I spoke last week about revising my social media platform. The more places you have a presence across the net, the more chances for people to discover you. But, without automation, the more places you are, the more work it is.
Many writers who are starting out are daunted by the sheer scope of the internet and hardly know where to start. I wrote some advice on this a while ago – if you’re daunted, read this. It’s a hard balance to find, between doing your business and doing the promotion. In my case, I need time to write, but if I don’t promote, nobody will find my books and read them.
Let me point out that you can’t be everywhere, you have to choose where you are most comfortable and where you will be most effective. Also, you can’t be widely known at once. It takes time to build your platform.
But once it’s built, if you automate, you save time. Here are a few tips.
If you blog on WordPress, like this blog, you can set it to share every post to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Path. I’m on all but the last two, so every post on my personal blog goes to four other places.
If you blog on Blogger, like my author blog, it will link to Google+, since Google owns Blogger. So every post on my author blog goes to one other place. So that’s automation without leaving your blog.
Then there’s IFTTT, which stands for If This Then That. It allows you to link from one thing to another. I use it to fill in for Blogger’s deficiencies and pick up my author blog posts and put them on Twitter and LinkedIn. I have two Facebook pages and IFTTT cannot link to two, so I use it to link my history posts on my author blog to my history page on Facebook. I have to put my science fiction posts on my science fiction Facebook page myself – but that’s all I have to do.
I tweet about other things, not just my blog posts, but I can’t be going into twitter every few hours – I have a life to live, as well as the times I need for uninterrupted writing. So I use Hootsuite, which does two things: it allows me to schedule tweets ahead of time, and it allows me to view my Twitter feed in different ways to make it easier to interact.
Facebook pages now allow scheduling of posts (see here for instructions) , so I schedule some of my tweets to my Facebook pages too. Because of Twitter and Facebook scheduling I can prepare most of my posting in less than one hour a week. Then I just pop in and do some live interacting now and then.
So, what do you think of automation now? Like all social media work, don’t try to run before you can walk. Start simple and build up. If you want advice, just leave me a comment. Good luck!