Social Media Explained

Hit Refresh helps explain Social Media

The term ‘social media’ encompasses several online platforms on which people create, exchange and share information via their ‘network’ of people who follow them. This popularity has long been utilised by businesses, and it’s now expected for brands to have some kind of social media presence.

The most wide reaching of all the social media platforms Facebook is widely used by businesses to engage with their customers. It’s the number one social media platform in the UK as well as globally, and it’s a perfect place to speak to your target audience about what you offer. Customers following your business on Facebook can feel more familiar with you and what you do, and therefore are more likely to recall you when needing something you offer. Hard sell isn’t the way to go on Facebook – engaging with your customers in a friendly, non-agressive way is much more likely to attract them to your business.

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Photo by markusspiske on flickr

Twitter is another popular one, and allows you to connect with your audience on a personal level through short updates and interactions with customers. It’s a great platform on which to establish your brand, build long-lasting relationships, and let your ethos be known. Sharing content from your industry can subtly demonstrate what your business is all about, and hashtags allow you to track what people are talking about. Being active on Twitter not only shows the world what you offer, but also sends a wider message – you’re keen on keeping current. It also makes you discoverable to people who may not have been looking to find you, and because your content is engaging, are more likely to check out your website.

Pinterest is a relatively new kid on the social media block, but already has over 10 million users all over the world. The idea behind the platform is ‘pinning’ content to ‘boards’, which allows businesses to scrapbook their brand. Whether it be pictures or blog posts, the content links back to your website, and users can then ‘pin’ it to their own boards if they like it. Pinterest is a fun and creative way to share your brand, and can build up a visual representation of what you do. It displays your content to online consumers, and through researching what pins are getting re-pinned and liked the most, you can get an idea for what’s popular. From food, style, and interior design to lifestyle and craft ideas, Pinterest is fast becoming a must-have for any businesses social media repertoire.

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Photo by jasonahowie on flickr

Visual content is becoming increasingly popular on social media, and this is where Instagram comes into its own. The app allows you to share photos and video to those who follow you, and is particularly popular amongst young people, which can increase your reach in ways you may not be able to using other platforms. It’s another form of social media that uses hashtags, which you can utilise in order to present your content to your target audience. Instagram helps to personalise your business too – business pictures can be mixed in with more fun images, which puts you on a level with your audience.

Using a combination of the above options will give you a good all round presence on social media, and giving particular attention to Facebook and Twitter will grow your following and diversify the reach of your business.

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