Social Media Simplified by Media Strategist, Mayura Amarkant

(Updated on March 15, 2019 )
(If you want to know which platform is BEST for your business, click here)

I belong to the Stone Age. 

Here in Mumbai, India, we were introduced to the fascinating world of Internet during our post graduation (about 19 years ago). The Social Media wave hit India about 16 years ago. Just like scores of my counterparts, I joined Orkut, chatted in Yahoo chatrooms, used Yahoo & MSN messenger.
From there I graduated to Facebook. LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Quora, SnapChat, YouTube and Blogging followed in quick succession. I learned each platform through trial and error.
Analysing social media behaviours, platforms and content gave me an edge over others.I kept looking at what the best in the business are doing. My detective-like, curious nature made me read, watch videos and tutorials to understand the mediums better.


In the recent past, people have been asking me questions about each social media platform. The number of queries is increasing. 

Anyone who wishes to use Social Media to enhance their personal brand image will benefit from this series. Let’s look at which are the popular social media platforms that individuals can engage with. I have restricted the list to my favourite platforms. I will be giving tips on effectively using each social media platform. This post serves as an overview.

16 amazing social media platforms

Facebook (since 2004)

pexels-photo-247780.jpeg#FacebookSimplified: Remember your college canteen? The memories, the friends? What about the place where all your neighbours gathered every evening? Or the family situations that made you happy? Facebook offers you an opportunity to relive all those memories. Connect with friends and family. Like-minded individuals divide themselves into groups and discuss their favourite topics there. One can also join pages of their interest. If used correctly, Facebook can prove to be a great source of learning and interaction. For brands it is an excellent opportunity to gather a large follower base & directly interact with them. Till date, I have found the audience targeting options and analytics the best on this platform.
This social network is available as an app and website. The chat feature is separately available as a messenger. You can have a personal profile or a Page on Facebook. Both have their own advantages. Recently Facebook introduced coloured backgrounds for status messages. Just before this, they had introduced emotion expression and check-in features for status updates.

Despite the recent controversy surrounding Facebook with respect to data privacy breach, this platform remains popular among users and marketers.

Content type on Facebook: Status update, Photo Album, Videos, Sharing (Links, status, articles, videos etc.), Contests on Liked Pages, Chats with friends, Joining Groups of interest, Writing detail articles in Notes section, FB stories, Pinned posts, events pages,  amongst other things.

Tonality: Friendly, Informal

Here is a video that will give you an overview:

LinkedIn (since 2003)

LinkedIn purpose
One-stop solution for Professional Connect

#LinkedInSimplified: Here is your opportunity to be connected to almost every professional across geographies. Users can search professionals, learn more about the companies they wish to join, use address books, establish a professional identity and participate in group chats. This social network is available as an app as well as a website. Recently, they introduced LinkedIn Learning, an app that trains participants on basics of Management. It is an excellent tool for students up to mid-level working professionals.

Brands can create a LinkedIn professional page and use it as a platform to showcase their HR policies, important achievements and other communication. LinkedIn is specially suggested for brands who need a corporate connect e.g. Trade bodies, Industry associations, Training Companies, Companies who provide software to professionals or organisations etc.

Content type on LinkedIn: Sharing and Update, Uploading a Video, Writing an article, Endorsing a connect, Writing recommendations for connects, Personal Chat, Group Chat, interaction in like-minded groups, connecting to company pages.

Tonality: Professional & Formal

Here is a video that will give you an overview:

Twitter (since 2006)


#TwitterSimplified: It is a micro-blogging platform. Here is a place where you can reach out to your favourite celebrities, industry experts and friends. It is basically a platform to exchange thoughts and ideas. One can participate in conversations, push an ideology and reach a message to someone they usually don’t get access to. Some miscreants use this platform to indulge in mud-slinging and trolling important people. You can use this vehicle to showcase your thought process. This social network is available as a website and as an app. Recently they introduced Twitter Moments – where one can curate their best tweets and create a visual story – a brilliant feature for ideology dispensing or event coverage.

Content type on Twitter: Tweets in 280 characters, share links to videos, contest participation, create or participate in polls, share photos. Interact with other handles (people) through Direct Message, Tweet, Retweet, Likes and Quoted tweets. Hashtags play an important role in Twitter. However, more than two hashtags can prove detrimental for visibility of a tweet.

Tonality: Lucid language, brevity is the key.

Here is a video that will give you an overview:

Instagram (since2010)


#InstagramSimplified: This is essentially a photo and video sharing application platform that used to work only on the phone. Recently, the app introduced a web version. The app has Instagram Stories where users can upload videos in real-time and anyone can interact directly with the person who posts the story.

