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My Social Media Blueprint (RSS, IFTTT, HootSuite)

Discussion in 'Social Networking Sites' started by cash202, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. cash202

    cash202 Elite Member Premium Member

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    Part I: Introduction

    Here is the blueprint of the automated social media management system I use from
    around 2009. The particular bits and pieces were replaced with new tools that came
    up but the essence is the same.

    It is currently based on a bunch of custom software (which is possible to replace with
    stock tools) and IFTTT service together with HootSuite. Previously I use now defunct
    ping.fm and dead hellotxt.com.

    You can modify and use the system for whatever purpose you want. For example:

    • Fast indexing of your sites
    • To auto-backlink your RSS mashups
    • To get deep links on autopilot
    • To build social pyramids (if you replicate it multiple times)

    It is NOT about drip feeding fake likes and tweets. In my opinion and according to my
    tests, these crappy so-called social signal do nothing to improve your ranking.

    As usual with what I do, it requires some effort up front and then the system runs
    itself. The way I use it is just an example. You can take the idea and create something
    unique.

    What I am going to describe is best suited for e-commerce sites with a large inventory
    of products that get searched by product names and model numbers. Distributing videos,
    and PDFs for each product can generate a referral traffic from video and doc-sharing site.
    YouTube videos and Slideshares tend to rank especially well for these long tail keywords.
    Plus you get deep links to your product pages. I can image it will work well with Amazon
    product listing as they now tend to rank very well for some lucrative keywords although
    I haven't tested it.

    Here is the high level diagram:

    [​IMG]

    Let's say we have an imaginary widgets store that sells 1000 models of widgets. For each
    widget the have a separate page with widget picture, title, description and buy now button.
    Typical e-commerce store.

    Our imaginary store owner, as it usually happens, is too busy sourcing and selling widgets.
    He or she doesn't have time to tweet all day long or hang out on Facebook, reading shit
    posted by so-called friends in hope to sell a widget. Unfortunately, if you don't tweet all
    day long, don't post your half-naked pics on Facebook and don't update all your "friends"
    on what your cat ate for breakfast, you are considered to be a kind of freak. No worries,
    help is on it's way.

    What we are going to do is to create tons of content fast and then drip feed it to social
    networks.
     
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  2. cash202

    cash202 Elite Member Premium Member

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    Part II: Content Generation

    This is the hardest part since you need to use your brain. I know, it's tough but bear with
    me. What we are going to create is a status update program, blogging and product based
    content.

    Blog

    (A) Set up a blog on the e-commerce site. Do not make a blog.shop.com domain. Put in in
    a /blog directory. Set up WordPress with all the bells and whistles, you now the drill.

    (B) Go to MediaPiston.com and buy two-four high quality posts for around $37 a pop. If
    you are broke, write high quality posts yourself.

    (C) Set up drip feed in WordPress so you posts go out ones per fortnight or week. One
    post per fortnight is a minimum.

    Tweets

    OK, we took care of blogging. Now tweets.

    I like to follow simple four tweets per day programme. Here it is.

    (1) 9 am - Hello folks, happy (day of the week)!
    (2) 11 am - Here is the coll video/link/article (link) OR evergreen retweet
    (3) 2 pm - Check out our cool widget (link to one of the products from the catalogue)
    (4) 4 pm - Some famous or funny quote related to widgets niche

    Here is where you need to use brains and creativity, because you are going to go and
    collect at least 20 quotes for (4), 20 links for (2) and rotate 20 various greetings for (1)
    for one month worth of tweets. Multiply by number of months you'd like to automate.

    For (3) you will need to either scrape the whole product catalogue off the e-commerce
    site or get it directly from the database of products in the shopping cart system. My
    tweets look something like this.

    Code:
    {Check out |Have a look at |Amazing } <full product name> <link>
    It's not fantastics but much better than random tweet once per quarter. I don't set up
    any tweets for the weekend (as I observed corporate twitters do it this way).

    Images

    Start your favourite scraper tool and download all product images off the website or
    grab them somehow from the shopping cart system.

    I usually simply write a quick Groovy script using JSoup library to scrape the content
    directly from the website. It puts images in folders and renames them as well as put
    the titles, descriptions and URLs into the spreadsheet file.

    You can achieve the same with visual scraper tools like Visual Web Ripper, WinAutomation
    and others.

    Videos

    Now that you have all product images and spreadsheet with product descriptions, you
    need to produce one 10 seconds to 1 minute video per product. You can use Animoto and
    do it by hand, one video at a time. You can use video creation API from Animoto to make
    the video or use Windows Movie Maker with desktop automation.

