Learning Social Media- Teaching My Mom Facebook

“There’re a lot of social media sites out there” Understatement of the year?

Starting up on a new social media platform can be daunting, even for the experienced social media-ite. But what if you still hadn’t caved in and started using Facebook, where do you start? I finally got my mom to sign up for Facebook in April and I’m still helping her get the hang of it. She had lots of questions and hesitations.

General Usage Questions: “Can you add me as a friend again Kati? I somehow managed to accidentally delete you when I was trying to click on your page”

Etiquette Questions: “I wanted to tell your sister how good her hair looks cut like that, is that ok to post on her wall or leave as a comment on her pictures?”

Audience Questions: “How did that end up being on her wall, and what’s the wall again? I meant to send that as a private message!”

Time Suck Hesitation: “I don’t want to sign up and become everyone’s friend because then I’ll have to spend just as much time replying to people on Facebook as I do with email.”

Privacy Hesitation: “I’m just worried about my privacy; I’ve read articles about how much data Facebook gets from your account.”

I don’t blame my mom for her hesitations or for having questions. Learning a social media site can be a lot of work. Each social media site is a different environment with a different etiquette, audience, interaction process, and purpose. Even finding the resources to learn a platform is overwhelming, if someone like my mom Googled, “How can I learn to use Facebook” and she’d get close to 3 Billion results.

Tuesday, at my interview I was asked if I had experience with Facebook ads, which I don’t. In order to make myself a better fit for the position I set out to learn them. A Google search for “Facebook ads” churns out almost a billion and a half results. So where do I start? I’ve outlined my process below.

Conquering a new form of social media:

–          Jump in. Start an account and just click around, I think in the case of social media there’s only so much that you can be taught, experience is key here. Watching how others use the site can give you a feel for how you might use it.

–          Talk to someone you know who uses the platform. Ask them a couple questions that come up when you’re exploring the site. Maybe ask them to login and watch how they navigate around the site.

–          Read 3-5 articles or blog posts about the site. Google “how to use Pinterest” (or whatever platform you’re learning). There are going to be a lot out there so I’d suggest starting with no more than 5 or else you’ll get overwhelmed and probably encounter a lot of repetition.

Disclaimer: For businesses, I’d suggest you explore the site with a personal account before you use it for your company. This allows you to play around and learn the platform without risking tarnishing your brand. Check out this article more specific to learning social media for business.

Whether you’re experienced in social media and just want to learn another platform or haven’t even joined Facebook yet, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by a new site but following the steps listed above should make it more manageable.

I’ll keep you updated on my Facebook ads learning experience. My “campaign” started today, so we’ll see how it goes! How do you go about learning a new social media site? Have any “oops, I’m new here” horror stories?


Recent University of Edinburgh MSc Marketing grad and UNCWilmington Communication Studies alumus. Fascinated by branding, event, social media, and interactive marketing for business. Works at Eleven Mass Media

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