How to get started with social media

Social media channels can be a great way to easily create a presence online for your group and connect with other, like-minded music makers to find new audiences and group members.

This resource is a beginners' guide with basic steps for you to set up and start to use accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Contents

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

LinkedIn

Twitter

Twitter

Glossary:

  • Tweet – a 140-character long piece of content that you share with your followers. This could include a photo (which since 2016 does not count for the character limit) or link as well as text content.
  • Retweet – where a Tweet from one user is shared or reposted by another user.
  • Handle – this is a username and appears with an ‘@’ symbol in front of it.
  • Hashtag – the ‘#’ symbol is used before a word or phrase (with no spaces) to tie Tweets on particular topics or themes together. E.g. ‘#mmconf’ was used for tweets relating to our annual conference.

Creating an account:

  1. Go to https://twitter.com/signup.
  2. Enter your details in the appropriate fields.
  3. Choose a username (your unique identifier on Twitter). Choose one (e.g. your group name) that makes you easily identifiable. You will be told if the username you want to use is available (if not, choose another). You may change your username later on, though it is not recommended you do this often.
  4. Click ‘Create my account’.
  5. Twitter will send you a confirmation email to the address you put above. Click the link in the email to confirm your account.

Customising your account:

Once you have created your account and logged in, you can start to personalise your profile (what is seen by other users). To customise your profile, follow the instructions here: https://support.twitter.com/articles/127871.

  1. Add a profile image (a square photo or logo, ideally at least 400 x 400 pixels in size).
  2. Add a header image (optional, ideally 1,500 x 500 pixels in size).
  3. Update your name, location, website address and bio.

Following other Twitter users:

  1. Once you are logged in to your account, search for users that you want to be connected via the ‘Search’ box at the top of the page.
  2. You can also click ‘Moments’ at the top of the page. This will show you recent posts from users and on topics that you may find interesting.
  3. To connect with a user, click the ‘Follow’ button on their profile (if you are looking at one of their Tweets, click their name or picture to show their profile in a pop-up window).
  4. You will now see their updates on a stream on your ‘Timeline’ (visible, if you have logged in, at www.twitter.com). Users will be notified that you are now ‘following’ them, but do not have to ‘follow’ you back (although many will).

Sending a ‘Tweet’:

  1. On the Twitter homepage, click the box on the top of the screen (‘What's happening?').
    1. Type or copy-and-paste your Tweet using no more than 140 characters (including spaces).
    2. To include up to four images, click the camera icon under the main message box and choose and upload the image. Once you add an image, you can tag up to ten Twitter users by adding or searching for their handles. This is a great way of ensuring specific people see your tweet.
    3. You can also include a Poll (where users can vote), an animated gif (a moving image file) or a location.
  2. Once you are happy with your message, click ‘Tweet’. This will send your Tweet to any of your followers, and display it on your timeline.

Interacting with other users:

The best way to meet new users and build followers is to get involved in conversations with them or respond to their messages. There are a few ways to do this:

  1. Reply to a message: To reply to a user, click ‘Reply’ (the arrox pointing left) under the original tweet and type your message in the pop-up box that appears.
    1. You have a limit of 140 characters (letters and spaces) per message, so be brief!
    2. N.B. The box will already contain ‘@’ followed by the user’s name. Do not delete this, as this is how the user (and Twitter) know you are speaking to them specifically.
  2. Retweet a message: If you find a message interesting or worth sharing with your own followers, click ‘Retweet’ under the original message. This will send a copy of this tweet to your own followers.
  3. Send a private message: If you want to send a private message to another user, click the envelope icon in the top-right of the page, click ‘new message’ type the name of the recipient in the first box, type your message in the lower box, and click ‘Send message’.
    1. NB. The user must be following you, and you following them, to allow you to do this.

Facebook

Facebook

Glossary:

  • Post – a piece of content that you share with your people who have liked your page.
  • Page Like – When a user ‘likes’ your page, posts from your page may be shown in their news feed.
  • Reach – the number of users who saw your post.
  • Timeline – the constantly-updating stream of posts (from people you follow) on your homepage.

