The time you invest in automating something should eventually pay off in the time you save. I haven’t yet found this to be true when trying to consolidate my social media. Around and around I’ve been going with end in sight. My goal is to post something to my blog and then for it to fan out in a beautiful display of modern efficiency to Twitter and Facebook personal page and my “fan” page.
Sure, I could go to each one and link, or just go to the fan page and link it up, but meh. I know I would get distracted. The biggest problem is that most app widgets want you to choose either your FB Home page or, if even an option, your fan page. If I didn’t want to have the blog go to the fan (or as I like to call it, my “writer”) page then I’m golden. The native widgets get it all done.
But getting to that Fan page is tricksy. Real tricksy. I’ve looked at Hootsuite.com and after much cussing at the fact it won’t recognize passwords and doesn’t connect to my primary blog, I pretty much have it figured out. But I’m not a super big fan of posting from Hootsuite. I don’t want to pay the $9.99/month for Pro versions for my modest needs. The free version limits you to five streams. Just to clarify, Your Facebook homepage and your Facebook Fan page count as two.
Enter IFTTT to (sort of) save the day. IFTTT stands for If This Then That. It is a collection of recipes that does what the title says. You can select a recipe that takes each tweet and posts it to Facebook fan pages. Yay! There are a variety of recipes designed to save you time. Saving files to Dropbox or transferring things to Evernote are only a few of the things IFTTT can do. When I started looking at Hootsuite, this is what I expected it to do.
So this is now how I understand things to work:
- Posts from Hootsuite can immediately go onto selected social media sites. They do not really post from one thing to the other for you. I have things going from social media site to others through the respective site’s native widgets. It looks like you could work around using RSS feeds but at some point, I need to respect my boundaries and the fact I don’t have forever to perfect this,
- IFTTT can have a post on one site lead to that being posted on another site. It also has many other handy tools to organize and automate online life.
- Native app widgets like the ones you find in WP to connect to twitter, or vice versa, are great. It might be useful to make a flowchart of the apps where you post to and where they go. You could probably do it through judicious use of native apps, unless you want to post to Fan and Home page on FB because then you have to choose.
- Facebook Fan Pages are very awkward beasts.
I’m pretty happy with IFTT at the moment. Now I’ll have to see how badly the double posts are going. For some of you, this posting will be full of errors and obvious information. Let me know if I need to change anything. I’m still working on my skills. Hopefully, this article is helpful for people who are looking for simple ways to get their content across different social media venues.
Wishing everyone a minimum of frustration in their quest for social media mastery.
Quick Update (which didn’t take that long): I’ve got everything going where I want it to go, but it doesn’t look so beautiful on the FB Fan page. So there is a link, but it is not enticing. It may be that it’s coming from Twitter.
Update #2: Definitely make your own recipes. It doesn’t require any coding. You just push buttons and enter info. I made a WP->FB fan page recipe of my own and that makes much more attractive links. I still have blog links going through twitter and so there is a bit of double posting. I will have to make some decisions. But making choices is a different skill set than making choices possible.