Beginners & Basics: Instagram 101

Our Beginners & Basics series is a collection of blogs and tips that are designed to help beginners understand the basics of communications, social media, and marketing. Welcome to Instagram 101.

What is it?

Over the past decade, Instagram has grown into one of the most prominent social media platforms. The photo and video-sharing social media network heavily focuses on photos, videos, and visual communications, and boasts its own brand of “influencers.”

With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is a place to check out what brands are doing next. Much like other social media channels, users create accounts with profiles and newsfeeds. The newsfeed, which allows people to interact with other users by liking (double tapping) photos, is super user-friendly.

Extra credit: Instagram is owned by Facebook!

Instagram Features:

  • Instagram Stories: temporary posts (photos or videos) that live on a user’s account for 24 hours and is accessed by clicking their profile photo
  • Instagram Highlights: categorized collections of stories on a user’s profile
  • Instagram Live: videos streamed in real time that disappear after they are ended
  • Instagram TV (IGTV): a special section of IG that allowing for hour-long video posts
  • Filters: allow for editing photos in the app
  • Location tagging on posts & stories: the ability to tag restaurants, shops, cities, or other locations in newsfeed posts or stories
  • Direct messaging: also known as “DMs,” allow you to chat via Instagram through the arrow in the top righthand section of your profile

Who uses it?

A lot of people! Of Instagram’s 1 billion users, 11% of users are located in the US. Brazil, India, Indonesia and Russia are among the top countries of Instagram users.

Unsurprisingly, Instagram typically appeals to younger generations — almost 70% of users are 18-29 years old. Among U.S. teens, Instagram is one of the most popular social networks. 

How can it help businesses?

Instagram is one of the best platforms for marketing because it’s easy (and entertaining) for users to follow favorite brands and discover new ones. When users have a business profile, Instagram also lets you use features like the “shop” feature, which tags products and transfers users to different sites.

Analytics (on Instagram Business accounts) allow you to analyze post performance to see what works best. If you want to use Instagram effectively, strong images are the key. To best connect with your audience, avoid using stock photos whenever possible and use high quality images.

You may be a business that doesn’t often have compelling images, and that’s okay! It just means that Instagram may not be the best social media platform for you. Check out our Beginners & Basics articles about Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to see what would be the best fit for you.

Brands that are killing the Insta game:

Beginners & Basics: Twitter 101

Our Beginners & Basics series is a collection of blogs and tips that are designed to help beginners understand the basics of communications, social media, and marketing. Welcome to Twitter 101.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is technically a “micro-blogging service,” allowing users to post and share comments, photos, videos and more. So what does that actually mean? Because it has a 240 character limit (recently bumped up from 140), it’s a place to share brief posts — not 3 paragraphs.

One thing to note about Twitter is that it has some unique terminology when referring to specific features. It may be confusing to newbies, so we broke down the basics for you:

Twitter Lingo:

  • Tweet: to post
  • Retweet: to repost another user’s post
  • Reply: using the @ to respond to someone’s post
  • Direct Message: private chat to specific user(s)
  • Hashtag: a symbol (the # sign) that categorizes tweets

Who uses it?

Donald Trump isn’t the only one who loves tweeting. With over 330 million monthly active users and 145 million daily active users, Twitter has a huge influence on today’s society. Many of these 330 million users are younger, but Twitter’s demographic reach is not only for millennials and Gen-Z.

63% of Twitter users are between the ages of 35 and 65. While other social media platforms like Snapchat and TikTok are famous for catering to younger generations, it’s clear that Twitter appeals to a more mature audience as well.

Why is it helpful for businesses?

With such an impressive number of active users, Twitter is one of the best digital marketing tools for businesses. Twitter allows for brands and businesses to engage personally with their consumers. It allows for conversation and brands to practice transparent communication.

Twitter even made a sandwich go viral. Seriously.

However, not all brands need a Twitter account. It’s often hard to decide what social media is helpful and what’s overkill. We’re here to help you figure out who your audience is and how to reach them. Twitter may or may not be the answer!

Brands that are killing the Twitter game:

Beginners & Basics: LinkedIn 101

Our Beginners & Basics series is a collection of blogs and tips that are designed to help beginners understand the basics of communications, social media, and marketing. Welcome to LinkedIn 101.

What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn has quickly become one of the most-used digital networking platforms for professionals of almost any field. Unlike more personal forms of social media (think Facebook and Instagram), LinkedIn is focused on professional connections.

The social media channel allows users to build their careers and professional networks by connecting with others and sharing content. The purpose of LinkedIn is also to maintain contact with particular colleagues, friends and others in professional environments. It also doubles as a search engine for job seekers.

Who uses it?

LinkedIn has over 600 million users in more than 200 countries around the world. Surprisingly, over 70% of LinkedIn users are from outside of the US.

There are 46 million students and recent college graduates on LinkedIn using the channel to work on their experience and careers for future employers. LinkedIn is also crawling with recruiters that use the platform as part of their recruitment process.

Personal Profile

If you don’t have a personal LinkedIn profile yet, we’re glad you checked out this LinkedIn 101 guide! Your personal profile serves as a virtual resume, which allows customers or potential clients to see your experience. That’s the key to building trust!

Your personal LinkedIn profile will have a lot more features that you won’t see in other social media channels. You are able to include your experience, a summary of yourself, contact information, a portfolio, skills, recommendations, and more.