Creating a page for your organisation:

Before you create a page for your group on Facebook, you should set up a personal account for yourself (this is what you'll use to manage the group page). Once you have done this, you can proceed to create your group page:

  1. Go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.
  2. Choose the type of organisation the page is for (for most groups this will be ‘Artist, Band or Public Figure’).
  3. Choose ‘Musician/Band’ from the ‘choose a category’ drop-down menu.
  4. Enter the name of your group.
  5. Tick 'I agree to Facebook Pages Terms'.
  6. Click ‘Get Started’.

Customising your page:

Once you have created your account and logged in, you can start to personalise your profile (what is seen by other users).

  1. Add a profile photo (a square photo or logo, this will appear on the left hand side of your page – ideally 180x180 pixels).
  2. Add a header photo (this will appear across the top of your page and can be useful for promoting events – ideally 828x315 pixels).
  3. Update your information (e.g. add a brief overview of your group and other info).

Following other users or pages:

  1. Once you are logged in, use the search box at the top of the page to other pages you are interested in following or connecting with.
  2. Click the down '...More' arrow icon on the right hand side of the page, just underneath their header photo, and click ‘Like As Your Page…’ (if you just click the ‘Like’ button, it will like the page as you personally, rather than as your group’s page, although you can do this if you prefer or as well).

Posting on your page:

  1. You can post a normal message (‘Status’), an uploaded photo or video (‘Photo / Video’), or an Offer or Event (‘Offer, Event’) via the box on your page
    1. Status:
      1. Type or copy-and-paste your message into the box.
      2. If you want to include a link to an article, website or video (e.g. on YouTube), simply copy-and-paste the link into the box (after your message). Facebook will automatically generate a preview including an image and some of the information from the linked source.
    2. Photo / Video:
      1. Click ‘ Photo / Video’.
      2. Choose to either Upload a single photo or video, or to create a new album of photos (e.g. from a specific event).
      3. Add accompanying text (optional).
  2. Once you are ready, click ‘Post’.
    1. To set up a message to post at a particular time, enter your message as above, and then click the down arrow next to the 'Publish' button and choose 'Schedule Post'. Use the calendar to set the date and time the message should be posted and click ‘Schedule’.

Inviting users to follow you:

  1. On the right hand side of your page, click ‘Invite Your Friends to Like this Page’ and in the pop-up box start typing the names of some of your friends. Once done, click ‘Invite’. Or, Click ‘See All’ (above the ‘Invite’ button) and click ‘Invite’ next to any relevant friends.
    1. N.B. If you are going to invite people who are not close friends/group members to ‘like’ your page, it is sensible to have made a few posts first. This will make the page more attractive to users to follow (rather than asking them to follow a blank page!).

Creating a Facebook event:

  1. Go to your group's page and on the sidebar click ‘Events’.
  2. Click the ‘Create Event’ button.
  3. Fill in the event name, details, location, and time and add an image if you have one. Include the link to book tickets if people can do so online.
  4. Click ‘Create’.
  5. Once created, you can invite people to attend: on the event page, click 'Invite' (on the top right) and in the pop-up window, select which friends you'd like to invite. 
  6. Click 'Send Invitations'.

Instagram

Instagram

Glossary:

  • Username – A user's unique identifier. When publishing a post or comment, you can add a user's username with an ‘@’ symbol in front of it, and that user will be notified that he was tagged.
  • Post – The content (photo or video) that you publish on your Instagram account.
  • Filter – An optical effect that you can apply to photos or videos on Instagram to increase contrast, modify colour and lighting, and add borders, to give your posts an edgy or retro look.
  • Hashtags – Thematic words that help other users find relevant photos or videos when performing a search, for example, #music #orchestra #concert.
  • Like – The interaction that a user has with a post to express approval. Published posts display the number of Likes they have received.
  • Followers – The number of users that have decided to follow your account and will therefore see your posts on their content feed.
  • Followings – The number of users that you have decided to follow and whose posts you will see on your content feed.

