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Digital Spin

www.sfu.ca/digital

Some Social Media Basics

Why tweet, blog, post or pin?

Let’s start with the basics: what is social media and should I care?

The answer to the second question is yes.

As for social media…. it’s complicated.

Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, Pinterest, blogging, YouTube and Flickr are just a few of the social media channels available. Wikipedia defines social media as: “Web-based and mobile based technologies which are used to turn communication into interactive dialogue between organizations, communities, and individuals.”

What’s complicated about social media is the variety of channels, what they do, who are the audiences using them and how are they best used. For example, Facebook is used by about 900 million people. The most read Facebook posts are five lines in length and have a photo.

Twitter has approximately 350 million active users. When you tweet on Twitter your posts must be 140 characters or less. An ideal tweet is about 85 characters, allowing room  for retweets and comments.

While it could be said that everyone uses Facebook, it is dominated by women in the 24 to 34 age range. Twitter users are most likely female and they tend to use an iPhone or smartphone when they tweet. The median age is 31.

All these things are important in digital communications if you wish to reach your target audience and engage them.

Here’s a few links that can explain things further. Mashable has a great post here providing tips on using Facebook to market your brand. In this post by Social Media Examiner they have nine social media tips for marketers and Social Media Today explains in this post who uses the main social media channels.

– Become a digital communications expert by enrolling in the Digital Communications Certificate program offered by Simon Fraser University Continuing Studies.

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