In my book, I advocate posting to social media several times a day. If you only share your blog posts and random thoughts relevant to your industry, you’ll quickly run out of steam.
The secret is to share both your own content and other useful resources as you come across them.
You’ll want to increase your odds of encountering said useful third-party content. Just as you will want to make the process of sharing that content as painless and automated as possible.
It’s still important to have a degree of manual interaction with each platform to create genuine connections with other users. Just be careful to not let it become a time sink.
Discovering content worth sharing
The best way to come across great content to share on social media is to pay attention to what other people in your industry are sharing. Follow relevant people on social media and rebroadcast (retweet/share) their best content. Become a human filter of the greatest, most useful content for your industry.
Participate in online communities relevant to your industry. Programmers will, for example, find luck in communities such as /r/programming, /r/
Listen to podcasts and subscribe to YouTube channels by influencers within your field.
Finally, take advantage of good ol’ RSS feeds. Subscribe to a variety of blogs and publications to have fresh content to share.
I’m partial to Feedly for reasons that will become clear later in this post, but any feed service or client will do. You’ll want to install an appropriate browser extension. This way you’ll be able to subscribe to sites you find interesting, with just one click. In my case, I use Feedly Subscribe Button for Firefox.
Use Buffer to queue up articles
There are a gajillion social media tools. I like the simplicity of Buffer. It allows you to queue up content you intend to share on a multitude of different platforms (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn).
It also handles the scheduling of content in the queue, so that it’s not shared all at once. This ensures a constant stream of fresh new content for your followers, without long periods of radio silence.
Once you install the Buffer extension for your browser, you’ll be able to quickly add any page you wish to your social media queue. You simply click on the Buffer icon in your toolbar while visiting a post or page you intend to share.
It removes the inertia of having to manually share updates across platforms, making you more likely to do so in the first place.
Other tools are alright as well, but if you don’t have a favorite yet, I highly recommend giving Buffer a try.
Automate Your Social Media with IFTTT
You’re now sharing your own content, retweeting/sharing from the best influencers, and using the Buffer extension to share useful resources directly from your browser.
If you want to take it to the next level, you could automate the process of adding to Buffer articles from your RSS feed client. This is where Feedly and IFTTT come into play.
IFTTT allows you to automate certain actions when a certain trigger is executed. In our case, you’d want to define an applet within IFTTT, that involves both Feedly and Buffer.
You’d set up a Feedly-related trigger that adds a given article to Buffer. In my case, I decided to create a Social board in Feedly. Whenever I add an article to that board, it gets shared on social media via Buffer.
There are two catches. The first is that Feedly requires a paid account for this integration to work. The second one is that Buffer can only connect one social media account within IFTTT. So if you have Twitter, LinkedIn, and a Facebook Page in your Buffer, you’ll have to choose which one will post the articles you add to the predefined board (e.g., Social).
In my case, I chose the Twitter account within Buffer.
The advantage of connecting Feedly to Buffer, instead of connecting it to Twitter directly (bypassing Buffer altogether) is that posts get scheduled. This way you can select, say, 10 articles within Feedly in the span of two minutes, without immediately posting all 10 to your social media account, overwhelming your followers.
Doing all this still takes some time, but automating your social media posts goes a long way. It really shortens the time and effort involved from when you encounter something interesting to you sharing it on social media.
With a bit of discipline and a few minutes each day, you could easily become a must-follow account.
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