Automate Yo’ Social Media
Heyyyyaaa! I know, I know, I’ve been away for awhile now. No, I’m not dead (yet). I haven’t posted for several weeks because work has been crazy busy in the past month: 3 countries, lots and lots of meetings, a bunch of presentations, and my wife got baptised over the weekend (Yay!). I’m won’t bore you with the details, but I wanted to let you know that I’m still alive and kicking
Anyhoo, I thought I’d start blogging again with a light breezy post, on a quick lifehack you can use if you manage multiple social media accounts.
The Problem: Too Many Accounts
I try not to consume too much social media (here are some ways I’ve found to be effective), but I love using these platforms to share content.
At the same time, it’s a huuuuuuge pain in the butt to have to post content on multiple platforms. Whenever I write a post or find a useful article, I need to share it once on my personal Facebook profile, another time on the cheerfulegg Facebook fan page, a third time on Twitter, and once more on LinkedIn. I know the kids are using Snap or Instagram Stories or whatever the heck the new “in” platform is these days, but I can only keep up with so many.
So what’s a dude to do? A couple of options:
- I could stick to just one platform with the most reach, like Facebook. That might work, although there are some limitations. For example, I don’t add people I don’t know on my personal Facebook profile (Remember that random guy who added you as a friend last week, and he had a semi-naked profile picture of him holding a parakeet?), so any content I share would only be restricted to my friends
- I could use a social media management tool like Hootsuite, although the free version limits me to just 3 social media accounts
- I could use an automation workflow like IFTTT or Zapier
The Solution: Automate It!
I went with IFTTT, which stands for “If This, Then That” (awesome name). When I first discovered it, I got REALLY REALLY EXCITED:
I just discovered #IFTTT and my inner productivity geek is SO EXCITED
— Lionel Yeo (@lioyeo) September 28, 2016
Anything that makes my life easier in a tech-y sorta way gets me all hot and sweaty inside.
Here’s how IFTTT works: You create an automation workflow known as an “applet” that links two separate apps together. For example, IF I update my Facebook status, THEN post it on my Twitter feed. It’s super easy to use (perfect for impatient people like me) and you can either create your own applets or choose from hundreds of pre-configured ones.
A bunch of Facebook workflows you can choose
It took awhile to iron the kinks out, but after I figured it out, life got a looooot easier. Let’s say that it takes me 1 minute to share a link on multiple social media platforms, and I share say, 5 links a week. So 5 minutes a week = 260 minutes a year = 4-ish hours I’ve saved every year just by automating this once.
Here is a ridiculously nerdy diagram of all my automated social media workflows:
Yes, this is how I spend my Saturday nights.
Whenever I publish a WordPress post, post an Instagram picture or save an article on Pocket, that gets automatically shared on Facebook, and subsequently reposted on Twitter and shared on my Facebook fan page. In this case, Facebook acts as a central dispatcher, sending out content inputs to other platforms. Kinda like how, in the Automated Money Jar System, your bank account automatically funnels your salary into different sub-savings accounts.
What Else Can You Automate?
I get that you might not have to manage multiple social media accounts, or maybe you don’t want to automate them because you love using them.
But the point of this post is to get you thinking: Automation goes beyond just social media. It minimises the time you spend on repetitive, low value-add tasks (think: your finances, your admin, your bills, your text messages, and for some people, their work), so you can free up your headspace for more important things.
What else can you automate in your life today?