There are several web applications, both paid and free, that provides site owners the ability to sync and post social media updates to multiple platforms. It is even harder to find an online tool that can ensure a steady stream of updates to keep your followers and subscribers engaged. With so many social media networks popping up, it takes effort to setup your marketing channels, and even more time to make sure you are not neglecting any of your audience in any particular social media site.
The Idea in a Nutshell
In this guide, I use two free web applications, Buffer & If This Then That (IFTTT), to automate and schedule my social media posts and efforts. Using Buffer I can space out my social or blog updates to achieve maximum exposure over 24/7. However now that I’m able to schedule the posts, I need to feed the Buffer account with more updates to last 24 hours or more. To achieve this, I use If This Then That.
If This Then That (IFTTT)
Currently Buffer only supports 3 social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. For those who are not familiar with this new powerful web application, not to worry, since it is very simple. IFTTT executes tasks when conditions pre-determined by you are triggered – for example, when a new tweet, retweet, or a tweet with a #hash is made by you, you can use ifttt to activate another task such as thanking someone for retweeting your tweets.
As I’m usually not on my desk, I use Buffer iPhone app frequently to update my status and post interesting information to share. Out of the 3 social media sites supported by Buffer, I only post updates to Twitter, and let ifttt disseminate the updates (to other sites) base on the tasks I have created on ifttt. I feel this is more time effective rather than updating 3 social media services separately on Buffer.
There are many useful recipes that comes with different options for you to choose and use. You can search for the following recipes:
- Quickly add updates to your Buffer account by sending text messages to ifttt. All US and many international carriers are supported, however take note that charges will apply.
- Adds your favourite tweets to Buffer to be sent out periodically.
- Send ifttt any message from Google Talk to space out posting to Twitter/Facebook
- Add any new Diigo/Delicious bookmark to Buffer, for sharing on Twitter & FB
- Love to take lots of photo? This is for you – new photos added to your Instagram will be shared automatically via Buffer.
- For those who read daily with Google Reader, you can *Star* an article to get it posted via Buffer at a better time on Twitter or FB
- To be selective about the articles in Google Reader that gets added to Buffer queue, you can use this. It only send items/articles that are tagged with “Buffer”, or from a specific folder.
- Not sure what to tweet most of the time? Or need to make your Facebook timeline look better? Load in a RSS through Buffer and drip-feed the updates.
There are many receipes shared by users that you can search for. The possibilities are endless. If you cannot find what you want, you can create it. Creating tasks/receipes is very intuitive, simply begin by choosing the platform, then set the trigger conditions, after that choose what action/task you want to be executed when conditions are triggered. That’s all!
Leverage the Use of Email with Buffer
Similar to most social media tools and blogging systems, we can update our Buffer queue with email. Some may think this is redundant, but here are a few good reasons why it’s good to have and how you can use it:
- You are on a public PC or Internet cafe, and want to send an interesting article you just read, to your friends, followers and audience. Sending an email to your Buffer account is one of the fastest and easiest way. This is also a very good work around when you can’t remember your Buffer password.
- You can CC a copy to yourself (for reminder) or update individuals who are not in your social media network.
- Similar to #2, you can email update other social media sites at the same time. For example, I can send an email update to Buffer, Facebook group and Evernote account, and save me the time on launching three applications and duplicating my efforts.
- For those working offline, or don’t get Internet connection often, this method will increase your efficiency. Just write whatever you want to update via Buffer, and place them into your Outbox. Emails that are in your Outbox gets send whenever you get connected, a great way to replenish your Buffer queue.
To update from a desktop PC, iMac or laptops, just send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, where the subject is your content and the link in you want in the email body. Remember to send from the email address you registered with Buffer.
To update from a mobile device, such as iPhone, just navigate to the app’s setting and tap on “Add Buffer by Email”. Buffer will generate a secret email on your phone, so that you can quickly load up whenever you need it.
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