Simple Answers to Crazy Social Media Questions You Need to Know

Simple Answers to Crazy Social Media Questions You Need to Know

Simple Answers to Crazy Social Media Questions You Need to Know

Clients are often embarrassed to ask certain questions about social media. And often, what they do ask is surprising. So I’ll answer a few actual questions from clients.

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If I Follow Someone, Am I Advertising for Them?

No. People can usually see who you’re following, unless you have a private account, but you’re not advertising for those you follow. However, you will see the posts of those you follow in your stream unless you do something to silence them. And you can tailor what you see. For instance, you can mute someone on Twitter and still be following them. If you feel obligated to follow someone, muting is a good option.

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What is a Hashtag?

A hashtag is the pound sign (#), followed by a word or series of words. It is used to organize posts, and you can measure them by following (usually just clicking on) a hashtag. For more about hashtags, see this article: Hashtag Wins and #Fails.

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Why Do I Need a Hashtag?

You don’t. That is, they’re optional. But hashtags do help you find and organize posts about similar topics, so they’re very helpful. And you can have your own custom hashtag, too. Anything that saves you time on social media, is a win for you! For instance, if you have a conference or business event, you could ask everyone to use the same hashtag. Be sure to check that your proposed hashtag isn’t being used for something shady, though.

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Do I Have to Pay to Play on Social Media?

No, it’s not mandatory. But it’s more and more difficult to get actual engagement (eyes on your ads or posts) if you don’t pay. You can pay as little as $3 to boost a post on Facebook, though. My suggestion is to smart with a small budget and measure, so you don’t lose a lot of money.

If you don’t want to pay, you can also engage more with others (that is, comment on their posts), and that will drive your engagement up, as my friend Robert Nissenbaum suggests.

You might like this article Pay to Play is the Future of Social Media?

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Can I Like My Own Posts?

You most certainly can, but you might have better luck on social media if you let your followers like your posts instead. After all, you put the post up, so by default you already like it, right?

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Do I Have to Be on ALL the Social Networks?

Not at all. There are so many, that I’d just choose the top social networks for your followers. For instance, your followers might not be on Snapchat or Pinterest, but they probably are on Facebook. Some people just choose one platform and stick with that one. You might want to choose two to start with. And usually I recommend that you at least squat on those that you won’t actively use, so you can reserve the name.

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Where Can I Find Good Content to Post?

Search for things your audience might be interested in reading. And you can always recycle content, too. Don’t forget about their lifestyle!

Have Questions?

Don’t be embarrassed to ask! Leave a comment and/or question, and I promise to get back to you! And thank you.


  1. Great stuff! I’d add that hashtags are an amazing branding tool. Registering on for your business and using it on every post allows your content to be identifiable anywhere and searchable in Google.

    • Hi Robert,

      Thanks for the info about branding using hashtags. I’d used the hashtags for conferences and the like, but not for branding per se. Such a great use of hashtags.


  2. A great post, Carol – of course, I’d expect nothing less from you!!!! I learned a few things and I always do from reading your blog. I know I often use too many hashtags (more than 3) – can you consider starting a local support group called “Hashtag Addiction Anonymous”???? ;) Hope you’re staying warm & cozy this COLD morning!!!!! Xo

    • Hi Dyane,
      Well, it depends on where you are using the hashtags! Twitter = 1-2, but on Instagram you can use 10+ hashtags. And on Pinterest 4-20 hashtags. So if you really, really love hashtags, head over to Instagram or Pinterest!

      I’m staying warm this morning because I haven’t been outside yet! Maybe when the weather warms up a little, I’ll go outside. You stay warm, too!!!

      Thanks for the comment, as always!

  3. Hi Carol,
    Great information as always. And from reading your reply to Dyane, I learned 4-20 hashtags are okay on Pinterest. I wondered what the numbers were on that. I had been going with three or four.
    Thanks again.

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