How To Get Your Ducks In a Row Pre-Post
Writing a good post is half the battle. Yes, it’s only half the battle. Some say it’s less than half. ”Build it and they will come,” worked for Kevin Costner. “They” had no choice.
The script told them they had to come.
You have no script. “Write it, and they won’t come,” is closer to reality.
You need to set the stage
You need to promote your work.
You need to reach out and grab your readers.
In professional cooking, we call it “mise en place.” That’s French for “put in place.”
It’s the preparation phase of cooking. It’s when you weigh, measure, and set out all your ingredients. They’re then ready for instant use.
No professional chef just wings it, at least, not in a working kitchen.
We need a similar concept for our writing. There are ingredients and tools that we need to have within easy reach once we are ready to publish. Trying to put a promotion plan into practice after posting is self-defeating.
Before we go further, I need to say this. What I suggest here is not what you must do. It isn’t what you should do. It’s what I do. It works for me. It works well for me. Take from it as you will.
It’s your voice, your choice.
Twitter as a Social Media Server
Twitter is a great post promotion platform. Tweet your optimized title with a link to the post. Add an optimized 600X600 image.
That pulls in readers.
Building a strong Twitter following is important for any writer. That takes time. The best time to start is six months ago. The second-best time is right now.
You can review how I built my Twitter following here. That post describes how to build an index post. It uses my "Twitter Bad Ass" series as an example.
You don’t need a massive following to use Twitter as a Social Media Server. Sure, a big, active following will generate more buzz than a little one. You can use what you have while you build it.
Twitter created the hashtag concept. Hashtags allow you to categorize your tweets. People can search #ContentMarketing and find any post that mentioned that hashtag.
That capability allows us to categorize our tweets for other platforms. Call them triggers for cross-posts.
I post to beBee, LinkedIn, and, lately, Google+. I update my Facebook page and my LinkedIn Status. You can go nuts keeping track of what to post where and when.
Enter the Tweeted Hashtag.
Any Tweet with #fbp automatically cross-posts to Ghostwriter, my Facebook Company Page.
Any Tweet with #in writes a status update to my LinkedIn account.
You can also use hashtags to update Pinterest boards.
You can’t update Instagram from a Twitter hashtag, but an Instagram hashtag can write a tweet. Go figure.
Instagram’s lack of automation cuts heavily into its functionality.
IFTTT drives this Automation
I wrote a more in-depth post about using IFTTT. This is the abridged version. You can find the full post here.
IFTTT stands for If This Then That. If this thing happens, do that. An if-this-then-that set is a Recipe.
Recipes wait for only one thing and do only one thing. If you want several things done, you need several recipes.
Recipes run through Channels. Most Channels have Triggers (this’) and Actions (that’s).
For what I do, I need the LinkedIn, Facebook and/or Facebook Pages, and the Date & Time Channels.
Recipes have ingredients. IFTTT recipes are no different. Every Channel has its own Triggers, Actions, and Ingredients.
I created Recipes that search my tweets for hashtags. One searches for #fbp. When it finds it, it posts to my Ghostwriter Page. Another recipe waits for #in to write a status update to LinkedIn.
I don’t need to do anything other than remember to tweet using the hashtags every now and then.
IFTTT for Tweet Automation
The Twitter channel can post tweets. The Date & Time channel can schedule stuff. Combine them and you can schedule tweets.
I suggest you use the “Every day of the week at” trigger. You can make your recipe fire at specific times on specific days. Or you can use “Every day at” if you want to tweet at the same time every day.
You will need a different recipe for every tweet time. It isn’t too much to tweet 4 times a day. Play it safe and mix the hashtags up.
Don’t forget your cross post tags.
If you use IFTTT for scheduling posts, be careful.
Your recipes will run forever. I suggest you create another recipe that fires once a month. It could send you a text message to remind you to turn them off.
You can also replace them with your next post.
I actually wrote my own scheduling package in my Twitter engagement package. It schedules tweets for as many days and times as I specify. You don’t have that advantage.
IFTTT gives you a free option. It takes some work, but it saves even more. Four recipes will auto-tweet 120 times in a month. That beats the hell out of writing 120 tweets!
Twitter Helps with Tweet Automation
Twitter has its own automation system built right in. Click on your picture on your home screen. I mean the little one in the top right. Click on it and select Twitter ads.
Check under Creatives -> Tweets. Then, change “promoted-only” to “scheduled.” That’s where you can schedule future tweets.
You have to schedule tweets one at a time. Mix it up. Change the hashtag each time. Add your trigger tags to automate cross-posting.
This method is safer because you don’t need to remember to cut it off. It’s drawback is that it takes time.
It takes a lot of time. Tweeting the same message many times is a cut-and-paste thing. It takes less time than one-off tweeting. Mix it up a little. Paste the text and post link, then add a hashtag.
It occurs to me that Octoblu can help a great deal with this stuff. It’s a more complex, but not much more complicated, version of IFTTT.
It can also help with growth-hacking tour Twitter account.
Octoblu is too vast to go into here. I talk about it here.
I’ll have to leave that to another series. Maybe, together, we can create a Twitter Growth-Hacking System LITE. That one just might be a little on the technical side.
NEXT UP: How to Put it All Together: Publish and Promote
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