Saturday, 19 April 2014

Using Zaps as part of your Ausome SOCIAL strategy

Project: Using Zaps creatively for automatically publishing / sharing articles you find
(»see Part 2, final part opens in a new window)

This is a great project that will JUST keep on giving. Even better when used in conjunction with Ausome.

You may be wondering how this differs from Ausome? Ausome draws and posts from your social sources 100% automatically. This project is about manually sharing but automatically distributing to multiple channels. The two go hand-in-hand.

So, upwards and onwards...
If you're like the rest of us, you bump into various interesting photos / articles as you bumble your way around the internet. Wouldn't it be great if with just one act of sharing, it got automatically reshared down just the right social channels out of the ones you have?

This is what will be achieved by the project as a whole once you've completed parts 1 and 2

Well, that's what this project is all about.
  • The idea is that as you find them, you share them and add a couple or so hashtags. The act of doing so also puts a copy of what you shared onto a 'collection' blog that you set up for that very purpose.
  • Once they end up on the blog, they can then be drawn from there under the control of one of the Zaps tools, and shared down appropriate other channels in your social media / blog portfolio.
In thinking through setting this up for myself, I decided that Google+ was the best place to start everything from.

My reasoning went like this:
  1. According to all the 'wise hats', Google Plus is becoming THE go-to place to socialize.
  2. This is even more true as Facebook's 'organic reach' continues to decline to beyond dreadful levels.
  3. With this idea of share once, share many, the first and best place to make the original share is on G+ because
    1. It will be indexed by Google very smartishly
    2. Everywhere you link to in that post will get some search engine credit
    3. It's very easy to find interesting content for your niche and then sharing is a snip
  4. A general principle: G+ is too valuable an asset to risk with auto-posting. 
    1. Everything you do on G+ should be well considered.
    2. The Gplussers are notorious for uncircling (unfollowing) you at the drop of a hat if they perceive you to be spamming them with products.

So here's the first part of the project: Setting up the collection blog

This is what we'll achieve in this first part

By the end of this part you will be able to share something on G+ and have it appear on your special collection blog, ready for the second part - distributing to appropriate channels that you have

So there are two things to achieve in this first part:
  1. Getting your collection blog set up
  2. The magic part :)

Setting up your collection blog

You need a brand new Blogger blog, set up to post using a secret email address you give it.
  1. If you don't know how to set up a Blogger blog, see the first 8 steps here: Start-a-Blog-on-Blogger
  2. Next you need to set up the secret email address that will be used by the magic to post to the blog. Get to your blog settings and see the screenshot below

Setting up the 'secret' email address for posting to the blog by email

Ok, that's the collection blog sorted. Try emailing something to your blog's new secret email address and watch it get published!

Making the first piece of magic happen

And for this part, you need to do the following
  1. You have to register with a service that gives it permission to read your G+ shares and turn them into an RSS feed. This service updates the feed from your shares at least once and often twice per hour.
    You'll need your G+ profile id - which you see whenever you hover over your profile image on anything you've shared on G+
    The service is here:
  2. Set up an IfThisThenThat (IFTTT) account here:
  3. Open and keep open a new window or tab on this configuration screen:
  4. Configure for and create a 'recipe' on IFTTT by following the video tutorial:

Once you've done the above, you've completed the first part of the project. Over the next little while your collection blog will start to fill up with the new shares and posts you've been doing on Google+

But before closing, there's one final point to note...

Next Steps

In the next part we'll be drawing from your collection blog to post to your various social media channels and niche blogs. This means you have to do one last thing when you share on G+ from now on - add hashtags.

The hashtags will form the basis for sharing the right posts from your collection blog to the right social media / blog channel. So now when you share on G+ make sure you hashtag them (you know, put #girlyswirly or #pinkfashion or #outerspace etc at the end of your G+ post/share)

If you use hashtags to describe the content appropriately, it'll make the setting up of part 2 of the project a piece of cake and you'll start to see results immediately.

A word of caution, don't hashtag to indicate your intended destination channel, that road leads to difficulty later, just hashtag to describe the content.

Ok, that's the end of part 1, the filling of your collection blog.
Part 2 will show you how to distribute the content of your collection blog to your social channels / niche blogs as dictated by the hashtags you've used.

This will be covered in part 2

Happy learning!
~~Mark (HightonRidley)

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