Automate Your Social Sharing: If This Then That and Buffer
Here’s a quick tip for those who are active in Social Media – or still struggling to find the time to become/stay active.
Social is mostly about sharing – either your ideas of ideas of others. Many times those other ideas are in the form of links to content that these other people have created online.
I find that sharing interesting links to my social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Google +) can be greatly automated with one tool – Google Reader.
Google Reader allows you to subscribe to updates (RSS feeds) from web pages and read them without having to leave Reader and visit each page individually.
Where this gets interesting (and becomes a timesaver) is Google Reader has a built in “send to” menu (see below) that allow you to share stories with your social networks.
However going through “send to” (which can be custom configured for additional social sharing sites – see this) is slow. If you’re using a mobile client on a smartphone you may not have the automated way to share your content — though most mobile clients allow you to “star” reader content which flags it in a special way that a new integration takes advantage of.
What you can do instead is couple your Google Reader account with a tool called Buffer which allows you to setup time delayed posting to your Twitter or Facebook account.
At first you might wonder why you would time delay posting.
It’s simply to avoid overwhelming your followers with a big burst of content sent at the same time.
Most of us review and share during certain times of the day (morning, lunch, evening). Without a way to spread that content out during the day you’ll be bombarding those you follow with many links or updates – then nothing for the rest of the day.
Buffer allows you to spread your posts to Twitter (and soon Facebook) throughout the day (you setup your schedule of when to post) to avoid overwhelming those who follow you.
Now if you use Buffer with a web based tool called If This Then That you can create a method where items you “star” in Google Reader are quickly shared out to your Buffer account which in turn distributes them to your social network on the time period you’ve established rather than all bunched up during one compressed time.
This shortens your sharing process from several clicks – to one.
While some people prefer to update their sharing sites manually during the day – automated tools such as Buffer (http://www.bufferapp.com) and http://www.ifttt.com can help you more evenly spread your updates throughout the day and avoid overwhelming those who are following your updates.