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Chronicle

The Social Feature Secrets - A collection of lesser known lovelies

Posted: 08 April 2015

It might sound a tad unbelievable that our social networks are harbouring functions and features we don't know about?! We all believe we're flawlessly fluent and fully fledged experts in all things Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and beyond but not every new feature is accompanied by an announcement. These hidden treasures are almost like little treats reserved for those die hard users who continue to find new ways to make their social profiles work harder for them.

We’re not just talking about Pirate speak on Facebook here folks, although we do love that feature (and for this week only have switched it on). Some of these under the radar functions could make a real difference to how we engage, track activity and improve our employer branding efforts. In short, you need to know about these elusive little chaps. Here’s a handpicked selection just for you.

Facebook.

Facebook keeps making massive strides when it comes to business and engagement. It has risen through the ranks, becoming a key player in a brand’s big strategy. Some of its lesser known features are ridiculously handy and criminally underused.

  • Scheduling Feature - Facebook’s scheduling trick allows you to schedule posts in advance, not far off the likes of HootSuite and such. When they say a good scheduling feature is hard to find, they ain’t kidding - it’s near impossible here as it’s so well hidden! Just start creating your post as usual, click the downwards arrow next to Post, select Schedule Post, choose your date and time and click Schedule. Done.
  • Follow rather than Friend - If you’re curious about a feed but don’t want to commit to a full Friending, opt to Follow instead. The only downside here is that both parties need to have the feature switched on so go onto yours and turn it on now. This Follow button rests in their Profile bar on their page and allows you to see their news feed without being Friends. Genius.
  • Share Files in Facebook chat - Plenty of teams use Facebook chat as their means of communication. Whether it be business or social, it’s always handy to have direct access to your departments with a click. Well now you can even share files via the chat, just go to Settings when in your chat window and select Add Files. Super simple but super handy.
  • Hello post advanced stats - We all recognise the little ‘X people reached’ that rests at the bottom of page posts but did you know a simple click on this notification unlocks an advanced stat page? Yep, just click to reveal a full rundown of Likes, shares and comments, as well as activities took. No bad eh.

Twitter

It’s clear that Twitter is more than digital noticeboard. It’s become a hub of engagement opps, killer content and company culture, and it keeps getting bigger and better. Some of its secret features are pretty nifty indeed.

  • Create a collection of Tweets - You can create your very own custom timeline full of chosen by you tweets. It’s a great tool for sharing a brand’s body of Twitter work or as a record of your own social activities. Hop onto TweetDeck and select the ‘Custom Timeline’ column, then just drag and drop your hand picked tweets into the column. Perfect for embedding in a blog post.
  • Mute Feature - We’ve all been in a scenario when we’re trying to get down to Twitter business but our lovely, and very vocal, friends’ posts litter our newsfeeds. Well, why not just Mute them? You don’t unfollow them and they know nothing of the muting, it’s just a nice way to escort them away from your feed for a while. Just click on More and then Mute, you can Unmute them at any point.
  • Embed Slideshare presentations into your Tweet - You can view whole Slideshare presentation without leaving Twitter thanks to this nifty function. It’s pretty invaluable for those who believe content is king. The platform has made it super simple, just link to the presentation and Twitter will embed it automatically. And it works for Slideshare videos too.
  • Analytics galore - Monitoring your Tweets is key to keeping engagement evergreen. And Twitter makes this even easier now by giving you free access to timeline data on engagements, follows, link clicks, favourites, the lot. As long as you’ve had your profile for over 14 days, you’re golden. You can even add it into a handy Excel file.

LinkedIn.

All hail the professional platform king. Yep, it’s kind of the boss of business social media. We all know its value yet some of its coolest features aren’t quite so well known.

  • Download a list of your connections - How handy is this! You can have their name, title, company name and email, all in one handy spreadsheet. There’s a million and one things this could be useful for. Just click Connections in the top menu and then select Export LinkedIn Connections.
  • Add hidden notes under a connection’s profile - If you have a booming connection list, this feature is super handy. Networking is all about the details, something that can be tough when you a lot of connections to remember. Not anymore! Did you know you can add reminder notes to a profile without anyone seeing it? Just click Relationship under their profile pic and add your note. You can even create tags to group these people together. Just click on the tag key and create your own.
  • Save a job search (or ten) - Searching for a job on LinkedIn can take more than one login session so save yourself time by saving the search, click Save Search in the top corner of the page. You can save up to ten at one time. Nice.
  • Embed media files on your profile - A good profile needs to be informative and engaging, that means going beyond text. You can add videos, links, audio, Slideshare presentations and more by clicking Edit Profile and getting busy. Jazz up your profile with one click.

Instagram.

If you don’t use Instagram, you don’t really care about company culture. It’s a tool built for sharing values, personality and the inner workings of a business. Yes it’s fun and less formal than other networks but it holds real marketing value.

  • Add borders to your image - It might seem like a little detail but when your image is the only thing that matters, this can make a big difference to your message. We all know about the Instagram filters available, well just tap your desired filter twice and you can add a border to your pic too. Maybe add these to promotion or competition posts to differentiate them from your usual posts?
  • Go private - Perhaps more hidden than secret, this function is more of a reminder of a much underused feature. When was the last time you used the Direct option when posting? We all opt for Followers usually, posting our images for all to see but why not create a member only campaign by posting private videos and images to a selected few. Who doesn’t love exclusivity?

Google+.

It exploded onto the social scene with a bang and it continues to remain a social staple for networking, posting and the ever useful Hangout. Blending professional and personal very nicely indeed, it holds a few hidden treasures that can maximise your profile’s impact.

  • Use empty Circles as content banks - You can create a Circle without anyone in it you know. These are great for using as a bookmarking tool, just save interesting posts to this empty Circle for easy use later. You can even share or invite people to that Circle to view the goodies.
  • Create a photo slideshow as your profile pic - Your photos can do more to demonstrate your personality than any CV. Google+ allows you to create a tailored photo slideshow collection that can be scrolled through when a user clicks on your profile pic. Go to the Photos menu and select Profile Photo Collection.

As social networks become more serious about their capabilities, this list will go on indefinitely. Not every function comes to light via a massive announcement, sometimes you need to get your hands dirty and really explore what your networks can do for you. We all know that a blanket social approach is rarely a good idea (using all social networks for the same engagements to rack up numbers) so let’s get personal with our tools once again. Let’s push what we can do on our selected platforms and step out of our everyday comfort zone to try something a little different.

Do you like this stuff? Then join over 21,000 other awesome people who get tips on improving their employer brand, recruitment, marketing and the odd spot of career advice delivered directly to their inbox from me!

Twitter snippets.

  • (Click to tweet) Our social networks are harbouring functions and features we don’t know about?!
  • (Click to tweet) Some of these under the radar functions could make a real difference to you.
  • (Click to tweet) These hidden treasures are almost like little treats reserved for those die hard users.
  • (Click to tweet) Facebook keeps making massive strides when it comes to business and engagement.
  • (Click to tweet) Get your hands dirty and really explore what your networks can do for you.