Current best practices for updating social media sites simultaneously?
March 19, 2015 5:44 AM   Subscribe

Back when I used to have a blog, my Twitter account would automatically tweet links to my new posts. Meanwhile, my tweets were automatically posted as Facebook statuses. But that was 5+ years ago and I have no idea what the done thing is these days.


I'm in the process of setting up internet presences for a tire shop, a restaurant, and a local band. I'm fine with setting up the domain, hosting, and basic Wordpress sites, but I need some ideas, advice, and inspiration for how to best use the current plethora of social media networks.

Each main website will run on Wordpress. The content will be a mix of infrequently updated static pages (e.g., About, Contact, services, menus, discography, etc.) and bloggy date-stamped updates about specials, upcoming shows, etc. I plan to update the blog roughly once a week.

I'd also like to post timely photos to social media at least a couple times per month. For example, pics of last night's show (for the band), pics of the food or recent parties (for the restaurant), and pics of our employees volunteering at fundraisers we support or chronicles of the adventures of the various garage cats (for the tire shop). The intent of these photo posts would be to show off each organization's "personality" and be a fun complement to the more business-focused content of the main sites.

I'm leaning towards publishing identical content on each of our social media accounts, e.g. simultaneously posting the same picture and caption to Facebook, Twitter, etc. That way people who want to follow us on social media just have to follow us on their preferred network.

I also want to automatically broadcast links to new Wordpress posts as tweets, statuses, etc. across all of our social media accounts.

I'm still undecided on whether I want any of the content from our social media accounts to show up on our main site. If I do decide to incorporate some of our social media content on our main site, I don't want to inadvertently set up an endless loop of automatic posts.


1. What do you think of my plan to post the business-focused content on the main websites and the fun photo posts on the social media sites? My thinking is that our main website should primarily be a useful reference whereas our social media accounts should primarily be about branding and building friendly relationships. If you were a potential customer or fan, would you find that division helpful?

2. Which social media networks do you think would be best to be on for a) the tire shop, b) the restaurant, and c) the band? Why?
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Instagram
- Tumblr
- Google+
- Pinterest
- Ello
- is there a new hotness?

3. Is it worth the extra time investment to post different, customized content to each social media network (so if you followed us on multiple networks, you wouldn't see repeats) or is posting duplicate content to each network (so you only have to follow us on your preferred network) a generally accepted practice these days? If you think we should customize our content to each network, what types of posts do you think work best for each network?

4. Should we incorporate any of our "fun" social media content into our main websites, or keep the main websites strictly business-focused and just provide "Follow us on [icons]" link to our Facebook, Twitter, etc.? If you think we should incorporate our social media content into our main site, should we do so as blog posts that show up in the same feed as our other posts or should we have it off on the sidebar in a widget or...?

5. Given your answers to the above, how should I implement the technical end of things? Are there any good third-party apps or services that automatically duplicate content across all social media networks? How do I avoid inadvertently creating an endless loop (e.g. automatically tweeting the URLs of new blog posts while automatically reposting tweets as blog posts)? Any other technical advice on optimal setups?

6. Do you see any blind spots in my approach? What questions(s) should I have asked that I didn't, and what are your answers to those questions?

Please advise, thanks!
posted by Jacqueline to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I can't answer all of these questions, but here's my experience running social media for a nonprofit. Buffer is my very favorite tool. Using Buffer, I duplicate posts across networks (Facebook and Twitter) but usually add a little additional content to Facebook posts if they need to be greater than tweet-length.

I do think you're right that the websites should be useful resources with the info your customers/fans need, not showcases of all your cool fun social content. The "Follow us" links are probably all you need, although you can always do some testing of what people prefer (a widget with recent posts vs Follow Us).

As for specific social media networks: in my experience Google+ is only useful in that it boosts your SEO, and everyone forgot about Ello within like a week. Unless you know your audience is heavily using other services, I'd recommend focusing on Facebook and Twitter.
posted by torridly at 8:08 AM on March 19, 2015

I can't vouch for this site personally, but take a look at if this, than this.
posted by SillyShepherd at 8:12 AM on March 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

I sometimes use Hootsuite if I'm looking to send the same updates across multiple social networks. If you want something more sophisticated, IFTTT is certainly worth looking at.
posted by tommasz at 9:46 AM on March 19, 2015 [2 favorites]

The one thing I *don't* recommend is pushing your Facebook content to Twitter. A lot of people do that and it's really messy. Your messages get cut off and then Twitter users have to load Facebook which can be slow and annoying on mobile.
posted by radioamy at 10:04 AM on March 19, 2015 [3 favorites]

For a small company, I don't see anything wrong with duplicating content on multiple social media accounts, and I would absolutely not put anything major on facebook (pictures, long text) that isn't also on your own website which you have control over. This is what we do, although we don't use twitter at this point. I like putting the "fun" stuff on our website as well because it shows that our website is current and that we care about it. I'm not sure many people pay a lot of attention to it, but our front page (which has a bit of recent info from the blog) always has something less than a week old on it except during holidays.
posted by jeather at 11:03 AM on March 19, 2015

For photos, I like using Instagram, which will allow you to post to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr at the same time you post to Instagram. That's four in one. Then I use If This, Then That (IFTTT) to take anything I post to Twitter that isn't a mention and automatically post it to WordPress. So that's five places with a single post but it does not get me LinkedIn or Google+. However, Instagram only works on mobile (though there are some third-party services that you may try to use in order to post from a desktop browser).

I also use Hootsuite, for which I can be selective and post to more than one each of FB pages, FB groups, Google +, Twitter accounts, and LinkedIn. That works pretty well. The IFTTT connection kicks in here, too, to automatically make a WordPress post. This does not get me Tumblr. I don't like that images are frequently just links to the image rather than using the native image post (I think this is mainly a problem with Hootsuite -> Twitter), but I can live with it.

Given that LinkedIn and Google+ are not primary social media platforms for anyone in my personal and professional networks, I don't mind if some posts don't end up there.

To avoid messy Tweets, I use either Twitter or Instagram as my "native" starting point for almost all social media. That keeps posts brief, they tend to handle URLs well, though it does mean that @mentions show up on FB where they don't belong, which nobody in my peer group seems to mind. It also means I rarely use hashtags, as they tend to reduce my character count for little return value.
posted by Mo Nickels at 12:46 PM on March 19, 2015

We (small retail store, link in profile) primarily use Instagram and that posts simultaneously to Twitter and Facebook. I'll sometimes go in and clean up the Facebook post manually (change @ references to link to the Facebook page, remove some of the hashtags, etc), particularly if it is a post we are going to Boost so people actually see it.

A downside to starting from Instagram that the photos are links on the Twitter website and official clients, instead of embedded, and the text will be shortened unless you're mindful of Twitter's length limitations.
posted by jimw at 4:34 PM on March 19, 2015 [2 favorites]

Jim: This IFTTT action will repost your instagram posts as native twitter images; you just need to input your twitter and insta credentials.

You can even edit the action so it does/doesn't include a link to the original instagram post, based on your preference.
posted by raihan_ at 10:14 AM on March 21, 2015

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