Most of us are familiar with major social media platforms including Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. But not everyone realizes each of these platforms includes hidden features that bloggers and small business owners can use to their advantage.
These little-known features can help you monitor your audience, better organize your profiles, and use social media platforms more effectively. Without further ado, here’s a look at some of the hidden—and highly useful—features available to you on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Facebook is one of the older social media platforms, but it still has several tricks up its sleeve. Here are some of the little-known features that can take your Facebook game to the next level:
- Review “other” messages: People who aren’t connected to you on Facebook can still send you messages. To read them, click on the “Other” folder to the right of your inbox.
- Access quick stats: Every time you add a post to a page, an “X people reached” meter appears at the bottom of the post. Click on it, and you’ll see the actions people took with each post, including likes, comments, and shares, and how your posts look in the feed.
- Save links to read later: Sometimes you just don’t have time to engage with content in the moment, but you want to at some point. Save books, events, links, movies, music, places, and TV shows by clicking the drop-down menu in the top right corner of posts and selecting “Save.”
- Manage posts to page: Even if they aren’t a page admin, users can post to a business’ page by tagging the business in their posts. These tagged posts will show up in the sidebar underneath your photos. It’s a good idea to monitor these for spam as well as customer service and engagement opportunities.
- Reorder page sections: So long as you’re a page admin, you can rearrange sidebar elements by dragging and dropping them into position. (Note that the “people” and “about” sections are permanently locked into the top two spots.) To move elements, hover over the “About” bar until the option to “Manage” shows up.
- Feature page owners and liked pages: If you want to manage which page owners appear on your “About” page and which of your liked pages show up in the “Liked pages” widget, simply head to the “Page settings” tab.
Google+ may not be the most popular social media site, but it’s still worth maintaining a profile for the small SEO boost. Here is a hidden way to maximize your presence on the platform:
- Track public reach: “Ripples” is the Google+ equivalent of an engagement tracker. Each time you share a post publicly, you can follow social engagement by clicking the drop-down arrow at the top of the post and selecting “View Ripples.”
On its surface, Twitter’s interface is exceptionally simple: You write short tweets and you retweet other accounts’ tweets or you favorite tweets—and that’s that. But dig a little deeper, and there are plenty of other features available:
- Mute: This feature is particularly helpful when other users are participating in chats or tweet bursts that you don’t necessarily want clogging up your timeline. Muting an account allows you to remove an account’s tweets from your timeline without going through the drama of permanently unfollowing them.
- Tag photos: Tagging photos is a great way to connect with influencers about an event or product launch and draw more eyes to your account. Best of all, you can tag up to 10 people per photo without it counting against the platform’s 140-character limit.
- Create a photo collage: Few people realize this, but Twitter actually allows you to share more than one photo per tweet, which can be a great way to showcase events and/or products. Once you upload an image, you can click “Add more” to tack on up to three more photos.
- Embed a SlideShare presentation: Using this feature allows you to share presentations with your followers without them leaving your account’s page. Simply link to a SlideShare presentation and it will automatically embed itself for easy reading.
- Track who unfollows you: This feature requires using an external source, but it’s well worth opening a new tab. Manageflitter.com allows you to track who unfollows you, filter your followers using a range of criteria, determine when your followers are most likely to be online, manage multiple Twitter accounts from one location, and track keyword mentions.
First, respect LinkedIn dos and don’ts, but then get extra traction out of the platform by tapping into the following hidden features:
- Message someone you’re not connected to: One of the easiest ways to get in touch with someone you’re not connected to is to join a group you have in common; group members can message each other even if they don’t have a direct connection. Simply find your desired connection’s post within the group and then select “Reply privately” from the drop-down arrow.
- Download a list of your connections: Select “Connections” from the top menu, then click the gear icon in the top right corner to download a list of connections that includes each connection’s name, title, company name, and email address.
- Maintain relationship notes: For every profile you’re connected to, you can add relationship notes such as how you met, contact information, recurring reminders, and other details.
- Create a showcase page: A showcase page is nested under a main company page and used to promote specific products or market to a specific buyer. (To create one, select “Create a showcase page” from the drop-down to the right of the “Edit” button.) Businesses can create up to 10 showcase pages for free. Just as on a main company page, you’ll be able to share website links, images, and industry details.
By looking beyond the obvious functions on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn, bloggers and small business owners can tap into additional features in order to develop more efficient, streamlined, effective profiles across social media platforms.
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