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Social Media Guide for Assisters

Facebook and Twitter Quick Facts

Click to download Social Media 101 (PDF)

  • There are an estimated 960k Twitter users and 3M Facebook users in Minnesota alone
  • 93% of businesses already use social media
  • 23% of social media users check their account 5X or more per day for an average of 15 minutes
  • Social media has become the number one online activity and continues to grow each year
  • Social media takes time

Social Media Terminology

  • DM/PM - Short for "direct message" and "private message." Private ways to communicate on Twitter and Facebook, respectively.
  • Feed - A digest of what is being posted by the social media accounts you follow. Can also refer to all the content being posted by a single account.
  • Hashtag - Shows up as a pound sign (for example: #MNsure). Hashtags are searchable, making them an easy way to connect with others around a given topic.
  • Mention/Tag - Adding "@" before a username (for example: @MNsure) notifies that user they’ve been mentioned and gives others a direct link to the mentioned account.
  • Post or Tweet - The actual content that is being posted to Facebook or Twitter, respectively.
  • Share or Retweet/RT - When you share content that was posted by another’s Facebook or Twitter account, respectively.

Facebook or Twitter?

Define your goals, then choose the platform that best meets those.


  • Relies heavily on images (though they are not required)
  • Has hashtag functionality, but not as integral as on Twitter
  • Unlimited characters per post
  • Feed is based on an ever-changing algorithm
  • Post one to three times daily with minimum three hours between posts


  • Tweets perform better with images, but not as integral as on Facebook
  • Relies heavily on hashtags (though they are not required)
  • 140 characters per tweet
  • Feed is in real time
  • Post unlimited times per day

Best Practices

  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Start with a single platform (Facebook or Twitter) and build your social media presence from there.
  • Separate your personal and business social media accounts. They have different audiences and purposes.
  • Keep it short and snappy, even on Facebook. Research shows that longer posts perform poorly compared to shorter posts.
  • Include a call to action and provide the tools to follow through—if you recommend a particular event, be sure to link to that event.
  • Use images whenever possible to increase engagement.
  • Include your social media information in any marketing methods you already use—your email signatures, newsletters, newspaper ads, for example.
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