Despite starting off well, with a regular flow of posts, our Keurig News and Views section has been a bit quite recently as we have been a little slack in keeping regular content posting posted to it. A part of this has been our focus in trying to now help readers more with their questions in our more recent development, being the Your Questions and Answers section of the site. Although it doesn’t pick up many comments we can see from the analytics that it does get some reasonable traffic.
Having said all of that, not writing since March 26th is no excuse!
Today we wanted to write about our more “assertive steps” into using social media to better engage with our readers and help in getting our material out into the wider world. In addition to this, having a better presence and integration of media outlets, including what we have already done on this site and Youtube, helps one to build credibility and authority with Google – which in turn can help how material ranks in their Search Engine Results Page(s) SERPs.
Although the use of social media is not completely alien to us it has been something that we have done very little with. We do have a Facebook, Twitter and Google + account for this site, but have never properly integrated them with the material that we produce here. In particular we wanted to link to these media channels for the regular posting of content (that we seem to do on an irregular basis).
As we are using wordpress as our Content Management System (CMS) for this site the lack of plugins (or small programs that add function to the core of wordpress) wasn’t a problem. In fact the opposite was true with this niche in the wordpress plugin market festooned with programs.
Our first attempt at this integration today was to download and use separate plugins for the linkage into each of the three media channels we wanted to work with. ie Facebook, Twitter and Google +. As mentioned above we already had accounts with all three, but we wanted to automate the posting of material across them to save time, effort and provide better consistency in the release of material.
The plugins we tried were WP to Twitter by Joseph Dolson, and then Facebook Auto Publish by xyzscripts. In took us a little while to work out how the Application Program Interface (API) side of things worked, but both apps explained how this was done and both Facebook and Twitter also have documentation that is not difficult to follow. For those who have come across API more these steps won’t cause any problems – it was just a bit new for us.
The biggest problem we initially had with the hookup to Facebook was what page the website article would be posted to. As our website Facebook page is in affect a sub-page to our personal page, the post from this site kept posting to the personal front page rather than the coffee site’s front page. We then noticed that one of the drop down options in the plugin provides the choice of which page to post to – a big relief once discovered!
The other issue we had with this app was it didn’t like apostrophes in the exert text. It would always display this as a series of five or size random characters; it was probably something we had set incorrectly, but still annoying.
We had less trouble with the WP to Twitter app and the integration into Twitter and its API was much simpler. The only problem we had here was we had already integrated the linkup between Facebook and Twitter, ie when you posted on one it came up on the other, so we ended up with duplicated content on Twitter for a little while as we produced test articles on the website and posted these to see if it all worked.
We then got to setting up the link to Google + and this wasn’t going to as easy; until we came across the app Jetpack by wordpress. The irony of this is we did know of the plugin but had always deleted it from any site we setup as we didn’t see any need for it, but how wrong we were. In addition to better security and a whole raft of other features, this wonderful plugin provides a one-stop-shop for integration into social media channels and a lot less hassle than what we had just been through. No API setup etc … a few clicks and Bob’s Your Uncle.
Once we had this plugin installed and bit of a look through we could see how much better it would work and so deactivated and then deleted the other two plugins we had just been working on. In addition to making them redundant it also provided an easy Google + hookup to our page there. And after a little testing all seem to work just as it was advertised on the tin.
So with these small changes (although it took a little while to get our head around a few issues) we are going to have a much better media presence and be able to perhaps help more people with their Keurig issues. Please let us know your views perhaps on how you have managed this with a site you operate.