I know you don't have time to blog. I know. But you can make life much easier on yourself with the help of social media aggregator sites and just a little advance planning. In this last post of our June series on social media, I want to introduce an intermediate topic: successfully linking and managing your social media accounts.
When I was getting ready to begin blogging in 2010, I sat down with Scot McKnight at a conference and asked how in the world he manages to post so often. Does he not sleep? He is one of the bloggers I most admire, not just for the interesting things he says but how often he is able to post. He gave me several excellent pieces of advice:
- Blog at least once a day. (He can do four or five short posts a day. I am in awe. But I can manage one every weekday.)
- Do as much as you can beforehand. He said he does a lot of his posts on the weekends, and uploads them later.
- Use guest bloggers sometimes. (I have accepted some terrific guest posts and am still open to this, if you want to submit something you think would be a good fit. My email is in my author bio at the right.)
One other thing I've learned over the last two years is how tremendously helpful a social media aggregator site can be. Managing multiple social media accounts as well as a blog can be time-consuming, so it’s good to investigate the many free services available that can handle your posts, tweets, and status updates “automagically.”
I have tried two of these, Sendible and HootSuite. The basic (read: free) versions of both sites are easy to use. However, the edge goes to HootSuite because after one year Sendible surprised me by telling me I had to pay a monthly fee or lose my account. I then chose HootSuite because the smallest package is billed as being free forever. It does all the things that Sendible can do (unless you want to create a really huge email list). If you just want the basics, HootSuite is terrific and can save you a lot of time. At a glance you can:
- Manage up to five social media profiles
- Push your blog content automatically to those accounts
- Schedule tweets and Facebook statuses in advance
- Analyze your social media results and effectiveness
If you’re interested, go to HootSuite.com and create an account. You can register in just a couple of minutes and then start linking HootSuite to your blog and social media accounts. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, you can also add profiles for LinkedIn, Foursquare, Google+, and others. There are instructions on the site about how to do this, or you can look at this blog.
With my Twible project, I upload my tweets in batches every few weeks and HootSuite takes care of the rest. I choose the time and date I want each message to go out to Twitter (which then goes automatically to LinkedIn and my Amazon author profile) and Facebook, and HootSuite does the rest. It is also connected to my blog so that it uploads Facebook and Twitter daily with my blog feed, in addition to any blog promotion I already do on those sites each day.
HootSuite is a great time-saver, it's free, and it's easy. What are you waiting for?
The image of social media and the smartphone is used with permission of Shutterstock.com.