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Stop Socializing! Auto-Share Social Media Updates and Get Back to Blogging

This guest post is by Fred Perrotta of Tortuga Backpacks.

As a blogger, you should be spending at least 80% of your time creating killer content.

The problem is that that leaves just 20% of your time to split between time-intensive (but important) activities like social networking, ad sales, new product creation, and marketing.

In this post, you’ll learn how to automatically share your blog posts to your social networks.

You’ll set up your system once and then never worry about manually sharing your posts again.

Now you can spend your time connecting with likeminded bloggers, responding to comments, and making money instead of copying and pasting the same update all over the web.

Your new best friend: IFTTT

Your auto-sharing system will use online connections service IFTTT (If This, Then That).

You may have heard of IFTTT from previous stories on Problogger, which showed how to use it for content curation and posting to WordPress by email.

IFTTT (pronounced like “lift” without the “l”) is a service that creates connections between your social networks, RSS feeds, and even email.

With IFTTT, you connect a “trigger” (like a new post in your RSS feed) with an “action” (like posting to Twitter) to create a “recipe”. IFTTT feed trigger

Read on to learn how to use existing IFTTT recipes to automate your social sharing.

Automatically share on Twitter

Use this RSS to Twitter recipe to automatically tweet new blog posts.

Note that you’ll need to customize this template to use your RSS feed.

You can also customize the tweet itself using plain text and “ingredients” like the post title and URL.

IFTT action tweet

Automatically share on Tumblr

IFTTT is even customizable enough to handle Tumblr’s multiple post types.

Use this feed to Tumblr link recipe to share a link to your latest blog post on Tumblr.

Sharing a link, rather than the full post, is good for your SEO and will prevent duplicate content issues.

Run an image-heavy photo blog? Use this RSS to Tumblr photo recipe to create a photo post.

Using the templates linked above, you’ll be able to customize the body of your Tumblr post, the source URL, and the tags. Even though you’re not posting directly from Tumblr, you can still utilize all of its functionality.

Automatically share on LinkedIn

LinkedIn sharing works much the same way as Twitter and Tumblr.

Use this RSS to LinkedIn recipe to share your next blog post on your LinkedIn profile.

Sharing on LinkedIn is highly recommended for B2B bloggers.

Why you can’t auto-share on Google+ or Pinterest (yet)

Unfortunately, neither Google+ nor Pinterest have a public write API, so IFTTT doesn’t have recipes for posting to either site.

For now, you can post updates manually or skip them altogether. Make your own decision based on the importance of these networks to your business and the relevance of their audiences to your blog.

The problem with Facebook…

Facebook is the hardest network to automate because its EdgeRank algorithm demotes posts made from third-party sites like IFTTT.

That’s right: if you’re not creating your posts on Facebook, your fans probably aren’t seeing them.

Even when you’re posting on Facebook, only 16% of fans see a given post. Don’t let this number slip even lower!

For Facebook, you have two options:

  1. Use Facebook’s new WordPress plugin to create a Facebook link post from within WordPress. You can even tag people and pages from within the widget, which is shown in your sidebar when you’re writing a new post. Since this is an official Facebook plugin, you don’t have to worry about your posts being penalized.
  2. Post to Facebook manually. Yes, this seems to go against the point of this post, but you can set up the rest of your sharing so that this is the only manual post you’ll have to make.

If Facebook drives a significant amount of traffic to your blog, manual posting is worthwhile.

The other advantage is that you can post a picture (with a link in the text) rather than just a link. Pictures are prioritized over links (which the plugin above would create), so more of your fans will see a picture post than a link post.

Darren himself had 18x better results from posting a picture rather than just a link.

Problogger Facebook image post

Have you automated your social sharing yet?

Using the strategies in this post, you can free up most of the time you used to spend sharing every post you published. Even for low-volume blogs, this is huge.

Have you automated your social sharing yet? If so, how are you spending your new free time?

Fred Perrotta is the co-founder of Tortuga Backpacks and a freelance marketing consultant.

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Comments

  1. Syed Balkhi says:

    I highly believe in automation to an extent. If you just use IFTTT to push things out, then you are a 1 way source. You still have to engage with your followers. Also, instead of using IFTTT to tweet, I like using it to Buffer. For ex. If I add something in my reading list, then IFTTT will automatically add it in my buffer (which then finds a good time to tweet it out for me). That type of automation is good and helpful for everyone.

    If you just use RSS to Twitter, then it can get really annoying really fast.

    Just my 2 cents. P.S. I love IFTTT :)

  2. @stuartflatt says:

    Great idea if you want to automate potentially one of your biggest traffic sources and alienate many of your readers. People (and I include cyber people) will soon realise everything you post is automated and are much less likely to respond and click on that link.

    Chances are your title will be shorted, include keywords etc. Do you really want that going out to everyone with no thought? What about hashtags?

    Sharing should be hand-written, thought out snippets of information. With each social platform tailored differently. There is no ‘one size fit’s all’ when it comes to social and the different platforms.

  3. Daniele says:

    I share automatically on my Google+ page. I use Hootsuite. And, yes, I share my posts automatically on Twitter, I use Feedburner, and on my Facebook fan pages, I use the app RSS Graffiti.

