So you’re putting in the work and growing your author platform. High fives.
But whether you’ve decided it’s time to become a master of all things Pinterest or simply resolved to tweet once every single day, the demands of maintaining a platform can easily become overwhelming. Don’t worry, it’s not you, it’s the Internet.
But if this is how you’re feeling, I have good news. There’s a ton of tools out there to help you keep your social media under control. Let’s take a look at some of the best and most popular:
This free application helps you get the most from Twitter. Among its features, Tweetdeck lets you posts right from the application, or schedule them to release later. It also offers a dashboard of live tweet feeds, from your full account feed to ones for specific hashtags, keywords, and lists.
You can even track multiple accounts and modify your keyword feeds to control the level of tweets you see—such as only posts that have been retweeted at least five times. Not bad, right?
Similar to Tweetdeck, Hootsuite lets you schedule posts and manage a number of feeds for lists, hashtags, and keywords. Where is sets itself apart is in its ability to go beyond Twitter and add accounts for over 35 social networks including Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, and quite frankly, even one whose logo I didn’t recognize at all.
It also lets you create Facebook ads and offers analytics on your accounts’ performance. You can get even more with the paid Premium version, but most of us won’t need it. (I have to admit, this one’s my favorite.)
3) Social Oomph
If you find yourself easily dragged down the social media rabbit hole for hours, this one may be for you. Social Oomph brands itself as a productivity tool for social media.
It offers basic feed capabilities that the other tools offer for up to five Twitter accounts, and also shortens URLs, saves drafts, and will purge your direct messages. The paid professional version offers even more, including access to Facebook accounts.
One way to offer your followers quality without having to come up with something brilliant every few hours is by curating content—sharing content from other sources. Everypost is specifically designed to help you find content worth posting from YouTube, Instagram, and other feeds, and then add a customized message for each social network before you post. Pretty nifty.
After a 30-day trial, this application costs a fairly reasonable $9.99 per month.
5) Crowd Booster
Sure, other tools offer some supplementary analytics, but Crowd Booster was designed specifically to crunch the numbers. You can get data about your posts in real time, through a customizable dashboard.
Or, if staring at the screen and hitting refresh every few minutes isn’t for you, Crowd Booster also emails you a weekly analytics report. Even better, you can review your data in graphs and tables that you can export—you know, in case you want to show off your progress to your agent or publisher.
But more than just a pile of numbers, this tool offers audience insights such as who your most engaged followers are and suggestions on who to engage with and how to improve your content. And of course, it lets you schedule posts for later. This is a paid service, but for a single account it’s just $9 a month.
Stick to What Works for Your Social Media Strategy
I could go on for days breaking down the many different social media tools out there, but I find these applications to be among the most useful and reasonable for a one-writer operation ($99 a month subscriptions? No thanks.)
Obviously, you don’t need to use all of these (or any of them) to grow a successful platform. But if you’re looking for a way to simplify your efforts without backing down on your outreach, the right tool can cut your time while optimizing your presence. Try a few out and see what works for you.
By day, Emily Wenstrom, is the editor of short story website wordhaus, author social media coach, and freelance content marketing specialist. By early-early morning, she is E. J. Wenstrom, an award-winning sci-fi and fantasy author whose debut novel Mud was named 2016 Book of the Year by the Florida Writers Association.