In our previous article, we introduced you to Friends+Me and got you started. However, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in a bit more. There’s a lot more to Friends+Me than first meets the eye!
What we’ve learnt so far…
- What Friends+Me is
- How to connect up your social profiles
- Set up your Schedule
- Set up link shorteners
- Set up your first post for Friends+Me
In this article we’re going to go into more detail about scheduling and repost routing.
Set up - Grow or MirrorFriends+Me reposts your Google+ posts to your various social networks. It does this in an intelligent way- understanding the differences between the way each network works. For Twitter, Friends+Me will just use the title (the first line of the post) and the link, and if possible also embed the image in the Tweet- we’ve only got 140 characters to work with after all (and there’s even a nifty feature to limit to 110 characters to allow people to retweet your tweets).
However you need to make a decision for each network you connect- where do you want the links to link to? If you are like most users, you’ll be linking to external content in the Google+ posts you want Friends+Me to repost to your various social networks. So, when your Google+ posts are reposted, do you want to link to...
- The original Google+ post that created the repost?
- The link you attached to the original Google+ post?
The choice depends on your strategy and what you are wanting to achieve.
Are you wanting to grow your Google+ channel? If so, a great strategy is to keep linking back to your original Google+ posts. This will give your Google+ channel more exposure, views and followers over time. For this you need to choose the GROW preset.
Are you wanting to increase the number of click throughs to the content you are linking to? If you are linking to articles or content you’ve created and you want them to get the exposure, then this is the best strategy. Friends+Me will link to the content you linked to in the original Google+ posts when it reposts to different networks instead of linking to the original Google+ post itself. Of course, there may be times when you don’t link to external content. In that case, Friends+Me will fall back to linking to the original Google+ post. For this method, you need to choose the MIRROR preset.
The great news is that you can choose a different preset for each destination profile. That means you can have a different strategy for each profile. For example, you might want to choose the MIRROR preset for your Twitter destination profiles - because you’re only interested in generating more exposure and click throughs to the articles you link to. However, you might want to link back to your Google+ profile when you repost to your Facebook page. In that way you can grow your Google+ channel through your Facebook page.
It’s your choice - think it through and then decide. Of course, it’s important to keep testing and looking at the engagement. You may want to change your strategy in the future by changing from MIRROR to GROW or from GROW to MIRROR. You can do that at any time.
SchedulingWe covered scheduling briefly in the last article. Friends+Me checks all your source accounts for new posts (for example new posts on your Google+ profile and Google+ page) and then reposts them to your destination accounts if applicable.
How often Friends+Me checks your source accounts depends on a number of factors. To begin with, Friends+Me will keep checking at the quickest interval. If, however, Friends+Me notices you’re not posting so often, it adapts and checks less often. If you are on the free plan, Friends+Me checks every 10 minutes, but will slow down to intervals of 30, 80 and 180 minutes if there are no new posts for a while. For paid customers, Friends+Me will check every minute but will slow down to 3, 5, 7 and 10 minutes if there are no new posts. The quickest possible check interval is always restored with next successful repost.
You may not want Friends+Me to repost the post at all, or you may want it only reposted to certain destination profiles. That’s absolutely fine and it is something we’ll cover in the “Repost Routing” section below.
Friends+Me also gives you a number of options as to when the post will get reposted:
- You can repost your post immediately. Please note, this will be as soon as Friends+Me spots the new post so there will be a short delay before this happens. This is a premium option available only on Friends+Me paid plans.
- You can repost after a specified delay. For example, you could choose to repost your posts after a 20 minute, 1hr or even a 12hr delay
- Add to your reposting queue. Each destination account has a schedule. If you select the “repost at predefined times” option, Friends+Me will add the post to the queue for that destination account. The next time a repost is scheduled, the first post in the queue will be reposted.
Setting up a Schedule
To set up a schedule, go to your destination account in your Friends+Me dashboard and click the “Schedule" menu.
You can now set up one or more schedules for your posts to be reposted on this destination account.
Firstly, make sure you set your timezone. Friends+Me works with people all round the world, so it needs to know what timezone you work in!
For most people, setting one schedule is going to be adequate. This will be the same set of times for each day of the week. Or you may find you only want to post on weekdays and not at the weekend. That’s fine too.
Firstly, make sure you have all the days of the week highlighted. It should display “Every Day” like so:
If you only want to post Monday-Friday, click Saturday and Sunday to deselect them. It should now display “Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri”:
Do you want more flexibility? Maybe you do want to post at the weekend, just at a different reposting frequency? That’s fine! All you need to do is create a new posting schedule by clicking on the “+ New posting schedule” button. The ability to have more than one schedule is a premium feature available only to paid Friends+Me accounts. Make sure the initial posting schedule has Monday through to Friday selected, and the new posting schedule having Saturday and Sunday selected:
Of course, we’ll need to set some times to repost for these days. That’s easy to do. First of all, select the schedule - in this case we’re selecting “Monday-Friday” and then add a new reposting time as follows:
You can also edit or delete some of the times that are already there so you can make your perfect schedule:
Once you’ve created your scheduling masterpiece, you’ll need to make sure Friends+Me now uses this schedule for your reposts. Scroll down to the bottom of this page, and select “Repost at predefined times”. The schedule you’ve just set up are those predefined times!
