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businessman 1241110

Three ways social media can do the hard work for you

businessman 1241110

Three ways social media can do the hard work for you

A lot of businesses are put off social media because they simply see it as an irritating fiddly bit in broadcasting their content. They think that it’s one thing to update their blog with fresh and interesting material, but to then have to go and log in to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. is just more work, and repetitive work at that.

What might have skipped their attention is that there are ways to take the manual work out of social media and allow automation to do the job with fewer clicks and less hopping from one site to the next, and all at a time that suits you.

If you’d like to minimise your Twitter tinkering and Facebook faffing, here are three ways you could go about it:

1. Social Broadcasting via WordPress

If you run a WordPress blog, you might deem it necessary to head straight to Twitter and Facebook after you publish anything and draw your followers’ attention to it. You may not be aware, however, that a neat WordPress plugin can save you the time.

With the Social Broadcasting tool, every time you go to publish a piece, WordPress will offer you the below radio buttons asking whether or not you want to broadcast your post via social media.

image A

Should you select ‘Yes’ and click Publish/Schedule, you will be shown a preview of what your tweet/post will look like.

image B

As you can see, Twitter tries to truncate your post to fit its 140-character tweet limit, which can leave you with ugly looking half sentences that don’t catch the eye on somebody’s newsfeed. At the very least, smarten it up a bit so that your tweet contains just the post title and link, but you could even change it to something more clickable like ‘What can social broadcasting do for you? Find out here!’ Just don’t forget to leave the URL for your post in the tweet.

If you need help in locating and installing the plugin needed, your best bet is to read WordPress’ guide to its Social Broadcasting tool.

2. Scheduling

What if you want to post something on Facebook at midnight, such as a ‘Happy New Year’ message? Do you have to leave your glass of champagne, log into Facebook and bash out your message as Big Ben is chiming? Absolutely not! You can do it at a time that suits you, and tell Facebook when you want it to go live.

It’s very easy – when you’ve finished your post, instead of clicking ‘Publish’, click the downward arrow next to it and select ‘Schedule’.

image C

You’ll now be able to schedule your post at the exact time and date of your choice.

Twitter doesn’t let you do this yet, but that brings us to…

3. Dashboard applications

If you’re managing a number of social media accounts across multiple platforms, it might be worth you looking at a tool like HootSuite, through which you can send posts to Facebook, Twitter and Google+ all from one dashboard.

Personally, I’m very fond of TweetDeck, which is a solution to the problem of Twitter not allowing you to schedule. The tool is straightforward to use, with the user just needing to sign up and provide the login details of any Twitter page they manage. Once this is done, it’s possible to schedule tweets at whatever time necessary onto several Twitter accounts, without the need to keep logging in and out.

I hope this demonstrates that a lot can be done on social media without it eating into too much of your time. Though these tools are great and make your life easier, I would still advise to physically log in to social media sites from time to time, as it helps you get a gist of what’s trending and what other people and businesses are saying. This proves that you’re using social media to listen as well as speak.

John Murray

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