A Beginner’s Guide To The World of Social Media

Person Taking a Photo of their Food to Post on Social Media

In today’s digital world, social media is like a supercharged tool that helps people connect with friends, family, and others all around the world. It’s not just about posting pictures or status updates; it’s a big part of how we talk, share ideas, and stay in touch with what’s happening.

For beginners, though, diving into social media can feel like entering a giant maze. There are so many platforms, features, and settings to figure out. 

From creating your accounts to understanding how to keep things private and getting the hang of how everything works, we are here to show you the way through the exciting world of social media. 

Whether you’re excited about reconnecting with old friends, sharing cool moments with your family, or just exploring new things, we’ll help you do it all. We’ll also make sure you’re in control of your privacy and feel confident as you click and scroll through these digital spaces. 

Throughout this informative guide, we’ll break down the basics, so you can jump into social media and have fun while doing it. Whether you’re here to share your story, learn new things, or just connect with others, this guide is your key to making the most out of social media in today’s digital age.

Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms

The first and most important step when getting started with social media is choosing the right social media platform for you. 

By understanding the major platforms and deciding which ones align best with your goals and interests, you will already have a great start in navigating the diverse world of social media.


What is Facebook?

Facebook is a widely used social networking platform that serves as a digital space for people to connect with friends, family, and acquaintances from around the globe. 

Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommates, Facebook has evolved into a diverse community where users can share updates and photos and engage in various online activities.

Who Does Facebook Help? 

Facebook is designed to help individuals build and maintain connections with people in their lives, whether they are close friends, family members, colleagues, or acquaintances. 

It facilitates communication and sharing in a virtual environment, enabling users to stay informed about each other’s lives, events, and interests.


What is Instagram? 

Instagram is a visually-driven social media platform that revolves around sharing photos and short videos. Launched in 2010, Instagram has grown into a creative space where users can express themselves, connect with others, and explore a wide array of content through images and visuals.

Who Does Instagram Help? 

Instagram is designed for individuals who are passionate about visual storytelling, photography, and creative expression. It caters to a diverse audience, including artists, photographers, influencers, and everyday users who enjoy sharing moments of their lives in a visually engaging way.


What is Snapchat? 

Snapchat is a multimedia messaging app that focuses on ephemeral content—photos and videos that disappear after being viewed. Launched in 2011, Snapchat introduced a unique concept of “snaps,” providing users with a playful and temporary way to share moments with friends and followers. 

Who Does Snapchat Help? 

Snapchat is particularly popular among younger users who appreciate its real-time and casual nature. It’s a platform for friends to share candid and spontaneous moments, making it well-suited for those who value authenticity and temporary, in-the-moment interactions.


What is TikTok? 

TikTok is a social media platform that revolves around short-form videos, often set to music. Launched in 2016, TikTok quickly gained popularity for its user-friendly interface and the ability for creators to showcase their creativity through engaging and entertaining content. 

Who Does TikTok Help? 

TikTok appeals to a wide range of users, but it is especially popular among younger audiences who appreciate its emphasis on creativity, trends, and challenges. The platform serves as a stage for individuals, influencers, and aspiring content creators to express themselves through short, impactful videos.

Creating Your Social Media Accounts

Once you have selected the platforms that suit you the most, the next step is creating your accounts. This step can be long and confusing, but it is important to ensure that throughout this process, your account is kept secure and personalised. Here is a step-by-step guide to creating an account for each platform.

Person Holding Phone Open on Instagram App Login Page


1. Visit the Facebook Website or download the App

2. To create an account, click “Create New Account” and follow the prompts. These include entering your name, email or mobile number, password, date of birth, and gender. Once you have completed all of the required information, click “Sign Up.” 

3. To complete your profile, the next step is to add a profile picture. This way, people can identify that the account is yours. Connect with your friends and family by searching for their names or allowing Facebook to suggest friends. 

4. Next, add details to your profile, such as education, interests and work information this also helps people to find you and you to find others.

5. The fun part is getting to explore and customise. Explore your News Feed to see updates from friends. Customise your privacy settings by clicking on the lock icon in the top right corner. In this tab, you can also search for and join groups and pages related to your interests. 


1. To create your Instagram account, first, you will need to visit their website or download the app.

2. Once the app has been downloaded, click “sign up” and follow the prompts. You will be required to enter your email address or phone number and create a username and password.

3. To complete your profile, add a profile picture and write a bio that describes you or your interests. Connect with and follow your friends and others by searching for their names or allowing Instagram to suggest friends.

4. Customise your account by adding a profile picture and a bio in the settings. Your bio should describe a little about you and your interests.

5. Explore the App by selecting the “Discover” tab to find popular accounts and content. You can also get started with posting your first photo or video by clicking the + in the middle of the bottom of your screen.


1. To get started with Snapchat, you will need to download the app. 

2. Once the app has been downloaded, open it and select “Sign Up”. Create your account by following the prompts. These will include entering your date of birth, email address or phone number, creating a username and setting a password.

3. Next, you will be required to verify your identity. The app will autonomously send a code to your email or phone number to secure your account and make sure it is you.

4. You should then allow Snapchat to access your contacts in order for you to find friends already on the platform. You can also add friends by searching for their username or scanning their snapcode.

