Okay, so time travel might be a little extreme of a description. But back in 2017, I was playing with social media managers to manage my sharing of posts, etc. I tried Buffer, Friends+.me, Hootsuite, a few others. I was basically looking for a free social media manager, and for a while, it worked.
I could write posts on my blog, go to my account on one of the generic apps, call it “social media manager X” (aka SMM X), paste the link, add some text, and post. The goal at the time was to start scheduling posts in line with the “best advice” of the day. Which, essentially, was to schedule posts so they would go out multiple times during the day, allow you to post at peak periods that would solicit feedback and reaction, and let you “build your brand”.
The overall selling point for the companies was that you could basically plan out and schedule a week or a month’s worth of engagement, do it all at once, and forget about it for the week. The autoposter would take all your pre-scheduled tweets and IG posts, and share them at the appropriate times. You could even monitor analytics to see that perhaps Tuesdays were quieter than Wednesdays, or afternoons prompted more reactions than mornings, or 3:00 p.m. was better than 4:00 p.m. when people were starting to think about heading home.
And for awhile, I let it sucker me in. I was thinking that I should be doing these things from my two websites, polywogg.ca and thepolyblog.ca. Drive engagement. Build a brand.
But it’s not really me. Sure, I produce a lot of content. But I’m not trying to build my brand. I’m not planning on monetizing any of it, at least I don’t think so. Maybe I will once I retire for some of my publications, but even then, I’m not convinced that is the way I’ll go.
It all seemed just a little too “commercial” for what is and shall always remain a personal site. But the real reason I switched to a plugin within WP for my site was because FaceBook changed the way they let outside plugins or sites paste to FaceBook. They require that you register as an “app” in essence, to make sure you are authorized to post to specific accounts, and for the site to be able to track everything you do. While they claim it is about security, most of it is about future monetization as you get bigger and bigger. At some point, they force you to pay for a business account. And part of the “choke” point setup is blocking certain types of links.
I found a new solution, or so I thought when I bought it, but I’ve had some annoying little quirks of late with my website and autoposting. I was finding that the plugin, which is designed to help me post, was just a bit of a pain in the patootie. As I said, I paid for a one-year subscription, and I suspect I’m going to kill it shortly from the site. And then leave negative reviews everywhere I can think to do it because they basically advertise mostly-false claims to get you to buy it.
As a quick recap then, I started off posting just normal i.e., manually — cut and paste to FB, Twitter, Google+. Then I went with a social media manager site, pasting one link there and letting it share to all three sites for me. But that was starting to be a bit challenging to manage as I was also doing all my TV episode reviews through there plus meme creation, and it all started to feel a bit too commercial for my personal musings. So I killed off Google+, dropped a lot of my auto-sharing, found a new tool, and again, I’m at that point where I’m asking, “Is this really the best approach?”.
Lots of the original sites I was dealing with have gone the way of the dodo almost. Well, maybe not quite extinct, but also not at the top of the heap either. Other services have come along, most have shaken the bugs out of the industry, and they have all for the most part found ways to monetize the management.
My needs are simple. Soooo, I am trying Buffer.com again. My old account is easily revived, I’m grandfathered into a free albeit limited account, and I’m playing with it. It feels like 2016, 2017 all over again.
One part of that experience though is different. If I want to share with FaceBook, I have to share to a page, not my personal profile. Which all things considered, isn’t a bad idea. Some people have found my volume on my personal account kind of high and muted me accordingly. I’ve also picked up a few people who friended me on FB but they really only want my website feeds. I feel like a couple of them should be in the page category only.
So I’m going to let all my friends know I have a new page, and if they want my blog posts, they can look for them over there. I’ll give it a week, and then my personal stuff will truly only be my personal stuff, albeit including comics of the day. Hopefully, I’ll also be able to set all the privacy settings a bit more normally this way too.
Today I choose to time-travel back to an old technique I used about 3-4 years ago.
What choices are you making today?