Automating Social Media
I tend to view social media -- particularly in my professional life -- as a necessary evil. It's a great way to stay connected with your PLN, parents, and even students, but it can sometimes feel cumbersome or like "just one more thing" we have to do.
Fortunately, there are a few ways you can automate your social media accounts in order to save some time.
1. Connect Your Accounts
You may have noticed that when you go to post something on Instagram, you see these options right before you post:
If you connect your Twitter and Facebook pages to your IG account once, then all you have to do from then on is just toggle the buttons next to those networks when you post on Instagram, and your photo(s) will be posted on all 3 accounts simultaneously.
To connect Facebook and Twitter to your Instagram account, visit your IG profile > Settings > Linked Accounts. You'll have to sign in to Facebook and Twitter from your IG account once, and then Instagram will remember your login information after that.
2. Use Applets from IFTTT
Pictures don't cross over well from Instagram to Twitter; usually, Twitter ends up linking to your IG account instead of embedding the photos in the actual tweet. If that bugs you, can you can use a service like IFTTT (which stands for If This, Then That) to natively post pictures from your Instagram to Twitter account.
For instance, if you create this Applet:
in IFTTT and connect your IFTTT account to both Instagram and Twitter, single-photo posts will appear on Twitter as though you actually typed the tweet yourself instead of just posting on Instagram. (If you use this Applet, make sure not to choose the "Share to Twitter" option when you post in IG -- otherwise, you'll get double-posts!)
You need to sign up for a free IFTTT account in order to create an Applet. Once you have an account, click Search > type something like "Instagram Twitter Native" > click on the pre-made Applet that says "Tweet Your Instagrams as native photos on Twitter." Toggle the on/off button to ON, and you're ready to go! (If this is your first time using IFTTT, you may need to authenticate your social media accounts, but that's just a few extra clicks, and it's a one-time thing!)
(If you prefer to watch a video versus a GIF, select this link to visit the video version.)
3. Schedule Your Posts
Obviously, nothing can automate a real-time conversation or Twitter chat, but you can save a little time by automating some posts in advance.
For instance, when I was an Instructional Technologist, I tried to tweet at least one tip, tool, or helpful link per school day. I scheduled those posts in advance so I never had to worry about frantically finding something to write and then finding a time to post it during the day. Your social media posts may look a little different, but I bet there are still some you could schedule in advance:
But how do I schedule my posts?
There are several scheduling services you could use, but here are the 3 I think are most popular:
What Social Media Networks Can I Automate?
Depending on the tricks you use, I know you can automate posts for the following networks:
Unfortunately, I have yet to find a way to automate Snapchat...partly because trying to post on SC from anything other than a mobile device is a royal pain. One of SC's most redeeming qualities used to be the fact that users could only post pictures or videos in real-time, but of course, that's changed with the addition of the ability to add posts from your Camera Roll. That said, it's still primarily a mobile network and, in my eyes at least, not necessarily designed for post automation. If you're using Snapchat in your classroom or school, my best recommendation at this time is to just take all your photos and videos there, save it to the Camera Roll before posting to your story, and then use your automation services to post those images/videos on your other social media networks.
What did I miss? Leave me a comment if you know of other automation methods!
edteCK is a blog that focuses on educational technology tools -- written by Candice Karas.