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Social Networks – a beginner’s guide

Jun 12, 2013

Social networks are part of everyday lives in today’s society. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Reddit, Digg – they are everywhere. You hear about someone tweeting an outrageous picture of themselves, liking a funny video about a cat on Facebook, or ending a sentence with a hashtag. The fact is social network sites like Facebook and Twitter have shaped the way customers interact with each other and businesses. They play an important role in your communication channels. That is why businesses need to utilise social networks as well as their traditional ones. But where do you start?

With any social media outlet, it’s all about the conversations, communication and engagement you create with others. Here’s a guide to using the three big players in social networking:


Create a Facebook Page (different from a Facebook profile) for your company and you can monitor “fans” by the number of likes you get. From this you create a community of fans where you can create interaction and see posts that get shared via your Facebook fans. Think of this as a virtual word of mouth channel of communication, a very powerful method in marketing your business.


Known as a micro-blogging site where users post messages in 140 characters or less, great for short announcements and opinions. Some companies use it to engage in conversation with their followers as tweets are updated in real time and people see them happening in real time too. With the option to “follow” users and by keeping your profile open, you get a list of followers and at the same time create a “network” of people.

For your company Twitter profile, make sure you follow the right people such as industry influencers and customers. Align your following list to build your brand. Also make sure your profile has some key words as users may search for these looking for users who are interested in the same things as they are.


LinkedIn is your online professional network. Connect with people who you do business with or connect with others you think will help with your professional image. As with any social network you get your own company profile, so keep this up to date and sounding great and encourage your professional networks to follow you there as well to build a stronger business community. 


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