Social Media Tools & Ooligan

As social media continues to boom through today’s generation, businesses must use these platforms in order to market their own companies and organizations. But how exactly are these companies benefiting from their social media, and how do they know what to post to further engage their followers? The answer is social media tools.

Various apps, or social media tools, are being created in order to help businesses and industry professionals like publishers discover what their consumers and customers are looking for, what they might be talking about, and what they are most interested in. These social media tools collect and gather data through user clicks, views, and in some instances, voice recognition. By centralizing and combining all of these different social media efforts onto one dashboard, such as Twitter or Instagram, businesses are able to tailor their messages and posts to their target audience or network based on the information they are receiving.

With over fifty different social media tools, companies and businesses have a lot of options to find a specific app that best adheres to their needs or product. Apps like Reviewinc allow companies to see over 200 different review sites at once. From there, companies can gauge and organize how many negative versus positive reviews they may be receiving. The Reddit Keyword Monitor Pro is another tool used by professionals and marketers. This particular app focuses on keywords or phrases that connect to the specific company using it. Marketers are able to learn who is talking about their brand and what they might be saying. Although these can all be very useful, Ooligan primarily works with Hootsuite, tracking specific analytics through each social media platform, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Within the Hootsuite application, Ooligan has control over all three of our social media accounts in a single dashboard. This tool allows the press to schedule, manage, and report our social media accounts, as well as analyze results from a simpler application. Through a feature known as “sentiment,” Hootsuite identifies language and provides a graph gauging which posts are sending out negativity or positivity to followers. In this feature, Ooligan is also able to search keywords, phrases, and even hashtags to learn what our community might be talking about in regards to our brand. Additionally, Hootsuite schedules social media posts, making platform control much easier. Ooligan uses social media analytics as well. Twitter displays demographics of current followers, including where they live, their occupation, age, gender, and even their interests. By understanding who is following us, Ooligan is better able to manage what we post and what will reach our audience in the most effective way. Facebook’s analytics provide Ooligan with information on what audiences we are reaching in our posts, and how that compares to competitors. Instagram shows followers and when they’re most active, giving Ooligan information about what days and times are the best to post. Each of these social media tools improves the effectiveness of posts and engages the audience in a much more advanced and useful way.

Reaching out to customers and potential buyers through social media is one of the most effective strategies today. Applications like Hootsuite and Reviewinc are making it easier for professionals to keep track of their following and maintain their brand. Understanding your audience and who you’re marketing to is just the beginning of finding success in your company or publishing house.

How to Schedule Your Social Media Posts

As Ooligan Press’s social media manager, one of the most common questions I receive is how to best schedule social media posts. A post that is perfectly punchy and easily searchable is worth nothing if no one sees it. So many posts are filtered through social media managers that it’s impossible to post and schedule all of them by hand, so I recommend using a scheduling software to make your job easier (Ooligan uses Hootsuite).

First, it’s best to know when your post is most likely to be seen. To maintain professionalism, I try to keep all of Ooligan’s social media communication between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. PST (just because I am personally browsing Twitter at 11 p.m. doesn’t mean I want to set the precedent that our business is ready to respond in the wee hours of the night). This gives me three easy times to schedule throughout the day: 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 5 p.m. With this strategy, I aim to share posts with people who are just getting ready to start their day, people who are taking a midday break from work, and people who are winding down from their work day. In the past, posts that Ooligan has scheduled at other times have not performed as well.

Of course, there are a few exceptions. Most notably, I will sometimes appeal to those in the eastern standard time zone when participating in timely events such as #PitMad. Because this event begins at 8 a.m. EST, Ooligan stays relevant by beginning social media communication at 4 or 5 in the morning in local Pacific time. There are also times when something so exciting happens “after hours” in our mentions or in our local community that it doesn’t make sense to wait until the morning to share in the excitement. Above all else, successful social media is about stellar reaction time. If excellent reaction time can be achieved without sacrificing work/life balance, it’s absolutely worth shooting off a tweet past dinnertime.

Another thing to keep in mind when scheduling social media posts is frequency. While you should strive to post consistently, you also don’t want to flood your timeline. As a general rule of thumb, Twitter posts move frequently and can go out at least once per day. Facebook posts can go out every day as well, though it’s better to be a bit more sparing with them. Instagram posts, which stay on a timeline longer, should be infrequent and go out every other day at most.

Some social media scheduling platforms have the option to automatically schedule your posts; I advise against doing this. While it initially seems convenient, these services typically don’t take into account what is useful for you. The services I have used in the past have used an algorithm based on successful posting times across their service instead of your platform’s successful posting times. The way the publishing industry engages with social media is a bit different from other industries, and instead of generalizing, I like to appeal to the audience I’m trying to reach. My best advice is to play around with what works for you and keep track of times that are and aren’t successful. You can also do some field research by watching how and when other successful members of your industry post.

