Most of us start the new year with resolutions whether it's losing weight, giving to charity, or planning a trip around the world. I've decided to try out a new resolution each day, but there is a year-long commitment I'm aiming for, and that's better management of social media.
Social media is something I love and hate in equal measure. I love it when people reach out to me through Twitter, for example, and I love reaching back to them. But it can be a notorious chrono-leech sucking time from my day, especially when you're striving for multiple posts throughout the day or week. The three pillars of my platform are this blog, my Twitter page, and my Facebook page. The problem of staying on top of social media is therefore tripled. Even one outlet like Twitter can be a headache because you have to stop what you're doing to make a post just to keep the service effective.
Wouldn't it be great if you could just schedule everything? Wouldn't it be great to make all you promotional tweets for that reading or your blog posts in advance, get it out of the way and not have to worry about it?
Well, you can.
I recently started using an online app called Buffer. I stumbled onto it after reading an article about a guy trying to become more of a morning person. He used Buffer to schedule embarrassing tweets early in the morning. In order to avoid the embarrassment, he has to get up by a certain time and postpone the tweet for the next day, and then repeat.
It hasn't been ironclad - I'm still getting used to being a better early riser - but I have found Buffer to be an amazing tool in handling my Wednesday Wisdom posts and scheduling announcements on my upcoming reading this month. It's like that rotisserie oven Ron Popeil advertises. You really can set it and forget it with Buffer.
Blogging is another thing I want to do better on. Right now, I try getting a new post out once a week, usually on Sundays when I'm prepping for the next week. About ten minutes ago, literally, I saw Blogger's scheduling feature allowing users to write posts and delay their publishing until a later time. That's great because you can spend one day writing several posts for the week ahead and not have to worry about being consistent.
One thing I haven't figured out is how to schedule links to the blog. It's a common practice for me to post the links to articles on Twitter and Facebook. As far as I know, this can only be done after the post is published, which means I can't schedule them on Twitter and Facebook via Buffer. The only remedy for this seems to be spending a few minutes each day to post those links manually. Ooooo...there's five minutes!
All in all, I think this is a really great thing for any writer to have. It lets you take care of the busywork associated with social media and devote larger blocks of time to storytelling, but still gives you the freedom to make impromptu posts like when you spot a 25-pound gummy bear while window shopping and have to share it with the world.