Automating Time Consuming Tasks

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as automation. Moving time consuming, repetitive tasks off your plate is a real treat but when it comes to anything in the digital word, good automation usually requires time to build and can be expensive.

But every now and then, middleware solutions like Zapier can provide reliable automation that is comparatively easy to set up.

Case in point, Zapier’s functionality has become more refined in recent years to the point where they can take something like a WordPress custom post type and push that unique content to multiple social media platforms.

Not that long ago, this functionality was limited to default blog posts, and you could only pull basic information like the title and excerpt. But provided the custom post type runs on some solid code, you can now push automatic social media posts that include a wide range of custom meta and custom static copy.

Case in point, I finally had some time to set up a host of automated functions for Arts Admin Jobs. Previously, an assistant would need to manually post listings across multiple social media accounts. Now, once a new job listing is published, it gets posted at Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn automatically. While much better than it was a few years ago, it’s not perfect. You’ll need a Facebook page to post updates, individual accounts aren’t an option. That meant creating an Arts Admin Jobs page, but the automation is worth the time.

Twitter was the easiest to set up and provided some of the most flexibility, but all three profiles are worth taking the time.

If you’re looking for a good solution to automate distribution of static content, like Press Releases and you’re a WordPress user, I highly recommend taking a look at Zapier’s integration options.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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