Social media moves at the speed of light, so if you're just getting started now, there are conceivably tons of nuances you may have missed. Many people seek out sketchy or outdated Google results instead of asking someone, because they feel these are things they should already know the answer to. Well we think that's just not the best approach, so we compiled a list of those simple social media questions that people seem pretty timid to ask and are providing you the answers so you never again have to perform a panicked Google search or blindly nod your head in agreement during a marketing meeting.
Answers to Your Google+ Questions
1.) Where do I go to create a Google+ business page?
2.) What is the difference between a Google+ Page and a Google+ Profile?
A Google+ Profile is for people, while a Google+ Page is for an entity (like your business!).
3.) Can I add multiple page administrators?
At this time, no. Until this functionality is added, a workaround is creating a team Gmail email address like email@example.com and using this to create your Google+ page. That way, multiple people on your team have access and management of your page is not limited to one person.
4.) What is Direct Connect?
Direct Connect allows searchers to immediately find a Google+ Page in Google search and add it to their Google+ Circles by searching +brandname. Right now, not all Google+ Pages that apply for Direct Connect functionality are given it, but everyone can and should make their page eligible so they are ready when functionality rolls out to everyone.
5.) How do I become eligible for Direct Connect?
6.) Can my Google+ Page add people to Circles or +1 content?
It depends. If someone mentions you or adds you to their Circles first, then your Google+ Page can Circle them. Otherwise, you cannot add people to your Google+ Page Circles. As for +1'ing content, no, you cannot +1 content as a Google+ Page.
7.) Can I add someone to more than once Circle?
You sure can!
8.) What's an Extended Circle?
Extended Circles refer to your Circles' Circles, so content a Google+ user shares with their extended circles will also appear in the incoming stream of people from whom they are one degree removed. Only Profiles can share via Extended Circles though -- not Pages.
9.) Can all business pages participate in a Google+ Hangout, and is there an attendee limit?
Yes, all business pages can make use of the Google+ Hangout feature, but unfortunately the limit is 9 people for almost everyone. Google+ is experimenting with a feature called Hangouts on Air that will remedy this problem and allow people who aren't participating to simply watch the Hangout, but it is not available yet.
10.) Do Google+ Pages and posts appear in search results?
Yes, both the pages and posts appear in search results, which is why integrating Google+ into your social media strategy can also help your SEO. Google continues to roll out more ways in which Google+ is integrated into search results, with four new developments in just the past few weeks.
Answers to Your Twitter Questions
11.) Can I change my Twitter username?
Yes, you can! Simply go to the 'Account' tab on Twitter, and you'll see a field to change your username. Doing this will not wipe out your tweets or followers.
12.) Should I follow back everyone who follows me?
There is not an established industry best practice on this, but let's throw down a definitive answer on whether you should follow someone on Twitter. No, you should not follow back everyone who follows you. However, if that person provides useful or interesting tweets, you should absolutely follow them. Also, keep in mind that being stingy with your follow-backs makes you look...well...stingy. And that's not a good look on anyone.
13.) What is a #hashtag, and how do I use it?
A #hashtag is a way to organize topics and make them easier to filter in Twitter search results. For example, HubSpot uses the hashtag #HoHoHubspot in holiday tweets to indicate the tweet is holiday related, to make it easier for people to find our holiday content on Twitter, and so they can also tag inbound marketing related holiday content in tweets of their own. Using #hashtags is also a great idea for online and offline events, so people at the event and those not in attendance can follow the conversations happening around the event.
14.) How do I use an @reply?
An @reply is a public message sent from one Twitter user to another. You can do this by putting another user's Twitter username after @ somewhere within the body of the tweet. A user's @mentions will appear in the tab @username on that user's homepage. Again, this is not private, so don't say anything you're not comfortable saying to the world!
15.) How do I use a direct message (DM)?
If you need to message another Twitter user in a more private way than the @reply allows, opt for a direct message. These can be sent by clicking the Message link, or typing D Username into the "What's Happening" field. Think of this as Twitter email.
16.) What is a TweetChat?
Also known as a Twitter Chat, a TweetChat is a conversation that happens on Twitter during a pre-designated date and time, usually centered around an industry topic and aggregated through use of a #hashtag. For example, HubSpot hosts tweet chats around marketing topics like search engine optimization with the hashtag #InboundChat.
