People like getting me to test things. Maybe it’s because I give them perspective on what I would like to see. Maybe it’s because I have OCD and small bugs will annoy me. Maybe it’s just because I enjoy beating the living shit out of people’s projects. Whatever that reason is, it allows me to play with various products and look at them as critically as I want.
Occasionally, I’ll come across something that I genuinely don’t have anything to criticize. Post Promoter Pro is one of those things. As you will see later in this article, there are improvements I would like to see, but nothing deal breaking. In fact, it solves problems that I really didn’t know I had.
A few weeks ago, Chris Klosowski and I were chatting and he recommended that I take a look at Post Promoter Pro. Many of you know that I don’t post as much as I like, and am far more active on social media. In other words, my initial impression was that it’s a cool idea but I didn’t really think I had a use for it.
I’m not selling anything on this site, so there really isn’t much to promote. Sure, I usually post a link to Twitter or Facebook when I decide to write something, but why do I need a plugin to do that? Well, I’ve been proven wrong.
With my handy dandy license key and plugin zip file in hand, I took the plunge and installed it on this site. Not a dev environment; my production site with A2 Hosting. I can see the look of terror in your eyes from here. Hooray! Nothing broke. Alas, installation was typical so I’ll spare you the details.
Inside the settings main page, the basic settings are available in a simple layout. Post Promoter Pro definitely gets kudos for this. Shiny options screens with lots of settings and UI elements may look great in screenshots, but when I want to actually get something done, all I want is a few easily understood options. It seems like a minor detail, but makes a big difference when you need to make a quick change.
Inside the main settings, you can enable/disable Post Promoter Pro on different post types, set default text, and a few handy things for support/debugging such as turning on debug mode. Nothing fancy, and options are intentional; just how I like it.
After I activated my license key and selected my post types, I jumped over to the Social Settings page. Each social media account is laid out nicely in a list table that is familiar to anyone who has even touched WordPress for 5 minutes. Once again, this comes back to the point about the simple UI. I don’t want to have to re-learn how to navigate your plugin; I just want it to work. List tables are the way to go.
Currently, Post Promoter Pro supports auto-posting from Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn (does anyone actually use LinkedIn other than to receive spam from headhunters?). There isn’t any sort of complex setup here, just OAuth for each account. Click to authorize, log in, done. There aren’t any 3rd party sites or API keys, and the only place authorized to use my social media accounts is my site. For the paranoid like me, that’s a big deal.
This brings me to one of the many features I find valuable in Post Promoter Pro: the ability to select a specific Facebook page to post as. I hate switching between accounts and authorizing specific pages using Facebook Apps, and this solves that problem elegantly.
It seems like nearly everyone on this planet (any probably other planets too), use Google Analytics to track their traffic. Most of the time, traffic sources and landing pages are tracked. You’d be surprised how many people don’t even know what campaigns in Google Analytics are or how to set them up. Post Promoter Pro has the option to automatically use a campaign to handle tracking of traffic that was generated using it. Why is this cool? Because it can actually tell you if the plugin is worth it.
If you’re like me and have a habit of trying to fit your full URL and the content describing it into a 140 character tweet, Post Promoter Pro supports Bitly for URL shortening. It seems like a minor detail, but the number of people who overlook this simple integration is astounding. Of course, shortening only scratches the surface when you think about the other features such as analytics that Bitly provides for free.
In addition to those features mentioned, you can do other things like set default social networks to use and use Twitter cards. Since those are fairly self-explanatory, I won’t go over those.
Overall, the Post Promoter Pro settings are simple and intuitive. Nothing flashy to distract you and exactly what you need.
Post Promoter Pro’s overall usage flow is dead simple and unobtrusive. Hell, you don’t even set it and forget it if you want to so that it sends out a default post every time you make an update. If that’s all it did, I wouldn’t be very impressed, so let’s look at what it can do.
When I publish a post, sometimes I don’t want it to go everywhere. While my social media accounts intertwine quite a bit, my Facebook is primarily consists of family and friends while my Twitter mainly people in the WordPress community. That’s not to say that they don’t overlap to a large degree, but my mom doesn’t care about why the WordPress REST API is awesome.
Post Promoter Pro adds a simple meta box below the post content so that you can select which social media accounts it should go to, what it should say, and the image to use for the preview. Each social media account can have completely different content based on your demographic. For businesses posting to their customers, that’s a big deal. Different things work to convert sales on different social media outlets, and businesses know that when promoting their content.
For the lazy like myself, you can set each post to use the featured image for the preview content. If you’re an overachiever, a custom image can be used. Images are a good thing when posting to social media. Don’t be extra lazy and post without some form of image attached to the post.
There are a few different ways I could describe post scheduling in Post Promoter Pro, but the ones immediately coming to mind are “the bees knees” and “the bomb diggity”. This is easily my favorite feature in Post Promoter Pro.
Remember when I said that I usually just share the link on social media after I publish a post? Now I bombard your feed a few times over the next week with it. I make sure you see super cool pictures of my cat. Blame Post Promoter Pro.
Every time you make a post, you can schedule it. I’m not just talking about a one-time thing either. When I publish this post, it will schedule a tweet to get sent in the morning, in the evening to cover different schedules. Missed it on the first day? Well, another is going out the following day.
I’m a late night guy. It’s 1:30am as this review is being written and I’m sleeping when most people’s mornings start. Posting right now would be nearly pointless and just get buried in everyone’s feed. But what if I schedule it to go out in the morning when people are having their coffee and beginning their day? Kablamo! Instant eyes on my writing.
Post scheduling is awesome. You should use it, if only to be lazy. After all, you have better things to do with your time than remember to post at 6pm or create a campaign in Hootsuite.
What I’d like to see from Post Promoter Pro
I find Post Promoter Pro ridiculously valuable and it’s become a core part of my workflow, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have room for improvement. Here’s what I’d like to see in future versions.
Remember that old post you posted a year and a half ago about this groundbreaking thing you found? Neither do I. The ability to recycle old content could be super useful to rejuvenate old things like an interview or tutorial.
Google Analytics and Bitly are great for analyzing larger amounts of data, but what if I just need to know what time my posts are most successful, directly in my WordPress dashboard? I’m a writer and developer, not a social media guy. If I can just take a quick glance at recommended times or days of the week to share content, I’d be one popular guy.
More social media accounts
Reddit? Tumblr? Whatever social media account people use to debate how toilet paper should go on the roll (somebody please make this)? More social media accounts means more attention and more traffic. Why not?
The good news is, Post Promoter Pro appears to be super extensible. I don’t imagine it would be very hard at all to handle that via add-ons; whether official or 3rd party.
Multiple accounts for individual social networks
What if I need to post to multiple Twitter accounts at once when something happens? For example, a new update to a WordPress plugin could be tweeted on a company account and an individual product account. It’s possible this was intentional as I believe it’s against Twitter’s TOS to post from multiple accounts simultaneously. If that’s the case, then it entirely makes sense to leave it out to protect users.
Well Chris, I was wrong. I do in fact need Post Promoter Pro. It’s far more useful than I thought it would be, especially for a small personal site like mine. Well done.
Pricing is solid, settings are simple, and it does exactly what it advertises and so much more. It’s now in my everyday arsenal alongside Gravity Forms and Pressmatic (take a peek at my Pressmatic review if you’ve never heard of it). If it were legal, I’d marry it.
My opinion is to snatch up Post Promoter Pro before Chris reads this article and raises his prices, because it’s worth far more than it sells for.