Times they are always a-changing. Way back when, this site you’re looking at right now as more active than a one-legged person in a butt-kicking contest, with 15,000 active users, a vibrant community of people jabbering about my work and forming real friendships in the process. Then along came Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (yes, we’re that old, we were rocking and rolling when YouTube was a lil’ startup), Instagram and all the others. Turns out dedicated teams of well-funded programmers and sociologists are better at making massive communities than a horror author who resembles a walking cadaver. Who knew?
We, of course, changed with the times, and connected with active fan bases on all of those platforms. Guess what? Trying to post stuff to where people like to spend their time, and then finding time to interact and make sure Junkies know you’re there and you appreciate them, well, that’s like a full-time job all on it’s own. We streamlined as much as we could, but holy crap does it take a lot of work to be active on social media.
And you gotta be active. Unless you are a creator with a studio/publisher spending big bucks on a social media firm to handle your biz, or you are an upper 1% entertainer with a fan base in the millions, or you are young enough that social media has always been there and you speak it natively, you need to roll up your sleeves, get in the trenches, and treat this aspect of the business like any other. Social media is marketing, marketing is social media. Without marketing, you’re missing out on thousands of people who would love to consume your work, they just don’t know you exist.
So in an effort to streamline even further, at the start of 2021 I began researching sites that would help the posting part of social media be faster and more efficient. I’m still exploring later.com, which is great, but the one we think is out of this world is Publer.io (that’s an affiliate link, so if you sign up, we get a lil’ more scratch)
It is a one-stop shop that lets me post stuff on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and more, all at once, in probably a tenth of the time it would take me to do each individually. The cool features we currently use are:
- Built-in keyword searches: Shows you trending hashtags related to your goods, helping us, for instance, see if #book is better than #books or #scifi is better than #sciencefiction.
- Calendar scheduling: This is super helpful. Say I get three great pics from a book reading. I could post them all at once, sure, or I can spread them out over several days, and choose specifically what time to post. Tuesdays at 8am PT when you get the most fan engagement? No problem, schedule it up.
- Analytics: On one screen, you can see how your posts are connecting on all the different platforms. This is very helpful for creators to learn what kind of posts connect with fans on Twitter vs., say, LinkedIn. I gots readers in both places, but they are very different audiences that wish to be spoken to in different ways.
- RSS feed connection: Wow, does this help us! I connect the Scott Sigler Audiobooks RSS feed, then anything I post at the site pops up in my Publer dashboard, and I can instantly share it to the various social media site. I used to have to post, and then — one at a time — share said the post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., uploading art each time, typing a new message, etc. Now the posts at scottsigler.com just show up in Publer, I click share, and I’m letting fans on the different platforms know when a new podcast episode is live.
- Media Library: ARealGirl and I have been at this game for 15 years, with hundreds of tour stops, thousands of fans, and hundreds of thousands of miles travelled. We gots so many great pics with so many cool peeps. With a content library, we can spend, say, two hours finding and uploading to Publer great stuff that people will dig, then as time goes on, share them piecemeal from the Publer dashboard. For a brain like mine that has trouble tracking details and remembering that one cool pic with that one guy from that bar in Germany (… or was it France? Dammit…), we batch-upload stuff, label it, and it’s there to share with fans at any time.
And there are features we haven’t used yet, but will soon (some of these are at the top pay level, so be aware of that):
- Watermarks: We can put a little Empty Set logo on pictures or any memes, for example. That’s helpful, since many creators’ social media plans are little more than grabbing other people’s funny stuff of the internet and sharing it — if they use one of ours, we’d love people to know who we are!.
- Content: This is just plain sick. I can type in a topic, say, “funny science,” and see all the things all over the web that apply, from within the Publer interface. Click a thing to share it or add it to the Media Library, and my work for “Headline of the Week™” just went from 20-30 minutes down to 5. Multiply that time-savings over say, two HotW™ a week, times four weeks a month, times twelve months and… well, I’m not gonna get my goddamn calculator, but this shit adds up.
They are adding more features all the time. Frankly, the amount of stuff this site can do is overwhelming and fries my little noodle. I’m still processing it.
It’s free, and at the same time, it ain’t cheap. They have a full explanation of pricing at their site, but here’s the gist:
- Free: They give you 5 social media accounts, 1 user (no additional team members) 24 saved drafts and more. The idea is you come in for free, they hook you, then you want to pay to up-level (hmmmm… first hit is free… why does that sound familiar?)
- $10 a month: Their Silver level. Media library, bulk scheduling added. Forever post history. Add in $1 for each additional user and each social media site over the default 5, which are included.
- $20 a month: Gold! Hashtag suggestions, upload videos form URLs, watermark videos, content recommendations and more. Add in $1 per user and $1 per social media media site over the default 5, which are included.
- Discounts: These guys are willing to make a deal. Buying a yearly plan instead of monthly saves 20%. You can get more discounts for writing posts like this. They seem very aggressive around getting the word out, and are willing to take a cut out of their revenue to do so.
I won’t lie, it’s completely out of this world. I get people on chat almost the second I start talking (they do have down times, but they get back pretty quick). They have regular training webinars, and if those don’t work for you, they will schedule a one-on-one Zoom at no charge. A lot of their product was confusing to me at first. Support walked me through things, and now those confusing issues are second nature.
There you are, Junkies. An overview of this cool new thing we’re using. If you want to try it, click here.