5. Explore the app and its features. Snap Maps is used to see friends’ locations and discover Snaps from around the world. The storied page is used to see public stories from anyone that may interest you. The Spotlight page shows short, often comedic or relatable videos that you can like and share. The main part of the app is to take ‘snaps’ add text and send them to your friends!


1. First, download the TikTok app from your device’s app store.

2. Open the app and create an account by selecting “sign up”. Follow the prompts and enter your email, phone number, or other social media accounts.

3. Create and personalise your profile by creating a username and password, adding a profile picture and writing a short bio.

4. Next, you can get straight into exploring content. Explore the “For You” page to discover popular and trending content. By double tapping, you can like videos you are interested in, or by pressing the small flag on the right side of your screen, you can save videos. The more you like and save videos, the more videos that are similar to these will start popping up. You can also follow accounts you are interested in by clicking on the “+” icon.

5. To create your own TikTok Video, Click on the ‘+’ sign to create a new TikTok, then record a short video and add music, effects, and captions. Once you are ready, share your TikTok with the TikTok community.

Building and Managing Your Social Network 

To connect with others and get the most out of your social media networks, it is important to use thoughtful strategies and obtain respectful etiquette. 

The strategies of finding and connecting and having etiquette for requests will help you engage thoughtfully and respectfully on these platforms.  

Finding & Connecting

Birds eye view of a group of people sitting at a table using social media on phones and computers.

On Facebook, leverage the “Find Friends” feature to reconnect or search for acquaintances while also broadening your horizons by joining groups aligned with your interests or workplace. 

Seamlessly connecting Instagram with Facebook opens avenues for friend suggestions, aiding your search for friends using usernames or real names and encouraging connection-building through content exploration. 

Snapchat streamlines connections by accessing your contacts, where sharing your Snapcode and username invites comfortable connections. 

On TikTok, utilising the “Find Friends” feature initiates connections, and fostering relationships involves following users with shared interests, engaging with their content, and participating in challenges. 

Each platform offers unique strategies for cultivating connections and contributing to a well-rounded and vibrant social network.

Navigating Social Media Etiquette

On Facebook, it’s important to include a range of information in your profile so that people can easily identify you when you have requested to be their friend. 

Instagram etiquette is similar in the sense that people often use the basic information on your profile to determine whether they would like to accept your follow request. So generally, if your profile has limited information and they don’t know you, your request is less likely to be accepted.

For Snapchat, seamless connections are facilitated by sharing your Snapcode, while request acceptance is tailored to individuals with whom you’re comfortable sharing Snaps. 

TikTok etiquette entails sending friendly follow requests to creators you enjoy and accepting requests from users aligning with your interests and content preferences. 

Adhering to these guidelines ensures a considerate and thoughtful approach to building connections on each platform.

Staying Safe on Social Media 

In the ever-evolving landscape of social media, vigilance against common scams and hacking attempts is crucial; exercise scepticism with unsolicited messages, verify account authenticity and avoid clicking on suspicious or random links. 

Recognising and Avoiding Scams

When navigating social media, it’s essential to be vigilant against scams. Exercise caution with unsolicited messages, particularly those pressuring immediate action or promising extraordinary offers. 

Confirm account legitimacy by checking for verification badges, official email addresses, and consistent posting activity. Refrain from clicking on suspicious links in messages or emails from unknown sources, taking a moment to verify URLs before visiting. 

Staying informed about current scams is crucial; keep yourself updated on common tactics employed by scammers in the dynamic landscape of social media.

Cautious Personal Information Sharing

When it comes to personal information sharing on social media, exercising caution is paramount. Begin by reviewing and limiting the amount of personal information visible to the public on your profiles. 

Be mindful of location sharing, disabling location services when unnecessary, and exercising caution when sharing real-time location information. Regularly scrutinise and adjust privacy settings on each platform to maintain control over who can access and view your information. 

Equally important is avoiding oversharing and refraining from divulging sensitive details such as addresses, phone numbers, or financial information in public posts. By adopting these measures, you proactively protect your privacy and ensure a secure online presence.

Reporting and Blocking Users on Social Media

Increasing your knowledge of the reporting mechanisms within each app will enhance your ability to maintain a safe online environment. Familiarise yourself with the reporting tools on each platform, ensuring you can promptly report inappropriate content when encountered. 

The blocking feature is a valuable tool to prevent unwanted contact, offering an effective means to safeguard your online space and maintain control over your interactions. If you encounter users engaging in suspicious or harmful behaviour, take action by reporting them to the platform’s support or safety teams. 

As a responsible user, educate yourself on the diverse reporting options available, from addressing harassment to tackling impersonation. By understanding these reporting avenues, you contribute to fostering a secure and positive digital community.

Summed Up

In summary, this guide provides beginners with a roadmap to navigate the dynamic landscape of social media. From choosing the right platforms to creating secure accounts and building a vibrant social network, each step is detailed for a smooth onboarding experience. 

Social media is ever-evolving, platforms come and go and fluctuate in popularity over time so keeping up with the latest trends and platforms can be hard.

The guide emphasises the importance of staying safe on social media, covering topics such as recognising scams, cautious personal information sharing, and the significance of reporting and blocking users for online security. 

Social media is presented not just as a tool for sharing but as a space to connect, learn, and explore. With this guide, beginners can confidently embark on their social media journey, making the most of these platforms in today’s digital age.

In this guide