As a content creator, it’s important to share your articles and messages as far and wide as possible. The more your target audience is exposed to your content, the more possibilities you have for engaging them and bringing prospects and customers to your site.
These days, social media can be a significant source of traffic for your blog or online business. And more than ever, social media influence is a critical component of how search engines like Google measure authority and rank your content.
Today, we’re going to take a look at Microblog Poster, a WordPress plugin from Efficient Scripts, a company out of Belgrade, Serbia.
Whether you’re working hard on your blog or relaxing on vacation, Microblog Poster can help promote your content to your social media accounts.
Microblog Poster Main Features
Microblog Poster allows you to share new and old content to social media.
Once you set up your social media accounts to communicate with Microblog Poster and WordPress, your social sharing runs on autopilot—tweeting, sharing, and linking for you whenever you publish a new post or page.
Microblog Poster currently supports 11 social media platforms:
Microblog Poster Features (Free Version):
• Automatic publication to 11 social networks for new and old posts and pages
• Ability to connect multiple accounts to each social network
For example, you have the ability to create an unlimited number of Facebook accounts and use Microblog Poster to automatically publish to the Facebook profiles.
• Ability to format the published message per social account
• Supports shortcodes
• Supports Bitly and goo.gl URL shorteners
• No self promotional links from the plugin creator in your shared content
• Logs are generated for posting activity for each social network account you configure
• Provides valuable backlinks and social signals for improved search rankings
• Filter which posts you want published based on categories
• WordPress Multisite support
• Email support
Microblog Poster Features (Premium Versions):
Microblog Poster comes with add-ons that can be purchased. An add-on is a WordPress plugin helper which brings premium functionality to the free version of Microblog Poster. To get this additional functionality, you need to purchase one of the three premium versions of the plugin.
Premium functionality includes:
• Ability to include images with Twitter
• Ability to automatically publish to Facebook fan pages, business pages, and groups
• Ability to automatically publish to LinkedIn company pages and groups
• Ability to automatically update Tumblr blogs in link format
• Ability to automatically publish to VKontakte company pages, groups, and events
• Dashboard on WordPress new post editor, allowing you to choose which social accounts you want to publish to, and formatting options for each social account
• Support for extra URL shorteners (AdF.ly, AdFoc.us, P.pw)
• Multi-Author mode allowing authors to auto publish to their own social accounts
Installing & Setting Up Microblog Poster
You install the free version of Microblog Poster in the same way you install any WordPress plugin:
- Within WordPress, go to Plugins…Add New.
- Search for Microblog Poster.
3. Click the Install Now button, and activate the plugin.
If you’re only using the free version of Microblog Poster, you’re good to go.
If you want additional features and choose to upgrade, you can purchase one of the premium add-ons from Efficient Scripts (Pro, Enterprise, or Ultimate). The add-ons work alongside the free version of Microblog Poster, so you’ll need to install it after installing the free version.
To install a premium version (add-on) of Microblog Poster:
- In WordPress, go to Plugins…Add New…Upload Plugin.
2. Click the Choose File button, find the Microblog Poster zip file you purchased, and install and activate it.
- Go to the General Options tab of the free version of Microblog Poster and enter the license key that came with your purchase.
Using Microblog Poster
Microblog Poster is composed of five main tabs. Let’s take a look at each one.
In the General Options tab, you can:
• Turn on Multi-Author mode (premium feature)
• Decide who can and cannot auto-publish (Administrators, Editors, Authors, etc.)
• Choose a URL shortener service for your links
• Choose the default behavior for publishing posts and/or pages (this can be overridden in the WordPress editor)
• Choose what custom post types (if any) to auto publish
• Select post categories that will disable automatic publishing
• Set shortcode character limits for content (titles, content, excerpts)
Setting Up a URL Shortener Service with Bitly
The free version of Microblog Poster supports Bitly and Google shortener services to help you shorten your content’s URL links. This can be beneficial for social platforms such as Twitter, with its 140-character limit. Shortener services also make it easier to share your posts and track your click statistics.