I Ain’t No Followback Girl: Social Media’s Place in the World of Publishing

Hi, it’s me, your friendly neighborhood social media manager! While I couldn’t be more excited about my new position, I’m sure many of you are wondering what exactly a small press social media manager does.

Many students join book publishing programs with the intention of becoming the next big editor; I’ll admit that I was (and, to an extent, still am) one of those students. When I first learned about the world of publishing, I was immediately drawn to the idea of editing, of shaping a book into its final form. I now know that there are many other jobs that change a book along the way: the fabulous designers, who build books inside and out; the crafty marketers and publicists, who work endlessly to make sure the public hears of their books before and after they are published; the managing editors, who keep everyone else on track; and so on. And that’s where I come in.

As social media manager, it’s my job to make sure all of the social media at Ooligan is running smoothly. Almost all of the non–book-related content that comes out of the press is posted by me. I’m the person who schedules each Facebook post advertising a new author’s reading, retweets each mention of the press and our books, and maintains the ever-growing giant that is the Ooligan blog. In addition to posting content created by students about their book teams, I maintain all of the additional content on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and the like. Everyone else at Ooligan makes sure that the press produces the best work it possibly can; I’m responsible for the public learning about all of that, allowing the hard work to pay off.

At the end of the day, my job is really about creating shareable, engaging content. By posting about Ooligan books long before and after they’re published, my goal is to get people jazzed and start a discussion about our books. I want to make sure that our books reach the best audience possible, regardless of when that audience discovers the book. Everyone should have equal opportunities to discover a great book.

The next time you see Ooligan post something on one of our social media platforms (hint: it happens at a minimum of every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), feel free to drop in, chat, and stay a while. And if you leave a comment, now you know who’s on the other end.

Scheduling Bulk Uploads on Hootsuite

As the social media manager of Ooligan Press, I use Hootsuite (a platform for managing social media) to maintain our bulk uploads. Instead of scheduling posts one by one to go out on a later date—or worse, posting everything live—bulk uploads are helpful because you’re able to schedule an infinite number of posts in one go. At Ooligan, we have a bulk upload template in Google Sheets that every team fills out; it includes an awareness, preorder, launch, and sustaining phase for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Each sheet is clearly labeled, so it’s easy to see what team you’re scheduling for and what platform each group of posts has been written for. This bulk upload sheet is then downloaded into a CSV in Microsoft Excel, and after some editing, this Excel doc is downloaded into Hootsuite. Below is a step-by-step version of how this process works.

  1. Start off in Google Sheets and click File>Download as>Comma-Separated Values.
  2. Minimize the internet and open the CSV.
  3. Erase everything in Column C and beyond, so there’s only content in the first two columns.
  4. The numbers in Column A will probably look like this: ####. Just double click the boxes as if you were going to type something, and that will convert all of them to numbers. Clicking on one or two boxes will change them all.
  5. Hover over Column A. When your mouse turns into a downward arrow, click to highlight the whole column. Hit Command 1 (or Format>Cells).
  6. Double-check that it’s in number formatting on the top left. On the bottom of the side panel, click “Custom,” scroll until you see “m/d/yy h:mm,” and change it to “mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm.”
  7. Save your spreadsheet to a location other than the Downloads folder to avoid confusion. (I keep a CSV folder for all these Excel bulk uploads.) After saving, click “Continue” on the pop-up.
  8. Open Hootsuite. Under “Compose Message,” hit the calendar icon (scheduling) and click on the “New Bulk Composer” hyperlink at the bottom.
  9. Click “Select File to Upload” and upload your saved spreadsheet. Select the platform (network) and click “Review Messages.”
  10. At this point, you will find out if any of your messages have an issue, so now is the time to troubleshoot. Most problems occur when posts are too long for Twitter, but there are a variety of issues—each requiring a little investigating.
  11. Remember that if there are any symbols (mainly apostrophes or em dashes) in your post, they will show up as weird letters and you’ll have to manually change them back. Scan every post before you schedule them, just in case. (For Mac users, you can create an em dash by holding down “Option+Shift+hyphen key.”)
  12. If your post has images (and most will), you’ll need to upload them now. Hootsuite is currently not capable of uploading images along with everything else in the spreadsheet, which is why you deleted the other columns. Go to your Google Sheet and check out Column C. Follow the link to the image and download it.
  13. On Hootsuite, go to the post and double-check that you have the right image. Under “Media,” click the “Select an Image to Upload” box. Go to your Downloads folder (or wherever you saved the image) and upload it. DO NOT click onto the next message until the picture has uploaded, as this will stop the upload. Repeat this for every post that has an image.