Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Social Media, Part 2: Automating Posts

Once you've collected content for tweets and posts on social media, what do you do with it? I use to just post an article as soon as I came across it. But I've discovered some tools that have made my social media engagement a lot more efficient.

1. Followerwonk: First I use followerwonk to track my followers' activity. There is also functionality on the site to do this for the folks you follow as well. I don't really care about most of the charts other than the activity times bar graph. It tells me when to tweet! Another such site is Tweriod, but I didn't find that tool as useful. You have to wait around for an emailed analysis of your followers' activity, rather than just having one almost instantly with followerwonk. Of course, you can also sync a schedule of tweets directly from followerwonk or your Tweriod report to Buffer.

2. Buffer: This is an amazing tool and I'm glad that I discovered it. Basically you set a schedule for posts. You can do this across all different social media accounts, and the schedule can be different across each account. Which is good, since activity on each site varies according to how people use them. The goal is to get as many people to see your posts as possible, right? And the goal of that, for me at least, is to increase exposure of my original works such as this blog or my wattpad novel RoboNomics. So timing is pretty important. You can tweet a bunch of stuff for an hour straight but if no one uses twitter during that hour, it's just going to get lost in their timelines. And no one wants that. So that's where Buffer really helps. And it's especially helpful to have the chrome extension, so that you can add posts to your 'buffer' whenever you see something interesting on the interweb.

3. Hootsuite: Likely you've heard of Hootsuite, a hub of social media management. Buffer has a limit of how many posts you can upload without having to pay for a premium account, so when that happens to me I use Hootsuite to schedule extra posts at appropriate times. I also use it to write and schedule posts that promote my own works specifically, and then keep those posts consistent across different social media accounts. Hootsuite also has a chrome extension, so that I can compose and schedule posts right from the site that I want to promote. It also helps when I want to retweet something with that nice 'RT' attached!  

Those are the major tools that I use for managing my social media. I am fairly new to automating tweets and other posts, but I find that it is really helpful in terms of time management.

I also wanted to mention that using hashtags and mentions in tweets can really help with exposure. Perhaps that's why I prefer Twitter to any other social media site. It is so easy, with # and @, to find people who share your interests. And that's what all of this social media is for, right? Exposure, making friends, and making connections! :)