There’s so much to see and so much to do on social media that some of the fun stuff is bound to slip through the cracks. Which features of Facebook, Twitter, and the other major social networks have perhaps slipped under our noses? Buffer went hunting for some of these little-known features and came up with over two dozen new tricks and tools to try for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Some of our favorites of these 30 little-known features include:
Little-Known Facebook Features
1. Follow rather than friend
Here’s a fun one to wrap your head around: You can follow someone without friending them, and others can follow you without friending you.
Here’s how it works: When you’re on the profile page of someone who has this feature turned on, you’ll see a “Follow” button to click, along with an “Add as Friend” option.
When you follow someone, you see their posts in your news feed, just as you would when you become friends with someone. The big difference between friending and following is that there need not be a reciprocation from the other person. For instance, if you want to see what Jay Baer posts but Jay Baer doesn’t return your friend request, you can follow instead.
To turn on the follow feature for your own profile, go to your Facebook settings. Click on the Followers link in the left-hand menu, and change “Who Can Follow Me” from “Friends” to “Everyone.”
2. Manage Your “Posts to Page”
Other people can post to your business page by tagging your name in their updates. These posts from others land in the sidebar section below your photos. It’s some prime real estate, and if pruned correctly, it can be an asset to your page.
- Check regularly for spam.
- Check regularly for customer service opportunities.
- Check for ways to engage with those who mention you.
And maybe you’ll even find something worth re-sharing to your main page.
3. Fast advanced stats for any page post
You’re likely familiar with the “X people reached” note at the bottom of all your page posts.
Have you ever clicked on it?
Here’s what you see:
These insights, which you could also conceivably grab from Facebook analytics, show you all sorts of cool stats like the breakdown of likes, comments, and shares, as well as how your post looks in the feed and which actions people took regarding the post.
Assorted useful features
- Receive email from your Facebook email address. You can email me at [email protected], and the message will come straight to my regular Gmail account. The same goes for you and your Facebook profile. Your Facebook email is your username on Facebook, plus @facebook.com.
- Check your “other” messages. When you click through to your messages page, you’ll see the default view of your latest messages in your inbox. If you look to the top of the left sidebar, you’ll see “Inbox” and “Other.”
- Embed any Facebook post. Click the drop-down arrow in the top, right corner of any Facebook post, and choose the option to Embed.
Assorted whimsical features
- Change your Facebook language to Pirate or Upside Down. From your settings page, go to Language and choose your weird language of preference.
- Visit facebook.com/us for a timeline with your significant other. Facebook collects all the images and moments you share together into a nice little memento based on who you’re “in a relationship with.”
- Secret emoji. Here are fun tips for Facebook secret emoji.
(y) = thumbs-up ‘like’ symbol
(^^^) = a great white shark
:|] = a robot
:poop: = well, you know
<(“) = a penguin
:Putnam: = the head of former Facebook engineer, Chris Putnam who left the company in 2010
Little-Known Twitter Features
1. Create a collection of tweets
Twitter allows users to compose a custom timeline, containing only the tweets you choose to include. These collections are made possible via Tweetdeck, Twitter’s free management dashboard app.
Add a new “Custom timeline” column to your Tweetdeck dashboard, and drag-and-drop the tweets you wish to add. This custom timeline gets its own URL on Twitter, and you can embed a timeline into a blogpost or page.
2. Manage Twitter via SMS
You can turn on tweeting via text message from your Twitter settings, and you’ll receive a custom number where you can send tweets, reply to users, favorite, retweet, follow, unfollow, and a whole lot more. Twitter’s SMS options are deep. Here are a few popular ones:
D [username] + message – sends that person a Direct Message that goes to their device, and saves in their web archive.
SET LOCATION [place name] – updates the location field in your profile. Example: set location San Francisco
GET [username] – retrieves the latest Twitter update posted by that person. You can also use g [username] to get a user’s latest Tweet. Examples: get goldman or g goldman.
FOLLOW [username]: allows you to start following a specific user, as well as receive SMS notifications. Example:FOLLOW jerry
3. Mute Feature
Rather than unfollowing someone you’d rather not hear from, you can mute the account for as long as you’d like. This can be helpful if you’re looking to manage your Twitter stream or if you want things a bit quieter while others are participating in chats or tweet bursts.
You can access the mute option from any tweet. Click on the “More” drop-down and choose “Mute” from the list of options. You can go back and “unmute” later by visiting the person’s profile.
5 Little-Known LinkedIn Features
1. Download a list of your connections
You can download into a spreadsheet—via a number of different formats—a full list of your connections, including their name, current title, current company name, and email address. Click on Connections in the top menu at LinkedIn, then click the gear icon that appears in the top, right corner of your connections page. In the advanced settings, the first option will be to Export LinkedIn Connections.
2. Message someone you’re not connected with
If you want to get in touch with someone on LinkedIn but you have yet to make the one-to-one connection, you can try this workaround. Join a common group.
Group members can message each other even without a direct connection. Click on the person’s name in the group, and you’ll see an option to “Send message” in the drop-down under Follow.
3. Save a job search
After performing a search at LinkedIn, you have the option to save this search via any search results page. The “Save Search” link is located in the top, right corner. You can save up to 10 searches at a time, and you can set alerts about how often to be notified.
Little-Known Instagram Features
1. Save an image
If you’re interested in saving the original, pre-filters image you took via Instagram (and you’ve not turned on “Save Original Photos” setting), you can tap on the three-dot icon on the picture page, choose “Copy Share URL,” paste the URL into your phone’s browser, then save the image by long-pressing on the pic and choosing the save option.
Alternately, if you happen to be on a computer and find a picture you’d love to save, you can grab it via the page’s source code. For instance, in Chrome, you can right click on the image and choose “Inspect Element.” This will bring up a window containing the code of the page, and a highlighted section for the image you right-clicked. If you hover over the first link in this highlighted section, it will reveal the picture. Right-click this image link, and choose Open Link in New Tab. Then you can save the picture via the new tab.
2. Add a border to your image
In addition to Instagram filters, you can also add borders to your image. Via the app, choose the filter first, then tap the filter again to reveal a box icon you can tap to add a border.
3. How to make a collage
Have you ever seen a collage of pictures on Instagram and wondered how in the world people did that? Well, they didn’t use Instagram directly. These collages come from photo-editing apps where you can piece together pictures, save to your Camera Roll, then upload to Instagram.
The same goes for adding/uploading images you might make on your computer. Sync your photos on your computer to your photo folder on your mobile device, and you can add these shots directly to Instagram.
To find out all of the little-known features and hidden gems, read the full article here.