Automating your social overload
Published on 12th October 2014
If you've done any time in Social Media Management, you might have learned to dread the 17:29 request to 'post this [conference report/cat video] up everywhere'. You write up your copy for Facebook, paste it in to Tumblr, drop it into Twitter, notice a typo and promptly resign to pursue bee-keeping.
The answer we have in the Hiive offices is automation. We're only a little team, and if one person was to monitor just our Twitter account, we'd lose 25% of our production capacity. Not ideal. If you're a freelancer, or online content creator, you're in the same pickle. However, there are tools definitely worth checking out that'll make these processes a little more painless.
A great service with a bad name. It's simple interface allows you to snap together different fields to create 'recipes' that then run 24/7. It started out with limited functionality, but now supports pretty much all the major networks, and even Internet-Of-Things things like connected lightswitches. We've got a couple that we like in-house.
If Instagram has an outage, or any kind of belly-up we've still got all our precious selfies. You can swap out anything to the tools that you use, whether that's Flickr, Dropbox or anything else, more tools are added every so often. Zapier offers a great alternative, if you're looking for specific apps that aren't available yet.
We like to start conversations on our Facebook page, so why not involve the 140-character community. No effort, big results. The more clicks you save, the less late Fridays you'll be spending at the office.
Huffduffer & Yahoo Pipes
And it would be remiss to ignore the just-as-excellently-named Huffduffer and Yahoo Pipes. Whilst IFTTT is a great tool for putting content out, what about getting content in? You can pick a tag (I also tend to pick out episodes with interviews with people I'm interested in) and run it into Huffduffer, where you can download them and listen to them on the tube as a custom podcast. Try this quick example of marketing podcasts. Instead of picking out shows, everything tagged 'marketing' will be pushed to your RSS feed. Yum. Yahoo Pipes offers a similar service for text and RSS. Why not check out this feed of news regarding the UK creative industries? Instead of faffing about searching BBC News before your boss arrives in the morning, this will find all the stories from a handful of reputable sources, and push them to wherever you need.
Until next time ladies and gentlemen, save those clicks, but remember this one vital philosophy. If you spend more time automating than you save, it's not worth doing. And never automate texts to your Mum. I know at least one of you was thinking it.
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