There is an option to have a Business Account on Instagram, that way your brand gets a professional presence, you can use tools like advertisements, insights etc.

Content type on Instagram: Photos, images & videos. Each can go with a description, user can tag friends who they follow. A large number of hashtags can be used on Instagram. Each hashtag leads to a string search of images/videos that contain the same hashtag. Instagram stories and Instagram live is the latest big thing on this platform. Studies say that this is the most popular platform amongst youth across the world.

Tonality: Friendly, informal

Here is a video that will give you an overview:

Pinterest (Since 2010)

Pinterest vs Instagram
Contrary to popular belief – Instagram & Pinterest ARE NOT the same. Yes, both are photo-sharing platforms but each has a distinct identity & use.

#PinterestSimplified: Till a while ago, I wasn’t a great fan of this platform. But then, recently, I revisited Pinterest. And now, I am in love!
Wiki Definition: Pinterest is a web and mobile application company that operates a software system designed to discover information on the World Wide Web, mainly using images and on a shorter scale, GIFs and videos.
My take: It is a FABULOUS tool to help your SEO and aids in faster indexing of images on the Google Search Engine. The best part about Pinterest is that it offers a backlink for each and every image that you upload – you can also insert an image description that will help search engine to index it. Each topic can be organized as a different board and you can even send the entire board to your followers. You can convert a Personal Profile to a Business Profile with a simple click and get a complete analysis of your profile and pins. They recently introduced the FOLLOW feature.

Like Instagram, Pinterest also has a feature to convert the profile to a Business profile. This gives you similar advantages like Instagram. But the similarity ends there. The backlink feature, creation of boards and adding sections to boards is awesome on this platform – not found on Instagram. 

Content type on Pinterest: Images, short videos and GIFS

Tonality: Extremely informal.

Here is a video that will give you an overview:

SnapChat (since 2011)

Snapchat followers
Snapchat is still a rage among the youth – largely because their parents don’t understand this platform. LOL!

#SnapChatSimplified: Just like Instagram, this app is also available on smartphones only. It lets one choose whom they want to interact with. Users can see live stories from across the world from their favourite celebrities and brands. There is a fantastic channel feature where one can view videos or read articles as per their preferences, interest and age. Hashtags don’t work on Snapchat.

Content type on Snapchat: It is a real-time app where your friends can get an instant update on where you are and what you are doing. The videos are restricted to 10 seconds only. One can save the information as a video or photo. They can choose to send photos to friends or save it as a story that will run 24 hours on their feed. Snapchat offers a wide range of filters just to add spice to the sharing feature.

Tonality: Extremely informal.

Here is a video that will give you an overview:

YouTube (since 2005)

YouTube importance
YouTube is the LARGEST video search engine today.

#YouTubeSimplified: It is a popular video-sharing platform. You can go to the website, browse channels and view videos for free – yes! Free! What’s more, you can have your own channel and create your own videos. The YouTube Creator Studio offers a brilliant interface for editing your videos. Your YouTube channel is an expression of your own creativity. Viewers can subscribe to the channel or view a video without subscribing. If the channel is monetized, you can even earn money from the channel. This platform is available as a website and an app.

Content type on YouTube: Videos only. There is something for everyone on YouTube – tutorials, movies, serials, short films, features – just about everything under the sun! I firmly believe that it is the best video sharing platform that we have in the internet space today. Hashtags don’t work on YouTube i.e. there is no searchability using hashtags. However, you can enter a keyword in the search field and find what you are looking for. Usage of copyrighted material without permission can lead to a ban.

Tonality: No profanity is discouraged. Simple content with informal tonality works.

Here is a video that will give you an overview:

WordPress (since 2003)

Word Press advantages
The best blogging platform on the www.

#WordPressBloggingSimplified: A blog is a regularly updated website or a web page that is run by an individual or a small group. Blogs are today being used as a mode of self-expression and thought-leadership. There are several free and paid options for blog hosting. While Blogger is famous, my favourite is WordPress. You may often see Tumblr blog mentioned in several places –  Tumblr is a photo blog. A person who has a lot of text/video/photo-based stories to tell should use a blogging platform to express views. While professional developers use WordPress to develop company websites, WordPress offers a platform where one can easily create their own blog and maintain it. The Tutorials (video and text) on WordPress serve as a guide. WordPress is available as a phone app, desktop app and website. The interface is very user-friendly and thus one can easily build and maintain a blog.

