The Best Way To Automate Social Media Posts

Social Media Marketing

I was reading an article today, shared in a Facebook group I’m a member of, about the cons of setting up Instagram to automatically post to Twitter each time you post a new photo. Since a lot of people do auto post between social networks, here are a few points that you might consider before doing so.

It might seem the easy way to do it, but it could come across that you’re not putting the effort in to your posts or for your customers.

Facebook to Twitter

If you post on Facebook and let it automate to Twitter, any images you post will come up as a link on Twitter and people won’t see the image unless they click the link. The link will be in the form of a Facebook link and if people aren’t on Facebook, or logged in on the device they’re using, it’ll ask them to sign in or create an account. Ask yourself, as a customer would you be bothered to do that? If you’re on a mobile device, it also takes you out of Twitter rather than opening up a new window, which some viewers might find irritating.

And worse, if you just post a great image on Facebook with no text, the Twitter post will just read - I posted a new photo to Facebook

Consider also the length of text on a Facebook post, unless you count the characters and make sure you’ve got less than 140, the end of the post will be cut off on Twitter. You’ll end up with a row of dots and a link to Facebook to find out the rest of the sentence!

Instagram to Twitter

If you want to see your Instagram photos on Twitter, don’t post them automatically. This is because Instagram has recently blocked photos as appearing as in-line images. Twitter will only post a link and the viewer won’t see your photo unless they follow your link. Doesn’t quite give the visual effect you were looking for! Since Twitter recently updated to show bigger images you should be making the most of this now.

Tweetbot is an alternative Twitter browser that will show Instagram links, it’s what I prefer using on my mobile device, but not all your followers may be using this.

Again, the length of the post will be taken into consideration, so if your Instagram text is more than the allowed 140 characters on Twitter, the rest of your post will be replaced by …. (don’t forget to take account of the length of the image link in the character total)


Also consider your audience. Do the same people follow you on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter? Do they want to see the same image with the same text two or three times?


It’s better to tailor each post for each audience. Construct your Twitter posts separately to ensure your total post is under 140 characters and the image can be clearly seen.

But if you’re using automation to save time, then try out one of the many free software tools available online and from the app store, that allow you to post once to multiple networks.

Buffer and Hootsuite are just two of the options available. They both allow posting to multiple networks at once and will let you check your post looks good across them all before posting.

Most tools also allow scheduling, so you can choose the timing of your post too. It’s a good idea to stagger your posts, so they’re not hitting all your accounts at the same time. For this, you’ll need to set the scheduling times differently for each social network, but you only need to do this once when you start.

Unfortunately you can’t schedule Instagram posts  due to it’s settings, but you can add your Instagram photos to your other posts and attach links if required.


Lynn Scott

Social Media Consultant at The Fountains Agency

My company is The Fountains Agency, and we specialise in social media marketing and training. I offer advice to businesses on social media including setting up accounts, building strategy, managing content marketing, optimisation and ROI. I also offer specialised training for individuals or businesses. Networks include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and Wordpress for Blogging.

Comments (5)
Ling Lee

Ling Lee at Digital Marketing and Personal Branding

Thanks for the great article! I used to be a Buffer fan, but recently I've been converted to a Hootsuite diehard :D Also, what's really good is that Facebook has its own scheduling function for its timeline :) Although its a bit bothersome its well worth for the extra quality.

Lynn Scott

Lynn Scott, Social Media Consultant at The Fountains Agency

Thanks Ling Lee! :) I use Facebook scheduling too, it's great for sharing content I find on FB without copying it to Hootsuite or Buffer.

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