Monday, 4 June 2012

Use Buffer to Retweet into LinkedIn

In May, the team at Buffer announced some updates to their browser extension components which allow you to schedule Tweets from within, and also to schedule retweets.

However, because of the way that the Buffer extensions work, this opens up a solution to the problem of Tweets piped into LinkedIn status updates becoming un-shareable on LinkedIn.

This is a problem I wrote about recently over on Social Mii so I won't cover it again in detail here, except to repeat one of the screenshots which describes the problem (click on all the images in this post to enlarge them):

The issue here is a lack of a LinkedIn "share" link when Tweets are piped directly into LinkedIn from Twitter.

The ability to schedule retweets using Buffer allows you to also share the update with other social media networks, including LinkedIn. Here's an example of the process in action.

We start with the Tweet we wish to retweet. As we have the Buffer extension installed, the page now includes the "Buffer" link, along with the Buffer icon:

Click on the Buffer link, and the normal Buffer extension dialogue appears, with the original Tweet shown with the "RT @user:" retweet prefix. In this example, the addition of this prefix pushes the text to over 140 characters, which is too much for Twitter, so it does need to be edited down slightly.

Note that the Buffer accounts list include my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, which means that this update will go to both social networks. Click "Add to Buffer", and the post will be added.

We now check the Buffer schedule and find both the Twitter and LinkedIn updates are in place:

One other thing to add is that the LinkedIn share allows for additional information to be displayed from any link included in the Tweet, and although Buffer supports this, it isn't included here. However, all is not lost, as we can now edit the LinkedIn item by using the "edit this post" button in Buffer. We only need to make a minor change to the text (such as adding a space) and Buffer will go off and fetch the additional information, and update the post:

So now we can effectively and quickly retweet from Twitter into other social networks, including LinkedIn, and once in LinkedIn, our updates can be easily shared by others in our network:

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