How to get on to social media

Useful tips on how to get on social media.

 Content Editor

How to get on to social media
You can download the mobile versions of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for your smartphone or tablet from an application (app) store like iTunes or Google Play. You will need to choose a unique name for your account that no one else has already chosen. You will also need to set a password so only you can access it. You can find out how to do this on the help pages at and

You can choose whether everyone or just people you know can see what you write on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. You can change your privacy settings in your account settings at any time.

Your profile is a way to tell people about you. You can add a photograph which will appear next to all your posts; your name and – if you want to – where you live or work. How much you share is up to you. If you are worried about your privacy, less is better. 

When you add a new update to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, this is called a 'post'. The more times you post to your social media accounts, the more interesting it will be for people who follow you. You can post about what you have been doing today or what you think about things that are happening in the news. Think twice before you write untrue or hurtful things about other people or businesses. If they feel you have harassed or upset them, they can report you to the police and other authorities.

A follower is a person who has decided they want to keep up to date with what you add to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. They want to be able to see all your posts in their news feed. If you don't want someone to follow you, you can block them. You can find people you know and want to follow using the search tool. The more people you follow, the more you will get out of using social media.

Your newsfeed is where you can see what people you follow have posted to their account. If you want to see more or less news, you can control this in your account settings.

Once you have started using Twitter and Instagram you will see words with a symbol at the front that looks like this: # this symbol is called a hashtag. People use a hashtag when they want to help other people on Twitter and Instagram to search for certain topics. 

For example, if you want someone who is interested in mental health to see what you have written on Twitter or to find a photograph you have posted on Instagram, you can add the hashtag #mentalhealth to your post, for example: 'Have you seen the latest news about our #mentalhealth campaign?' 

Join in
Social media works best when you join in. If you see a photo in your newsfeed you like, click the 'like' button to gives it the 'thumbs up'. If you are interested in what someone has had to say, click 'reply' and join in the conversation.
Using @
If you want to talk to one specific person on Twitter or Instagram, you need to put this symbol in front of their account name. For example, to talk to us on Twitter, start your post with @NWBoroughsNHS. Even though you have done this, other people can still see your conversation. If what you want to say is private, send a 'direct message' instead. 

You can add links to web pages to your posts. Highlight and copy the text in your browser and paste it into your post. When your post is live, people can click on the link to go to the web page you are sending them to. 

Now you're ready to use social media, join in the conversation with us online!

Need extra help?
If you have any questions about using social media, email and we will be glad to help.