The New Year has been very generous to me in 2013: new job, new home, new routine, and a new (read: long) commute to work. I've recently made the transition from my tenure are Kregel Publications in Grand Rapids, MI, to my new digs at Abingdon Press in Nashville, TN.
Throughout my relocation, it has been easy to draw comparisons between the multitudes of "newness" in my life and all the new opportunities authors experience as they prepare to launch a new book, particularly where social media is concerned. The online world changes so quickly that what you were used to with your last book may not be the same this time around.
Question: When "new" hits you, what do you do?
When I read that MySpace is attempting to make a come-back in 2013 (really, MySpace... really?), these three steps showed me that I needed a better way to stay engaged. With so many new social medias (or old ones attempting to look new), how do I effectively manage them all?
Here's how I worked through the process:
Reflect: Consider your truths. My truths are:
- I need to improve my social media management
- I have not yet found one program that effectively manages all my medias
- MySpace will have to work some magic in order to catch up
(Okay, that last one isn't so much of a truth as it is an opinion).
Assess: Ask the right questions:
- What do I like and dislike about the social media management programs currently available?
- What do I want in a social media management program?
I made a pro/con list (are you surprised?) The list revealed that the column and tab structure of such programs as TweetDeck and HootSuite were not inherently easy for me to use. I knew what I wanted: convenience (a program that monitors everything in one place), ease (a program that doesn't just monitor but allows me to reply), and timeliness (a program that updates in real time, without requiring me to refresh).
Respond: Create an action plan. My plan unfolded like this:
- Research what's available
- Try it before I buy it
- Adopt a new program and commit to using it for a period long enough to see results
- Set a date and time to evaluate
So you might be wondering: what program did I find?
What is Engagio? It's basically an email inbox for social media activity but beefed up with search functions and analytics. You can install several medias, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, FourSquare, and more. You can search for keywords (like Twitter), send public messages (like HootSuite), and send private messages (like your regular email). With Engagio, you can track conversations that you are a part of but also conversations that you are not a part of (a great tool if you want to monitor how a bestselling author uses his/her medias to engage fans--watch and learn). What's more, the Engagio dashboard provides a summary of your engagement so you can see your total number of interactions, the number of messages you have sent, the number of messages you have received, and WHO you are communicating with. I was not surprised to see several familiar groups I talk with frequently, but the dashboard did make me notice how little I communicate with other groups. That's information that--when fixed--will drastically improve my social media engagement.
It's only been two weeks since my introduction to Engagio so I have several more weeks to complete my three-month commitment. The next time I post, I will provide an assessment of what worked, what didn't work, and whether or not I adopt the program for good.
In the meantime, it's your turn to share. Leave a comment to ask a question or respond to one of these:
- What do you do when you are faced with the "new"?
- What social media management program works the best for you and why?
- What is the best sushi restaurant near you (yes, really, I want to know...)?
Cat Hoort is a Marketing Manager at Abingdon Press in Nashville, TN, where she oversees the promotion of the Abingdon Fiction line, manages a handful of Christian Living titles, and is launching a search for the city's best sushi.