Hashtag Nation

Being in the know about social media.

Social media has made its mark on society. It connects users everywhere, from down the block to across the globe. It disseminates information on everything, from parenting and family life, to news, local events and stories. Social media also grants access to resources, experts and institutions within a matter of seconds.

However, with new social media platforms being introduced daily, it can be hard to keep up. Keep reading to become a social media queen.

Facebook: The site allows users to keep in touch with and track the lives of “friends” through messages, status updates, photos and videos. Heralded for a simple format, Facebook is the most popular and widely used social network.

Twitter: Users send and read text posts of up to 140 characters known as “tweets.” The short-form communication vehicle keeps followers updated on thoughts and happenings.

Hashtags Symbols: These help people to follow a conversation about a specific topic. For instance, someone in New York City might consider searching “UES” or “LES” to find conversations regarding the Upper East Side or Lower East Side of Manhattan as users often hashtag their events.

Twitter Parties: These virtual get-togethers typically last one to two hours. They are a great way for people to connect online and discuss a specific topic. Most Twitter parties have a moderator to keep the discussion on topic. The moderator may ask questions and do giveaways.

Pinterest: The virtual bulletin board allows photo junkies to “pin” images from the Internet and share them with followers. The website links to Facebook and Twitter, too. Many parents use Pinterest to find craft ideas and recipes.

RSS Feed: Also known as Really Simple Syndication, the feed grabs content from frequently visited sites and places it on one page for easy viewing. For example, Google Reader is a great aggregator that updates content instantly.

Instagram: Sometimes called the Facebook for photos, the application uploads and shares photos on a virtual network. It dually connects with Facebook and Twitter. Many parents use this to share photos of their children and events in their everyday life.

Many of the social media networks are public and can be seen by anyone accessing them. If you would like only certain people to access your social media platforms, visit the sites’ privacy settings to manage your online visibility.

Once you figure out the platforms that best suit you, consider researching the following resources on each one.

  • Local News Sites: News outlets are active on Twitter and Facebook, providing followers with breaking stories.
  • Baby Experts: Many baby experts highlight articles they believe are worth reading and offer advice on a variety of topics. Consider researching @DrGreene, @DrBobSears and @BigCityMoms, all great sources of knowledge for new and expectant mothers.
  • Retail and Flash Sale Sites: Many e-commerce sites promote sales, feature new products, highlight upcoming events and announce product recalls through their social media accounts.
  • Personal Interests: This list could be endless. Those who are connected should research and follow things that intrigue them. Fashionistas may follow magazines, such as @Vogue, and sports fans might follow players, teams or sports networks, like @ESPN.