*Please note: this post is now more than five years old. Some of the information may therefore be outdated.*
The first time I heard of Hootsuite, I laughed. Hard.
I mean seriously, who uses an owl for a mascot? Regardless of my first impression, Hootsuite has turned into a lifesaver for me–and it could for you, too.
Hootsuite is a nifty little tool where you can SCHEDULE your Facebook and Twitter posts in advance. This means, you can schedule everything on Sunday evening, and Hootsuite will post for you throughout the week.
Oh yeah, and it’s free.
Hootsuite has lots of other fun features, too. But for me–a busy writer who works full-time in the corporate world by day, and freelances for magazines by night–the ability to schedule social media posts in advance is key.
After all, I don’t have tons of free time to throw away on social media.
Why maintain a social media presence as a writer?
If you want to go by the experts, Poets and Writers Magazine just featured an article in its May/June edition entitled, “Social Media for Authors.” In it, public relations professional Lauren Cerand emphasizes the importance of social media for up-and-coming writers. Here’s an excerpt:
The task of finding readers and finding an audience is made much easier by joining the conversation that you feel you belong to, whether it’s via media that you maintain, community sites you check daily, or blogs that you read and comment on when you have something important to add.
What does this mean? It means as a writer, you have a better chance of selling your work if you can find your niche, and build a loyal following. One of the best ways to build that following is by using social media, especially for unknown writers.
As a former newspaper reporter, I now pay the bills by working in media strategy and marketing. And I can tell you from personal experience: social media is the future of exposure. I’m not talking about Facebook or Twitter, but rather the idea of social media and its platform of sharing information. Social media is word-of-mouth on steroids, to borrow a phrase from Gary Vaynerchuk, author of “Crush It.”
If you want to have a shot at being a successful writer, you need to maintain a social media presence. And Hootsuite is just one more tool to help you do it. Imagine drawing people again and again to your blog posts (old and new) throughout the week, without spending all day on Twitter or Facebook?
MY QUESTION TO YOU: What social media platforms do you use, to maintain your online presence as a writer? And if you don’t use social media, which services do you want to learn more about?