    Here is how I do it. I create a WinAutomation job that starts Movie Maker and adds a shop
    logo and a couple of product images into the timeline, then adds a sound and couple of
    transition effects and saves the video. I loop over the list of products from the spreadsheet
    to make one video per product.

    I created up to 300 videos overnight using this method. At the end of the day I start the job
    and go to bed. In the morning I have the videos ready.

    If you have any ideas how to make it easier and faster, post here and let us all know.

    PDFs

    Again, manual route it too slow. When you need to turn 1000 product catalogue into PDFs
    one page per product, manual goes out of the window.

    I did it with a custom Groovy script but I'll explain how to do it without programming (well,
    you'll need to do some programming but with visual tool).

    Here is what to do.

    (A) Get or create a pretty HTML template for a product page. Make sure it fits into a single
    page when you print it with Google Chrome. You can create templates that can be printed
    into multiple pages with proper page breaks using HTML5/CSS3 if you know how.

    (B) Put placeholders for product name, link, image and description into the HTML template

    (C) Using WinAutomation, loop through the product list in the spreadsheet and create a
    single HTML page per product by replacing placeholders with real data.

    (D) Open a few pages in a browser to see if it looks good and image is in place.

    (E) Use this tool to convert HTML to PDF (loop each product using WinAutomation or batch
    script).

    At the end, for 1000 product catalogue you'll have 4000 tweets, 1000 images, 1000 videos
    and 1000 PDFs. Drip fed one per day excluding weekends you now have more that 3 and a
    half years worth of social content. And it took you a couple of days at most. Congratulations.

    If you are too broke to afford WinAutomation, there is a free AutoHotKey software that can
    do a desktop automation in the similar manner (or so I was told).

    Again, if you have any ideas how to make it easier, please let us know.
     
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  3. cash202

    cash202 Elite Member Premium Member

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    Part III: Distribution System

    The list of social networks I use is limited by IFTTT support. These are networks supported
    by the tool (excluding Pinterest):

    • Twitter
    • Facebook Page
    • Google+ Page
    • Pinterest
    • Tumblr
    • Slideshare
    • Blogger
    • WordPress.com
    • Storify
    • LinkedIn
    • Diigo
    • Delicious
    So, go ahead and create an account at each one. I assume that our widgets store has official
    Twitter account and Facebook page. You will need a separate announcement Twitter account
    so you don't put the "I've posted another burp on <social network>" type of tweets for your
    loyal followers to read.

    Also, create an account at HootSuite for tweet scheduling (will be explained shortly) and
    IFTTT.com for distribution.

    I'd like to also set up a Gravatar account with all the social networks linked there as well as
    add them all to Google+ Page link list. I also send some Xrumer and Scrapebox links to all
    social profiles for speedy indexing. Feel free to collect followers, +1's and likes on your page
    if you choose to.

    Next step is to create IFTTT recipes to map networks we are going to post content to to
    announcement networks. Create the following recipes following the above diagram:

    [​IMG]


    • YouTube -> [Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress.com, Storify, Facebook, LinkedIn, Diigo, Delicious, Announce Twitter] (this is 9 recipes altogether)
    • Slideshare -> [Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress.com, Storify, Facebook, LinkedIn, Diigo, Delicious, Announce Twitter]
    • Tumblr -> [Blogger, WordPress.com, Storify, Facebook, LinkedIn, Diigo, Delicious, Announce Twitter]
    • RSS feed of the blog -> [Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress.com, Storify, Facebook, LinkedIn, Diigo, Delicious, Official Twitter]
    • [YouTube, Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress.com, Storify, Facebook, LinkedIn, Diigo, Delicious] -> Announce Twitter
    Make sure you don't make closed loops like Tumblr -> Blogger -> WordPress -> Tumblr :)

    Next, we will use HootSuit for tweet scheduling and connecting official blog RSS feed with
    Google+ page (this is the only social media management tool on the market that supports
    Google+ pages at the moment).

    Register your Google+ Page, Facebook page, Official Twitter, WordPress.com and LinkedIn
    accounts at HootSuite. Now you can use HootSuite and HootSuite mobile app to update all
    these networks in one go but we are going to automate this as well.
     
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  4. cash202

    cash202 Elite Member Premium Member

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    Part IV: Putting It All Together

    Now it's time to set up automatic content distribution.

    Inside the Publisher module of HootSuite there's a Bulk Schedule Updates function. Here is
    where you upload a list of prepared tweets and schedule them to be sent to: Official Twitter,
    Google+ Page, Facebook Page, and LinkedIn.

