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How To Make Social Media Simple. No I'm Not Crazy

Posted: 2017-01-23 12:40:16

Here's the thing. It isn't so much that Social Media is hard. It just takes a ton of time. Even that isn't accurate. It's more that we do the same thing several times every time we do anything at all.

If it was a business process it would be scrapped. Come to think of it, it is a business process.

Before you scrap it. Let's see if we can change the process from one+again+again+again+again to one-and-done.

Most of you know that I spent most of the last seven months developing and causing to be developed, myTweetPack.com.

This isn't a myTweetPack post. I know, you're reading it on myTweetPack.com. It still isn't a myTweetPack post.

I'll show you something that you already have that can make your life easier. You don't need to be a myTweetPack member to take advantage of it. myTweetPack members will see a greater benefit, but non-members can use IFTTT to knock out quite a few steps.

Members will just take several steps further along Easy Street.

Here goes.

A while ago, I was chatting with Candice Galek. If you never heard of her, maybe you've been living under a rock the last year. Suffice it to say that Candice is a busy girl. Candice was having a time of it just finding the time to upload her posts.

Let's not even talk about products she may want to tweet about. We can fix that with a simple Google Sheet.

That got me thinking of the blogging and social media process as a whole. It wasn't pretty.

My process now

  • Write a post in Microsoft Word
  • Copy /Paste it to WordPress
  • Reformat it for WordPress
  • Copy/Paste it to beBee
  • Reformat for beBee
  • Copy/Paste it to LinkedIn
  • Reformat for LinkedIn
  • Tweet the post with full-sized image
  • Store the post in myTweetPack.com
  • Schedule promotional tweets in myTweetPack.com
  • Update Facebook
  • Update Facebook page
  • Update LinkedIn

That's effing ridiculous! Some of you have to add steps like add to Buffer, post to Tumblr, or post to Pinterest, etc, etc, ad nauseum.

Why?

Why do we need to go through all that crap? Is it absolutely necessary?

I think not.

WordPress already has an RSS 2.0 feed built right in.

You may think RSS is old and boring. You'd be wrong. It just may be the thing that saves our asses, or at least, our sanity.

I found out that most people don't know about their RSS 2.0 feed on WordPress. It's easy to find. Just go to your blog page and add, "/feed/" at the end of the URL. Don't use the quotation marks.

Franci Hoffmann's is at https://amanpan.com/feed/ . Her site is her blog. My PaulTheGhost site has a separate blog folder, so mine is at http://paultheghost.com/index.php/blog/feed/

myTweetPack.com isn't a WordPress site so it doesn't have a feed at all. . .yet.

You'll know you found your feed when your screen fills with gobbledygook text like this. . .

< ?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> BrewNSpew plus a ton more

To find other RSS type feeds you can add RSS Xray to Chrome. It will activate whenever it finds feeds on a page. According to the developer, you should turn it off when not actively hunting for feeds. It's a great way to always have fresh content on hand.

By a fortuitous coincidence, Ben Shute recently posted "4 Discovery Sites for Content Curation." That could be a great place to start looking for feeds if you're more into curation than creation.

What If You Don't Use WordPress

That happens. myTweetPack.com isn't a WordPress site. We're now working on the RSS/ATOM modules. Part of that system is setting up feeds for members and non-members alike. Anyone who tries myTweetPack will have access to their very own feed, stored with us, and for free.

It won't be automatic. You won't be able to store tweets as a non-member so we can't build the feed automatically. We will keep you access open to a page where you can add links to your posts.

It will be our way of saying, "Thank you for trying us," even if you decide not to join.

NOTE: This functionality is not yet available. Planned availability is February 1, 2017. We reserve the right to limit functions to feeds. Anyone who has tried us out will be able to access their feed once the function is available.

Why You Should Care

RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication." It's just a simple text file that uses a specific flavor of XML. It holds a bunch of basic info about posts. Its cousin, ATOM, does the same thing using a different flavor of XML.

People argue which is better. ATOM does make for a smaller file size, but to users, they're the same because they do the same thing.

Anyone who subscribes to a feed via any feed reader, or even Outlook, will be notified of new stuff. This could partially solve the "LinkedIn is cutting my reach" thing, but that's not where I'm going with this.

The original intent of RSS/ATOM was to provide notification of new content. It does that very well.

That's not all it does.

RSS/ATOM are both flavors of XML.

XML was created to pass data around in a simple text format.

Therefore, RSS/ATOM can pass data around in a simple text format.

It's an, "If a=b, and b=c, then a=c," thing.

Using that Data to simplify your life

If you're a myTweetPack member

(Thank you) Within a week or so you will be able to add your feed URLs (or anyone else's for that matter) to the system. The system will load all posts as stored tweets on the first pass. They will be stored like Share-to-Twitters.

Later passes will automatically add anything new as stored tweets. The system will even schedule a few days worth of tweets. It will use trigger hashtags to help cross-post to FB, FB Pages, Tumblr, Pinterest, and LinkedIn

What it can't do is assign tweets to specific campaigns. The data to do that just isn't there. Any post from a feed will go into a campaign named after the feed.

UNLESS. . .

WordPress 3.0 introduced Custom Post Types. You can activate them for your feed. If you do, we will store posts under that Type campaign. Instructions on how to activate Custom Post Types on your WordPress feed are here.

NOTE: Activating Post Types on your feed is not tough to do, but not exactly easy either. Unless you have many, many posts on your blog, you may prefer to simply reassign them to another Campaign manually.

If you are not a myTweetPack member

Shame on you, (LOL). You can still get much of the time saving functionality of a feed.

Just use IFTTT to monitor it.

IFTTT is an acronym for If-This-Then-That. It uses triggers (the "if this" part) to force actions (the "then that" part). For now, one trigger forces one action.

IFTTT has a trigger called RSS. I think Zappier does too.

Use the RSS trigger to scan for anything new on a feed. When it finds something new, you can force a post to Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, or FaceBook Pages. New actions are added regularly.

You'll need a different IFTTT script for each platform you want to cross-post to, and a different complete set of scripts for each feed you want to monitor.

What the Revised and Streamlined Process Looks Like

  • Write a post in WordPress (or beBee if they ever convert Producer to RSS/ATOM)
  • Paste and format for beBee (if not converted)
  • Paste and format for LinkedIn (if desired)

Much better.

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