Social Media For Business Part 2: Twitter and Instagram 17/02/2016 Tips & Advice Last week we discussed the opportunities Facebook could create for your business. However, every social media platform has its own advantages and disadvantages, meaning that Twitter or Instagram might be more suited to you, depending on what you’re looking to achieve! Twitter For small business owners one of the most valuable things that Twitter can offer is the ability to search for keywords that are related to you and track people’s conversations. This helps develop insights into the way your audience interacts with competitors and allows you to improve the content of your tweets. The main differentiator of Twitter as a social network lies in its 140-character tweet limit. With current, short, clear updates this platform has attracted over 15million Brits of which two thirds are under the age of 34. They key to attracting an audience is simple: People want to follow who they may find useful to follow. Text based posts often including links to external websites are more dominant on Twitter, however, it does offer visual content options including videos. It important to note all Tweets are visible and public, meaning you can see what your competitors are saying etc. 82% of Twitter users own a smart phone and are more likely to be active on their mobile device than on their PC, so it important to think of it as a real “on the go” network. To increase your business visibility you need to be able to post fairly frequently – without, of course, spamming your audiences Twitter feed. How to get started? Firstly, it’s important to familiarise yourself with various Twitter jargon that will help you understand the engagement potential: Hashtags, Retweets, direct messaging and mentions are just a few. Make sure your Twitter profile is public; using hashtags (#) can make your posts visible to basically anyone who shares your interest. This can extend your posts to all other users interested in similar topics (not just your followers). Choosing the right hashtag can greatly broaden the reach of your posts to thousands of potential followers, fans or customers. Secondly, don’t just interact with those who follow you, find other industry leaders and interact with them. Post comments, retweet and comment on anything you find valuable. This will promote your business to others who might be reading the comments. Finally, use a Twitter dashboard tool like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to schedule your posts, manage results and review competitor behaviour. Instagram Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your small business with fans and friends through a series of pictures and 15 second videos. This mobile-based network is a visual representation of everyday life, with its own point of difference… image filters which allow smartphone users to make their photograph look more beautiful, before instantly sharing it with their community. With generation Z having an 8 second attention span and millennials not being far behind, Instagram has become best associated with this demographic, 70% of whom use the app on a daily basis. How to get started? Brands that use Instagram often draw major engagement by posting original and creative images, alongside keeping up a steady posting pace and enough visual content to maintain an active feed. Including hashtags in posts can be used to attract new followers. You can also aggregate content for your Facebook page by searching to see whether users have posted about your business or products by simply searching #yourbusinessname Remember, dividing your time between all social media networks can become counterproductive, especially when you already have an endless task of running and improving businesses opportunities. Perhaps even do some dipstick research with your current customers to see which platform they are engaging with the most. Next week we will move our discussion onto 2 social networks that are commonly associated with B2B activity – Google+ and LinkedIn.