Creating new content can be a tedious process. Once you’ve written a new blog post, you then need to spread the word on social media. If you’re like many people, you load the websites one at a time — Facebook, then Twitter, then LinkedIn, Pinterest, or any other sites you wish to use — and share your post. It doesn’t have to be this way, though — thanks to several plugin options, you can schedule your social media posts automatically. Here are a few different methods for simplifying your content sharing process.
Option 1: JetPack’s Publicize module
JetPack is a plugin we’ve mentioned before on multiple occasions. We’ve discussed how the plugin allows you to view stats for your site, create wp.me short links, and receive site notifications on your phone’s WordPress app. We’ve also previously shared how it can give you the ability to add a mobile view to themes that don’t offer one. But amid JetPack’s 37 modules, it also offers one that is great for sharing your posts on social media: the Publicize module.
Publicize allows you to connect your WordPress site directly to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Path, and Google+ pages. When you publish a new post, Publicize will automatically share it to those pages. You can customize the post that is shared in the blog post itself.
Pros: It’s extremely easy to set up and use. JetPack is created by Automattic, the creators of WordPress.com and WooCommerce, so future support is virtually guaranteed because it’s created by a reliable company.
Cons: It lacks flexibility. The social media posts will be shared immediately when you publish a blog post, and while you can schedule when your blog post goes live, you can’t schedule the social media posts to go live at a different time. This is problematic if you want to schedule these social media posts to go live at an optimal time for each platform. You also can’t make the message different per platform, which doesn’t work well if you want to tag a person or page on Facebook and mention an account on Twitter.
Note: Other third-party all-in-one scheduling plugins exist, but JetPack Publicize is recommended above the others because of its ease of use and Automatic’s reputation of reliability.
Option 2: Separate plugins for each social site
If JetPack doesn’t offer enough flexibility for your needs, another option is to install a separate plugin for each social media site.
Facebook’s official WordPress plugin hasn’t been updated in 3 years. It won’t work with many sites without modification because it uses outdated code, so using this plugin isn’t recommended as it doesn’t support WordPress 4.0 and newer. However, other third-party plugins like Facebook Auto Publish or Facebook Auto Post will allow you share your posts on Facebook from WordPress. Facebook likely stopped supporting their WordPress plugin in favor of their scheduler built into Facebook directly.
Twitter’s official WordPress plugin is packed full of great features but scheduling posts is not one of them. Because of this, you’ll need to look to a third party for Twitter scheduling as well. Twitter Auto Publish or Auto Tweet for WordPress will get the job done.
Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn
Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn do not have official plugins, and the options for plugins dedicated to publishing on these platforms are limited.
Pros: Using separate plugins gives you greater flexibility — with a separate Facebook and Twitter plugin, you can create separate text for each site. This will allow you to make use of @mentions on Twitter while tagging other people or pages on Facebook. You can also make use of Facebook’s longer character limit.
Cons: No social site offers an updated official plugin with scheduling support, so options are limited. If you want to publish separate posts to multiple sites but also want to publish to Google+ or LinkedIn, consider installing a third-party Facebook and Twitter plugin and use JetPack’s Publicize module for Google+ and LinkedIn.
Option 3: Use a scheduling site
For the greatest amount of flexibility, consider a site like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your social media posts. Both sites enable you to schedule posts at any time but also allow you to save time and posts to multiple sites at once. Buffer supports posting to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. Hootsuite allows posting to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Both sites will also remind you to post to Instagram but cannot post updates automatically as Instagram doesn’t support third-party updates. A WordPress to Buffer plugin also provides the ability to send published posts to Buffer to be posted at a later time.
Pros: Using a scheduling site provides the best flexibility. You can use the same post for multiple networks or create separate posts for each. You can also schedule posts to go live at any time.
Cons: A scheduling site is less convenient than a built-in sharing option. Even though you can post to multiple sites at once, it’s still an extra step beyond using a tool like JetPack’s Publicize module.
Which option is best?
As you can likely tell from the descriptions above, the best option for you depends on your needs. The best option for you depends on if you care more about convenience, flexibility, or a balance between the two. If you care about having social media posts go live at a different time than you publish your blog posts, you’ll want to consider using a scheduling site like Hootsuite or Buffer. If you want the ability to create separate posts for each network but don’t want the extra hassle of a separate site, you’ll want to consider the separate plugins mentioned in Option 2. If you’re looking for a simple way to post on multiple sites at once easily and quickly with minimal effort, you’ll want to use Publicize.
Do you schedule your social media posts? If so, do you use one of these methods? Let us know in the comments below.