One important way to make your marketing efforts on social media sites more effective is by automating the posting process. This means that once you post to your blog or to a social network, it can be re-posted automatically to all your other networks and sites. Automation gives you a greater amount of exposure without having to post your content to each social network individually.

Some online tools like ping.fm allow you to automate your social networking sites. Others like tubemogul.com enable you to coordinate video postings. These sites can submit a link or post to one or two, or in some cases up to 60 sites that you’re using.

Also, be mindful that your posts are relevant to all the sites they’re being posted to. In other words, if a particular network has a specific theme and the content in your post isn’t relevant to that community, it can elicit negative votes or comments, or be considered spam.

Here are some automation suggestions to get you started:

  • Twitter to Facebook/Facebook to Twitter. When you post on Twitter, it can automatically re-post to your personal Facebook newsfeed. Conversely, you can make it so that when you post something to your Facebook fan page, it will also post to Twitter (as well as to your personal Facebook newsfeed).
  • Link your blog to Facebook. Click on the NetworkedBlogs application in Facebook (apps.facebook.com/blognetworks), and add your blog information as prompted. There’s a verification process that Facebook will walk you through to make sure you’re the author of the blog.
  • Link your blog to LinkedIn. If you have a WordPress blog, go to Applications and click on WordPress. If you have a TypePad blog, go to Applications then Blog Link. LinkedIn will walk you through the process step-by-step.
  • Link your blog to Twitter. Twitterfeed is a useful, free website application that “feeds your blog to Twitter.” Go to Twitterfeed, sign up for an account, verify your identity and log in. Then click the Create New Feed button to add your blog. It might take a couple hours to start working.

Add a Widget or a Plugin
Another great way to automate your blog so that it posts to the social sites you’re active on is to set up widgets and add plugins. You can do this for sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Squidoo, Delicious, Digg and others. The way a widget works is every time you post on one social site it will go out to your blog as an update. 

First, you’ll need to verify that your blogging platform accepts widgets. Then log into each of the sites you want to add a widget to, go to the search box and type in the word widget. That will direct you to the most current directions on how to upload or generate the HTML code needed to post widgets to your blog.

Another option is using plugins. They are applications that can enhance the capabilities of your blog, such as the All in One SEO plugins available on WordPress, which help you optimize your blog for search engines. The WPtouch iPhone Theme on WordPress allows you to transform your WordPress blog into an iPhone application-style theme. There are thousands of plugins available, and they’re usually found on your blog platform under plugging. 

Start Your Own Business Excerpted from Start Your Own Business, Fifth Edition by the staff of Entrepreneur.