What was your biggest takeaway from participating in the Winter Author Blog Challenge? What is your plan/strategy for integrating your social media platforms? What would you recommend to a new author who’s just getting started on social media?
First, I'll answer the questions. Then, I'm going to break down all this social media talk and give you some tools to help you manage your time when dealing with them so you don't have all the hours in your day sucked out by trying to be everywhere at once. Sound good? Okay, let's get going!
My biggest takeaway, as always with a blog challenge, is meeting new people and interacting on other blogs. It forces me to get out there and read and comment other blogger's posts.
I already had a social media strategy when I began, but I realized I'm not using it to its full advantage. From now on, I'll be following a much stricter schedule. One I'm going to share with you in a moment. If you're new to social media, I have one tip for you: Brand yourself across all your platforms. Whether with a logo, your face, or a cute picture of a bug, you need to have consistency. People who happen upon something belonging to you should know right away it's yours. A color scheme is a must, as is a consistent name. If you don't have an identity package, call a graphic artist today and get one. You won't regret it.
You should have a folder containing: Logo, icon, or headshot, preferred background design, html color scheme codes, and a bio. Label it Branding and never ever delete it.
If you don't have naming consistency across all your platforms, change them. This is KEY.
Now, on to the tools! We all know I love free. So everything I give you will have a free option. A couple of them allow you to pay if you want more functionality but it's not necessary.
First and foremost: Buffer and Hootsuite
I'm a huge fan of Buffer. I can go to a site, hit the buffer icon in Firefox, and schedule it to Tweet, post to Facebook, and pop a message on my LinkedIn wall with one click. It's awesome. Since I'm a free user, I get up to ten buffered posts. Best of all, I can control when they're posted. I can manage all three of those social networks for two to three days at a time by scheduling my posts to span.
Hootsuite is a little different an incorporates up to five social networks. I'm not sure if they have a Firefox plugin like Buffer, but here's a list of stuff they can help you manage:
- Constant Contact
Why is this important? Because it lets you manage all your social networking from one application. Imagine spending just one hour a day managing everything! Of course, visiting the app isn't really all you have to do. But it'll still only take an hour a day. Without further ado, here's a handy dandy schedule. If you follow it, you'll be on your way to social media ownership very soon!
Monday - 20-30 minutes for a blog post. You should have something integrated so your posts are automatically sent to your social networks when you click publish. I have the buffer button and all I have to do is click it after I post. 20 minutes to schedule posts across all media for the next two days. 10 minutes browsing Twitter and re-tweeting things you find interesting.
Tuesday - 20-30 minutes for a blog post. 10 minutes to answer a single question over on Quora. 10 minutes to share interesting things others post on Facebook. 10 minutes to visit and update your GoodReads page. Make sure you're clicking like on any reviews you've gotten.
Wednesday - 20-30 minutes for a blog post. 20 minutes to schedule posts across all media for the next two days and make sure it's all running smoothly. 10 minutes to record a video you'll use later.
Thursday - 10 minutes to upload video to YouTube. 20-30 minutes for a blog post incorporating said video. 15 minutes to create a Squidoo lens (can be about and incorporate your video as well!). 5 minutes to pin a couple of things over on Pinterest.
Friday - 20-30 minutes for a blog post. 30 minutes scheduling everything to update until Monday and coming up with blog post ideas for the next week and make sure everything is running smoothly.
Saturday - 20 minutes sharing on Facebook. 20 minutes re-tweeting on Twitter. 20 minutes to visit other blogs and pop in a comment or two.
Sunday - 30 minutes sharing on Facebook, 30 minutes re-tweeting on Twitter.
Now, lather, rinse, repeat. I added Saturday and Sunday because most people don't work on the weekends, but are on Facebook and Twitter just hanging out. Why not share a couple of things while you're at it? After all, social media is about being social, right? So many people shied away from FourSquare and Ning, I didn't include them.
Granted, it's going to take you an hour or so to get one of the above apps working in the first place. Once you do, you'll wonder how you ever got on without it. They're time savers! Use them! They're FREE!
Does this help you break it down? Does it all seem more manageable and do-able now?
Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!