    • Glad to see that you’re sharing automatically. One suggestion would be to consolidate all of those connections into one place, like Hootsuite or IFTTT.

  4. I just use a WordPress plugin that auto shares my posts to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. I then share those posts myself to Google+ and Pinterest.

    I also use Buffer to set up re-shares at specific times to Twitter according to my Crowdbooster recommendations.

    And I do the same on Tumblr using their Queue system to share archived posts.

  5. Daniele says:

    Just for information, Google Plus has released public API: https://developers.google.com/+/api/

  6. Rashelle says:

    @Syed I completely agree with you, automation can only do so much. You still do have to engage with followers at some point. I too use Buffer and love it because I can still be social by crafting unique tweets in one sitting and have the time to work on other things. It makes it easier for me to focus on replying to tweets etc, later. Haven’t tried IFTTT yet, might give that a go soon.

  7. The latest Jetpack has a neat feature in Publicize so that you can write a custom intro message when you post to various services. I use it for Facebook and it works well.

  8. Since i discovered IFTTT, sharing on Social networks have been quite easier and i don’t have to bother doing it manually, my RSS feeds is automatically grabbed and shared on any of the networks i choose to on a trigger. The result has been tremendous and i will recommend any blogger out there who is looking at managing his time to use this tool, it does not just save you time but also provide you with more choices and the best part is scheduling posts.

  9. Andre Joe says:

    I used wordpress plugin to post automatically to Twitter and Facebook. I guess i need to post it to the other social media too.

  10. Point taken on focusing more on creating content.

    With that said. What did Yoda say?

    Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering

    I say:
    Automation leads to disconnection. disconnection leads to indifference. indifference leads to SPAM.

    There’s a reason why the top celebrities PAY someone to sit down and hand write great tweets if you’re letting a robot talk for you, you’re moving in the wrong direction and missing an opportunity.

    • I totally agree, Darnell. The post doesn’t advocate automating EVERYTHING. That would be a recipe for disaster. Just the routine tasks.

  11. Deni Saputra says:

    Nice share Fred! Yes, it’s totally save more times by using automatic share tools for socialize, then we could spend the rest of time for blogging.
    In fact, we can do automatic share, but NOT with automatic socialize in real.
    We can automatically reply followers messages, comments, etc.

  12. Hello Fred Perrotta!

    It is really important to concentrate more on your blog rather than on social-media! The fact that you can just automate the social updates is crusial and very helpful for the internet marketers! So I vote more for blogging :)!

    Thank you,
    Zouras

  13. I share my links directly on Twitter and linked Facebook fan pages when available using Networked Blogs and Twitterfeed, two older methods that have always worked well for my basic needs. But I cannot state enough how sharing the link yourself with some personalized commentary or a lead is still critical. It also helps spark the conversation as well.

  14. Kevin Ocasio says:

    Nice post Fred, thanks for sharing. I’ve never heard of IFTTT before, so appreciate you introducing it to me. Currently, I’m using the JetPack WordPress plugin which automatically shares my newest post to my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, but I may switch over to IFTTT. I’m all for anything that helps cut back on using too many WordPress plugins :)

  15. I have automatic sharing setup for Twitter. I prefer to post to Facebook by myself. A lot of my time that I spend on social networks involves… Networking – building relationships, starting conversations. Although I wouldn’t call it ‘wasting my time’, it’s definitely easy to get distracted!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • The siren song of social media is hard to resist. Plenty of it is useful but a lot of it is killing time while we convince ourselves it’s helping our business.

  16. Dan Erickson says:

    Autoshare is in, but seems so impersonal.

    • As long as the majority of your updates are customized or include commentary, automating posts from your own blog shouldn’t be a problem. Moderation is always good.

  17. Blogging is the most common type of marketing that you can do if you have an online business. Blogging is already a foundation when it comes to online business. I have no doubt that blogging is still effective than any other ways of online marketing.

  18. Shaun Davis says:

    Ifttt is good but I use hootsuite because it will also post to g+.

  19. Sara says:

    I completely disagree with automation. I used to have everything automated and only spent about 20% of my time on social networks and saw few results. I cut out ALL automation and my twitter followers and Facebook fans increased ten fold in two months. Maybe it’s because I’m a wedding blogger so 99.9 percent of my readers and followers are women and women like to make a connection with the other human being but either way everyone should like to make a connection with whomever it is they are following. A blog is very personal and your social media should reflect that.

  20. Mrali says:

    Yes this i am really dancing on social media and now i am going to stop some time social sites and i am going experienced on my site

    Thanks for the info

  21. Automation has been a life saver for me. I also work full time and can’t do the social networking I want to do during the day and that’s where automation helps out. I know some sites don’t like it. It’s not like all of my interaction is automated; it’s like having a part time assistant who comes in an hour a day and takes care of a few things.

    Thanks for the tips!

  22. Mike Peter says:

    Hi, Darren

    Nice to know about this tips on sharing post automatically, but I have one question in mind,
    1) when we share from this way our link appear in some kind of short form and not exact http://sitename.com but something like url shortner form. So does that make any difference for backlink benefit ? Please clear my confusion