Content type on WordPress: Videos, photos, images, text. No character or space limit. Depending on the theme chosen, the user can create a number of pages. There are interactive and mobile responsive themes that help the user to create a kickass blog.

Tonality: Informal or conversational style.

Here is a video that will give you an overview:

Quora (since 2009)

Advantage of Quora
Fantastic platform to establish thought-leadership & get referral traffic for your business. Must-have for Content Marketing.

#QuoraSimplified: Ever had a question and didn’t know whom to ask? Most users simply type a query in Google and sometimes get lost in the information overload. Many times a person is looking for a specific answer to a question instead of going round and round. This is a user-generated website that is available as a Website and an App. Many may argue that Yahoo Answers is where their comfort zone lies. My answer – to each his own. I find Quora the most useful resource for answers. What’s more, it allows you to establish yourself as a thought-leader and information expert. Your opinion can be upvoted or downvoted depending on how useful the user found it. At the same time, you can gain a large follower base who will intern interact with you. Quora also forms a great platform for promoting an ideology or a blog.

Content type on Quora: Open-ended questions, no trolling or mud-slinging, link-sharing, knowledge-sharing platform.

Here is a video that will give you an overview:

SlideShare (since 2006)

Advantage of Slide Share
Fantastic tool to establish thought-leadership, build brands and drive quality leads. Good for SEO as well.

#SlideShareSimplified: Remember those times when you were looking for a professional presentation that will encapsulate an entire chapter or a thought-process in just a few slides? Many of us were left thirsting for relevant case studies that would give us in-depth knowledge about a concept or business model. As management students, we used to envy the corporates for their professional presentation skills and access to industry research reports.
Slideshare that changed it all. Since 2006, Slideshare has become a platform for industry experts all over the world to share their knowledge through powerpoint presentations. This platform joined the LinkedIn family in 2012 and ever since it has become a one-stop destination for information exchange through powerpoint.
Apart from being an excellent resource pool, SlideShare offers you with the opportunity to showcase your ideology, thought-process, views, research and thought-leadership. All this, using PowerPoint as a tool for communication. This platform is available as a website and an app.

Content type on SlideShare: Audio/Video/PowerPoint/pdf/documents/Webinars/keynote. You can set up webinars and web meetings here. Users can like, comment, share, discuss and follow the person who posted the presentation.

Tonality: Lucid, brief, visual. Research-based.

Here is a video that will give you an overview:


Conclusion:  If you carefully count the above add up to only 11 platforms. (Hmmn…hope you were paying attention!!) I will be including the rest of the 5 platforms (SkypeRedditMeetupWhatsappGoogle Plus) in the subsequent posts in the A2Z series. That way it will be easier for you all to understand.
I hope you found the overview of #SocialMediaSimplified useful. I will be giving out useful tips and tricks to use these platforms effectively. Stay Tuned!!

Got a question? Please ask! I will be happy to answer. 

Add a comment, like and share the post – show some love! Looking forward to your reactions! 

——-Penned by Mayura Amarkant

The author is a Business & Media Strategist with 18 years of experience. 

Video source: YouTube
Featured Image Source: Click here
Other images sourced from:

Disclaimer: The content in this blog post is purely for educational purpose. There is no commercial use of the above content. The author claims no right over the videos/photos featured here. Users are urged to make independent inquiries before making any decisions to engage with social media networks.


  1. I haven’t used slideshare and snapchat… I love Pinterest too… Currently instagram is my favorite… Loved the article 🙂 looking forward to more in the series


  2. GREAT overview on many social media platforms! (Although, you may surprised yourself if you revisit Pinterest 🙂 and find it very useful!) Thank you for providing such detailed information!


  3. much good information in only one post. Although Facebook is my favourite and used it for the maximum time..twitter is my new love. I am also getting a hang of insta but not used Linkedin much. I love wordpress too as I moved from blogger to wordpress and made my own website few months ago. It was a trial and error but I learned a lot while doing it. I never used snapchat and slide share. The latter looks liek a very useful tool. Will surely try it now. Thanks Mayura for this detailed informative post. Looking forward to next one already. 🙂


  4. Yes! I have a question.
    How ? How on earth someone can give detailed description of such social platforms in a simplified way? How Mayura How?
    You have shared things so clearly and in a manner that a non user will also go and check these sites. Your and my taste of websites, though match a lot. Look forward for further series. Keep going girl. That pinch of salt makes articles “chatpata” 😉😉


  5. Great information! Thanks for sharing and educating me. I had not heard of a couple of them, so I will have to go check them out.

    Do you see anything on the horizon that is worth keeping an eye on, especially for branding?


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