On the surface, social media isn’t very hard to figure out. It’s simple to set up your accounts. From there, all you have to do is type something in the little box and hit the “share,” “post,” or “tweet” button. Done. Or maybe not.
If that’s your social media philosophy, you’re a “broadcaster.” And if you’re using social media to build your business, it’s not likely a very successful philosophy.
Because social media for business is about building relationships. Building relationships in real life involves talking back and forth, sharing ideas and information, and developing trust. You build relationships on social media the same way.
So, if you’re a social media broadcaster, it’s akin to being a speaker at an event who takes the stage, delivers her message, and then leaves the event through the back door. You have no chance of building relationships through this avenue.
One crucial part of building relationships online is sharing other people’s content. Sharing is good for two reasons. First, your friends appreciate it when you share their stuff. It helps them spread their message, make new connections, and ultimately make more money. There is really no greater honor than having someone share your content with their audience.
Second, your friends appreciate it when you share other people’s good stuff with them. It helps them learn, grow, and find new connections. Sharing is good all around.
Fortunately, social media sharing has been made simple these days. When you read a blog post; an article on a website; or a tweet, or status update on any social media site, sharing that content across all of your social networks is just a click of a button away.
Today I’m sharing with you three of my favorite social media sharing platforms. These are my favorite because they are quick and easy. Because really, who has time to copy and paste and visit Twitter and Google+ and Facebook and LinkedIn and Pinterest . . . multiple times a day sharing people’s stuff? No worries, there’s no need for any of that!
Everyone needs a Buffer. You can get yours by going to BufferApp.com. Buffer is the quickest of the share options. Buffer’s free option allows you to connect 1 Facebook, 1 Twitter, and 1 LinkedIn account. You can then fill your buffer with up to 10 posts at a time. Your content posts at times predetermined by you, and you can change those times as frequently as you want.
For $10/month, you can add 6 social media accounts from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And you can have up to 50 posts at a time in your Buffer.
Using Buffer with Google Chrome is super convenient. For example, when you are posting to Twitter at Twitter’s website, the Buffer button automatically appears for you. Here’s how it looks when you are composing a tweet:
Simply hit “Tweet” to post now, or “Buffer” to add it to your Buffer to be posted at a time previously set by you.
You can also easily add retweets to your Buffer, as the button appears on the tweets in your stream too:
Buffer is also easy to use when you come across anything on the web you want to share. When you add Buffer to Google Chrome, it adds an icon in the upper right hand corner of your screen, at the end of your address bar. It looks like this:
So, for example, if you were reading a blog post on my site and you wanted to share it, you click on your little Buffer icon and it brings up this box:
All of your connected accounts will show up by default. In this example, I’ve deselected posting to Facebook, as you can see by the fact that it’s lightened. You can then see the preview of how your post will appear on Twitter, along with the character count. Below that is the preview of how it will look on Facebook and/or LinkedIn. Of course you can make any changes before you click “Add to Buffer.” Once you do that, it will post to your chosen accounts at the time you’ve previously set. Quick and easy.
As you might have guessed, the Hootlet is part of Hootsuite. Hootsuite is free for connecting up to 5 social profiles. For $9.99 a month, you can have unlimited social profiles and some additional niceties. Hootsuite is a great tool for scheduling content you want to share. But, it does require you go to a totally new tab in your browser and cut/paste in what you want to share. You can avoid wasting these precious seconds by using the Hootlet.
If you log into your Hootsuite account, on the lefthand side of your dashboard, go down to “tools” and you will see where you can drag the Hootlet into your bookmarks bar. You’ll drag it right below the address bar on your web page, like this:
Just like with Buffer, if you were reading my blog and wanted to share the post, you’d click on the Hootlet icon and this box would come up:
You select the the networks you’d like to post to, and either click “Send Now” or click on the calendar to schedule it for later. If you click on the calendar, it would then force you to choose the date and time to post the content, as opposed to Buffer, which will automatically share it at the next pre-scheduled time you’ve set.
You can see the Twitter preview in the above example. If I had selected Facebook or LinkedIn, it would have generated a preview for those postings, just as we saw in the Buffer example.
Finally, there’s Shareaholic. Shareaholic is free. The advantage to this tool is you can share to about any social media network, bookmarking site, email service, and social news site there is. You can see the list of possibilities on the Shareaholic website. As with Buffer, when you add Shareaholic to Google Chrome, it adds an icon at the end of your address bar, like this:
When you find content you want to share, you click on the Shareaholic icon and it will give you a drop down menu of choices based on networks you’ve previously selected. It looks like this:
This tool is a little different because it doesn’t allow you to schedule posts, or to share to more than one network at a time. When you click on the network you want to share with, it will take you to that network’s site and you fill in any additional information you want to add, then click the button to post.
The advantage to Shareaholic is that you aren’t limited to sharing just to Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. You can use it to share to Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, and dozens of other places.
Go forth and share . . .
I hope these resources have been helpful to you. I use all 3 of them in different situations. Make it a priority to share other people’s good work. It will grow your business in ways you can’t yet imagine.
Are there other ways you make social media sharing simple? Please share your tips in the comments below.