Pulling in content from your various social networks, and pushing content to the same one,…
Not too long ago, I covered Social, a plugin that allows you to automatically publish Twitter and Facebook posts whenever you post something new on WordPress. Social is very simple and easy to use if all you need is Facebook and Twitter functionality. But if you’re looking for a plugin that can post to a lot more networks, with a robust set of features, SNAP (Social Networks Auto Poster) is the way to go.
What’s It Do?
SNAP allows you to connect your WordPress site to over two dozen social networks, among them Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Reddit, YouTube, Flipboard, and lots more (for a full list visit the plugin’s homepage). You can choose which of these networks you want to publish to whenever something new is posted on your site, or keep it manual so you can only selectively post to platforms. And settings can be tweaked for each individual network. So you can choose to manually post to Facebook, automatically push to Twitter and Tumblr, and use different messages for each.
How’s It Work?
After you install and activate the plugin, you will need to connect your WordPress install to the appropriate social network. Go to Settings -> Social Networks Auto Poster to get started. At the top, you will see a button labeled “Add New Account.” Click on this, and then select the network you want to connect to first. There are over 24 to choose from you, and you can do as many as you like.
Each social media channel has it’s own set of instructions for getting, set up, though most are very similar. For the sake of brevity and my own sanity, I’ll only focus on how to get Facebook set up here. But luckily, the plugin has full documentation for each one. Still, this should be good to get you started. So, for now select the “Facebook” option from the drop-down menu. Give the account a nickname, just what will be used by you to identify it, and the URL of your Facebook account. This can be your individual profile, a Facebook Group, or Facebook Page.
The next step is to actually create an API link with the Facebook platform. To do so, flip open a new tab and create an account at the Facebook Developers site, and click on Apps -> Create New App. This is essentially a way of you registering with the Facebook platform so they know that you are automatically posting to their network programmatically. So just give your App a name, description and category and create it. From there, you’ll want to go into your App’s Settings an “App Domain” and “Site URL.” These should both be the same, and should simply be the URL of your WordPress site, but if you are unclear about what it is, you can go back to the SNAP Settings page and copy and paste the “URL” and “Domain” fields that are in the top right. After you’ve added this info, click the “Save Settings.”
Now all you have to do is copy and paste the “App ID” and the “App Secret” codes from the Facebook developer site to the corresponding text fields on the SNAP Settings page. For the App Secret, you will most likely need to enter in your password to reveal. That’s all you’ll need from the Facebook Developers site.
Back on the SNAP Settings page, the next option is “Message Text Format.” This is something that you will need to specify on every platform that you set up, though the plugin has some logical defaults. It uses a series of shortcodes to define the dynamic content you might want to show when a Facebook post is published from your site. For instance “%TITLE%” will be replaced by the actual title of your post and “%EXCERPT%” will be replaced by a small excerpt. You can click the “Show Format Info” link to see a list of available tags. Customize the message however you want. The next step is to choose what kind of post you want, a purely “Text Post” a purely “Image Post” or a “Text Post with a Link”. The latter is probably the most common, and will automatically include a link back to your post. If you do choose this option make sure you also select “Let Facebook Fill the link info in”. When you’re all set, click “Update Settings”.
The network will be added to your active social network listings. To finish this up, you need to Test out the account, and finalize your settings, click the “Show Settings” link. This will bring up your basic settings, which you’ve already set up, but you will also see an “Advanced” Tab. This has more specific settings, such as limiting autoposting to a single category, or creating Facebook posts from WordPress content that has already been created. Feel free to explore this to get the most out of the plugin. But you will also need to flip back to the “Basic” tab, scroll down to the bottom and click the “Authorize Facebook Account” button. This will send a test post to your Facebook account so that you know if it’s working. Each one of the networks you set up will have this step, and it’s very useful in the debugging process. Also note that if you only want to post to Facebook selectively, you should uncheck the “Autopost” checkbox and click “Update Settings.”
At the top of the page you will also see a general “Settings” tab, which has some global options for the plugin. There is a lot that can be done with this, but I’ve found the defaults are pretty good. Still, you can choose certain privacy and security settings, like what user roles are allowed to post or autopost to social networks. You can also choose which custom post types or categories to include or exclude from autoposting simply by checking them off. You can also add support for a URL shortener, and tweak featured image settings to be more personalized. There are a few other things you can do on this page, so refer to the “Help” tab at the top of the page if you have any further questions.
If you’ve chosen to autopost your content to social networks, then there’s not much else for you to do. But, if you’ve left things manually, then you will notice a new metabox at the bottom of the post editor for posts and pages titled “Social Network Auto Poster – Post Options”. For each of the social networks you’ve set up, there will be a checkbox next to it, which you should check if you wish to post to that network. You will also be given a few options specific to that post, such as what kind of post to use, and what the content of the message should be. If you enable any of these before you publish a post, then the social media post will be automatically published when the WordPress post is.
As you can probably tell, there is so so much more you can do with this plugin that I barely touched on. The best way to get started is to just start playing with it, following help links, or going to the plugin’s official documentation for lots more information and tutorials.
Costs, Caveats, Etc.
SNAP is a free plugin, though there are several premium options available for those that want to support multiple accounts on the same platform, for those operating a WordPress multisite, or for those wishing to expose external API’s such as Google+, YouTube and Flipboard.
There is a lot of information in the plugin’s documentation and FAQ. If you have a specific problem though, you can either submit it through NextScript’s official support system, or through the plugin’s support forums.