    [​IMG]

    Next, go to HootSuite setting and set up RSS feed publishing to send your new blog posts
    to Google+ Page. The rest will be taken care of by ITFFF.

    [​IMG]

    WARNING! The rest of the tasks is accomplished by the custom software I developed. I will
    only speculate about how it can be done with stock tools. I don't do it this way, I use custom
    software.

    (A) Set up a schedule to upload one video per day to YouTube with link to a product page.
    Use product name in title and product description in description field.

    You can create a custom ZennoPoster template for this or use one of many YouTube blasters
    with scheduling function.

    (B) Set up a schedule to pin one image per day on Pinterest linking to a product page

    Again, custom Zenno template or Pinterest bot.

    (C) Set up a queue to post one image per day to Tumblr linking to a product page

    Tumblr has a wonderful feature called queue. You can upload posts to queue and let Tumblr
    release one post per day. There's a Tumblr queue pre-loading bot floating around BHW,
    search for it. Otherwise, use Zenno.

    (D) Set up a schedule to post one PDF with product image and description to Slideshare.

    Well, I am not aware of any good stock tools that can do it, so ZennoPoster it is.

    If you are good at ZennoPoster templates, you can automate all these tasks with Zenno and
    set up a scheduler on a VPS server to drip feed all these posts daily.
     
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  5. cash202

    cash202 Elite Member Premium Member

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    Conclusion

    As you can see, both HootSuite and ITFFF support RSS feeds as an input source, so it is possible
    to build multiple distribution systems like this and feed the various RSS feeds to create a random
    structure. You can also create a top level structure and then take an RSS feed of each social
    network sites and feed it into another structure or multiple structures essentially creating a
    pyramid-like linking scheme.

    Why Instagram is missing? It is supported by IFTTT and can be set up in a way similar to Tumblr
    but it is hard to automate as you need a mobile phone. I certainly don't feel like snapping photos
    for my customers all day long. You can add it to the mix and snap photos if you wish. I have not
    much experience in Instagram spamming so of you have any ideas, please share.

    Here you go, have fun.
     
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  6. nightbat

    nightbat Regular Member

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    @Cash202: You, sir, are a legend. Many thanks and Rep+ .
     
  7. Sampler

    Sampler Senior Member

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    You are on a roll man!

    Keep it up!

    "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to cash202 again."

    Sampler

     
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  8. A N K E S H

    A N K E S H Junior Member

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    This Is Really Some Good Information
     
  9. Black Seagull

    Black Seagull Junior Member

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    Cash202,
    you are my SEO idol!!! Thank you very much! Have you thought about creating videocourse?
     
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  10. nivonuke

    nivonuke Junior Member

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    Duh..
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    Cash are you planning on offerring this as a service any time soon?
     
  11. nightbat

    nightbat Regular Member

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  12. A N K E S H

    A N K E S H Junior Member

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    if someone don't have money for this part,you can use yahoo pipes i think for all the automation of rss and retweets
     
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  13. Union

    Union Power Member

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    Nice tutorial !
     
  14. cash202

    cash202 Elite Member Premium Member

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    I have a few beta customers. I need to get the software stable before even thinking about a
    service. Now it is a bunch of crap code that somehow holds together :)
     
  15. cash202

    cash202 Elite Member Premium Member

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  16. cash202

    cash202 Elite Member Premium Member

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    If you have a small operation, you don't need a paid version of HootSuite.

    Yahoo Pipes is an awesome tool. You can create some crazy mashups there.
     
  17. nightbat

    nightbat Regular Member

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    Absolutely. Please buy it if you can afford it. Use cracks and nulled SW only if you really are broke at the moment.

    Once you start making money, re-invest it in buying the genuine software, it's worth it.
     
  18. phracktl

    phracktl Regular Member

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    Great share OP and also thanks to commenters for adding to thread

    Ive been starting out with IFTTT to automate and also found Zapier - looks like an IFTTT clone aimed at business, so has free & paid.
    Only mention it as it looks like it could handle some of the administrative side of things
     
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  19. 9to5destroyer

    9to5destroyer Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    great share i do this on a smaller scale but with the added twist of automated follower gaining.
    i have a bit of spare time in feb parts of this method require custom automation from tools that can't be purchased if anyone wants some of them coding and sharing post here and i'll create a few if i have time.(as long as thats ok with cash its his thread)
     
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  20. KHer0

    KHer0 Senior Member

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    Damn.. This is a hell of a post :D

    We gotta really find a solution for this message :D
     
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