How to set up social media

Here's how to get started with each of the main social media networks

15 March 2017

Help setting up

As an everyday part of most people's lives, a good social media presence is essential to your business. According to the ONS, 63% of British adults visit social networking sites on a daily basis.

Setting up your business on the main social media platforms doesn't take long, either – here's how to get started.

Facebook

Facebook is by far the most popular social network in the UK, with six out of ten people in the country using the website. It's most popular with 20-29 year olds, but people of all ages use the platform (including those aged 60+).

Getting started

Setting up a business page instead of a personal profile for your business gives you added benefits, such as access to analytics and adverts. You need a business page to make use of the Facebook functionality on the BGA app. Follow Facebook's instructions to set up your page on desktop or mobile.

Top tips and best practice

  • Keep it snappy. 40-character Facebook posts get 86% more engagement and 80 character posts get 66% more engagement than longer posts.
  • Ask questions. The more people interact with your posts, the more likely Facebook is to promote your content to them organically (i.e. without you paying).
  • Be visual. Facebook posts with images have an 87% higher interaction rate than posts without them.

 

Twitter

Twitter is great for sending out short, sharp, 140-character bursts of information throughout the day. It's a popular on-the-go network, with 95% of UK users accessing it on their phones (accounting for nearly a quarter of all smartphone users in the country).

How to get started

Twitter has a great walkthrough to help you set up a profile. Once you set yours up you'll be encouraged to follow other accounts to build up your feed and hopefully quickly get some followers yourself. We recommend starting out with trade bodies, networking groups and large businesses in your field.

Top tips and best practice

  • Use media. Supplement your 140-characters with images, videos and links to your website. Polls can also drive engagement.
  • Don't overuse hashtags. Hashtags can expose your tweets to a wider audience, but using too many can look like spam. Try to use a maximum of three per tweet.
  • Know when to take it offline. If a customer complains on Twitter, respond quickly and try to move the conversation over to private messaging.

 

Instagram

Instagram is a highly visual network with a focus on photographs and short videos called stories. The network has around 14 million monthly active users in the UK, and seven out of ten users follow a business account. According to research by L2, the network offers the highest retail conversion rate of any social network.

How to get started

Instagram's business pages are free to set up and can be used in a similar way to a normal profile, with the added ability to check analytics and promote posts from the mobile app. Get set up on the website.

Top tips and best practice

  • Be beautiful. Use editing tools to ensure that the images you post on Instagram wouldn't look out of place in a glossy magazine.
  • Tell stories. Instagram Stories always appear at the very top of the app, so create behind-the-scenes or work-in-progress stories to attract attention.
  • Pay attention. Check your analytics and engagement levels to see what sort of content your audience likes best.