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Twitter best practices {Megaphone Society}

Today’s post comes from Megaphone Member Lindsay Heidbrink (a.k.a. Rolark). Stop by Linsday’s blog and connect with her on Twitter!

If you’re like me, then free is your favorite number.  The scope of free services available on the internet is mind-boggling (hello Gmail, WordPress, and Wordle, to name a few) and only makes it harder to decide where to market yourself and your books.  Since social media marketing is such a big part of online writer-reader interaction, it makes sense to start there.

Swapping between multiple internet tabs, or going the route of logging in and out of several social sites, can be a little frustrating, not to mention time-consuming.  I’d rather be writing!  I’d even rather—gasp!—be revising my writing than losing precious minutes (hours?) to social surfing.  Because of that, I’ve spent time sifting through the deluge of social media managers and found an obvious winner: Hootsuite.  Now I’ll tell you this, Hootsuite is great for ALL major social media sites, but I’ll just point out how powerful Hootsuite is for managing Twitter in this particular post.

Hootsuite makes Twitter better for writers because…it puts everything in one easy-to-access location. 

Hootsuite is a “dashboard” app that puts your Twitter streams all in one location.  You can post updates, read personal messages, and follow keywords that interest you all from one page.  Rather than click back and forth on links to see trending topics, your home feed, keyword searches, other tweeter’s feeds, and so on, you can see it all on one page.  It looks like this:

Twitter {Megaphone Society}

As you can see, I can view my home feed, my mentions, direct messages, and searches all at the same time!  In Twitter, I’d have to click back and forth between my “Home” page, my “Connect” page, and my “Discover” page to do all that.  See picture below of the Twitter head bar for reference:

Twitter {Megaphone Society}

Big difference, huh?

Hootsuite makes Twitter better for writers because…it makes interactions in relevant conversations super easy. 

If I wanted to follow more than one topic in Twitter and participate in the conversations—let’s say reading and writing, since that’s what writers like—I could of course open multiple tabs and switch back and forth between them.  I, however, would rather see it all on one tab, and updated in real time too.  I’m saving those other tabs for finding relevant content to share with my followers, as well as viewing the content others have shared with me.  Hootsuite takes the overwhelming amount of screen space involved in Twitter and condenses it to one nice tab.  See below how I have created two separate streams and can easily comment on either one?  It’s great.

Hootsuite {Megaphone Society}

Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about!  And Hootsuite allows following/unfollowing, replying, retweeting, and direct messaging within the streams, so you can make new friends (followers?) in a snap.

Hootsuite makes Twitter better for writers because…you can spend more time writing! 

Another thing I like about Hootsuite is its message scheduling.  In Twitter, you only have to click the little blue button in the top right to compose a message no matter what screen you’re viewing, but in Hootsuite you have several more options.  See below (the arrow and circle were added by me for emphasis):

Hootsuite {Megaphone Society}

While composing your tweet, you can schedule it for any time in the future, add a location, add privacy locks, add links (and there’s a shortener provided for you—no need to open Bit.ly on another page), add a picture, add a file, or even set Hootsuite to auto schedule the tweet for you.  In Twitter, all you get is this:

Hootsuit {Megaphone Society}

Nothing wrong with Twitter’s interface, of course, but Hootsuite just provides a bundle of convenient options without adding undue complexity.  Hootsuite also makes it possible for you to promote your latest blog post or cover reveal without having to jump on Twitter every couple of hours.  Interact with your followers for a while and then schedule reminder tweets about your latest post for the next couple days.  Your stuff won’t get lost in the glut of followers’ home feeds that way, and you can spend more time doing what you do best: writing.

Hootsuite makes Twitter better for writers…period. 

I hope this review has been helpful, and good luck on your writing adventures!  This was only a short preview of the wonders and efficiency of Hootsuite—I didn’t even mention the free analytics and multiple-posting options if you use more than one social media site to market your books.  If you have a moment, pop on over to Hootsuite.com and see what it can do for you…for free.

Lindsay Heidbrink, also known as Rolark, is an aspiring author who enjoys drawing, painting, reading, and supporting self-published books.  Get more advice on writing as well as book recommendations at selfpublishedgold.wordpress.com.  

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