Nearly every installation of WordPress comes with the Jetpack plugin. This is a massive collection of nearly 30 tools that can greatly accentuate your website. Today, I’m going to explain how Publicize can help you save a great deal of time and effort publishing your articles to social media channels. It’s an easy to use platform that can help you start building a following on sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Using Publicize to Save Time
The Publicize module within Jetpack saves you time by automatically updating your social media profiles the moment you publish a new post. For example, Writer Sanctuary’s Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ status updates will show this new post including a link as soon as I click to publish. When you don’t have a lot of time to maintain your social accounts, this could be a blessing.
When you activate the module, you’ll have a new option above the publish button called “Edit Details.” This is the message that will be displayed on your social media accounts. The default message is the title of the blog post, but I like to add a little bit extra to give it more allure. Here is where you could put in hashtags, mentions and other bits of information to engage your target audience.
Once a post has been published, you can no longer access then custom message. This means you can’t go back and use Publicize on posts that you’ve done in the past. This could be quite a bummer if you have a ton of material you would like to reshare. In situations like this, I would suggest using a 3rd party sharing app like Buffer.
Next to Edit Details will be a new link for “Settings.” This will take you to the sharing settings of WordPress where you can add your social media accounts. As of this article, there are only six of the most popular platforms that I listed below.
Using a Link Shortener
Publicize is capable of using many of the link shortener plugins for WordPress. I use the Bitly WP plugin for this website. You’ll need to create a free account at Bitly’s website, but it’s quite an effective system and may be worth your time. The reason you would want a link shortener is to make the text when you share much smaller. For instance, Twitter only allows for 140 characters. The link shortener will allow your text to be visible without the “…” when something is too long. It’s a much cleaner way to share your content with others.
Is Publicize Worth the Effort?
I use this plugin for Writer Sanctuary and another one of my blogs. From the short time I’ve been using it, I’ve already collected a few followers on Twitter. Although it doesn’t have the extensive tools and capabilities of other sharing platforms, such as Buffer or Hootsuite, it’s a simple system that is easy to use if you just want your social accounts to remain active. If you don’t have the time to use one of the other more feature-rich social sharing apps, then Publicize may be the best option.
Activating Publicize in Jetpack
If you don’t have the Jetpack plugin, I would highly suggest installing it. Aside from Publicize, it has has quite a few modules that you may just enjoy. Since it’s a free addition, the only thing you’ll lose is the time to explore any of the additions that come with the tool. In order to do this, you:
- Go to “Plugins” from your WordPress dashboard.
- Click on the “Add New” button on the top of the screen.
- Type in “Jetpack” in the search bar on the right.
- Click the “Install Now” button on Jetpack and activate it.
Once installed, you’ll have a new option on the left side of your dashboard labeled, “Jetpack.” Mine is right below the Dashboard link.
When you click on the Jetpack link from the dashboard, you’ll see a screen for setting up the plugin as well as connecting with WordPress.com. I suggest creating an account on this system as it will prove to be beneficial for generating traffic at a later date. Plus, there is a menagerie of tools that will help you control all of your blogs from a single location.
In the middle of the Jetpack screen, you should see a control for “Publicize.” This is inactive by default. If you don’t see it, there will be a button under these options labeled “See the other 27 Jetpack features.” Clicking on this will show you a list of everything that comes with the plugin. Scroll down until you find Publicize. Click to activate it.
As soon as Publicize is activated, you can click to configure or visit the “Sharing” settings from your WordPress dashboard. From here, you can add your social profiles from the six primary websites: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Path and Google+. By adding your corresponding accounts, WordPress will be able to automatically update all of these profiles simultaneously as soon as you hit “Publish” on a new post.