What is Sharing and Following in Social Media?

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Social media networks have thoroughly permeated the internet.  They’ve made the world wide web more transparent, connected, and sociable.  In the past, anonymous communications were the standard.  Usernames were identity.  Now, with so many web pages connected via social networks, you can see and interact with real life identities and even discover how your friends or family are connected with various online destinations.  People directly comment, share, and follow using social networks.

Two main ways social media connects with the world wide web is through “sharing” and “following”.

So, what is the difference between “sharing” and “following”?


Share in Social Media

Sharing in social media occurs when you find online content and want to let other people in your online network know about it.  Typically, when you share a piece of online information, a shortened and link form of that content will be published in the social network’s relevant news feeds and the user’s profile.  You also can typically add your own comments to the the linked extract that you share.  The exact mechanics of this depend upon the social network.  Below are examples of social media icons that you may see on a webpage, which allows you to share the content.

Social Media Sharing Buttons

Try sharing: If you find this article you’re reading now interesting, then you can share it by clicking the social media icons at the top of this page, just below the title.


See more: Top 10 Most Popular Facebook Pages in Malaysia



Follow in Social Media

Following in social media occurs when you want to stay connected with a particular product, brand, or person.  Typically, when you follow a subject online (person, product, brand, etc), the content published by the subject will be visible to you in the social network.  This is a great way to stay socially connected with things you find interesting or important.   You can then keep informed with their activities and also see the social dialogue with the entity.  The exact mechanics depend on the social network.  Below are examples of social media icons that you may see a on a website to follow a subject in social networks.

Social Media Icons for Following

If you find Leaping Post’s content interesting, then follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

If you’re not familiar with the the major social media platforms, learn about them using our official social media guide.


When to Share and When to Follow

If you find an interesting piece of content, then share it in a social network .  You’ll typical find the share icons either on the left side or near the top of the page.  Once you share, other people on your social network can then learn about it.  Sharing is an incredibl powerful tool to raise awareness about a piece of information.

If you find an interesting brand, product, or person, then follow it in a social network.  Then when you login to the social network, you can easily learn about that subject’s recent activities from the content it publishes through the social network.  Additionally, you can see the online social dialogue taking place between people and the subject.


How active are you on social networks?  Do you share or follow?  Post a comment below.



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