Save Time for Writing With Social Media Tools

Many writers want to have an author’s Facebook page and a Twitter account. Of course, there is also email, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and a website. Plus, you need to work on that next book. Where to find the time?

Social Media for Authors

In previous blog posts on social media, we have shared some practical information about how authors can harness the power of Social Media:

Take the Leap Into Social Media

Facebook 101: Create an Author Presence

The Top 10 Ways Authors Connect to Readers on Facebook

Twitter 101: A Crash Course for Authors

How Do My Readers Find Me on Twitter? Advice for Indie Authors

How authors can use YouTube to connect with their readers

Getting Connected on LinkedIn® Professional Networking Services

An Author’s Profile Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Two Social Media Dashboards

But how do you find the time? One solution is to use free tools that act like a social media dashboard. I have used two: Hootsuite and Tweetdeck.  Both allow you to control your Twitter content. This blog is not an evaluation of the two because I like features of each. I began with Tweetdeck and transitioned over to Hootsuite. This post is just to make you aware that such wonderful tools exist that can simplify your life and improve your efficiency resulting in more time to focus on your real job—writing your next book!

What I Love about TweetDeck

  • Can choose font size
  • Very easy to create and edit Twitter lists
  • Can select bitly as my link shortener
  • New keyboard shortcuts

When working on Tweets late at night, I can easily increase the font size. I use bitly to track links and love the detailed stats I get so it is a real advantage to be able to use bitly within Tweetdeck when creating new Tweets with long URLs.

What I Love about Hootsuite

  • Hootlet plugin
  • Shrinks your links
  • Easy editing box
  • Can RT with comments
  • Also can control Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook and more

The Hootlet plugin is amazing. When I am reading a blog post that I just know eFrog Press followers will find fascinating, I just click Hootlet on my Firefox Bookmark Toolbar and a little window opens and composes a Tweet complete with blog post title,  location (shortened, of course, as an owly link) and character count. All I need to do is add a comment, tags, and schedule my Tweet. How spontaneous!

Both Hootsuite and Tweetdeck allow you to schedule your Tweets—perhaps the most wonderful feature of all. Instead of popping in and out of Twitter a few times a day—and losing 20 minutes each time as you get drawn into the conversation—schedule 30 minutes a week to plan out your Tweets (and  Facebook posts in Hootsuite) for the upcoming week. Naturally, you will still want to check in during the week and Tweet or post about topics that are timely, but you know your presence is on autopilot and you can focus on your writing!

Apps for smartphones and the iPad free you to turn your wait time into productive time. And the web-based interface for both allow you to login on any computer to check in, Tweet, or interact.

Please Share

Does Twitter or Facebook ever sidetrack you when you really should be writing? Have you found any social media tools that save you time? Please share with us.

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