How To Use Facebook – And Other Social Media Sites

Love social media? You’re not alone – almost all of us have smartphones, and are connected to some sort of social networking site at all times. But with that constant connectivity can also come anxiety about who can see your posts. If you want to keep your profile private, or even just hide some of those annoying posts from your ‘friends’, it’s simple enough with a little know-how.

And that’s exactly what social media is about – knowing how to use it. Every site is different, so the way you use them should be too. Whether it’s LinkedIn for business, Twitter for entertainment or Facebook for keeping up with old friends, we’ve got the ultimate guide to manoeuvering successfully through social networking…

IT’S OK to hide Facebook friends who overshare. Switch them to “acquaintance,” which means you’ll get only a fraction of their posts.

IT’S OK not to share all your Facebook activity. Check your activity log, where you can change privacy settings and delete old posts. See which of your photos are public by clicking “Photos,” then “Shared with: Public.”

IT’S OK to segregate your friends. That way specific groups of friends will see different statuses, links and photos. Facebook automatically creates some groups (called Smart Lists) based on schools, jobs and places. To allocate someone, click the Friends button on their profile. You’ll see which groups they belong to and you’ll have the option to create a new group.

Using Facebook for business?

Here’s how:

CREATE a separate Facebook page for your business away from your social activity and ask existing customers to “like’ your page for an initial boost.

TAG other businesses and clients when talking about them so they know you’ve mentioned them – they might reciprocate and generate more “likes” for you.

ASK customers to do something after they read, otherwise they will move on. WIth every post, include a request to “like the post if you agree” or “comment below with your thoughts.”

INCLUDE a relevant picture to help grab attention in everyone’s newsfeeds. Even if you’re posting a text update, be sure to include a snap.

TIP Don’t be afraid to ask friends and contacts to post your stuff on their timeline. If you want a bigger reach, pay for an ad, which can cost anything from £1. You can either pay per impression (people who simply see your ad) or pay per click (when people click on your ad to get to your website.) Facebook allows you to “bid” for your audience – the more you pay, the more of your target audience you’ll reach – so you can decide on your budget. Visit for more tips on how to use Facebook for your business needs.

Tweet Your Way To Success

If you have a product to sell or you’re self-employed, Twitter is a brilliant marketing tool. Follow your customers and get them to follow you. Search for ideas on any topic by putting a hashtag (#) before the word. 

➢ Get More Followers – The more you tweet, the more followers you’ll have. 

➢ Post Photos – Research has shown people respond more to images.

➢ Be Consistent – Tweet three to four times a day. The best times to tweet? When people have time to look at their screens – early mornings, lunchtimes and evenings. 

➢ Share Quality Information – Retweet sparingly. Only post if it’s funny, useful or inspirational. And tweet positively – negate posts don’t get much response. 

➢ Repeat Tweets Are OK – If you have a piece of content that you love and your audience loves, don’t worry about repeating it again in a few days – tweets have a very short lifespan!

Are You Connected?

LinkedIn is the most used networking tool for professionals – both employers and potential employees ail expect you to be on it.

➢ Who Do I Connect With? – Fifty is the minimum number of contacts needed for a successful LinkedIn profile, but only if they’re relevant and useful. Colleagues, clients and headhunters are the best contacts. Headhunter Cathy Richardson (Cathy Richardson Associates) says she welcomes new connections, providing they’ve done their research: “I look for precise, detailed and well-researched applications and CVs with hard facts – achievements, awards and targets reached. Offering what you do and how you could help me will get you advice, information and leads.”

➢ Consider Your Goals – Why are you on LinkedIn? Are you looking for new employees, partners or contractors? Or perhaps you’re looking for a mix? Your goals should drive how you use the site. Use your headline and summary to market yourself. Don’t just say “IT manager” or “Events organiser.” Write “Experienced organiser seeks new opportunity” rather than “Unemployed.” Keep it snappy while making sure it communicates your skills and what you want.

➢ Stay On The Ball – Recruiters are ten times more likely to look at your profile if you post at least once a week, so spend a few minutes every day updating work achievements or making new contacts.

➢ Post Statuses – Share interesting and useful information, such as upcoming business events, new books or websites. Updating your status gives people a reason to look at your profile.

➢Explore LinkedIn Apps – Add Amazon’s Reading List app to sure relevant reading material about your industry. Try SlideShare to upload presentations to your profile, and WordPress for blog posts.

➢ Join Groups – They can be a great place to get and give advice, and span every industry from floristry to IT.Use the search feature at the top of your homepage.

➢ Use the Job Seeker Premium Facility – A free 30-day trial (and £12.95 per month thereafter) lets employers in your field know you’re looking for new opportunities and puts you at the top of the pile (ahead of non-paying members) if you apply for the job through LinkedIn.

Want More? Follow these 5 free tools to manage your social media:

1 – HOOTSUITE helps you manage multiple social media accounts from one place. You see each social network at a glance in a list and you can “cross post,” syndicating your messages across Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to save you time.

2 – UBERSOCIAL organises, manages and curates your Twitter feed. Create an “inner circle” to see your most important Twitter feeds and dip in and out of other less vital ones. 

3 – BUFFER posts your tweets for you at pre-set times during the day. Create all your content in one go, then let the app drip feed it to your followers.

4 – WORDTWIT is great if you’re a blogger. It’s a plug-in from blogging site WordPress and tracks when you publish new posts, then automatically tweets your followers. 

5 – FOLLOWERWONK is an analytical tool that shows you detailed breakdowns of Twitter followers and activity. see when your followers are online, where they’re located, companies they belong to, level of online activity, total tweets and follower count.