A practical guide to effective social media publishing

9733284483_e147eda73b_zHere is a practical guide on how to publish more effectively on social media channels. Please note: I am sharing this in case others might find some inspiration; I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in this post; there are other tools that might offer similar functionality – these are just the ones I am using.

This article describes a workflow for individuals. For teams that work together to publish content on social networks there are different plans from Buffer or different tools altogether that might be need to be considered (e.g. Hootsuite).

Tools used:
This is a key element in the workflow and after looking at different tools, I have settled for Buffer which is an online service with client applications for iOS & Android, and which comes also with a plugin for Chrome. Buffer takes your posts and schedules them for publication according to a schedule that you define, which is channel specific (e.g. one for Twitter, another one for LinkedIn). It then provides some analytics for the posts that have been published. Buffer offers a free level of service as well as paid ones, that have richer scheduling options.

>>News reader apps (on mobile device)
The one that I use most of the time is News360 (iOS & Android). In this app one can subscribe to a broad range of news channels. I also use Flipboard (iOS & Android) which has the option of adding RSS feeds.

>>Optimization service:
Timing is very important in order to get better impact with the social media posts. There is quite a bit of information on the Internet advising what are best times to post on LinkedIn, Facebook etc. To optimize the timing of my posts I have used Tweriod. This is a service that analyses your Twitter audience and defines a set of times which are optimal for posting. I have then configured these times in Buffer. Tweriod offers a free analysis as well as paid ones. There are quite a few other similar services available, including one from Buffer.

Putting everything together:
First you need to create an account with Buffer and to give it permission to post on your behalf on different social networks. Then you define the schedules for publication, which are specific to each channel. Once this is set up it is time to add posts to the queue for publication.

In my case I scan the news in the evening or while travelling if I find something worth sharing, I send it to Buffer. From my iPhone this is quite simple – while in a News360 article, press “Share” and Buffer is listed as an option. Select it, and the link to the article with a short description text is shown in Buffer. I choose the channels on which it want it published, add some comments/tags, and the app will queue it for delivery.
The source does not have to be News 360. Most of the news apps have the possibility of sharing an article using “Share” (on iPhone) – and Buffer will be presented as an option. Even if this option is not available, one can create a post manually directly in Buffer, including link, text, images etc.

Image published under Creative Commons by Yoel Ben-Avraham.

What’s your digital story saying about you?

digital_self_smallAre you in control of your digital self? Where do you stand on the issue of privacy in a digital society? Since you are likely reading this on a social network, do you understand the current privacy concerns?

Materials trying to answer these questions are usually known for curing insomnia, so notable exceptions are worth being brought to attention.

Al Jazeera had a refreshing approach to privacy, Big Data and Digital Society in a recent publication caled “Terms of Service”. To make it easier to follow the concepts, the authors Michael Keller and Josh Neufeld chose the format of a short comic book/novel. The approach worked on me: I simply could not put it down until reaching the end, and while I am not a fan of comic books, I considered it a rewarding 20 minutes read.

The authors write about privacy in the Digital Society, giving a useful short history of how the matter evolved to become a concern, and how this concern is accentuated by the Internet of Things and Big Data. The novel explains using Dan Geers’s framework of “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Questions” how we tend to go down the slippery slope of trading off privacy for features and perceived cost savings. It also brings in the views of Prof. Scott Peppet on how peer pressure leads to more people revealing their private information on social networks.

By connecting all the digital dots that a person leaves in cyberspace, a “story” is formed. The authors stress how important it is to understand who gets to tell the story. If the story is told by someone else than its subject, it often leaves that person in the position of having to defend the truth. This can be a difficult task, and an example is given of an employer judging how well the prospective employee would fit based on their social media profile. The novel points out that particularly younger generations instinctively try to control their image through an affluent digital presence that allows them to tell their version of their digital story first.
Trading immaterial personal information for immediate tangible benefits (e.g. discounts or use of products) gradually builds up a digital profile. The Digital Society by its nature offers unprecedented access to data and enables companies and governments to draw conclusions about individuals based on these profiles. The examples given in the book (e.g. linking one’s social network to their fitness data to produce a credit score) show that such conclusions are not necessarily intuitive for, nor under the control of, the respective individual. However this doesn’t stop these conclusions from significantly impacting the person’s lifestyle, financial position, etc.

The novel concludes by highlighting the constant trade-off that we make in a Digital Society between privacy and convenience – with the latter winning most of the time.
The foundation of our Digital Society is being built at full speed. This evolution brings increased benefits and – no doubt – increased complexity and risks. The rules of the new game need to strike the right balance between convenience and privacy, and in order to do so, we as a society need to have a broader understanding of these concepts. This is why the timing and format of Al Jazeera’s publication seems to be just right.

What is your position on privacy and digital society? Are social networks a necessary evil, or have you already put on the tinfoil hat? How successful are you in mastering your digital self?

You can read Al Jazeera’s comic novel “Terms of Service” here:



British business people on the use of social networking

Here is an article showing a business perspective on the use of  social networks, bJanuary 11, 2008

My position?

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Florentin Albu, ICT manager for the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), uses several social networking tools with a “varying degree of success” and said for business-related networking Facebook scores lowest.

He said: “The most useful tool for me is by far LinkedIn. The only drawback is that it is largely US and UK oriented. My business is pan-European, and for the EU space I found Xing [ex- OpenBC] to be more effective and popular than LinkedIn. The drawback of Xing is that it is also somewhat less flexible than LinkedIn.

Albu said that as he owns various personal devices he is interested in the Plaxo Pulse sync tool.

“I have to say it is quite far from delivering on the promise though. The company states the service is still a beta – for which they charge, by the way – but it is more an alpha stage to me. Plaxo Pulse has a great potential though, bringing together business contact details from LinkedIn and various other address books.”

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Read the full article here: