I’ll be the first to admit that the word “hack” is irritatingly overused. It seems like I can’t go a day without coming across yet another Pinterest post promising five hacks for a healthier lifestyles that urges me to “take the stairs” as if I haven’t heard that a thousand times. In many cases, writers use the word hack when what they really mean is “tip” or “idea.” This is not one of those cases.
All four of these social media hacks are just that: tricks for circumventing the limitations of social media platforms and putting them to work in unexpected ways.
Power Up Your Organic Facebook Posts
You may already be using Facebook’s Power Editor to create ads, but that’s not all it’s good for. While Facebook says its purpose is to allow marketers to create hundreds of ads at scale, it’s also useful for customizing organic posts.
As you know, regular organic Facebook posts are already customizable. When you post a link, for example, you can edit the featured image, the headline, and the meta description. The Power Editor allows for even more customization. You can use it to add a CTA button to your post and to edit the display link. The display link would normally show the website you’re linking to (e.g., pardot.com), but in reality, it doesn’t even have to be a URL. Instead, you can use it to highlight some more information about the post or to rephrase your call to action.
One thing to note is that Facebook users are used to sponsored posts having these features, so some of them may assume your organic posts are actually ads. This isn’t necessarily bad, but it is something to keep it in mind when you’re writing copy and creating images.
For a closer look at how to use Facebook Power Editor to spice up your organic posts, take a look at this blog post by 2Checkout.
Browse Twitter Users
Finding Twitter users can be a pain when you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. Tools like Unfollowers use Twitter’s API to simplify this process.
Let’s say I want to identify industry influencers who follow my business on Twitter. With Unfollowers, I can browse all my followers who fit certain specifications. For example, I can narrow the list down to folks who have at least 5000 followers and post at least twice a day.
You can also use this tool to unfollow inactive accounts, root out spambots, and see who has unfollowed you.
Search Google+ Collections
Earlier this month, Google+ introduced a way for users to organize their posts by categories, or collections, much like Pinterest does with boards. Currently, Google+ doesn’t offer a way to search all users’ collections, so CircleCount jumped in to fill the gap.
Not only can you find great collections this way, you can also see how many collections exist for certain keywords. If we know Google at all, it’s only a matter of time before there’s a native search function for collections and they begin to factor into SEO. Until then, you can get ahead of the game by using CircleCount to see how many other collections exist for your keywords and optimizing accordingly.
Optimize Your Instagram
Understandably, Instagram isn’t a top priority for most B2B companies. The app isn’t exactly conducive to generating leads or driving revenue—but it can be extremely useful in less measurable ways. For example, it can be a great recruiting tool because it’s a simple, effective way to show off your company culture. You can also use it to promote your content like we did here, but be careful with this; you’ll lose followers quickly if that’s all you post.
Unfortunately, Instagram doesn’t have built-in analytics that make it easy to optimize your posts and get the biggest bang for your (figurative) buck, and its desktop version is not very user-friendly. That’s where Iconosquare comes in.
Iconosquare is a freemium tool that provides extremely helpful analytics, search functions, and engagement capabilities. Among its many features are the ability to see your most-liked posts, the times and days your community is most engaged, and even which Instagram filters trigger the most likes.
There you have it: four tips—dare I say hacks?—for going beyond the basic functionality of your social media platforms. What other tools and tricks do you use to get around social media limitations? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments.