With more than 100 websites and apps, social media helps us meet one of our most basic human needs—connecting with others. In Social Media 101, educator and photographer Pei Ketron will teach you how to utilize social media to your best advantage, with a step-by-step guide to a curated group of 16 exciting and commonly used social media platforms. She shares her knowledge—and her screen—to teach you how to get started, build your network, and use the most powerful options each platform has to offer.
Social Media 101
Pei Ketron is a photographer and educator based in San Francisco who spent a decade teaching special education in the public school system before becoming a freelance travel and commercial photographer. She regularly teaches photography and social media classes privately and through companies such as CreativeLive, The Image Flow, and the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. In addition to her experience with DSLR and medium-format film photography, Pei is an accomplished mobile photographer. She is also part of the Lightroom team at Adobe, with a focus on building a global photography community.
01: The What, Why, and How of Social Media
Discover the basics of social media and the many ways in which these tools help people connect. You’ll learn the difference between being a social media creator and a consumer, as well and the significance of memes, hashtags, lurkers, and influencers. You’ll begin the exploration to discover which social media sites might be most appropriate for your particular interests.
One of the fastest-growing platforms today, Instagram allows users to share photos and videos via a feed or story, and follow others doing the same thing. As more and more features have been added to support businesses over the years, it is now also a critical platform for business, providing niche markets not available elsewhere. Learn about the platform’s many levels of functionality, including its latest commercial features.
Facebook, the largest social network in the world, makes it easy to connect with friends, family, and colleagues by sharing text, photos, and multimedia content, including video chat and messaging. As you explore the platform’s features, you’ll learn about privacy and security; how to create short- and long-term content; and specific functionality for business, including in-depth analytics.
Twitter is a microblogging social network that allows users to post and interact with 280-character text messages, photos, or videos, all of which are called tweets. Unless you make your account private, all tweets are public domain and indexed by Google and other search engines. Learn about the power of threaded conversations, “What’s Happening,” and available analytics.
LinkedIn is a career- and industry-centric version of Facebook. LinkedIn users are looking to share industry expertise, network with colleagues, and build their professional brands. Learn about LinkedIn advanced features and best practices, the benefits of premium accounts, how to develop the most powerful profile, and ways to use LinkedIn in your job hunt or your search for new-hires.
Pinterest is a social media platform designed to enable discovery and saving of photos and videos on the internet. Essentially a graphics search engine, Pinterest content tends to be more evergreen than that of other platforms. Discover how to utilize pins, boards, and sections, all of which help you organize your visual material to share with others and collaborate on common interests.
YouTube is a video-sharing platform where users watch a billion minutes of video content daily, an incredibly robust video search engine using the subscribe model. You will learn how to develop your own YouTube channel and build a following, as well as how to subscribe to other channels. Explore how YouTubers have turned their channels into revenue streams through brand partnerships and ads.
TikTok is a fast-paced platform used to create short videos of 60 seconds or less that can cover a huge range of styles and topics, depending on the creators and their audience. As you explore the app’s navigation, you’ll learn how to interact with others as well as develop and share your own content. Discover the TikTok editing tools that will help you develop your own videos from scratch and collaborate with others on video montage.
Portfolios of graphic design, fashion, illustration, photography, and more have a home on Bēhance, where content is shared based on projects rather than individual images. As you explore the site, you’ll discover why it’s one of the most popular and effective social networking platforms for creatives. Learn how you can exhibit your work online for free, network with others in the industry, and livestream content.
Initially created for the gaming community, Discord is now a communication platform for any interest-based group. Users can chat over text, voice, or video, either individually or as a group. As you explore the platform, you’ll learn how to join a friend’s private server and how to set up your own, inviting friends to join your discussion on a particular topic.
With 90 million registered users, Goodreads is the social network for book lovers. All users start with three basic bookshelves—the books they’ve read, what they're currently reading, and the books that they want to read. You’ll learn how to add your own shelves and sections, communicate with others to form virtual book clubs, and how to use the mobile version to build your personal reading list.
Medium is an experiment in social journalism where good stories can quickly gain exposure. With both amateur and professional writers, it’s a great platform for bloggers. Medium also includes curated publications with posts from multiple writers. You’ll learn how to get started, establish yourself in the blogosphere, and connect with other writers.
Sometimes called the “front page of the internet,” Reddit is a large group of forums in which registered users can utilize topic-specific discussion boards to discuss everything from news and pop culture to technology, comic books, and everything in between. Learn how to establish your profile, manage your options for chats and messages, and how to increase your Reddit karma score.
With more options for anonymity and a demographic that skews younger than many other social media sites, Tumblr is known as a platform where people can really “be themselves.” You’ll learn how to post multimedia and other content to short-form blog—although this is one of few social media sites where just following other users and reposting their content is considered a good use of the site.
Originally created for gamers but now used by much broader interest groups, Twitch is a platform for live video streaming. Whether you’re interested in cooking, music, live commentary or anything else, you’ll learn how to use Twitch to broadcast your views and communicate with others in a chat room or chat box tied to the live stream.
Nextdoor is a hyper-local social network that helps people connect to their neighbors. With 27 million monthly users, Nextdoor brings people together to create virtual neighborhoods, some of whom have chosen to meet in their physical neighborhoods as well. Learn how to get started, how to use the Help Map, and how the platform can help you sell goods and services locally.
Snapchat is a social media app used to send photos and short videos between friends. The “story” format now so popular on Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms originated on Snapchat. Learn how to get started and share temporary, self-destructing photos, videos, and messages known as snaps. Along with its other 255 million monthly active users, you might be attracted to this site’s filters, lenses, snap maps, and privacy.
18: Photography for Social Media
If there’s one single aspect of social media that makes your posts resonate with others, it’s the quality of your photography. In this lesson, you’ll learn about the basics of composition, the rule of thirds (and when to break it), appropriate foreground and background elements, lighting, and more. No matter what type of camera you’re using, you’ll discover how to share social media pictures your viewers won’t want to leave.