After the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk, interest in other social networks skyrocketed considerably. And one of those that entered the equation as a free and open alternative to Twitter was Mastodon.
This interest also led some of our Nelio Content users to ask us to share their blog content on that network. And as we always like to listen to our loyal users, on January 9 we released a new version of Nelio Content with support for Mastodon.
In this post, we summarize what Mastodon is in case you are not yet familiar with this social network and what steps you must follow to be able to manually and automatically share the content of your website in this network with Nelio Content.
Table of Contents
What Mastodon Is
Mastodon has a similar aesthetic and functionality to Twitter but instead of being owned by a company or organization, it operates using a decentralized federation of servers (called instances or communities), all running its free and open source code that is published on its Github profile.
Mastodon’s main features and differences with respect to other social networks are:
- The character limit of any social message is 500 characters.
- It is ad free.
- Allows you to edit social messages.
- It has an option to automatically delete social messages.
- You can mute the accounts of those users whose posts you do not want to see.
- You can also block a user and doing so is forever.
- There are strict rules prohibiting “racism or advocacy of racism, the promotion of sexism, gender discrimination and sexual minorities (and) xenophobia and/or violent nationalism.”
- Each server or community can create its own rules.
- It has emoticons customized by the server.
How Mastodon Works
The operation of Mastodon is very similar to Twitter. Signing up as a user, although it may seem a bit complicated since you must initially select the server to which you want to belong to, is very simple. There is an official list of Mastodon servers available at joinmastodon.org/servers where you can filter the community by region, topic, and language. Whichever one you choose, you will be able to connect with other people on other servers. Once selected, Mastodon will guide you through the registration and show you how take advantage of all its resources.
You have public timelines that are chronological, and in which users identified by their
@username followed by
@instance can post messages.
In Mastodon, however, you have two types of timelines. The “local” one, which includes the messages that are published in the instance or community to which you belong, and the “federated” in which messages from other communities appear.
Here, the messages are known as “Toots” and, as in other social networks, you can follow other users to have a separate timeline of their posts.
As you can see in the previous screenshot, in the left column you can create a new toot or social message and in the Home column you can see the messages posted by the users you follow. You have a notifications column and in the last column you can choose to see the messages posted on your server or on the federation of servers.
How to Connect Mastodon to Nelio Content
Nelio Content is a plugin that allows you to automate publishing to Mastodon from your WordPress website without the adding any line of code. Nelio Content not only allows you to post to Mastodon, it also allows you to automatically post to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google My Business, Pinterest, Reddit, TikTok, Telegram and Tumblr.
After having connected your Mastodon account to the Nelio Content plugin as I explain below, you will be able to post on your server the toots or messages that you want promoting your posts. With the free version of Nelio Content you can publish a toot every time you publish a new post on your blog and with the premium version you will be able to schedule all the messages you want so that they are published when you indicate or, even if you want, Nelio Content can generate messages automatically to be published in your Mastodon account.
Let’s see the steps to follow to connect your Mastodon account with Nelio Content.
Go to Nelio Content Settings and select the Mastodon icon in the Social Profiles tab.
You will then be presented with a dialog box in which you must enter the URL of the Mastodon instance where you created your Mastodon profile.
After entering the Mastodon instance of your account, click on “Check instance” and a message will appear indicating if it’s valid or not.
Once you have checked the validity of the instance, click on the button to save the changes and continue with the process.
Now, if you are not already logged into Mastodon, a new pop-up window will ask you to do so. If you are already logged into Mastodon, you will see the following screen to authorize Nelio Content access to your account.
After you click on “Authorize”, you will have Mastodon added to your list of Connected Profiles.
Create Toots to Promote Your Posts
When you write any post, the free version of Nelio Content allows you to create a Mastodon toot to be published automatically at the same time you publish the post. To do this, at the end of the post, you will find the “Social Media” box where clicking on the “Add social message” link allows you to create the Mastodon toot.
A pop-up window will open in which, if you have connected several social networks to Nelio Content, you will be able to select the account(s) to which you want to publish the message.
As you can see in the image above, by default, the message that is created includes the post title and the permalink. You can modify the text of the message as you want, add hashtags, emojis and some placeholders of the post such as its title, author, excerpt, categories, or tags. You can also change the image of the post, and preview the post by clicking on the eye symbol that you have for it.
After making the changes and saving the message, you will have scheduled that at the time of publication of your post (or the one you have indicated if you have a premium subscription) that message will be published on Mastodon. You will see the message below your post in the Social Media box.
If you go to Nelio Content’s editorial calendar, you will also find the post you are writing (or have already scheduled to publish) and the toot scheduled for publication.
By clicking on the scheduled toot (from the Social Media box or from the calendar), you can edit it again and modify it as you wish. And even if for whatever reason you need to re-schedule the post to another date, from the calendar you just have to drag the post with the mouse to the new date or modify the date of the post in the edition of the post. Automatically, the message in Mastodon that you had scheduled for that post will also be moved to the corresponding publication date.
And that’s it, as soon as your blog post is published, the message will automatically be published on Mastodon without you having to worry about anything else.
Generate Toots Automatically
With the Premium version of Nelio Content, it provides you with a set of automations so that the toots that you are going to publish on Mastodon are generated automatically.
After writing any post, in the Social Media box you only have to click on the “Customize messages” button and Nelio Content will take care of creating social messages in all those social networks or services you have connected.
Nelio Content generates the different social messages using various sources of information:
- analyzing your post and looking for relevant phrases,
- selecting the phrases from the text that you have previously marked as relevant,
- using the social templates that Nelio includes by default, together with the templates that you have defined for it, and
- using custom phrases you have explicitly indicated for that post.
Customize the Automations
With Nelio Content, you have several ways to customize the social messages that are automatically generated. This way, you will be able to promote your posts not only with the title of the post but also with messages with much more varied texts.
I’m so happy about Nelio Content that I will sound like a payed advocate… but here’s why you’ll love it: it works as promised, its auto-scheduling feature is top-notch, Nelio’s value for money is unmatched, and the support team feels like your own.
Select Phrases from Your Text
You don’t have to go far to get inspired to create new promotional phrases for your posts, you probably already have them written in the text itself.
From the edit page of any post, select the piece of text you want and click the editor button with the down arrow and indicate that you want to mark it for sharing. The automation algorithm will take this into account when generating the messages.
Create Custom Toot Templates
Surely, in each social profile your messages have a different style and tone of their own. With Nelio Content, in the Social Templates tab of the Settings, you can customize message templates for each social profile you have connected.
Each social template includes the pattern that the social message will have. You can select if you want this message to be created for the posts of one or all authors and/or one or all categories. And, apart from adding the text and emojis you want, you also have several placeholders that you can add in the template. For example, in the image above, we’ve created a template to create a toot for all posts that includes a phrase, emoji, title, and link to the post.
Write New Custom Sentences
Finally, Nelio Content allows you to add custom sentences. In the Social Settings of the post you can check the Custom Sentences box and write which sentences you want to add as a resource in the algorithms for the automatic generation of social messages.
Create your Mastodon account and promote your WordPress content there to get more visits. With Nelio Content you don’t have to worry about having to go to Mastodon every time a new post is published. You can schedule a toot to publish automatically whenever you want, or it can be generated automatically with a click.
Featured image by Rolf van Root on Unsplash.
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