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Your guide to social media

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By Siobhan McBride, marketing executive at 10digital

According to statistics, 2.46 billion people use social media, with Facebook being the most popular social network. Yet different social media platforms appeal to different age demographics and dimensions and some sites give you the chance to target very specific, defined and relevant audiences which is great for trying to advertise to specific people. In fact, 78 per cent of small businesses use social media to attract new customers.

Social media also helps you to build a community around your brand. By posting relevant content, How To videos, product videos and commenting and responding to followers, you can create a buzz around your brand. In turn, this can create brand loyalty and community engagement. Some 71 per cent of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. 


The following are some of the main social media platforms, who they’re relevant for and how to set them up. 

LinkedIn

Linkedin is predominantly seen as a B2B platform where businesses post white papers, eBooks and talk generally about things happening within the business. You can create targeted adverts on LinkedIn where you can identify the specific type of people you want to speak to including job type, seniority, industry, age and decision makers. 

How to setup a LinkedIn account:
• Fill out the simple form on LinkedIn’s homepage with your name, email address and desired password
• Then you’ll be asked to fill out a profile form that is only slightly longer, asking for your job title, employer’s name and geographic location
• You’ll be asked to confirm your email address by clicking on a link in a message sent to you by LinkedIn
• Finally, you’ll choose whether you want a free or paid account

Facebook 

Facebook is a social media platform that has 1.55 billion active monthly users. You can post your business blogs and pay to boost them so that they can reach an audience beyond your followers. You can do a range of competitions and promote your businesses services. 


In order to set up your business Facebook account, you have to have a personal business account then create a page from your account that way. 

How to set up a Facebook account: 
• Go to www.facebook.com/r.php
• Enter your name, email or mobile phone number, password, date of birth and gender.
• Click ‘Create an Account’
• To finish creating your account, you need to confirm your email or mobile phone number

Twitter 

This is considered the main customer service channel that customers use so it’s a good idea to have a Twitter account. You only have 140 characters to write a message so it needs to be succinct. 

How to set up a Twitter account:
• Choose a profile name. This is the name you'll be known as on Twitter (also know as your @name)
• Add a photo of you, not your logo
• Complete your bio

Instagram 

This is a great social media account to use if you’re promoting products and want your audience to aspire to your products and be able to showcase the images in their best light. This site was acquired from Facebook and is primarily used by those aged 18-29.

How to set up an Instagram account:

• Go to instagram.com
• Enter your email address, create a username and password or click ‘Log in’ with Facebook to sign up with your Facebook account
• If you register with an email, click ‘Sign up’. If you register with Facebook, you’ll be prompted to log into your Facebook account if you’re currently logged out

YouTube

Some 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute and almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day. 

Create a YouTube channel and upload videos of people using your products or answer FAQs that you know your potential target audience or audience are asking. Customers are also 144 per cent more likely to add products to a shopping cart after watching a product video. 


How to set up a YouTube channel:
• Sign into YouTube and click on the user icon at the top right of the screen
• Click on the gear icon to get to your account’s YouTube Settings
• Click on ‘Create a new channel’
• Then choose ‘Use a business or other name’
• Add your brand name and click create