Hidden Valley RV Park

Have Your Own Blog? Play With “Symphony”

I know that many of my readers have their own blogs. I keep up with several of your travel blogs, personal blogs and business blogs.  I’d like to share a publishing tool I recently began using that I think you’ll like.  It publishes my blog posts simultaneously to twitter and facebook.  The “Symphony” publishing tool  posts onto facebook with a photo from the blog post directly to your fb page.  It can be posted as a link with a photo OR as a photo with a shortened link in the text above the photo.  The same is true for Twitter, AND it’s automatic…nice touch.  While there are other tools that accomplish this and some blog platforms make automatic publishing possible, the appearance of the share with Symphony is superior and can be highly customized.  I have not found any other tool that will publish a photo on twitter in an automated blog post share. And that’s just the start.
Symphony Dashboard
Symphony Dashboard
It is also possible to queue or schedule your posts to space them out more evenly or have them post at the most convenient times for your readers to catch the post.
My favorite feature is being able to insert a BLOG link on my Facebook page in the new left sidebar.  If your page still has the tabs (the new fb sidebar is not out for everyone yet) you can insert a BLOG tab. It offers a quick and easy way for my readers to access the company blog. A reader can view the article introduction with an accompanying photo, without leaving the facebook timeline. Once a reader hits the READ MORE link they are redirected to the blog page.  They can even share it on facebook, tweet it or email any of your blog posts to friends.
Blog Tab on the facebook Page
A Blog Link on the Facebook Page Sidebar
An analytics tab provides pie charts, line graphs and charts detailing your engagement and reports can include short or expansive date ranges.  You can follow the stats for one particular post or all your posts together.
An inbox tab lists all your social media activity from both social media platforms included, Twitter and facebook. The date range goes WAY back so you can use it as an easy way to search for past mentions, posts, comments and messages.
I also liked the Crosspost feature. This is especially nice if you want to post a particular blog post on social media again, after the initial share.  A convenient tab is located on your header on the tool or you add a crosspost tab right on your browser so you can crosspost from anywhere.

Set up was very simple for connecting your social media sites.
There are also some freebie widgets that allow you to perform several tasks and add some neat features to your website or blog. My favorite is a toolbar feature that inserts a Call to Action button on your sites top bar. The button text, color and title are completely customizable.  (Check it out above in the header of this blog.)  These freebies are available if you include the Symphony logo on your webpage/blog sidebar – a simple copy/paste of an html code snippet.
There are several plans to choose from that include varying combinations of features mentioned above.  The cost is based on several criteria including how many will be using the tool.  The least expensive plan is currently $14 a month and if you pay it on an annual basis there is a discount.  I would like to see a plan that is less if you post, say, only 2 to 3 blog links per month since that is more my custom. However the plan cost is not prohibitive if you stay determined to publish more blog content.  There’s no contract and you may cancel at any time.
                              This is how the crosspost appears on Facebook

For my social media habits, Symphony is awesome because I primarily use facebook and Twitter.  You can set up personal profiles and pages. I would imagine that some who spend a lot of time on Google+ may want to see this social platform included as a possible venue for blog posts to be syndicated with.  Pinterest photo pins may also be a good platform to add since photos can be given a prominence in the republished material.  I just noticed that LinkedIn is also included for sharing possibilities. This can be a benefit if you want to share helpful and related business info and articles on your business or personal profiles.  I was disappointed though that LinkedIn would not allow posting in groups to get conversations going regarding certain posts you share.  I won’t personally be syndicating LinkedIn because the articles I post on my blog are not generally ones I would share on either my LinkedIn personal profile or business page.  

So while one or two of these features can be found in other tools, having them all incorporated into one, simplifies crossposting and brings added exposure to your blog. Symphony’s motto is certainly appropriate: “Spend less time publishing your content and more time creating it.”  When you take advantage of all the features of the Symphony tool, just like in a real musical symphony, all the different parts work together to form a unified and well performed piece.  I truly believe this platform will make me a more consistent content creator to the benefit of my blog readers. They offer a free trial – no credit card required. What do you have to lose? If you use Symphony or try it out, tell us your experience in the comments or on my crosspost on my facebook page.

Teri Blaschke is the RV Park operator of family owned Hidden Valley RV Park in San Antonio, TX and writer of the park blog “A Little Piece of Country in San Antonio.” Teri contributes to various other blogs with a focus on either travel or social media and how it relates to the outdoor hospitality industry but her passion is serving the RV travel community by providing a memorable RV camping experience and growing the Hidden Valley RV family.  Connect with Teri on Google+, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter@HiddenValleyRV  and our RV Country Daily Magazine