Your profile is meant to be a representation of your career and career goals for those who view it. As LinkedIn has grown into what it is today, with millions of users, your profile can also be seen as your “digital reputation.”

Business Profile

Much like you can have a personal profile, you can also have a business profile on LinkedIn. It’s similar to a business page on Facebook — it’s where companies share updates, articles, posts, and other information relevant to their audiences.

LinkedIn is a great social media tool for certain types of businesses, including staffing agencies, IT, real estate, and human resources are just a few!

Why is it helpful for businesses?

There’s no better way to share your brand than through a platform that allows for interaction between professionals and consumers. Because it has a long list of features to amp up your profile, LinkedIn allows you to present what your company is all about, share the people who work there, and engage with relevant content. 

Plus, it can even bring in some incredible talent if you use its hiring features.

Brands that are killing the LinkedIn game:

  • TED Conferences
  • Google
  • Amazon
  • Microsoft
  • IBM

How to Write a Great Press Release

When it comes to public relations, great press releases are a must-have. A study found that 88% of journalists find value in press releases. However, with the expansion of technology and increased information overload, it’s important to make your press release stand out amongst the rest.

Here are 5 tips for writing a great press release:   

1. Use an attention grabbing headline

We live in a world where random things (like sandwiches) go viral, news cycles last 15 minutes, and everyone is clamoring for attention. Did you know that around 2,000 press releases are sent out every day? That makes it easier for your release to get lost in the mix. Make sure you have a headline that’s engaging to journalists and will entice them to read more.

A good practice to follow when it comes to headlines is that it should be around 7-10 words. This keeps you from overcomplicating it. Remember to be concise but also clear about what your release is about.

2. Put important information at the beginning

Let’s be real… we don’t always read articles or press releases all the way through. Journalists are no different! This is why it’s important to get all of your important information out upfront. Make sure all the important details are laid out in the first one to two paragraphs of the press release.

A great way to cover all your bases is by answering the the Five “W”s (and one “H”) in the beginning of the release. That is: who, what, when, why where and how.  Most journalists will read the first sentence and paragraph but they are not likely to read as closely to the end! This also gives journalists the information in one organized spot instead of having the comb through your release to find it.

3. Include strong quotes

Sometimes the best way to relay information is by using a direct quote. Quotes are a great way to integrate information in a more interesting way. When quoting people relevant to your story, make sure it’s something memorable, so don’t use up space quoting something that’s better paraphrased.   

CEOs, leaders, and high-profile individuals are the best sources for quotes in a press release. It’s also the perfect way to highlight your leaders as experts in your field and build brand reputation.

4. Keep it short, simple, and social

Most press releases are now 400-500 words and include more embedded photos, links and graphics. Similar to our point about headlines, you want to keep the press release clear and concise throughout.

With the rise of online newsrooms and all-digital content, making a press release web-accessible is crucial. It also provides journalists with more access to information and leaves them better prepared to cover your story. Providing them a link to a photo gallery, for example, makes it easier for them to find a photo instead of digging through the internet to find one.

5. Link to more information

Don’t forget to link to your organization! Include links to your website, social media accounts, and more contact information so that the information doesn’t just end with your press release. If you want journalists to get in contact with you, give them the resources to! Providing links to your website also gives more information about your organization and what you stand for.

Hopefully these tips will help you craft strong press releases for your business. But if you still need help with media pitching, that’s what we’re here for. Reach out to learn more about our public relations services or see some of the articles we’ve placed in the past.

Beginners & Basics: Facebook 101

Our Beginners & Basics series is a collection of blogs and tips that are designed to help beginners understand the basics of communications, social media, and marketing. Welcome to Facebook 101.

Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms worldwide. The platform has revolutionized how we network, connect, and interact online. This Facebook 101 will teach you everything you need to know about the world’s most popular social media platform.

What is Facebook?

It’s hard to remember a time before Facebook. While it began as a college-based network in 2004, the company has now grown to dominate social networking.

The platform allows users to post comments, share photos and videos, share links to news or other content, and chat live. Facebook is able to appeal to both individuals and businesses, which is the reason for its rapid success and growth. It is user-friendly, appealing to any and every type of person or business around the world. 

Who uses it?

So why do you need this Facebook 101? Facebook takes the lead as a social media platform reaching over 60% of internet users.

In 2019, Facebook had almost 2.5 billion monthly active users and 1.6 billion users daily. With billions of users monthly and daily, its users consist of a wide variety. Young adults continue to incorporate social media into their everyday routines, with Facebook being a continuous, dominant platform within the demographic.

Why is it helpful for businesses?

With its user-friendly features and prominence in our culture, Facebook is going to share your target audience. Whether your audience is younger or older, male or female, from a different part of the world, Facebook has something for you.

As a business, a Facebook page can be a great place to engage with your customers, share your messages, and build your brand. A business Facebook page is more similar to a website than to a person Facebook account, and will serve as a resource for people who want to learn more about what you do.

A Facebook page will not only increase your business’ online presence, it will also be key to reaching your target audience and connecting them to your purpose. 

Brands that are killing the Facebook game:

  • Samsung: 159M followers
  • Coca-Cola: 106M followers
  • Youtube: 90M followers
  • McDonald’s: 79M followers
  • Netflix: 64M followers

We hope that this Facebook 101 was quick and easy so that you can get the hang of how social media can help your business. If you’re still not sure, or if you feel overwhelmed on where to start, get in touch! That’s what we’re here for.