How to automate social media postings for Facebook, Google+ Pages, and more

Yesterday I finished the blog series about creating a Google+ page for business by suggesting that with this post, today, I would share a method to automate posts to Google+. And before I do that, let me dispel the notion that “automating” posts is any sort of “click it and forget it” type of thing.  The task (yes, it’s a task) of “automating” your social media presence still requires a fair amount of work. For instance, for the purposes of maintaining our growing social network communities for Outskirts Press, we use the following “automation” and tracking tools: TweetDeck, HooteSuite, Klout, Ping, Rooster, and FTTT.  And to give you a visual representation of what all that involves, here’s a screen shot of JUST our HootSuite dashboard:

Scary, yes? Helpful? You bet!  In this particular screen shot, if you squint closely, you may notice that we are able to monitor 5 social media “streams” simultaneously, plus we’re able to post directly to our Facebook page, keep track of retweets from Twitter, and even schedule posts in advance on a few of our networks all at once. Unfortunately, no single application that I’ve been able to find has access to ALL the social media networks that we use, which is why we have several (and of course, that sometimes causes scheduling conflicts where several of us at Outskirts Press may inadvertently schedule various posts too close to one another).   And up until very recently, NONE of them automated posts to Google+ Pages (simply because Google+ Pages are so new).  But within the last couple of weeks, the API was opened up to six applications, including Hootsuite.

Sounds too good to be true?  The ability to automate posts and content to our new Google+ Page using an application we were already familiar with and using heavily? Well, right now, it IS too good to be true.   Development of new functionality like this takes time and even though Hootsuite has the Google API available, they don’ t yet have anything operational on their dashboard. Instead, they direct you toward a “landing page” requiring you to “apply” for the benefit of having Google+ added to your dashboard.  Here’s a link to the application.

So until it is officially added to Hootsuite — or to the others, which are: Buddy Media, Context Optional, Hearsay Social, Involver, and Vitrue– this is the procedure for putting the steps into place to be able to automate your Google+ pages as easily as your other social channels.  Of course, you might get hit up by some marketing emails from Hootsuite or even sales calls, so… just sayin’.

I’ve applied and will keep you posted…

Speaking of landing pages, today also marks the beginning of our  new Facebook landing page to encourage more “Likes” to build our Facebook community, which surpassed 3,000 this week.  And I’ll discuss all the fun details involved in creating and implementing Facebook landing pages next…

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