Social media - two of the most popular words in the English language. Everything centers around social media today. Writer’s, especially, need to make good use of social media. It is the easiest and quickest way to connect with your audience.
Here are five tools that help maximize social media use:
1. Tweetdeck - As the name aptly suggests, this is a tool used for twitter. Twitter is a highly productive social media platform for professionals and would be professionals of the literary kind. Tweetdeck is free! (Needed to get that out first, because two of the other tools I will review, are not.) It is a dashboard to view all of the most important options of your twitter account: the home feed, your messages, your notifications, recent activity and what I use Tweetdeck for the most - scheduled tweets. If you become a heavy twitter user, in which you need to have regularly scheduled tweets, scheduling them ahead of time is essential. I am so busy in my marketing role, that I know there is no chance I will have a moment to tweet about upcoming blogs or interviews while at work. With Tweetdeck, I can pre-schedule multiple tweets at a time. You can sign up for Tweetdeck by visiting Tweetdeck.com and logging in with your twitter info. Tweetdeck is owned by twitter, so you're not giving info to anyone that doesn't already have it.
2. Linkinprofile - This is a tool for Instagram. They call themselves 'Instagram's missing link'. I first learned about it after reading a post from one of my favorite IG'ers, @mixtusmedia. (Her link will lead you to a wealth of marketing knowhow.) I clicked on one of her posts and her message said to follow the link in her profile (hence the name of the tool) to get more info from her site. When I clicked it, all of her images lit up and allowed me to select the one that I was interested in. I was then transported to her site, where the blog for that topic lived, all without actually leaving the Instagram platform. This is key! IG'ers are far more likely to check out your site, if they don't have to leave IG altogether to get there. Check out my profile on IG @ineslozanowrites, and click on the link to see what I mean.
It comes with a free trial offer for 30 days. After which, a subscription is required; $9.99 Monthly or $99 Annually. It's worth the money if you are looking for a tool that also provides serious insight on the effectiveness of your IG posts. Link In Profile provides me with info on my likes, how many clicks have been generated to my website, and stats on my top performing posts. If you do not have an external site that you need to draw followers to, you can also open up your IG account as a business account. This provides you with insights on your posts and followers. You can see which posts work best for you and are reaching the most people. You can also gather what the best days and the best time in each day to post and reach your followers.
3. Followers plus - This is an app for iPhone and android. The free version allows you to link one social media account. You can view your followers by: New Followers, Have Unfollowed Me, Are Not Following Back, I'm Not Following Back, Users Who Blocked Me (I've never been put in that category), Deleted Retweets. This helps to keep track of who is following you - or what we worry about the most - who is unfollowing you. The paid version, is an annual subscription of $9.99 and allows multiple accounts. It also unlocks some of the restrictions like, following and unfollowing directly from the app instead of switching back and forth between Followers Plus and Twitter.
4. Hootsuite - I would categorize this as a tool meant for the more serious writers, bent on making a career out of writing. I started dabbling with Hootsuite this month. Up front, it has a free version that allows up to three social media account links (this is the version I am currently using). What I’ve learned so far is that it’s like an enhanced Tweetdeck for all of your social media platforms. One place to manage it all. There are other plan options based on your business' social media integration needs.
Hottest features: It allows you separate dashboards (streams) geared towards the specs of each social media platform; each stream is customizable to include the features you want to keep an eye on the most. You can keep track of your followers, in order of newest to oldest; which helps because you may want to show extra engagement to newer followers in order to keep them committed to you. You can post simultaneously to all of your accounts directly from the Hootsuite site. There are also options to pre-schedule posts and respond to contacts.
It’s pretty advanced for me. I’m still trying to get comfortable with it, but I can tell that it is probably a saving grace for corporate social media managers.
My favorite feature is that Hootsuite offers classes. You can earn Social Media Certification - handy for a resume.
5. Pics - Let's get to the fun stuff. The things that grab your audiences attention first! Pics!
Your content may be great, but images are what catches the attention of your followers and potential followers. Images without text do even better than images with text. I learned this by looking into my post insights on Instagram. That being said, until recently I thought that the only way to get really beautiful pics for my IG and Twitter accounts, was by having a really expensive account with Shutterstock or iStockphoto. But, I am happy to share with you that both pixabay.com (iPhone app available) and unsplash.com (iPhone app available), are photo sharing communities! It's always important to read Terms and Agreements, in case there are ever any changes, but both of these companies allow free use of their images - without watermarks - completely free, even for commercial use! They do not even require you to use a credit line (where you give credit to the photographer or site for the image) but they appreciate it if you do. They do have some rules and restrictions, but they are completely reasonable. These are the two sites that I use for my pics, and I receive a lot of compliments on them!
Happy posting everyone! Leave a comment! Share!
Post on Networking and it's importance to writer's, coming soon!