Category Archives: Social media

Choosing a Facebook account, group or page

A client recently asked me about the difference between a Facebook account, page and group. If you’re familiar with Facebook it’s straightforward but for newbies it can be confusing.

An account is usually personal, for individuals. Set up an account to connect with your friends and family. Use it to share photos and updates about your life, and other things you and your friends are interested in. An account has two main sections: your news feed where you see your friends’ posts and posts from pages you follow; and your profile where your own posts appear in a timeline.

A group is for people with a shared interest to join. For example, you might have a group for people who live in your area so you can discuss local issues and share details of nearby events. Groups can be public or closed. If they’re public, anyone can join the group and see its members and posts. If it’s closed, an admin has to approve requests to join. People can see the group’s members but not the posts unless they become a member too. Before you set up a new group it’s a good idea to check that there isn’t a similar one that exists already to avoid duplication.

A page is the best option for a business or cause. Pages are public so everyone can see the content. Content is created by the page admin(s). Other people can post to the page (unless you turn this setting off) but you’re able to approve their posts before they show up in the visitor posts section. Visitor posts won’t appear on the main page unless you share them. Anyone can ‘like’ and ‘follow’ your page. People can also message you via the page.

Pages are also useful if you want to keep your business interaction away from your personal account. For example if I was a personal trainer, I would have an account where I add people I know to my friends list. Then I would have a page where I advertise my services and talk to clients.




#Hashtag or @mention?

Someone told me I should call my blog ‘The Alexis Bailey Daily’ but that would mean having to post every day and I don’t think I can manage that. But I do need to post more than once every four months, so I’ve decided if I’m busy I’ll just keep it simple.

I train people on using social media and this is a question I get asked repeatedly:

What’s the difference between a hashtag and an @mention?

Well they’re both tags but they serve different purposes.

A hashtag is a way of categorising your post. When you add the # symbol in front of a word it becomes a link that people can click on to find other posts with the same hashtag. You might hashtag one or two key words in your post. Those words can be part of a sentence, or just added to the end of the post. For example:

Looking forward to having #ItalianFood at my favourite restaurant in #Woolwich tonight #FoodGloriousFood

A hashtag can be more than one word, but it mustn’t include spaces or symbols (numbers are fine). Anyone who sees this tweet and wants to find more tweets about Woolwich or Italian food can click on the hashtags. If someone searches for either of those hashtags on Twitter, the tweet will come up in the results.

You might want a unique hashtag for a campaign or event. Something that no one else has used before so that tweets using that hashtag are only relevant to your campaign/event.

You can use hashtags on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, as well as Twitter.

An @mention is a way of drawing someone’s attention to your tweet, or crediting someone. If you use an @mention you’re adding an account’s username to your tweet and the account you’ve mentioned will get a notification about your tweet. People will also be able to click on the @mention to see that account’s profile. For example, I could add an @mention to my tweet above:

Looking forward to having #ItalianFood at my favourite restaurant @ConGustoTweets in #Woolwich tonight #FoodGloriousFood

When you’re choosing a username, bear in mind how it will look as part of an @mention. For example, if I were to tweet:

Who’s up for coming to @ConGustoTweets in #Woolwich tonight?

Would people who hadn’t heard of Con Gusto restaurant know what I was talking about? I would need to add context with hashtags:

Who’s up for coming to @ConGustoTweets in #Woolwich tonight? #food #restaurant #hungry

You can tag accounts in a similar way on Facebook. You start by typing @ followed by the person’s name or the page username. You can then choose the account you want to tag from the drop-down list that appears.

A final note on hashtags: If you’re joining two words together it’s a good idea to use capital letters for each word. This not only makes it easier to read, it also means screen-reading software can read the hashtag.

50 first tweets

When I joined Twitter a few years ago it was because it was the latest trendy thing on social media so I thought I should give it a go, not because I had a clear idea of what I would use it for. At first I tweeted about any old thing just to get the hang of how it works. After a while I decided that, for me, Twitter’s most useful for sharing and reading social media tips and the highlights from events, and drawing attention to the things I work on, particularly high street regeneration and markets. It’s also great for hearing from other people who work on similar things.

If you’re new to Twitter you might still be figuring out how to make the best use of it. In the meantime, if you just want to get some tweeting practice and become more familiar with how Twitter works, here are 50 ideas for things you can tweet about:

  1. Details of an event you’re going to
  2. The highlights of an event you’ve been to
  3. What’s happening live while you’re at an event
  4. A link to an interesting article you’ve read
  5. A comment about a blog you’ve read
  6. A link to an interesting forum discussion
  7. A quote that’s inspired you
  8. Some useful advice you’ve heard
  9. Your top tips
  10. Interesting facts
  11. Little-known stats
  12. Facts or stats relevant to the area where you live
  13. What you thought of a film or show
  14. Details of an exhibition you’ve seen
  15. A venue you liked (or didn’t like)
  16. A great restaurant or café you’ve discovered
  17. A special offer you’ve seen
  18. A photo of something interesting you’ve seen
  19. A Vine video
  20. Ask a question
  21. Answer a question
  22. Comment on a sporting event
  23. Ask for a recommendation
  24. Say what you think of a place you’ve visited
  25. Let people know about traffic problems
  26. Warn people about public transport delays
  27. Encourage people to support a cause
  28. Highlight an important issue
  29. Link to a petition
  30. Give you’re opinion on a current issue
  31. Introduce yourself to someone you’d like to meet
  32. Congratulate someone
  33. Wish someone luck/happy birthday/bon voyage etc
  34. Thank someone
  35. Follow up a meeting with a tweet
  36. Thank a company for good customer service
  37. Moan about bad customer service
  38. Ask someone for a live update
  39. Big up someone who deserves it
  40. Share a useful tool
  41. Talk about a project you’re working on
  42. Get feedback on something you’re working on
  43. Take part in a Q&A
  44. Share a joke
  45. Recommend a training course
  46. Share the results of a poll
  47. Share some trivia or quiz questions
  48. Share your achievements
  49. Tell people what music you’re listening to and why you like it
  50. Retweet other people