Upgrade Your App-titude: Two Tips to Maximize Social Media

Social Media is this generation’s newspaper. It offers weather, news, sports, buying/trading, advertising, community, special interests, etc. All of which are great for killing time while standing in the grocery store line or delaying a morning run, but what if your publisher or publicist says you have to start an account to “build your platform” or “sell your book?”

Today’s author is pressed to be a journalist who posts to the on-going conversation of social media. This conversation is time-consuming, and if you asked ten authors his/her thoughts on utilizing social media, you would receive ten wildly different answers.

While many authors enjoy interacting online through various platforms, nearly every author feels pressured to participate whether he/she likes it or not. If you happen to be someone who feels pressured and has decided to participate because you must, this blogpost is for you.

Here are some of the most popular social media platforms:

Reluctant social media users will take comfort in two things: a) focusing your involvement and b) maximizing your time.

The key to focusing your involvement is limiting your platforms.

If you’re only going to participate in one social media platform, I recommend Facebook. Why? Those are the people who are most likely to spend money on you without effort. They already like you; you already like them. You don’t have to convince them to buy into your brand; you only have to alert them you have something new for sale.

After Facebook, I would add Twitter. It offers you the greatest potential for free marketing-touches. For instance, you might have one follower, but if a user with a million followers retweets you, suddenly you have an audience of one million. Plus, there is the added bonus of being limited to 140 characters. Fewer words equal less time.

After Twitter, I prefer Instagram. Instagram is image-driven, and research shows that Millenniums (born 1981-2000) and Generation Z (born after 2001), who have been raised in computer-based worlds, thrive on digital images. Instagram is the easiest way to speak in picture language.

The key to maximizing your time is cross-posting.

I would suggest (once you’ve chosen your platforms) that you investigate two social media aids: Buffer and IFTTT.

Buffer.com allows users to set up cross-posting on up-to-three social media accounts for free and an unlimited number of accounts in the paid version ($102/year.) Posts can be written at your leisure, queued, and scheduled to post during your personal online rush hour. Analytics are also available to determine best-used practices.

IFTTT.com, which stands for If This Then That is a free social media tool that utilizes triggers and actions to automate posting. An IFTTT user set up a personal recipes for multiple social media platforms. For instance, If This (I post a photo to Instagram), then (Also post it to Twitter.) These recipes use hashtags or other content to automate action, thereby saving users times from entering each platform separately.


Courtney is the Author-in-Residence for JKS Communications. She is the award-winning Young Adult author of FAKING NORMAL, THE BLUE-HAIRED BOY and THE LIES ABOUT TRUTH.