A practical guide to social media platforms for business

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1 min read
Social Media Top Tips

Want to make the most out of social media networks for your business or personal accounts? It seems like a different social media platform gets a new update or feature everyday.

FINALLY is here to help you decide which is best for you – and give you a basic overview of the main social networking sites to get you on your way.

So what are the best social networking sites?

These are the biggest social networking sites that most brands concern themselves with. Obviously, there are loads more, but these ones are the most popular social media platforms for our clients.


Getting fancy with Facebook

Let’s start with Facebook – arguably the biggest of the social networking sites. Since 2007, Facebook has grown to around 1.5 billion active users. These users connect with friends through their profiles and news feeds, whilst liking, sharing and commenting on content.


Like, Comment and Share

Let's say your friend or favourite company you follow, posts a picture you like – show your appreciation by clicking the ‘like’ button. Maybe your friend would also like it? ‘Tag’ or ‘mention’ them in the comments section by typing and clicking on their name. This might result in them replying to you in the comments, liking it or sharing it themselves to their news feed (their homepage where everything is displayed). This is seen as a meaningful interaction and good engagement.

A lot of these terms are also used on other social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter, so congratulations – you’ve already mastered the absolute basics!

TOP TIP: When uploading images and videos, make sure they're formatted correctly and are the correct size. If you're unsure, Hubspot have all the dimensions.


Set up a shop on Facebook

You can now use Facebook to advertise and sell your products. Set up a shop section on your Facebook page – enter your business details and upload your products or advertise your services and you’re good to go. You can also add reviews for the places you visit and companies you have experienced – remember your customers can also leave reviews and star ratings about your business.

Improve customer service by responding quickly to your customer messages via your Facebook shop or page. The time it takes you to respond to messages is displayed on your page – let’s keep it as a 100% fast response rate!

TOP TIP: Facebook is generally used by more women than men, with 81% of 18-29 years old owning an account. It’s a versatile platform – used for events, shopping, viewing videos and playing games – alongside maintaining contact with friends.


Interested in Instagram?

Instagram is a massive network that allows users to share cool and interesting photos to their followers, which are the equivalent of Facebook 'friends'. You decide whose profiles you see by following other users. Like Facebook, you can like, comment on and tag friends in the images.

Fun fact: did you know that Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 and that you can cross promote posts across both platforms?


Hashtags on Instagram

You'll see a lot of hashtags on the Instagram social media platform which shouldn't put you off. To put it simply, hashtags are a way of tagging your post so that it's easily found by people who might be searching for similar content #socialmediaskills. Be warned – use too many hashtags and your content may not be shown at all.


Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are a feature that have recently grown in popularity. Both Facebook and Instagram adopted this idea from Snapchat (a picture sharing app), which allows you to select certain images and videos that you wish to share with your friends and followers in one hit. They’re then automatically deleted after 24 hours.


Instagram Livestream

Instagram (and Facebook) also allow you to livestream videos to your contacts (show a live video of where you are), allowing everyone to enjoy the moment with you in real time. In case you miss the live video, you can also watch retrospectively.


Instagram TV

IGTV allows any user to be a ‘creator’. The creators are the channels where they can upload their own videos for anyone to view. Super useful for promoting your brand, product or service – and for showing your followers your fabulous personality which can build brand trust.

TOP TIP: Like Facebook, Instagram is used by more women than men – but only just! The majority of Instagram’s users also fall into the 18-29 category, with 64% hashtagging away. Instagram can be a great way to advertise – business accounts are available giving you the opportunity to track who’s been interacting with your posts and page.


Trending on Twitter

Love it or hate it, Twitter restricts a post – or tweet – to 280 characters. This means it’s great for snippets with URLs, photos and even video. If you see something you like, you can share – or retweet – it to your own followers.


What’s a Twitter handle?

You may have already come across the term ‘Twitter handle’ – this is essentially a fancy name for your username, for example @yourname. The same goes for other social media networks.


Viral Trends

Sometimes, something awesome or outrageous will blow up over Twitter and be shared all over the internet. Well done – you've gone viral. But beware, this isn't always a good thing… campaigns such as the Pepsi advert starring Kendall Jenner went viral and created a huge backlash due to the controversial portrayal of protests with the police in the US.

You can use hashtags as a way to measure whether something has gone viral – popular hashtags are known as ‘trending’.

TOP TIP: Men and women pretty much form a 50/50 split with regards to Twitter users, but usage of the network is a lot lower than Facebook or Instagram with only 40% of 18-29 year olds using the platform. Popular for showing trends and sharing news content, the social network currently isn’t largely used for business purposes in comparison to the other sites.


Linking up on LinkedIn

A business-orientated social networking site, LinkedIn is the professional Facebook. Your ‘connections’ (equivalent to Facebook’s friends and Instagram’s followers) may not be your friends, they may not even be people you’ve met, but you will usually have common industry interests or mutual connections.

The ultimate way to network with like-minded industry professionals by sharing interesting content on a dedicated platform and participate in webinars (online seminars).

TOP TIP: Primarily used for business, professional and networking purposes – only 25% of the US population use the networking site – with a 50/50 male/female user split. The majority of its users are aged 30-49 and are university-educated. Great for sharing content and news articles to your fellow industry professionals, LinkedIn is the perfect social network to boost your professionalism and company presence.


That’s it for our guide to social media networks…

Now we’ve covered the absolute basics of the key social media networks for our clients, you’re ready to dive into the fabulous world of social media for your business needs – from sharing content on LinkedIn to hashtagging your Instagram posts.

Take a look at our Glossary of Social Media Terms to boost your knowledge further.


For more information on how to optimise your social media usage for your business, contact our social team today at FINALLY.



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