Guest Post from Michelle Carvill

There’s certainly a lot to learn about the social media channels, from both a strategic and tactical perspective. And of course, as things continuously evolve and change, it’s a case of keeping up to speed. But if you’re pushed for time and are looking for a very quick overview, hopefully these brief introductions hit the mark.

Twitter in 20 seconds

Twitter is a useful platform for communicating, listening, researching, brand building, marketing, initiating connections, networking and conversation. The floozy of the networks, things happen quickly and don’t stick around for long. Twitter enables you to keep your eye on the ball in areas you’re interested in. The brevity of the messages means that you can quickly skim through your feed and pick up on the general gist of what’s happening. If you follow an account, then their tweets show up in your feed, the more you follow, the busier your feed. Simple. You can of course tweet yourself, broadcasting your news, sharing opinion, or commenting on another tweet, sharing links to drive people to your site, blog etc. Tweets are limited to 280 characters. You can upload images and live stream too. Hashtags were created on Twitter – a way to sort and filter conversations. Hashtags have since cascaded into other platforms. Yet, are still dominant on Twitter and Instagram.

LinkedIn in 20 seconds

LinkedIn is the network people come to for business. It’s the ultimate collection of online business professionals and organisations, enabling members to manage current connections and facilitate new ones. Your LinkedIn Profile is your professional online presence, giving you the opportunity to showcase your personal brand, skills, expertise, experience and credibility. It’s the ultimate network resource, enabling you to keep in touch and manage all your connections in one place as well as providing opportunity to develop new connections. You can follow people or organisations and it also offers LinkedIn Pulse, a tailored news feed covering topical news and stories.

Facebook in 20 seconds

Facebook is the world’s largest social network. Since starting off as a means for keeping in touch with friends and family, sharing updates, photos and videos, the platform continues to evolve. Facebook Groups enable development of open and closed communities. Facebook is fast becoming the largest advertising medium in the world, offering unparalleled granular audience targeting. You can have a personal profile, a public figure profile, a business profile or a group. You can share images, videos, text and live stream directly via the platform.

Instagram in 20 seconds

Part of the Facebook Group family, Instagram is predominantly a mobile app which offers you a simple and fast way to share your life with those who follow you via photos, short videos. Instagram has a ‘stories’ feature, which separate to loading content to your main feed, gives you the opportunity to provide a more frequent, ‘behind the scenes’ running commentary. Perfect to share real time pictures and videos for product launches, events with your audience. Instagram stories last for 24 hours, but you can save them to a ‘Highlights’ feature, which lives on your profile. Hashtags rule on Instagram, and in many cases are more important than the text that accompanies the message. Up to 30 hashtags can be used on each post to maximise opportunity to connect with relevant audiences.

Snapchat in 20 seconds

Snapchat is a moble app messenger service that allows people to express themselves sharing pictures and videos in the moment that disappear after 10 seconds. Snapchat were the pioneers of the 24 hour ‘story’ feature, which can also be saved to ‘Memories’ to that they live on longer than the 24 hour deadline. And whilst, other networks have become more dominant with the story feature, Snapchat currently still has the edge when it comes to augmented reality features.

Google+ in 20 seconds

Less of a social network and more of a social and content dashboard, G+ is intended to pull together all of Google’s peripheral products (gmail, maps, search, calendar, hangouts etc) to provide a central place to manage your Google footprint. Google+ is particularly helpful for its Google search engine exposure. G+ communities can also provide a rich resource to tune into and connect.

YouTube in 20 seconds

Part of the Google family, YouTube is currently the largest free video-sharing service in the world, where users can create a profile, upload videos and watch, like and comment on other videos. Perfect for brand building, thought leadership and sharing practical advice. You can create playlists within your channel enabling you to segment your content. And as with Facebook and Twitter, you can livestream directly via YouTube.

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