There’s no denying it: These days, just having an author website isn’t enough to get you noticed as a writer. Social media has become a huge part of everyday life. Industry experts all over the Web constantly tout the benefits of blogging, tweeting, liking, pinning, stumbling, tumbling…phew!
For many writers, social media is one of the most daunting aspects of launching a successful online author platform. “I’m not tech-savvy,” one might say. “Where do I even start?”
Here are 5 Social Media Tools To Make Your Networking Efforts More Streamlined And Effective
If you have multiple social media profiles, a tool like HootSuite could easily become your best friend. It can connect your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and even your Foursquare account onto one clean interface, letting you monitor and update them all simultaneously. This is a great way to interact with your readers and fellow writers without overwhelming yourself. And if that’s not enough, you can also use HootSuite to track social analytics so you can get a better sense of the people with whom you’re connecting.
Maybe you have several social media profiles, but you’re not so interested in social analytics. Or maybe you want to be able to follow particular keywords or writing-related hashtags as people are tweeting about them. In that case, TweetDeck might be the application for you.
With its slick, user-friendly design, you’ll be able to jump into any conversation happening on Twitter and then update your Facebook status in just a few quick clicks. How’s that for multitasking?
Like flash fiction and haiku, social media is all about brevity. Link-shortening tools like bit.ly are perfect for truncating your links into fewer characters, streamlining your tweets and posts so you don’t clog up your followers’ feeds.
Plus, bit.ly has a wonderful feature that tracks how many people are clicking your links. That way you can gauge what content has the potential to go viral and drive a ton of traffic to your author website.
If you’re interested in taking your social networking beyond just chatting about coffee and books, you’ll first need to get a sense of where you stand in your community’s social strata. Do people actually click the links you post? Are they interacting with you more or less than with other people?
Klout analyzes all of your social media profiles and calculates how influential your activity is. You can also see who the movers and shakers are in your writing niche, so you can connect with them and boost your own status by association.
For the WordPress users out there, JetPack is a multifaceted wunderkind when it comes to adding extra functionality to your author website, especially social media integration. Just connect your various social media profiles to JetPack through your “Sharing” settings and voilà—every time you write a blog post, you’ll have the option to automatically shout it out to your followers without leaving the ‘Edit post’ page!
Overwhelmed by the multitude of social sharing plugins available out there? No worries—JetPack has those too, so your readers can easily share your content in just one click.
Remember, social networking is a vital part of building your online author platform, but it doesn’t have to be scary. Like any uncharted territory, you just need the right tools and guides. With tools like the ones listed above, as well as a little time and effort, you’ll be tweeting and posting like a pro in no time—and expanding your influence as a writer on the Web while you’re at it.
QUESTION: What are your favorite social media tools?