I say this to myself in the mirror every morning: “Social media is my friend.” I’ve been doing this since October of 2013 while having a seriously twisted love-hate relationship with Twitter, falling head-over-heels for Pinterest, and trying to figure out how to get stuff to post on my Facebook Page without getting my Facebook involved. Tricky, tricky, tricky.
I’m going to tell you about the tools I’ve discovered, but I also want to give you insight into some of my experiences with the various social media. I participate in a number with varying degrees of success.
WordPress.com and Blogger
I love my blog(s). I take great satisfaction in posting to them. Though they do strange things like insert crescent moons into my text, I think I thrive on the chaos of it all. Here are a couple of things I’ve learned about writing a blog:
1. Keep the posts short (300 – 500 words).
2. Post regularly.
3. If someone takes the time to comment, respond.
4. Pick a day of the week, maybe the day you post, to look through fellow bloggers’ sites and make comments. I know I feel loved when I see a comment.
I have wrestled with serious obstacles using Twitter. Its immediacy can be overwhelming to an introvert like me. I also get very upset when I experience a drop in followers. It feels like high school all over again. Here are a couple things I’ve learned about Tweeting:
1. Retweets are GOOD. To give and to receive.
2. #FF (Follow Fridays) should be observed with zeal (see IFTTT for ways to collect follower information).
3. Hash tags are your friends. Remember to use them (and I forget all the time).
4. Twitter is about groupings. It’s like creating the perfect dinner party with just the right mix of people who share similar interests but are different enough to share unique perspectives.
I don’t just like this application, I LURVE it. I pin my blog posts, fan pictures, funny memes, writing tips, books I want to read, recipes—I could go on and on and I would but this is a blog post. Here are a couple of things I’ve learned about Pinterest:
1. Group boards are fun as long as you enjoy the content. I declined a Bollywood Actress board only to have the same person ask me to post to a Funny board, which I accepted. Optimal posting is once a day on a group board.
2. Your content improves the more people you follow so having a whacky ratio of 200 followers to the 571 you follow is OK.
3. Pin what you love and make comments. Show people YOU and don’t be surprised when your stuff gets repinned.
4. I’ll follow All of someone’s boards, but will unfollow a particular board (rather than the person) if it gets on my nerves (Boards about manicures irritate me and I unfollow those right quick). This avoids hurt feelings.
Most of us have a Facebook. What I’m talking about here is a Facebook Page. I have an Author page. I try to post content relative to the theme of the page. It’s a beast to manage. Here are a couple of things I’ve learned about Facebook Page:
1. FB Page is notoriously exclusive in what it will allow you to post and which applications it will interact with. WordPress.com—nope. Hoot Suite—nope. Twitter—nope. You get the idea.
2. The analytics are nifty but you have to reach 50 likes to even see these metrics.
3. You can’t sign up for anything if you’re logged in as your FB Page.
4. I haven’t figured out all of the things you CAN’T do, but I’m sure I will as I try to figure out what it CAN do.
Social Media Is Your Friend Tools
1. Hoot Suite: this helps you schedule tweets, Facebook posts (not Page posts), Linked In updates, and WordPress posts. There is an auto-schedule feature that I adore. While I’m working, I can look like I’m not as Hoot Suite releases my tweets and posts throughout the day.
2. IFTTT: I just found this baby. This application runs on the premise of If This Then That (they call it a Recipe). I can use a pre-made recipe to gather new follower information into a spreadsheet. I can create a recipe that posts to my FaceBook PAGE if I tweet with the #bloghop in it. I can also post simultaneously to my WordPress and Blogger sites with a pre-made recipe. Seriously exciting stuff!
3. If you’re a writer, you’ve probably subscribed to various writing websites. If they offer you a free tutorial on social media, CHECK IT OUT! I received a free Twitter Guide from Book Baby that has cleared all the boogey men out of that particular closet. I don’t use everything in one book either. I pick and choose to create a set of tools that work for me.
4. I have a subscription to Write To Done and that has been worth it’s weight in daily digests. I hesitate to defer an email from them. Write To Done talks about the business of social media for the author (and other things), but it can also give musicians and artists insight into what works and why, especially if the idea is to cross genres to appeal to writers as a market (we like music—and art).
I had posted last month that one of my goals was to get my Social Media under control and it looks like I’ve found a few interesting keys to make it happen.
Copyright © 2014 iokirkwood.com. “Social Media Is My Friend” by I.O. Kirkwood. All rights reserved.