Published Tuesday 11th March 2014

Update all your social networks at once

We've been posting to our Twitter account which is linked to our Facebook page, so posting to Twitter updates both. However, we were neglecting our Linkedin and Google+ accounts and potentially missing out on reaching people who use those networks. I hunted for a solution. There are several services that allow you to post to many networks at once, but we were looking for something that picked up our tweets and shared them across other networks, as we like posting through the Twitter interface and we all have access to that account.

The difficult network seems to be Google+. Not many services are able to post to Google's social network, and the method we're using only works for Google+ pages, not personal profiles. This is great for us though, as we're not using a personal profile.

The method I've set up uses two web services, If This Then That which watches for various triggers, in this case a new tweet on our Twitter account, and performs a specified action. The action we're using is passing the tweet to a second service, Buffer. Buffer sends posts out to your chosen social media platforms, either on a fixed schedule using queued posts, or as soon as it receives them.

Let's set up Buffer first. Once you've created your Buffer account you can add your social media profiles, pages or groups. Each account will be given its own buffer, so you can send different posts out to each if you wish, and it's own schedule should you wish to schedule your posts. We want our posts to go out as soon as Buffer receives them, so we connected our Google+ page and Linkedin page and left the schedule alone. We didn't bother connecting our Facebook page as that is already linked to Twitter.

Now we need to set up If This Then That to detect our tweets and send them to Buffer. If you're only using one social media account within Buffer, you can connect If This Then That to Buffer, however if you're using more than one account this method won't work correctly. Instead, Buffer gives you a private email address which you can use to send posts to each account you've set up within Buffer. To find this address in Buffer, go to My Account and choose Email Settings. Make sure Buffer by Email is set to Yep and click the link to discover the email address you need to use. It will be something like

Log into If This Then That, and you should be greeted with an invitation to create your first recipe. For the If This part of the recipe, you'll want to select Twitter. You'll be asked to connect your Twitter account, then you can select the new tweet option so that each time you post a new tweet, it will trigger the recipe to run. For the Then That part of the recipe, you'll want to select Email or Gmail. We used Gmail as this was convenient for us. You'll be asked to connect your Google account, or enter your email settings. Next, you'll need to set the email address, which should be your private Buffer email address from above, and the subject, which should be the text of the tweet.

The body of the email should contain what you want the post to link to, which should be the link to your tweet, plus any options you want to pass to Buffer. We included <br>@now. There should be a new line so Buffer can read the options. The @now option tells Buffer to ignore the schedule and send the post out immediately. Other options can be found on the Buffer email guide.

Now you can save your new recipe and you should be all set. It is important to note that If This Then That checks for tweets every 15 minutes, so there will be a slight delay before your updates are sent out to Buffer, but Buffer will send them out as soon as it receives them.

We post to Twitter because it's our favourite social media platform, however you could adapt this method to pick up posts from whichever platform you prefer to post to and send your posts out to all your other networks and pages. You could even use an RSS feed as the source, so that your blog posts are automatically shared.

Photo of Kate


Kate is our director of operations at QWeb Ltd. She's a former front-end developer and accessibility consultant, and a bit of a maths geek. She runs our social media profiles, works with our accountants to keep everything ticking over smoothly, and figures out most of the complicated algorithms that go in to things like our 3D rendering engines. She also has a degree in architecture and a masters in historic building conservation, so she's responsible for making sure our medieval game designs are reasonably accurate!

Blog posts are written by individuals and do not necessarily depict the opinions or beliefs of QWeb Ltd or its current employees. Any information provided here might be biased or subjective, and might become out of date.

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