Like most alumni club leaders, you want to get maximum benefit any time you communicate with your alumni. But when you have a Facebook page, Twitter page, Instagram account, LinkedIn page and so on, WHEN do you find time to update them all? Keeping up with the social media accounts – especially if you have more than 2 – can be a little time-consuming. I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve I’d like to share with you to make posting to all these social media accounts a little less time consuming. And because I want to give you detailed instructions for how to use some of these techniques, I’ve split this topic into 2 posts.
1. Line Up Social Media Administrators
The first suggestion is just to have one or several people who you trust post to your social media (I recommend setting up club social media usage guidelines. More on that topic in my last post in this series). It starts with just asking the question when you talk with your alumni. That’s how I got started in my second club leadership role. Someone on the board heard I “did social media” and asked if I would post to the club’s Facebook page from time to time. Having several administrators can spread out the work and keep the posts fresh and frequent!
2. Schedule Social Media Posts
Scheduling posts is now a feature in both types of Facebook accounts – Pages and Groups This feature gives you the ability to schedule posts and events for future days and times. This can be really useful if you have planned content that you want to drip feed on Facebook at certain intervals or on particular dates. Scheduling out all those posts can be an afternoon’s full of work but then you can step away and let it post. Please note that at this time, I’m not aware of a scheduling capability being part of Twitter*, Instagram or LinkedIn.
Note: Facebook has announced that they will add scheduled posts to Facebook Groups. Look for that feature coming soon.
*Twitter has a separate tool called TweetDeck with some schedule capabilities. We’ll talk about that in section 4.
- Must have a Facebook Pages account (this feature is not available in Facebook Groups)
- Must be an administrator or editor of the Facebook page
- Start creating your post at the top of your Page’s Timeline
- Click next to Publish and select Schedule
- Below Publishing Schedule, select the date and time when you want the post to publish
- Click Schedule
Note: Download the Facebook Pages app on your mobile device and you can schedule posts on-the-go as well.
3. Share Your Alumni Spaces Posts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
Alumni Spaces is a website and alumni management platform for alumni chapters. Chapters can sign up for free or your university may provide a branded Alumni Spaces experience for you to use. It’s a great tool to engage users. It can also connect their Facebook, Twitter and now LinkedIn pages and easily share activities and news updates to these social media accounts. I published this video about a year ago on how to do that. Since then, they’ve added the LinkedIn social broadcaster. It works the same as the Facebook and Twitter broadcaster. And good news. This works with a Facebook Pages OR Groups account!
- Admin access to your Alumni Spaces website
- A published activity or news update
To link your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn accounts to your Alumni Spaces website:
- Login to the Alumni Spaces admin area.
- From the left hand navigation bar, click Site Settings. The Site Settings page appears.
- Enter the club’s Facebook, Twitter and/or LinkedIn account names or URLs as indicated.
- Click Update Settings.
- Go to an existing activity or news or create and publish a new activity or news update.
- Once published, scroll down to the Social Broadcaster section of the page.
- Click the Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn button to share the item to your club’s social media account. A pop-up box will appear.
- Adjust (Twitter) or add (Facebook, LinkedIn) text in the description field.
- When sharing to Facebook, remember to select the location where you’d like to share the item by selecting the location from the Share on your timeline drop-down.
- When sharing LinkedIn, remove the check from the Share an update checkbox and place a check in the Post to groups checkbox. Type the name of the group in the Groups field to locate it.
11. Click the Share, Tweet or Post to Facebook button to share the item to the selected social media account.
4. Use a Third Party App or Tool to That Will Post to Your Social Media Accounts
If you are a little more technically inclined, there are a couple of third party tools I recommend that can link your social media accounts together and do some pretty cool things. I won’t go into the details of how to set up those systems in this post but I’ll give you a little more details about each of the tools.
This is a social media engagement tool. It allows you to post to several different types of social media, monitor their activity in one place and schedule content. The free version will allow you to connect up to 3 social media accounts. There are additional versions for a monthly or annual subscription fee. Once you get all your social media accounts setup, it’s really a breeze and a great way to manage your accounts especially if you’re only going to have one administrator for them all.
TweetDeck is a tool to manage multiple Twitter accounts, schedule Tweets*, and view your Twitter activity by stream (e.g. all mentions, all scheduled posts, etc). TweetDeck also allows multiple people to share a Twitter account without having to share the password. This tool has some of the same features as HootSuite but it can only be used for your Twitter account. It’s always free. Just go to its website, enter your Twitter handle and authorize the app to post for you and that’s it!
*Remember earlier I mentioned you could schedule tweets through a third party tool? This is it.
All joking aside, I love Zapier. I have a thing for making multiple systems work together and this perfectly scratches that itch. I use this constantly in my alumni club operations because it can do things like:
- update our MailChimp list and send a Gmail to our alumni coordinator to update their records when an alum subscribes to our mailing list
- add a row to a Google spreadsheet each time an alum registers for an upcoming event
Zapier has a lot of zaps, their proprietary name for their workflows, that allow you to connect an app with something else. All of the social media platforms discussed in this post are represented there. The best thing to do is to explore their zaps, select one and go. It’s quick and you’ll have added a little automation around your posts in no time. You can have up to 5 active zaps in a month that have run for a total of 100 times (they call those tasks). This should be all you need for your alumni social media management but they do have a monthly subscription service if you need more.
IFTTT (If This Then That)
This is similar to Zapier. It is web-based service that allows you to integrate applications including all of the social media platforms discussed here. Their proprietary workflows are called applets. You select the applet you need and follow the “recipe” to make it work. Simple enough. The great thing about IFTTT – and the reason you may ultimately choose this one – is that it is FREE (all the time). No limits to number of applets or the number of times they run. Just set and forget it, as they say.
In Part 2 of this topic, I’ll share with you the details of how to link social media accounts so you can do double duty with just one post!