If you’re considering going indie, you’re going to need to have a social media strategy. I’m going to assume if you’ve gone far enough to think about releasing your content through Amazon, Createspace, Smashwords, Lulu, whatever, you want to try to earn a little money from it. That’s good, you should and remember there’s no shame in wanting to be compensated for your craft.
I do most of my work on Twitter, so my toolset is geared largely toward that. I tweet often – from 10-24 times a day, rotating my messages and constantly prowling for new content. That doesn’t mean I’m sitting there with my phone all day; I’ve pushed this work off to tools that do a lot of this for me. These form the core of my social media strategy.
This is a list I’ve compiled through my own research and use. I receive no compensation whatsoever from any of the sites listed below.
Hootsuite is the core of my Twitter strategy and I don’t know what I’d do without it. The site allows you to configure up to three social networks for free (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…) In Hootsuite you set a time for your message to go out, optionally add a picture, and hit send. At the scheduled time, the message will go out. Usually. Occasionally I get a “message failed” error, but it’s not enough to make me worry. This tool has really done wonders for me – I can spend a few hours a week setting up messages for up to a month at a time, while I go do other things like write and make movies.
I just discovered a free HootSuite account will let you automatically follow up to two blogs via RSS, automatically sending messages out at set intervals.
The paid options allow more social networks and the ability to upload spreadsheets of messages.
Hashtagify is an incredibly useful tool: you type in a hashtag and it gives you a visual representation of related hashtags and how much weight these related tags carry. This can help you expand your reach into areas you may not have thought of, since people also search for those related hashtags. The interface is beautiful, very similar to Bubbl.us’ bubble display.
Their free service allows you to see hashtag activity for the last 24 hours; how often is the tag used, and when are the people you’re trying to reach talking. If you don’t have these kinds of metrics, you’re shouting into the wind hoping someone will hear you. The paid option provides more analytics and deeper detail, but I haven’t used it yet.
Another incredibly powerful tool, dlvr.it allows you to follow four blogs for free, auto-tweeting new posts as they’re released. If you find a few fellow artists who share content relevant to your followers, this pushes some of the work of finding new content off to other people. (I miss Twitterfeed, which used to allow an unlimited number of follows)
If you choose the indie path, you’re going to be your own marketing department (unless you have the budget to hire help). With relatively low cost, you can take the helm and spread the good word of your work. Good luck, and if you have any other tips or sites you think others could use, please leave a comment.