Of course, if you ever want to bypass the schedule for a particular post, you can do, just by adding the #nq hashtag (no queue) to the original post. Friends+Me will then just repost it immediately.
As mentioned before, there are two other options. If you would prefer not to repost on a schedule all the time and just repost as soon as possible, then choose the “Repost immediately” option.
However, you might want to choose “repost with a delay” and then choose how long you want Friends+Me to delay before reposting:
You could choose to delay anywhere between 1, 3 and 5 minutes up to a number of weeks. You may find choosing this option works for your strategy if you are wanting to stagger your reposts across your various networks. Again, you can bypass the delay by using the no queue hashtag (“#nq”) so that Friends+Me will repost immediately.
Reposts RoutingAgain, we mentioned the “Reposts Routing” dashboard in our previous article. It looks complicated to begin with, but don’t worry- it isn’t- and you won’t need to visit this page very often in the future!
Friends+Me is really easy to use out of the box. It reposts your posts from your origin networks to your destination networks and you can choose (as we’ve seen) whether to repost immediately, after a delay, on a predefined schedule or not at all. You can choose whether you want to link to the original post or the original article you linked to. All of that is is set up and ready to go.
However, what if you wanted more control over which networks certain posts get reposted to? Maybe you’d like one post to get reposted to your Twitter account and another post reposted to your Facebook page and LinkedIn profile?
The good news is that Friends+Me offers you that flexibility, and that’s through the reposts routing section.
The default is to repost your origin accounts’ posts to all your destination accounts. However, you can override this behaviour using hashtags to select which accounts you want to repost to. For example I could choose to repost to my Facebook page using the hashtag #f, repost to my LinkedIn profile using #l and my Twitter account using #t. I can then combine them to post to more than one- for example #tf to repost to Twitter and my Facebook page, #fl to repost to my Facebook page and my LinkedIn profile and #tfl to repost to my Twitter account, Facebook page and my LinkedIn profile. You may not want to do this for all your posts- but to have that flexibility is very powerful.
Repost Default Destinations
It’s nice when life is made a bit easier, and in Friends+Me you can select which destination accounts you want Friends+Me to repost to as the default. You can always override these on a per post basis or use the “no share” hashtag (#ns) to force Friends+Me not to repost a certain post. However sometimes it is easy to forget to use a hashtag, and you can get Friends+Me to always repost to your default destination accounts unless you specifically override this.
In this section, you can add all the destination accounts by clicking the “+ Assign Account” button:
In this example, all my Google+ profile posts will be reposted to my Twitter account and Facebook page every time unless I override using the no share hashtag or another control hashtag (see below).
The No Share Control HashtagsI’ve mentioned the “no share” hashtag a number of times. When you use this hashtag in your origin account’s posts, Friends+Me will ignore it and it won’t be reposted. This control hashtag group is what tells Friends+Me which hashtags to look for when ignoring posts. My recommendation is to leave this alone. The default is that the following hashtags can be used to denote that the post isn’t to be reposted- #ns, #plusonly and #noshare. However, if you’d prefer to add another hashtag that you are more comfortable with then do add a new hashtag by clicking the “+Add a Hashtag” button.
Editing your Control Hashtag GroupsA Control Hashtag group is a group of one or more hashtags that tell Friends+Me which networks to repost to. As I mentioned before, you could use the hashtag #t to tell Friends+Me to repost to Twitter. Perhaps you’ve set up Friends+Me to usually repost all your posts to Twitter AND your Facebook page. However, maybe you’d like to occasionally repost the odd post to just Twitter? In that situation, you can use the Control hashtag for Twitter- which in my case is #t:
You can see in the above screenshot that the only hashtag in this group is #t and we’ve assigned my Twitter account. I’ve also selected “Remove Control Hashtags from Reposts”. In most cases you’ll want this selected because adding control hashtags such as #t or #f won’t make much sense in the repost.
You may consider creating a special hashtag for your brand and in this case you may prefer this option to be disabled.
Finally, I’ve selected “Override Default Destinations”. If I use the hashtag #t, I want to override my default destinations and to just repost to Twitter. However, you’ll want to deselect this if you want to repost to this network in addition to your default networks. For example, if my default destination networks were Facebook and LinkedIn, and I wanted to post to Twitter in addition by using the #t hashtag I’d want to deselect the override default destinations option.
Creating New Control Hashtag Groups
Once you get a bit more confidence with the reposts routing section, you’ll want to start creating your own.The power comes from combining destination networks. For example, I can create a new control hashtag group so I can repost to both Facebook and Twitter:
I’ve added both #tf and #ft so that I can use either to tell Friends+Me I want this post reposted to both Twitter and Facebook. In this way, if you have 3 or more networks to repost to (such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIN) you could add the hashtags #tfl, #flt, #ltf and #lft which will tell Friends+Me to repost to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
If you want to differentiate between your Facebook page and profile, you could use #f for your Facebook page and #fb for your Facebook profile. Maybe you could use #l for your LinkedIn profile and #lp for your LinkedIn page? There are loads of options, so you need to work out a solution that’s best for you.