I Want A Better Way To Post To Multiple Social Networks

Social media is fragmented. No one site fulfills every sharing need, especially since friends and followers often differ between them. There are several services that allow you to share something on all your networks, and even schedule posts in advance; one of the biggest is HootSuite. Write once, post everywhere.

Current HootSuite interface

It’s great – if you want your posts on the various social networks to be identical. If all you’re posting is text, that’s fine. Heck, even if you’re using hashtags, Facebook finally implemented those a few months ago.

But other content isn’t so straightforward. The format for tagging fellow users is different on each network, as is the local lingo. Character restrictions also vary. In these days of optimizing content for its particular platform, no single application makes it possible to publish subtly different posts to multiple social networks without composing and sending multiple separate posts in the first place.

A few small changes to the HootSuite interface would make a huge difference in this regard. But I only start with HootSuite because it’s familiar to me; if any other service decided to make these improvements, I’d switch to them in a second.

Proposed HootSuite interface

In my proposed interface, a text box is visible for each social network the post is going to. I considered having a “master” text box that wouldn’t connect to any social network and only serve as the source for the other boxes, but that seemed wasteful – the user can choose any box and copy from there. ┬áThe actual editing could happen a few ways:

  • Manual copy and paste from one box to another
  • Automatic typing in all boxes at once
  • A “Copy to All” button (shown)

In my opinion, the first option is tedious, and the second has the potential for confusion. Your mileage may vary.

The checkboxes up top allow the interface to edit your posts automatically to reflect the subtleties of each social network. You don’t retweet (RT) posts on Facebook or Google+ or LinkedIn or … anywhere but Twitter, actually, so “RT” is automatically changed to “Share”. (Perhaps additional logic could be built in so that “Windows RT” and similar phrases are never changed.) The changed words should maybe be highlighted so you see instantly what’s been altered.

In a probably more challenging programming hurdle, tagging is automatically adjusted as well, so that a valid link for each social network is created. Hovering over the link would show a preview of that Twitter, Facebook, etc. profile. I’m not the only one irritated by @usernames in plain text posts outside Twitter, am I? In any case, each text box is fully editable so further changes can be made, if desired.

The social network icons and character counters are moved to each box for obvious reasons. The link, attachment, scheduling, location, and privacy controls are duplicated on the bottom so that any of those attributes can be added individually to each social network or to all of them at once.

Posting everywhere from a single form, combined with scheduling, is already a luxury. Making it simple or even automatic to optimize content formatting is icing on the cake – that will drive mounds of users to whomever implements it first.

UPDATE 9/23/2013:

A puppy for every user would also be nice.

2 Responses to I Want A Better Way To Post To Multiple Social Networks

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