Why post regularly?
Interested in developing a large following to increase the impact of the messages and/or media you send? My Google search results on that topic claim there are about 230 million pages dedicated to that topic. While a few years old, an article by Jayson DeMers, published in the online edition of Forbes, takes a look at 50 ways to increase Twitter followers (“50 Free Ways to Increase Your Twitter Followers,” June 17, 2015; forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2015/06/17/50-free-ways-to-increase-your-twitter-followers). He divides the tips into four categories—promoting your own Twitter account, tweeting so it actually gets seen, following other accounts, and tweeting out attention-catching content.
Twitter has since expanded from 140 characters to 280, but still concentrates on short messages. Twitter has become a tool of choice for many who are looking to connect with others in the social media sphere and to broadcast their messages, thoughts, and opinions. People tend to follow Twitter ac counts of people in the media, celebrities, and other Twitter users who share similar views and interests. Libraries, not just individuals, maintain Twitter accounts. The New York Public Library has 2.53 million followers, which is more than double the number for the Library of Congress (with 1.2 million) and also surpasses the British Library (1.92 million) though not by as much. The Library Journal’s Library of the Year for 2018, the San Francisco Public Library, has 15,700 followers, while Harvard Library has 26,700.
Tools to schedule your social media posts
Several tools exist that let you schedule your posts. I’ll cover Hootsuite, TweetDeck, Postfity, and Buffer.
Hootsuite (hootsuite.com) provides you with an opportunity to schedule posts, monitor impact, curate content, and gain data from its analytics feature in addition to providing an opportunity to work as a team on social media efforts. It provides users with an opportunity to choose from five different plans, one of which is free. The others are Professional ($19/month), Team ($99/month), Business ($599/month), and Enterprise (custom pricing). With the free version, you can manage up to three social profiles and review basic analytics information. It also has unlimited RSS integrations. If you’ve signed up for the free version, you may be prompted to upgrade when you log in.
TweetDeck (tweetdeck.twitter.com), which is owned by Twitter, is free and available to users with a Twitter account. Similar to Hootsuite, the TweetDeck introduction page states that it is “the most powerful Twitter tool for real-time tracking, organizing, and engagement.” Quite easy to use, you can search Twitter for content of interest. This might be beneficial if you attend a large event such as a conference and the conference organizers have developed a specific hashtag for conference attendees to use. The tool is quite helpful in keeping an eye on Twitter chats and the exchanges that are occurring in real time as well. For those interested in developing a TweetDeck column just to keep track of a specific but temporary hashtag activity, you can delete it by clicking on the blue icon toward the right of each column, expanding it, and clicking Remove.
For those who are looking to use TweetDeck to manage a Twitter account, the primary account holder can send an invite through the tool to others to allow them access, but the pass word cannot be shared. As someone with admin permissions, the user can send invites to others, and those listed as contributor can “schedule tweets, create lists and build collections.”
Postfity (postfity.com) advertises itself as a post scheduler that allows a user to link up to 200 user accounts to schedule posting. Options include analytics for your activities, collaborative scheduling with others, watermark options, and photo editor. The free version, according to the site, allows up to five social media accounts and 10 queued posts. Upgrade options include Basic, Professional, and Agency at a yearly cost of $79, $149, and $499, respectively.
You can choose to log in with your Twitter account credentials, just like with TweetDeck, or set up an account with your email address and password. Once you log in, you will be provided with a quick tool to show you around. As the tour will show, it is quite easy to connect your accounts for management through Postfity. The team collaboration feature is available as a trial for those who are using the free account option.