17.) How do I personalize a retweet?
You can quickly retweet (RT) someone else's tweet by clicking the arrows on the bottom of that tweet, but unfortunately, this doesn't let you personalize the tweet. Instead, perform a manual retweet in four steps by copying the tweet and username, replacing the username with an @reply, typing RT at the front, and adding in your commentary.
18.) What are Twitter Lists, and how do I use them?
Twitter Lists let you group together the tweet streams of people you're most interested in. Create a new list, name it according to those you'll add, and simply input their Twitter usernames to create a more targeted stream of content. These can be private or public, so others can also follow your lists.
19.) How do I find people to follow?
Your follow list will grow organically over time, but the 'Who to Follow' feature on Twitter is a great place to start if you need suggestions. Type in industry keywords and keywords related to topics that interest you. You can also search for the names of people in your industry that you know to see who they are following.
20.) What are Favorites and how do I use them?
Think of Favorites like Twitter bookmarking. When you hover your mouse over a tweet you want to Favorite, click the star so it becomes yellow. That tweet will appear in your Favorites tab on Twitter, and can be referred back to for useful links, kind comments about you or your company, or important pieces of data.
Answers to Your Facebook Questions
21.) What's the difference between a Facebook Profile and a Facebook Page?
As with Google+, a Facebook Profile is for a person, while a Facebook Page is for an entity, like your company.
22.) Oops, I set up a profile instead! Can I transfer it to a page?
Yes, Facebook released a Profile to Business Page Migration Tool this year that lets you do this without losing followers or alerting them of the change. However, your page content and photos are not migrated over. If you have fewer than 100 friends, you also have the option to rename your business page.
23.) When I set up my Facebook Page, can it have more than one administrator?
Yes, as long as each administrator has their own Facebook account. Go to 'Applications,' then select 'Page Manager' to add someone else as a page administrator.
24.) How do I claim my page's vanity URL?
First, you need to have at least 25 Likes (fans) for your page. Once you reach this milestone, go to http://facebook.com/username, click 'Select a Username,' enter your desired username, press 'Check Availability,' and confirm your username once you find the one you like.
25.) What exactly does the 'Talking About This' number on my page measure?
'Talking About This' can be found under the number of Likes on your Facebook Page, and it measures user-initiated activity related to that page. This includes things like: posting to your wall, liking your content, commenting on your content, sharing your posts, sharing content on your page, sharing or mentioning your page, or checking in with you.
26.) What's the pricing structure for paid Facebook Ads?
Facebook Ads run slightly different than Google's PPC ads. Facebook will let you choose a CPM model, in which you pay per thousand ad impressions, or a CPC model, in which you pay for clicks. Click-through rate on Facebook ads is usually low, so a CPC model will likely be the least expensive.
Answers to Your LinkedIn Questions
27.) Can I customize the anchor text in the 'Websites' section of my profile? How?
Yes, and you should, because inbound links to your website with good anchor text drive more traffic. To do so, click 'Edit' next to the 'Website' field on your profile, and select 'Other' in the dropdown menu to customize the anchor text.
28.) Can I message people on LinkedIn if we're not connected?
You can only message people if you have a first degree connection with them or you hold a Premium (paid) account. If you do have a Premium Account, you can do it using OpenLink if the user you're attempting to message allows it.
29.) How can I see who is viewing my profile?
You can only see who is viewing your profile if you let them see when you view theirs. To allow this, click 'Settings' and select "See what others see when you've viewed their profile."
30.) How do I activate status updates for my Company Page?
From your Company Page, click 'Edit' under 'Admin Tools.' If checked, uncheck the box that says "All employees with a valid email registered to the company domain." Then select the 'Designated Users Only' button, and designate who you would like to be an admin under 'Manage Admins.' Only the people you designate as admins will be able to administrate the status updates on your Company Page.
31.) How do I pull in my blog's RSS feed to my LinkedIn Company Page?
Blog feeds can be added to Company Pages via an app called Blog Link. More LinkedIn apps are available in the LinkedIn Apps section of the Learning Center, including a tweet app, a poll app, and a SlideShare app, all of which are excellent additions to turn your LinkedIn company page into an inbound marketing machine.
What simple social media questions have you always wanted an answer to? Share questions and answers to your burning questions in a judgment free zone!
Originally published Dec 7, 2011 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016