Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Get Back to the Future with a Social Media Dashboard

By Jennifer Lovett Herbranson

Back to the Future is one of my all-time favorite movies. The Delorean, the diner, the music, Marty McFly, all of it. Watching it the other day reminded me of why Social Media Dashboards are so effective for writers in every stage of their careers. I am partial to Hootsuite, so that’s what I’ll talk about today.

1. Flux Capacitor. Well, no one really understands the flux capacitor. It’s sorta the same way with Hootsuite. You don’t need to understand all of it to be able to use if effectively.

a. It’s a dashboard that allows you to post to multiple platforms at a given time.

b. You log in with one of your platforms, so there is no added log in /password requirement.

c. You get five streams for free. For a fee, you can get more, but for beginners, five is plenty.

2. You too can go back in time! Use Hootsuite to manage up to five social media streams.

a. Facebook profiles, groups and author pages (thumbs up!)

b. Twitter (also thumbs up!)

c. Google+ (wouldn’t really bother)

d. Instagram (thumbs up, especially if you’re targeting Middle Grade or YA)

e. LinkedIn (not really a necessity for writers)

3. Donate to YOUR clock tower, which in this case is your social media. Just a quarter a day is all you need. Yes, 15 minutes.

  a. Schedule out posts.

  b. Respond to folks.

  c. Read your stream.

4. Hootsuite is the DeLorean. But you don’t need plutonium to fire it up and make it work. Remember when the doc used everyday stuff from the garbage to power the DeLorean? Everyday stuff (not garbage!) is exactly what people want to see on your social media.

a. Simple – What are you doing today, with whom, why and what did you laugh about? Easy – What great quote, book, movie, show, song or poem spoke to you today?

b. Intuitive – Would your best friend want to know? Then so will your follower.

5. Where you’re going, you won’t need roads! Hootsuite is an essential tool if you’d like to focus more time on your craft and less time on your marketing. Not to say you can’t do any marketing, but this tool will definitely free up your time.

a. Once a week, log in and schedule out all your posts for the week.

b. Once every other day or every three days, log in and respond to followers.

c. Upload it on your phone or tablet for max flexibility.

Use Hootsuite to turn your mad scientist life into something more manageable. You’ll be doing the twist and the bop all the way to the social media bank! What do you do to make your social media posting easier?

About the Author: With a combined 14 years of active and Reserve time as a US Air Force Public Affairs Officer, Jennifer Lovett Herbranson has marketed books, shows, concerts and more. She is currently the speechwriter for the Director of the Defense Logistics Agency outside of Washington DC. In her spare time, she is pursuing a career as a fiction writer.

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