The following post was contributed by our Outreach Librarian, Meghan Sitar…
The University of Texas Libraries have maintained a presence in Facebook for several years now, starting as a Group before transitioning to one of the newer Fan Pages. We’ve used this space to post content from our other social media sites, including blog posts from our New for Undergraduates blog, video tutorials posted on YouTube, and event photos published on Flickr.
With the redesign of Fan Pages and the ability to publish our content to our fans’ News Feeds, it seemed like a good time to reexamine how we were managing all of this and to look for methods of automating the interaction between all of these different sites. At the same time, we had been hearing from students who wanted to see us on Twitter, which seems to have finally gained some popularity among students on campus.
Matt Lisle, our intrepid Instructional Designer, had the brilliant idea to link Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Youtube, and our WordPress blogs together using FriendFeed.
This is where things get a little complicated.
When one of these sites posts to FriendFeed, the post is then exported to Twitter.
Using a Facebook application called Twitter Fan Page Sync, we’ve linked together our Twitter account and our Facebook Fan Page. Twitter then posts the same information it receives from the Friend Feed to the status on our Facebook Fan Page.
Perhaps an illustration is in order?
(Click the image to see the full version)
The benefit of this system is that the cross-posting between all of these outlets is automated and no one person is responsible for repurposing the content. The time investment in posting to any one of these sites returns a greater yield since the visibility of that post is at least doubled.
We’ve seen some problems with the stability of the Facebook application. While the FriendFeed postings are readily feeding to Twitter and then to Facebook, direct posts to Twitter only showed up in Facebook onces we installed a second Facebook application, Selective Twitter Status, which requires tweets to include a #fb at the end.
That small nuisance aside, we’re pleased to have found a way to consolidate our social media empire into one relatively simple system.