Are you confused as to how to use a hashtag? Not entirely sure what a meme is? Not certain what the difference is between Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook is? Never sent, nor have any idea how to send a hashtag?
This post – and the next few posts in this series – is for you. Let’s begin with basic social media platforms, starting with the most popular platforms and how you can use them for your business.
More likely than not, you’re familiar with Facebook. Many say it’s on its way out, but Facebook is an immediately easy way to match up with people. For the youth of my generation, it’s preferable to be friends with someone on Facebook than to straight out ask their number. For businesses, Facebook allows a way for you to open a page for your business and do some simple marketing if you’re not sure you’re ready for an entire website. (And when you are ready for a website, you’re in the right place). Facebook is also the way I remember all of my friends and family’s birthdays (shh).
Instagram is personally my favorite social media platform. It’s a visual based platform, where you share pictures and let everyone know what you’re up to. What started out as simple photo-sharing has evolved into a platform to showcase artistic talent. My instagram page (follow me @haleybear3) is a place where I put up carefully selected and edited posts to get some practice in photography. For businesses, it’s a great way to show off products or people involved in the business.
Twitter is basically Instagram without the pictures (although now you can add photos). Essentially, Twitter allows you to comment whatever you want in 140 characters or less. That’s all the space you get to say what you want. I use Twitter for quick news updates and to make snide little comments about my day. The character limit forces you to be clever in getting people’s attention. It’s also a great way to send little updates about your life or promotions going on at your business. Don’t forget to link back to your website!
Ahh, Snapchat. The latest social media craze. Snapchat asks as a messaging service. You send photos or videos of yourself to your friends or put them on your “story.” The catch? The photos and videos only last a few seconds (1-10) and then, they’re gone forever, gone in a snap (get it?). If you put a snapchat on your story, it only lasts for twenty-four hours. You can follow people close to you, celebrities, major media publications, etc. Businesses are still trying to find ways to use snapchat, but one good use for it is during events. For people who weren’t able to attend the event, they can get a little taste of it on your snapchat!
Possibly one of the most confusing platforms, Tumblr started as an easy way for anyone to have a blog. That’s what it is essentially – an amalgam of millions of different blogs by different people. My favorite thing about this platform is that it isn’t concerned with how many “followers” or “friends” you have. It’s about sharing with other people. It’s also a bit artsier (in my opinion) than some of the other platforms. For businesses, I’d say to make sure you find a definite tone for your tumblr page (are you going to go super artsy? Humorous? Technical and informative?). Once you find your tone, plunge headfirst into it and make sure your posts are consistent. Don’t be afraid to interact with other users as well.
LinkedIn is an amazing resource for businesses and people looking to get themselves out in the job force. It’s a platform for network, but without having to go somewhere and shake hands with a bunch of people exchanging business cards. You can fill out your profile and look for jobs that are perfect for you, make connections with your friends, family, and coworkers, and even join groups relevant to your career track. What’s my favorite thing to do on LinkedIn? I love to search for people who currently have my dream job and see what tracks they took to get there. Everybody has to start somewhere – and you could get your start with LinkedIn.
If this post was helpful, don’t forget to keep checking back for more updates in How to Master Social Media with Haley.