Automation to the rescue
Right now, your head is probably spinning from the number of things you need to keep track of. But help is at hand. You can automate most tasks so that you only have to do something once and you can spread it throughout your network. Here are some examples:
- Your post on Twitter can appear on your Facebook Page and vice versa
- A link to your latest blog post can be sent automatically to your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts
- If you prefer email, you can have all the activity sent to you in summary emails, and you can respond from your email
From within your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, you can connect to other networks. For instance, your Twitter account can connect to your Facebook account so that a tweet will also appear as a status update on Facebook.
- Facebook. To connect to Twitter: Go to facebook.com/twitter
- Twitter. To connect to Facebook: Login to Twitter, go to Settings > Profile > Post Your Tweets to Facebook
- LinkedIn. To connect to Twitter: Login to LinkedIn, go to Settings > Manage Your Twitter Settings
- WordPress.com. Connect to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and others: Login to WordPress.com, go to Settings > Sharing. For self-hosted WordPress blogs, there are numerous excellent extensions for social sharing.
This provides simple automation between networks. If you want more control, a better option is to use a social media dashboard.
Social media dashboards
These tools take automation to another level, letting you connect and manage several social networks from a single ‘dashboard’. You can use this dashboard on a computer or a mobile device like a smartphone so you remain connected and ready to respond wherever you are.
- Manage several social media profiles, for instance your personal identity and a business identity, or multiple authors or books
- Display and manage posts from several profiles on the same page
- Schedule posts
- For larger sites, manage access by multiple users to your social media accounts
- Monitor and analyse your social media activity
Well-known examples are:
- HootSuite (http://hootsuite.com). Probably the best all-rounder, supports all the major social networks, including Facebook Pages as well as Profiles, and WordPress blogs. Lots of features to manage users, posts and scheduling of posts, plus excellent analysis and monitoring tools. Free and paid versions. Best all-rounder for most small to mid-size users.
- Buffer (http://bufferapp.com). Supports multiple accounts and multiple team members. You can access Buffer from the web, mobile apps or from its integration with a number of popular news reader apps. Includes a basic free plan that will be fine for most individual users as well as paid versions for more features.
- Socialdraft (http://socialdraft.com). A standout feature is the calendar which allows you to view, create, schedule and manage all your posts from one or more users, across multiple networks, via a very slick editorial calendar interface. If you’ve got a lot going on, this is a great visual way to manage it. No free version but there’s a 14 day free trial.
- HubSpot (http://www.hubspot.com). HubSpot is aimed at the largest users with features and a price tag to match. No free version.
- Sprout Social (http://sproutsocial.com). A HootSuite alternative that will suit a lot of small to mid-size publishers juggling several accounts and pages. No free version but there’s a 30-day free trial.
Find out more about this topic on our Digital Publishing 101 useful resources site
- VIDEO: Here’s a review and demo of HootSuite (9:31) which will also give you a good idea of how social media dashboards work.
Find out more about this topic on our Digital Publishing 101 useful resources site.