I have a confession to make.
You may find this hard to believe – but, here goes:
I am not superwoman.
No matter how much I might wish it to be so, I cannot do everything myself. On top of that, there never seems to be enough time in the day to complete my tasks.
This is the cycle of productivity; the more efficient you are, the more there is to do. No businessperson is immune to it, but perhaps the sole proprietor or small business owner is more aware of it, as they may not have the luxury of delegating or asking for help.
I am a person who values my time more highly than anything else, so I started to look at my daily tasks and breaking them down. What could be automated? What could be delegated? What was not worth me doing at all?
I created a series of “Life Hacks” for myself, and I do mean hacks – these are not clean and neat by any means, and some will involve a moderate amount of effort to set up – that, when I mention them in passing other people have asked me to share them.
To keep things as organized as possible, I’ll be presenting a different category each week, and my hope is that someone finds these useful and maybe even builds upon them to make them better, then shares their tweaks in the comments.
Without further ado, here is Part 1 of our Automate Your Life series!
Keeping on top of Social Media is pretty tough, right? There’s all these rules about when to post, where to post, how to build a following, how to add value, and how to be polite.
It’s hard to keep up, especially if you don’t have a publicist or a marketing team in charge of your social media accounts (and even then, the hours are long!)
I don’t have more than a few minutes a day to dedicate to social media as a whole, much less going into Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus, etc. and commenting and responding to everything that shows up.
The easy route would be to just not post anything, but that would be instant death for a small business establishing their brand or a speaker who hopes people will show up to see them. Plus, I don’t like easy – it doesn’t smell right. So, where to begin?
First, you will need to figure out what type of value you would like to add. You will need to post something unique and interesting to your Social Media outlets, that is on brand for you. To do that, our first step is to go to Google Alerts.
Set up a search (or more) for things that interest you – things that you’d want to share with others. It is very important that you create this as an RSS feed. You can do that with the “Deliver To” box.
Once you have done this, get the URL of the RSS feed by Right-Clicking on the RSS icon and move to the next step.
One of the greatest boons to automators like myself is a service called IF. This site allows you to connect different services together in ways that their developers never imagined.
In this particular instance, we’re going to utilize two different channels within IF, and three overall services.
You will need accounts on:
Once you have those, you may use the following recipe:
The gist of this is, you will use the RSS feed you created in Step 1, plug it into this recipe, and it will post to a service called Buffer (which allows you to schedule out posts in advance.)
You will need to spend a few minutes a day checking what your feed is sending to Buffer, tweaking the words to make sure everything sounds right and reflects your message.
This then will send to Google Plus, which you can connect to Twitter & Facebook.
Now you will connect Google Plus to other media channels so that it will automatically post for you.
You will need accounts on:
You have two options for this step, depending on your comfort level.
The first way is to connect via ManageFlitter. This application allows you to track your Twitter followers and grow them based on different criteria (but those strategies are an entirely different post topic.)
Once you’ve created an account you can go to Engagement->Google+ Sync. Connect your account, and you will be able to have all your posts from Google Plus automatically sync to Twitter.
Then, on Twitter, you can send all your Tweets automatically to Facebook.
This works well, and is fully automated, but it can end up spamming people if you aren’t careful. Also, consider that not every channel will want to see every post. For that, we have the other option.
Go to Google+ to RSS.
Follow the instructions to create an RSS feed of your Google Plus account.
Go to IF and use this recipe to post to Twitter:
Use this recipe to post to Facebook:
You can further tweak either recipe to only post based on specific hashtags or keywords to each channel.
Time saved: Easily an hour a day.