The premium versions of Microblog Poster include additional link shortening services that can also help you monetize your links. They include AdF.ly, AdFoc.us, and P.pw.
Let’s take a look at how to set up Bitly.
- From the General Options tab of Microblog Poster, click the Help with screenshots link for Bitly as shown below.
From the Efficient Scripts website, click the link shown below, and sign into Bitly. If you don’t already have an account with Bitly, sign up for a free account.
3. Enter your Bitly password into the Confirm password field, then click the Generate Token button. This will create the access token that you’ll need for Microblog Poster.
- In the General section of Microblog Poster, paste in the token from Bitly into the field that reads Bitly Access Token.
Now when you auto publish to your social media accounts through Microblog Poster, the URL for your links will be automatically shortened.
Social Networks Accounts
The Social Networks Accounts tab is where you add your social accounts to Microblog Poster.
As of this writing, Microblog Poster has 11 social platforms to choose from.
Here’s the basic process for adding a social account to Microblog Poster:
- Click on the green Add New Account button.
From the Account type dropdown menu that appears, choose a social network you’d like to auto publish to with Microblog Poster.
Fill in the required fields.
TIP: If a social network needs more than your username and password to communicate with Microblog Poster and WordPress (most of them do), click on the instructions link provided by Efficient Scripts as shown in the image below.
Then, depending on which networks you choose, follow the steps in order to get the proper credentials to work with the social platform’s API.
Efficient Scripts, the creator of Microblog Poster, provides documentation for configuring the social networks that the plugin supports.
Setting Up Twitter with Microblog Poster
For a basic demonstration of how to configure a social network account for auto publishing, let’s set up Twitter.
- In WordPress, go to Settings…Microblog Poster and click on the Social Networks Accounts tab.
From there, click on the green Add New Account button.
- In the popup window, for Account type, select Twitter in the dropdown menu.
Now, click the Help with screenshots link (see below).
You’ll be taken to the Efficient Scripts company website. In order to post automatic updates with Microblog Poster through the Twitter API, you’ll need to create a Twitter App.
- Click the link provided by Efficient Scripts (see below) to go to Twitter’s Application Management page.
Once there, you may need to sign in with your Twitter account.
- Click on the Create New App button.
Fill out the application details on the next screen.
For the purpose of this demo, let’s consider a fictional site called MySite.com
- Agree to the Developer Agreement, and then click the Create your Twitter application button.
This will create your Twitter application and take you to the Applications Settings page.
- Go to the Permissions tab to make sure the access for your app is Read and Write.
Go to the Keys and Access Tokens tab. This tab contains the information you’ll need for Microblog Poster.
Scroll down and click the Create my access token button.
- Copy and save the following information (you’ll need to enter it into Microblog Poster):
Consumer Key (API Key)
Consumer Secret (API Secret)
Access Token Secret
- Go back to the Microblog Poster Twitter account window in WordPress (from step 2) and fill out the fields (see the example below from my own setup). Afterwards, make sure to click the Save button.
Now Microblog Poster will automatically publish to Twitter whenever you publish a new post.
To configure other social networks, repeat the same basic steps.
IMPORTANT: Be aware of what you put into the Message Format box. Twitter puts a 140-character limit on its tweets, and if the information that’s sent out here goes beyond 140 characters, Microblog Poster will not be able to publish the post to Twitter.
Auto Publish Old Posts
The Auto Publish Old Posts tab is where you can set up Microblog Poster to automatically post your older content to your configured social network accounts.
Here, you input an hourly time interval to run a Cron job that will determine which of your older posts meet the criteria for being sent out to your social networks.
You can choose the number of posts to publish each time the Cron job is run, a minimum and maximum age (in days) that a post must fall between to qualify, and the number of days that must pass before a post can be published again.
You can also exclude older posts from being published based on the categories they’re in, select which social networks will be published to, and decide what formatting (based on shortcodes) you want to use for the content you send out.
