Social Media Tips for Beginners


Everybody is on social media and that is no longer an exaggerated statement. You may or may not know it, but just about everyone with internet access is on social media. Every brand from an underwear maker to a luxury airline is there and wants to rake it in. Marketing without social is like food without taste! But I am seeing that the newbies have it tough. They join social platforms and then quickly get lost in a quagmire of seemingly complicated networks. So here are a few tips for beginners to swing it right. Straight from the horse’s (read me) mouth


For ease of reading and making it logical, let us split it into logical headings.

Which platform is right for me?

There is no simple or single word answer for this. Depends on what you want to do, or more clearly what kind of updates are you good at and want to share frequently. If you are some one who keeps it short but shares a lot, then twitter is for you. If you are into long form writing and want to share deep insights, then Facebook is for you. If you are into photo sharing and visual imagery, Instagram will work for you. But broadly speaking, it is better to be everywhere so that based on what is needed at any given point of time, you can pick and choose the platform and share away.


What should I remember when creating my profile?

  1. Always complete your bio
  2. Have a valid email id as part of your profile – remember that people are on social media to connect
  3. Have a valid URL that showcases your work as part of your profile
  4. Try to use a neat and clear picture of yourself as your display pic
  5. Avoid writing confusing, tedious or provocative stuff in your bio
  6. Keep in mind that your bio is what people read first when you want to connect, treat yourself like a brand and sell subtly, never hard sell yourself

What are the dos and don’ts for sharing updates?

  1. There are no rules there, it is all you
  2. But as a convention, keep it civil
  3. Humor is good, deriding is not
  4. Satire is good, name-calling is not
  5. Dissent is good, blind hatred is not
  6. Try and stay rational and not to get radical
  7. When wronged, assert yourself, never take insults lying down, reply curtly and correctly, if the other party persists, block and report, move on
  8. Most important thing to remember, anything you won’t do offline, don’t do online
  9. When asked for help, help if you can, if you can’t be direct but decent and courteous
  10. Draw a line between helping others and doing free work. Don’t get yourself into the latter.
  11. And remember, take online friendships with a pinch of salt, not all people online are genuine, most are, a fwe aren’t and beware of them
  12. Keep your personal life to yourself
  13. There is a thing called oversharing and it has to be avoided

What kind of posts work?

So much of the social media experience is about your individual audience and niche. What works for you might not work for me, and you never know until you try .

In a study of over two million tweets from verified users across a number of different industries, Twitter found that photos have the greatest effect on retweets.

  1. Photos average a 35% boost in Retweets
  2. Videos get a 28% boost
  3. Quotes get a 19% boost in Retweets
  4. Including a number receives a 17% bump in Retweets
  5. Hashtags receive a 16% boost

Are there good times to post updates?

There are studies that show us the optimal time to update also, according to research by Gartner here are the optimal update time windows per platform

  • Twitter– 1-3 pm weekdays
  • Facebook– 1-4 pm and 2-5 pm weekdays
  • LinkedIn– 7-8:30 am and 5-6 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
  • Tumblr– 7-10 pm weekdays and 4 pm on Fridays
  • Instagram– 5-6 pm weekdays and 8 pm on Mondays with a sweet spot at 6 pm
  • Pinterest– 2-4 pm and 8-11 pm weekdays with weekends being the best
  • Google+ – 9-11 am weekdays

Again, take the above as a rough outline and settle into what works for you, in the end it is who you are and what you do that dictate how you do it. There aren’t any formulae here, just settle in and do your thing. Let me know how that works for you. Please do let me know if there are any questions or points you would like to add here.



About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

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