If you’re anything like me, you probably use social media every day. Whether you pop on to Facebook to check your news feed or you scan through Twitter for the latest news and views, social media is probably a big part of your life.
Of course, if you use social media to promote your business – and if you don’t, I’d love to hear what’s holding you back – I imagine you spend even more time on social media throughout the week, posting new content, replying to customers’ comments, and keeping an eye on your insights.
But are you using social media as efficiently as you could be? Are you aware of all the time- and hassle-saving features available to business owners? Recently, I’ve been exploring some great social media hacks for hassle-proof marketing.
This week, I’m looking at my Facebook favourite:
- Save links to read at your convenience
My Facebook newsfeed often has some great content but, to avoid the dreaded time-suck, I try not to get distracted by reading articles in the middle of my work day.
Instead, I use Facebook’s fantastic ‘Save link’ feature to store all the articles that interest me in one place. You can find the ‘Save link’ option by clicking on the ‘v’ icon on the top right-hand drop down menu on any post.
Once you have saved a link, you will find it – along with all your other saved links – near the top of the left sidebar of your newsfeed under ‘Favourites’. Clicked on ‘Saved’ and you’ll find an at a glance archive of all the links you’ve saved for later.
- Keep an eye on your ‘Posts to page’
Your customers can post content to your business page by tagging your name with @Yourpagename in their updates. If anyone does tag your page, the posts will appear in the left-hand sidebar under your photos in a section called ‘Visitors posts’.
Check this section regularly for spam, customer comments that need feedback, or enquiries. They all tend to show up here.
- Organise your Facebook business page to your needs
Did you know that you can order the elements in your sidebar? Although the ‘People’ and ‘About’ sections will stay in the top two places, you can drag and drop all the other sidebar categories into the order that best suits your needs.
To access this feature, simply click hover over the title of any of the sidebar sections, and click on the grey pencil icon.
- Gain valuable insights
Facebook provides some useful stats to help you work out when your customers are online and what content they want to see. To find out how people responded to an individual post, you can click on the ‘XX people reached’ message under the post (above where people can comment on it) and Facebook will give you stats about social sharing and much more related specifically to that post.
- Pin a post to the top of your Facebook page
If you have a special post that you want your customers to see, perhaps because you’re launching a new programme or special offer, you can pin it to the top of the page, so it doesn’t get pushed down and out of sight by newer content.
Click on the ‘v’ icon in the top right-hand corner of any of your page posts and select ‘Pin to top’. The post will stay pinned for seven days.
- Create a call to action
It is now possible to add a call to action into your Facebook business page header. This might be inviting people to sign up to your newsletter – with an active link – or be a prompt to contact you, watch a video and much more. This simple step could help drive more traffic through to your website and any listbuilding activities you’re currently promoting.
- Schedule your Facebook posts
Occasionally, we hear from business owners who aren’t aware they can schedule their Facebook page posts. This is a fantastic time saver, which means you can add a batch of posts to your page, and schedule them to go out in advance so that you don’t have to be on the platform on and off all day.
Simply write a post and click on the pulldown menu next to the blue ‘Publish’ button, then hit ‘Schedule’ and you will be able to choose the time and date your post goes live.
- Save a draft of a post
If you have any idea for a Facebook post but you want to think about how you word it or you need to nip out and don’t want to forget what you were going to say, you can use Facebook’s ‘Save draft’ feature. Again, you’ll find this on the pulldown menu next to the ‘Publish’ button.
- Use the ‘Backdate’ feature ethically
Under the same pulldown menu as ‘Schedule’ and ‘Save draft’, you’ll notice there’s a ‘Backdate’ option. This lets you write a post and then backdate it, so it appears further down your timeline, as though it was published on an earlier date.
This feature has attracted some controversy as it means that page admins can now retrospectively add a post to make it look as though they remembered a significant national holiday or responded to a customer complaint or posted a notice when, in fact, they didn’t.
Where this feature can be used more ethically is if you or one of your clients want to move their business from having a Profile page into a Business page. If there have been popular posts, you can copy them across and backdate them to when they were originally posted.
Another ethical reason for backdating posts is if you are adding pictures to your Facebook page that cover a specific event or time period. You might want to backdate the images to the date the event took place, so that everything is grouped together in your timeline.
- Share files via Facebook chat
If you find yourself needing to share files with a colleague or client via Facebook chat, simply click on the gear icon in an open chat window and choose ‘Add files’. This is a quick and easy way to share files immediately.
- Hide posts or unfollow without unfriending
If you feel that your newsfeed is too cluttered, there are steps you can take to see more of the content you want to see and less of the content you don’t. Did you know that you can unfollow a friend, for example, without unfriending them? Simply click on a post a friend has shared, select the right-hand dropdown menu on the post, and select the ‘Unfollow’ option. You will still show up in their friends list but you won’t see any of their content in your news feed.
On your business page, you can click on the dropdown menu in posts to access various ‘Hide’ options, whether you want to see less content of that type, less from that page or nothing at all from a specific business.
- Tweak your newsfeed
Continuing on the theme of pruning your newsfeed, if you find the ‘News feed’ option in the left-hand sidebar of your Home page and hover your mouse to the left of it, a small grey gear icon will appear. Click on this to edit your Newsfeed preferences. You can choose the people and pages you always want to see in your newsfeed, as well as any you want to unfollow. In addition, you can choose to re-follow people you currently don’t have in your newsfeed.
- Your ‘Other’ inbox
In addition to your main Facebook inbox, you have an ‘Other’ inbox, which is where messages go from people who aren’t friends but have perhaps messaged you personally after seeing that you run a business rather than messaging you via your Facebook page. It’s worth keeping an eye on your ‘Other’ inbox in case a stray message ends up in there that you really needed to see.
To find your ‘Other’ inbox, click on the Messaging icon on the top menu next to your name, Home and friends request icon, and select ‘Other’, which you’ll find to the right of ‘Inbox’.
- Create interest lists
Facebook has a little known feature called ‘Interest lists’ where you can group pages you like according to your interests. Let’s imagine you’re into health and nutrition, for example. Simply go onto a page you want to add to your interest lists and click on the pulldown menu next to ‘Liked’ once you have liked the page, then choose the ‘Add to interest lists’ option. Facebook will then prompt you to create an interest list if you don’t already have a suitable list. If you want to look at all the fresh content from the Health and Nutrition pages you’ve liked, simply click on ‘Interests’ in the left-hand sidebar of your newsfeed, and you’ll see a newsfeed that entirely comprises pages from the specific interest list.
- Aaarrgghhh, have some fun, me hearties
Feeling fed up and fancy some Facebook silliness? Go into your Facebook settings, click on ‘Language’ and choose ‘English (Pirate)’ or ‘English (Upside down)’. I guarantee you’ll have a blaaaaast!
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