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My Favorite Social Media Tools

Social Media: Sigh. We know we need to do it in order to build our author platforms so we can get agents and book deals and make money selling those books, but it can be exhausting. And it never ends. You tweet and you post and you circle and you link and you connect and you Instagram, and then you wake up the next morning and have to do it all over again. When are you supposed to spend time with your family and (IRL) friends? When are you supposed to get exercise, read, and WRITE?

There are many tools to help streamline your social media life. Here are my favorites:


1. Feedly




When Google Reader shut down in July of 2013, everyone scrambled to find a new RSS reader. Several good options, like FeedBin and NewsBlur, arose, but by far the most popular was Feedly. What is Feedly? Feedly is a website where you can store and organize all the blogs you read. You can organize them into categories, you can see which ones have new posts and scan the titles for those that interest you most. You can read full posts right in Feedly, and you can share your favorite content to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instapaper, Pocket, HootSuite, and Buffer without leaving the page.



2. Pocket




A few years ago, bookmarking apps like Delicious gave way to “read-later” apps, which look like newspapers and can be accessed from all your devices. Of the three most popular read-later apps—Instapaper, Readability, and Pocket—Pocket is my favorite. First of all, Pocket, formerly Read It Later, is the oldest of the three and therefore supports the most devices. It also has more features than the others, allowing you to save embedded video, email articles to others, and choose from different font colors and sizes. Plus, it’s beautiful. To use Pocket, just create an account, install the browser extension, and download the free app onto all your mobile devices. Then the next time you see an article you want to save to read later, just click the Pocket icon in your browser and voila—it will be waiting for you on your tablet and smart phone for the long wait at the post office.



3. Buffer




Buffer App allows you to “buffer” your posts to Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, and Google+. This is how it works: You create a free account, you link it to your social media accounts, you select certain times of day you want your posts to go out (say 8:08, 2:35, 4:19, and 7:40). Then you drop posts into Buffer and click on which social media sites you want them posted to. You’re allowed to drop in 10 at a time with the free account, up to 200 with the ($102/year) pro account. Those posts will go out at the times you designated—8:08, 2:35, etc.—until they’re all gone. With four posts a day, you just need to refill every 2.5 days, then go walk that dog, read that book, or practice that cello while Buffer does your tweeting for you.



4. Hootsuite



HootSuite also allows you to schedule posts, but rather than doing it at set intervals each day, it permits you to schedule an individual post to go out a specific time and day. (You can also just send it NOW.) The advantage of this is if you have an event coming up, you may want to schedule a reminder one week before, two days before and again a couple of hours before. With HootSuite, you can do that. You can also manage multiple accounts for free (in Buffer, you need to have the pro account to do that.) So I can tweet from any one of various Twitter accounts all from the same web page without logging out of one and logging into the other. HootSuite also allows me to organize the people I follow on Twitter into different streams. I can view my Home stream, which includes every tweet of all 5424 of my followers, or I can view customized streams of tweeters I have sorted into lists. I can see all the tweets from SF Grotto writers, for example, or all the agents I follow, or my closest friends, who normally get lost in the chatter of my home feed.


What about you? What are your favorite social media tools? Do you use EverNote? TweetDeck? What else?



16 comments to My Favorite Social Media Tools

  • Jane

    I am thinking I should take your class. I installed the Pocket app on my android but can't figure out how to save info to it. What did you mean install the browser app? Or should I take your class?

    • Jane, here's a link that explains how to save to Pocket from Android devices:

      What I mean is that if you're working on your computer, you can install the little Pocket icon onto your browser (Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer) and then whenever you want to save an article or blog post from your computer, you just click on the Pocket icon instead of opening Pocket.

      As for my classes, I teach three: Blogging for Beginners, Advanced Blogging, and Social Media Mastery/Madness, but none of them cover how to use Pocket 🙂

  • Thanks for posting this information. I rely need this information thanks for posting this information. i also use these tools.

  • Yes, social media has come to the point where it can make or break us. I don't enjoy it and it can be really frustrating sometimes, but with the help of tools like this you can manage it.

  • Great info and one of these tools I've never tried before. Thanks for the updates, I'm off to go check out Buffer.

  • Excellent post!! that's sounds great..Thanks for the share

  • Thanks for share. I search this type of website and here it is. I will try this website.
    this is very much excellent post!Very good high quality information.

  • All these are very useful tools and i use these tools on regular basis.

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