should bother with social media, and how best to make use of it – so watch this space!

About Elspeth Paisley

Elspeth is FaithAction's Head of Communications.