skip to content
Primary navigation

Social Media Guide for Assisters

Our Social Media 101 for Assisters includes Facebook and Twitter facts, basic social media terminology best practices to get started with social media, and more.

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.
back to top