If you use WordPress as a blogging platform, you may have noticed that there is a glut of plug-ins and applications making it easy for your users to share your blog posts on various social networks, but there are very few plug-ins designed to allow you to automatically publish your own posts to various social networks.
There are a few, though, and they seem to work rather well.
My favorite plug-in for sending blog posts to Twitter is, as I’ve mentioned in the past, the Twitoaster plug-in. It’s a simple, no-nonsense plug-in that’s easy to configure and does exactly what I want. You sign into Twitter, authorize the Twitoaster plug-in, then let it do its thing. As long as you have it set to automatically tweet your posts (which is the default), you don’t really have to do anything else. Every time you publish a new blog post, the title of the post and a link to the post are sent to Twitter automatically.
As far as I can tell, there are only two or three plug-ins that claim to allow you to publish your blog posts to Facebook automatically. I investigated a few of them and decided that FT FacePress II is the best one for my purposes. This plug-in utilizes the mail2fb (publishing wall posts on Facebook via e-mail) feature to automatically publish the title, a link and optionally the excerpt of your post to Facebook.
To set up FT FacePress II, simply install and activate the plug-in. Then, go to Facebook and make sure you’re logged in.
Publishing to a Personal Profile
If you want to publish WordPress posts to your personal Facebook wall, start by going to the “Account” menu (as of this writing, that’s in the upper right corner of the page) and choose “Account Settings”. Then, click the “Mobile” tab at the top of the page and click the “Go to Facebook Mobile” link.
There, you will see a series of boxes. One of them will say “Upload via Email”. Inside of that box, you will see an e-mail address that ends in “m.facebook.com”. Most likely, that is the correct address to use for mail2fb function, but in my case, that same e-mail address was showing up for my personal profile and two of my fan pages; so that obviously wasn’t completely accurate. Therefore, I would recommend having Facebook send the correct e-mail address to you.
To do that, near the bottom of that box, you’ll see a link that says “Send my upload email to me now”. Click that link and choose the e-mail address to which you want your unique mail2fb address sent. Then, click the “Send email” button. In a moment, you should receive an e-mail message from Facebook with a unique e-mail address included in the body of the message.
Copy that e-mail address and go to the “FacePress II Admin” page in your WordPress administration area (found under the “Settings” menu). Paste that e-mail address (which should be a unique username “@m.facebook.com”) into the first text box on the settings screen, which should have a label of “Facebook PROFILE personalized upload email address:”.
Publishing to a Fan Page
If you want to publish your WordPress posts to a fan page instead of a personal profile, you’ll need to take a few slightly different steps to find your mail2fb e-mail address. Start by going to the page management area of Facebook.
Then, click the “Edit Page” link for the page to which you want to publish your updates. On the left sidebar, you will see a link that says “Mobile”; click it. Then, you will see a page displaying a mail2fb e-mail address. As mentioned above, in my case, that e-mail address was exactly the same as my personal mail2fb e-mail address, so I knew it wasn’t right. Therefore, I would recommend clicking the “Learn More” button and then clicking the “Send the upload email for my page to me now” link. Then, choose the e-mail address to which you want your mail2fb address sent.
Once you’ve clicked that link, check your e-mail messages; you should have a new e-mail from Facebook with your fan page’s unique mail2fb address in the body of the message. Copy that address and paste it into the second text box on the FacePress II Admin Options page in WordPress (the label for that box should be “Facebook PAGE personalized upload email address:”).
The Rest of the Settings
First of all, if you want your blog posts published to your personal profile and to your fan page, you should have the first and second boxes completed. If you only want your blog posts sent to one or the other, make sure the other box is empty.
Once you’ve entered (and optionally tested) the appropriate mail2fb e-mail address(es), scroll down the page a bit and make sure the post format is set up the way you want it. If you just want to send the title and a link, use “
%TITLE% %URL%” in the box. If you want to send the excerpt, too, then you will need to put “
%EXCERPT%” in the box, too. In my case, I chose to send the title, then the excerpt, followed finally by the link to the post, so I used “
%TITLE% %EXCERPT% %URL%” as my post format.
If there are specific WordPress categories you do not want published automatically to Facebook, make sure to enter the numerical IDs (separated by commas) in the next text box.
Note: I do not recommend checking the “Use Shortened URLs” checkbox; as there seem to be some bugs associated with it (at least with version 2.1.0 of the plug-in). First, once you check the box, the only way to uncheck the box seems to be to manually modify your database. No matter how many times I unchecked the box and saved my settings, each time I went back to the settings page, the box was checked again. Secondly, when I tried to use the shortened URLs (with the Twitter-Friendly Links plug-in installed and configured), the domain name was not sent as part of the URL, so it did not link back to the website.
Once you’re done configuring the options, click the “Update Settings” button to save your FacePress II options.
FacePress also allows each WordPress author to optionally publish their own blog posts to Facebook. To set that up, they will need to follow instructions similar to those I described above, except they will click the “FacePress II User Options” link under the “Users” menu in WordPress instead of the “FacePress II Admin Options” link.
To start, go to LinkedIn and make sure you are signed into your account. In the menu bar at the top of the page, hover over the “More” option. Then, click the “Get More Applications” link in the menu. When the page loads, you will see a “WordPress” application (shown in the screen shot below). Click on that and enter the URL (Web address) for your WordPress blog.
Once you’ve installed and/or configured these three plug-ins and/or applications, you will be well on your way to sharing your blog posts across your social networks.
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