Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Social Media Tools to Help Manage Your Online Life, Part One by Nicole Miller

There's always something new coming out to help writers remain organized when it comes to social media. Today, author and social media specialist Nicole Miller provides information on a few of these tools meant to make our writing lives easier. Make sure you read Part Two next week. -- Sandy

Nicole: A writer’s life is full of so much more than putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). Networking, tweeting, Facebook-ing… But the right social media tools can help keep these things in order and under control.  

When it first comes to picking which social media networks to spend the most time in, I recommend finding the sites you enjoy the most and pick two or three to focus on. The same applies with tools — find one or two that you “click” with. The best tool is one you will use consistently. 

Social Media Tools

Buffer ( - Buffer is the simplest way to publish to social media and offers a free plan and paid plans. Originally designated as a way to spread out your Tweets, Buffer works with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ pages. When you create posts and send them to your Buffer account, they will go into a queue that will hold the posts until pre-determined posting times. You can set the times and how many posts per day for each network. 

With the handy-dandy extension, you can click the Buffer button that is installed in your browser and it will pre-populate a post based on the web page you’re visiting. Buffer also offers analytics, blog feeds and more.

How I use this tool: 
When I start out the day, I check out some blogs from my email inbox or social feeds. If I read an article that I know would be of interest to my followers, I hit the Buffer button in my browser and then queue it into my social profiles. After three or four articles, I’ve got a steady stream of posts for the day and it is like I’m posting online all day without being on my social media channels 24/7. I also use the analytics to see which posts were most popular among my followers (most favorites, retweets, etc.) and know to post more of those in the future.

Free plan: up to 10 queued posts, 4 profiles
Awesome Plan: $10/month for up to 200 queued posts, 12 profiles

Similar products: Hootsuite ( (free and paid); Sprout Social ( (paid) 

Tweetdeck ( - Tweetdeck offers an efficient means to organize your Twitter feed. Create columns by hashtags, users, topics, and more! At a quick glance, you can follow the latest on a specific item and keep track of mentions easily. 

How I use this tool:
Twitter is one of the most powerful social networks for connecting and sharing information quickly. I have several columns in my Tweetdeck with hashtags I follow, users I follow and my mentions. I’m able to scroll through these quickly and reach out to people who have similar interests or thank people who mention me. 

Tailwind ( - For the Pinterest lovers, this is an incredible tool for analytics on your pins and followers. Use these weekly analytics to track what is most successful and do more of that! 

How I use this tool: 
Analytics are a powerful way to work smarter online. Though numbers can sometimes be intimidating to us writers (I’m guilty of that one!) tools like Tailwind make these stats very approachable. A quick glance or two can really tell you all you need to know about your most popular topics. Pay attention to the types of posts that your audience responds to - was it the length of your post, the type of image you used? All this is helpful in knowing what to use going forward! 

A few other tools to mention if you want to explore more! 

Klout ( ( 

Even more resources here! 
61 of the Best Social Media Tools for Businesses (

What social media networks are your favorite? Do you use any of the tools I’ve mentioned? Did any of them stand out to you? 

Nicole will share more helpful information in next Wednesday's post, so be sure to read it!


Nicole M Miller is a team member at Buffer, a social media management tool with 2 million users, and a historical fiction writer. A journalism major from Western Washington University, she has worked as an event coordinator, designer, marketer and everything in between. She blogs about her urban homesteading adventures with two dogs, two horses, 17 chickens and four ducks at