Manual Auto Publishing
Manual Auto Publishing is one of the premium features of Microblog Poster. This feature is independent of your blog posts and pages, and allows you to quickly send out link or text message to your social accounts.
I liked the simplicity and effectiveness of this feature. It allows you to send out a quick link or message to your social audience without having to go into the WordPress editor.
And remember, this content goes out to all of your configured social accounts, which makes it much more effective than, say, just sending out a tweet.
The Logs/History tab tracks your posting activity along with important debugging information.
Whenever you publish new content with WordPress, a log will be generated for each social network account you configured to work with Microblog Poster. Each of your different social media accounts will have different log entries.
In early testing with Microblog Poster, I was able to use the information from the log to understand why my posts were not going out to my Twitter account.
For example, the red log message shown below told me that I was over Twitter’s 140-character limit. I changed the shortcode formatting options I had for my post and was able to get in under the character limit.
Video Tutorial: Setting Up and Using Microblog Poster
Support & Documentation
I like how Microblog Poster ties in the documentation they provide within the plugin itself. In other words, you generally don’t need to step outside of the plugin to find their documentation.
For instance, from the Social Networks Accounts tab, you’ll find links and screenshots that will help you get set up with social networks that require more advanced credentials for communicating with Microblog Poster.
And in the General Options tab, they provide links and screenshots for setting up various URL shortener services.
But, while I like how the documentation is incorporated into Microblog Poster, I think it would be beneficial if there was more clarity and detail given for some of the more complex social network configurations.
For instance, although I consider myself fairly competent with technical matters, it took some trial and error before I could get the Twitter configuration working. In the end, my issues mostly had to do with Twitter’s 140-character limit, along with some of my settings with Microblog Poster’s formatting shortcodes.
While certainly not a deal breaker, it was a somewhat frustrating experience that I feel could have been avoided with more detailed documentation. Some plugins, because of their technical nature, require a bit more “hand-holding” for their users.
Efficient Scripts also provides email support with the plugin, as well as a frequently asked questions section on their website.
And again, the plugin generates a log for any automated posting activity to help with debugging. And it was this log that helped me get past some of the technical issues I was having early on.
The makers of Microblog Poster, Efficient Scripts, have support staff that speak English, Serbian, and French.
Efficient Scripts offers four versions of Microblog Poster:
The three premium versions are “add-ons” to the free version of the plugin, with additional features for each version. Each of the premium versions require a one-time payment and include a 30 day money back guarantee.
Once purchased, future updates for all versions of the plugin are free and available from within the WordPress admin.
According to the Efficient Scripts license, owners can use Microblog Poster on any of their own sites, but not on client sites.
Conclusions & Recommendations
As content creators, tools that can help save us time when it comes to spreading and promoting our message are invaluable.
Besides having to research and create content, it can be overwhelming to have to constantly log into different social networks to post updates. Obviously, having a tool for such purposes would be extremely beneficial.
Microblog Poster is such a tool.
It’s a WordPress plugin that automatically shares your posts and pages to social networks of your choosing.
Currently, Microblog Poster supports 11 social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, among others.
The free version of Microblog Poster allows you to try out the plugin and post to places like Twitter, your Facebook timeline, your LinkedIn timeline, and more.
But if you decide you’d like to also publish to social business pages or groups, you’ll need to upgrade to one of the premium versions of the plugin.
This allows you to try out and benefit from most of the features of the plugin at no cost, and lets you upgrade to premium, business-level features if you need them.
While using such tools to help us share our content is beneficial, it’s important not to rely on automation. Remember, we need to be social on the social networks, and it’s important to also be active and present with some real-time interaction.
That being said, time-saving tools like Microblog Poster can be a godsend to the busy content publisher. And isn’t that all of us these days?
If you’re interested in finding out more about Microblog Poster, and how it can help you with some of those time-sucking social media chores, you can do so here at the Efficient Scripts website.