Downloading the application:

You can use a web browser to log into an Instagram account and interact with other users' posts, but you won't be able to publish any photos or videos from a computer. You need to install the Instagram application for your smart phone or tablet. Compatible operating systems are Android, iOS and Windows 10. The app is free and you can install it from the app store on your device. There are third-party apps for BlackBerry and Nokia. 

Creating an account:

You can create an account from the Instagram website or from the application on your mobile device. But to keep things simple, let's do it from the web browser on your computer.

  • Go to www.instagram.com and either user your Facebook login to create your account or input your mobile number or email, full name, username (this has to be unique) and password on the form and click on 'Sign up'.
  • Add a profile photo by uploading an image file from your computer.
  • Click on the 'user' icon at the top right of the page and then click on 'Edit Profile' to add personal information like Website, Bio, Phone Number or Gender.

Posting content:

For now, Instagram only allows you to publish posts from your mobile device (smart phone or tablet). Once you have downloaded the Instagram app, log in and do the following:

  • On the control panel at the bottom, click the middle + icon. You may need to authorise the Instagram app to have access to your device's image gallery.
  • Again, at the bottom panel choose between Library (to post a photo or video that you've already taken), Photo or Video.
  • Apply whatever filters, edits, effects and borders you wish to your photo or video.
  • Write a caption (remember to add hashtags!), tag other Instagram users and, if you wish, add a location.
  • On the top right, press the Share button, sit back and wait for those likes and comments from your followers.

Finding followers:

Like any other social media network, growing your list of connections or followers is a lot about bein active, polite and friendly. Here are some tips to grow your list of followers:

  • Post new photos or videos often. Instagram users prefer to follow accounts that are more active and there are actually follower-management apps that suggest unfollowing accounts that have remained inactive over a period of time.
  • Remember to use hashtags or theme tags when you publish photos or videos. This will make your content visible to more people and usually leads to new followers.
  • Don't be afraid to take the first step and follow other users; many of them will follow you back.
  • If the content you will publish is meant to be seen by all Instagram users, ensure you have not activated the Private Account option
  • Try to find time to not just post but also explore your content feed. Like and leave comments on the posts of the users you follow.

Linkedin

LinkedIn

Glossary:

  • Mention – Just like Facebook and Twitter, you can mention others in your LinkedIn updates.
  • Connection – An indicator that you and a person are connected to each other.
  • Invitation – Invite someone to join your network and connect with you.
  • Network – Your connections which also includes the connections of your connections.

Creating a personal profile:

  1. Go to www.linkedin.com.
  2. Enter your details and click ‘Join now’.
  3. Go to your email account and confirm your profile by clicking the link in the email you have been sent.
  4. Go back to  https://www.linkedin.com/ and sign in.
  5. Edit your profile by clicking following the prompts or clicking the edit icon next to your information.
  6. Add your past and current employment as well as your education, including brief descriptions.
  7. Add a summary about you and what you do.
  1. To find a particular user:
    1. Type the name of colleagues or contacts in the search bar at the top of the page.
    2. Click ‘Connect next to any users you want to connect with.
  2. To find contacts through your email:

    1. Click ‘Network’ > ‘Add connections’.
    2. Enter your email address and click ‘Continue’.
    3. Click ‘Accept’ on the pop-up box.
    4. Select the contacts you want to connect with.
    5. Click ‘Add Connection(s)’.
    6. Select any contacts who you want to invite to LinkedIn and click ‘Add to Network’ (if you do not want to invite any, click ‘’Skip this step’.

Posting a message:

  • On your home screen, type or copy-and-paste the text of your message into the box marked ‘Share an update’.
  • Choose whether to share the post with just your connections or allow anyone to see it (using the drop-down menu next to ‘Share with’).
  • Click ‘Share’.

We hope you find this Making Music resource useful. If you have any comments or suggestions about the guidance please contact us. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the content of this guidance is accurate and up to date, Making Music do not warrant, nor accept any liability or responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the content, or for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information contained in it.