Not all of us have hours on end to spend on social media (myself included). Most photographers make their money by bringing in clients whether it’s families, brides, small businesses, whatever it may be. So any excess time spent on social media is time that could be spent sourcing clients. Now, social media can actually be a way to source clients if done properly, but that’s a whole other article! In this article I want to show you how you can take one single post and make it appear on all the social media outlets mentioned in the title. So I’ll simply go through my workflow in this area and you can take it or leave it :-).
Step 1: Create A Post On Google+
This is the first step for me. Using a wordpress plugin called Google+Blog created by Daniel Treadwell, I can create a post on Google+ (be sure to follow me there!) and have it automatically export that post over to the pending section of my blog. There is a free version of this plugin but I was more than happy to pay $10 for the paid version. It supports the hard work Daniel put into this plugin and it gives you more features and options.
Google+ is the best for step 1 because you can create titles and headers using bold font and there’s (virtually) no limit to how long your post can be. Google+Blog even imports comments from G+ to your blog so that’s a plus (pun intended) as well!
Setting up the plugin is quite easy. The way I do it is to only have the plugin export posts to my blog if I include the hashtag #photography in the post. That way I can post all kinds of stuff to G+ but only the images I share (along with accompanying stories) will get thrown over to the blog and only when I include that hashtag somewhere in the post.
Step 2: Post To The Blog
Once the post goes live on G+ I go over to my blog. The post only shows up on my website when G+ makes an API call at certain times throughout the day, but you can speed this up by going to the Google+Blog option in wordpress. There’s a checkbox next to the “Update Options” button that says “Import Posts On Options Update.” So I just check that box and update the options, then the post shows up in Pending Status immediately. Now, it should be noted that I had to set it up that way. Under the options I chose to have all posts start out as pending. That way I can do some slight tweaking before it goes live.
Now that my post is imported to my blog (which you can check out at james-brandon.com) and in the pending section, all I have to do now is make some final tweaks to make it ready for my readers. When I create the post on G+ and it exports to my blog, the image that comes over is a bit too small for my blog. But the title, the words and all the links are imported over perfectly. So all I do here is quickly delete the small image and upload the full blog sized image from my desktop. I then make a few final tweaks (like creating the image thumbnail, adding categories, adding post tags and a ‘read more’ section) to make the post look right on my blog and then I hit “Publish.”
Step 3: Post to Facebook and Twitter
As soon as the post goes live on my blog, it’s then automagically sent out to my personal Facebook page, my business Facebook page and Twitter all at once. This is done through a site called Networked Blogs. Networked Blogs takes my RSS feed on my website and syndicates it to Facebook and Twitter so I don’t have to! This couldn’t be easier. You simply sign up for an account, add your blogs RSS feed address, then log into Facebook and Twitter to allow access, click a few boxes and done.
So this isn’t really a step anymore once it’s set up, it just happens in the background without you lifting even a finger. No tweaks to make or anything like that.
So that’s it. Post to Google+, make a few quick tweaks in wordpress, publish and done. You’ve just killed 4 birds with like…1 and 1/4 stones :-). There are a couple of downsides to this method. If you have the time to post to each individual social media outlet, then by all means do. Having Networked Blogs do it means that the post is really just a link to my blog, instead of posting the image to Facebook and including the story there. But you have to decide what you’re after. I would rather have people jump over to my blog and read something there instead of having them read it and leave comments on Facebook. Twitter is the same way and with there character limit and no images a link is a must anyways. Once this process was set up, it easily shaved my time by more than half. Let me know what you think in the comments below!