Automating posting to Google+ till we have the API from Google
The first thing I look for in any social network is the developer support the network provides. Of course, the primary objective of these social networks is to have real people signup and connect with friends and family. However, what makes the whole platform interesting and lucrative is the whole developer ecosystem around it. The more flexible and receptive it is, more and more services are build on the top of it, making the network all the more useful and famous.
Having created my Google+ profile not so long ago and being new to the Google+ world (coming all the way from Facebook and kinda bored with it now) the first thing i looked for is the availability of the developer API.
Voila, and there it is (the API).
The catch? It is readonly :-P. In other words, you can fetch posts, profiles and activities but you can not create posts programmatically via the API.
Cutting it all short, i found that some services were given early and preferential access to Google+ write capabilities via API, Hootsuite being one. So, Hootsuite allows you to be able to post to multiple services at once (including Google+). Of Course, along with the capability to schedule the posting at a later time.
Recently, i wanted to know, what do the experts and people in general use for posting to multiple services and hence floated a question in a Social Media Community on Google+. What seemed common in the responses is another highly popular service with scheduling capability, Buffer. The biggest problem here, Buffer (like most of the services) still does not allow posting to Google+.
The way out? Welcome IFTTT (if this then that). I have been using IFTTT for sometime now and simply love the concept. It allows you to bind multiple services together based on triggers. And the services it connects to is growing every month.
For example: You could set up a recipe on IFTTT alerting you via SMS whenever its about to rain. You could have your vacation pics posted to Facebook the moment you upload to Instagram. Possibilities are endless. Go have a look.
Coming to the main problem, well, you may have guessed and its simple. Create a recipe in IFTTT and create a trigger on Buffer to post to your Hootsuite account (which was earlier connected to Google plus) and you could have your post on all services configured in Buffer and Google+.
Let’s see how to do it (in pictures):
Make sure, you configure HootSuite to your Google plus account.
Login to your IFTTT account and create a new recipe. Use “Buffer” service as a source (trigger channel) of your recipe.
Choose HootSuite as the destination service you want to post to. I am skipping the screenshot for the same (the lazy me) as its similar to step 1 (and all you have to do is choose hootsuite instead of buffer) :-)
Configure HootSuite (action) settings. You can choose to post to All networks configured in HootSuite OR choose specific (Google plus for example) network to post to.
Step 6 (final):
And your recipe to post to Google+ (via HootSuite, via Buffer, via IFTTT :-P) is ready. Congratulations !
Note: This post explains about posting to Google+ via the IFTTT route, however, IFTTT is very powerful in integrating a lot more services and automating the painstaking effort of socializing your content on the web.