Social media is such a big deal these days, so much so that here at Ink Elves, we sometimes take it for granted that everyone out there is completely au fait with social networking and knows their Tweets from their Likes without even thinking about it. Of course, with every new internet craze or fashion it can take a while to catch on, and it’s also often the case that business users take a little longer than others to get up to speed with how these new opportunities can help with their work. With this in mind, we present our Social Media 101 Automation – a guide to the most important social media sites today.

Facebook

To some, the heart and soul of Social Media, to others, a site so well suited to time wasting it should be called snoozebook! To be truthful, Facebook can be a great benefit to business users. It’s a fantastic place to grow followers, promote your work and website, and to gain new fans of your product or site. The promotion opportunities are endless, and your website will benefit if you cross link several social, media sites through Facebook back to your webpage.

Twitter

Twitter is the new Facebook. Or, Twitter is Last Year’s Instagram. However you look at it, Twitter is still big news. Early up takers included many celebrities, including Stephen Fry, and the platform which insists you only say what you have to say with 140 characters has launched through the stratosphere. A great place for snappy interchanges, and of course a fantastic place to post pictures, video’s and links to articles, it’s been a business user’s best friend since day one. The usual social media rules apply – share information that is valuable to others, be an active member of the community, don’t be spammy, and offer help to other users. The end result? A list of followers as long as your arm who hopefully take the time to check out your webpage!

Instagram and Vine

We’ve listed these together because they share similar features. Instagram is a simple site based on sharing images, but it does offer great opportunities for promoting businesses. You can link pictures to webpages, and develop large followings which will naturally lead back to your webpage if utilised correctly.

Vine is a new social media video site which allows people to post six second video clips – it’s almost like a visual Twitter, if you like. Again, it’s good for businesses because you can post videos of and about your business, you can link videos back to your business webpage, and you can offer helpful videos about your products for your followers to watch. Instagram has also launched a video element to its site.

Pinterest

Pinterest burst onto the scene a year or two ago, and has been going strong ever since. You can create boards in Pinterest which you populate with pictures. Again, the advantage here is that you can link pictures back to your own site. The site works by way of people repining images that they like on their own pages – often with the links from the photo they found on your Pinterest page. The idea of course is to find great images that people want to share – meaning your backlinks get very naturally spread far and wide.

Google +

Google + really is one for the business users. It’s not a social media site that has had any great success outside of business circles, but with features such as Google hangouts – a place where you can catch all of your best buddies in a video conference courtesy of the great Google in the sky; it’s perfectly designed for the business user. It works on fairly standard principles – comments, hashtags, sharing content and building followers within a community relevant to your niche. The best part? Unsurprisingly, Google listens very carefully to the signals coming out of Google + – meaning if you are active in this social media environment, it could well have a positive bearing on your website performance if you link well between the two.

As we all know, the web is changing all the time. It’s anyone’s guess what will be next to rise to the top of the pile social media wise. All we can say is that if you want to stay at the forefront of social media, you have to have your ear to the ground. Sign up for everything, dedicate some time, and if you’re lucky you won’t get left behind!