When I was just starting out to build a platform for marketing my books and stories, I worked the social media angle mostly from my iPhone. My PC at the time was a boat anchor running Vista. I’ve since turned to MAC for deliverance. Where has Mac been all my life? It was like finding the fountain of youth.
My wife grew ever more exasperated as I ran into her office each day; holding my iPhone aloft and dancing with the exciting news that ten people had followed me on Twitter that day. Up until I started working at it in July of last year, my follower count was near rock steady at a static 200 — give or take 1-3.
Since then, my excitement has grown less naive. I have over 5400 followers and the average day sees 30-40 new ones with spikes close to a hundred on occasion. Twitter is my main marketing platform.
As my account grew via iPhone, I soon realized that a good SMMS (Social Media Management System) would be necessary to monitor, grow and maintain the growing interactions. Without Hootsuite as my choice, this could not have been accomplished short of going insane. I’m now a rabid fan and brand ambassador for this top-rated platform.
Just so you understand clearly, I am a volunteer and am not paid for any of my endorsements or promotional activities. Hootsuite has been such a game-changer in my efforts to build a marketing platform on social media. So much so that I want to wash the CEO’s car or at least mow his lawn.
I didn’t just fall into… with the first pretty bird to come along either. I did my homework. I tried the others and evaluated them for ease and performance. Hootsuite won hands down. There were super simple programs that sacrificed too much performance. That would not work for me. I test drove Owly(HootSuite’s monicker). Within the month, I upgraded to the Pro Version and never looked back.
If you are on Twitter at all, you have no doubt been bombarded with ads for adding followers, 10,000 guaranteed in one day for $29.95. Sounds like an old commercial from the 70’s for painting cars. I tried it and the paint peeled within the year. That same thing will happen to your new bytes of friends. Do you really want to pay for your friends? Can we be so desperate for recognition that we pay some computer savvy person money to tweak the system so it looks like 10,000 people were interested in what we had to say? What kind of gravitas will be gained by that number under our profile pic? The proliferation of such offers suggests a lot of people drink that Kool-Aid.
And, there are others offering to automatically manage my content for me. Just think of the free time that would suddenly be available to me. Succumb to that one and you’d end up with hearts and flower romance novels in horror story posts or vice-versa (I’ve seen it). How about a little porn stirred in with your Christian brand? That would do wonders for your image.
The profiles using automated content providers are easy to spot; they have no original content. All their posts are Retweets and rarely any original content from the account holder. Occasionally a post says someone else is doing the heavy lifting — just for legalities sake.
Me, I like to get to know people whether online or in person. I like to shake their hand even if it is across the data stream. I like to recognize and celebrate them for their achievements and help them achieve their goals. Yes, Mom all that happens on a well run Twitter profile. Read my post on the simpler basics of Twitter I learned from watching others and by applying Common Courtesies and a Handshake to Social Media.
Meanwhile back at the ranch —
I really need to give credit where credit is due. Without HootSuite‘s SMMS (Social Media Management System) I could not have accomplished what I have so far. Hootsuite allows you, through an online dashboard, to manage multiple Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Word Press accounts, and you can manage multiple accounts within each one of those. I’m out of breath just thinking about it.
In addition, there is a plethora of third-party apps to work with available through the dashboard: Instagram, YouTube, and even Gmail. Being web based you can do all this from anywhere in the world on any computer. There is a free version of HootSuite‘ or a Pro version for $9.95 a month which has proved its worth ten and a hundred fold, perhaps more, each and every month.
Within my dashboard, I manage 9 different Social Media accounts, some of those I curate for companies who were impressed with my proficiency, knowledge and the results I got back from my own accounts. I can also manage each of those on a limited basis from my iPhone and iPad. Using a laptop or desktop computer, of course, enables you to extract all of the features and best benefits.
Since my mainstream is Twitter, I’ll tell you my experience from that standpoint. The single most beneficial thing is the bulk scheduler from which I can upload up to 350 messages at one time to each profile. For me, that’s about two week’s worth of content. This takes a little head scratching and finger grease, but if you have a bare minimum of experience with Excel you can do it. I learned through a reccomendation from HootSuite’s help pages that the best program to use is Google Sheets their online answer to Excel. Sheets is not as powerful as Excel, but having it web based alongside the HootSuite Dashboard is more convenient than bouncing from software locked to one computer in which you have to save filenames and perform other juggling acts. Sheets also makes cleaner CSV files for uploading.