Social Media Hacks for Indie Authors

Social Media Hacks for Indie AuthorsOn February 1, I fell and fractured my left wrist. It was a bad fracture.

Each time the radiology techs took an x-ray, they would say, “Oh, my God!” or “That’s a really bad break.”

There’s a reason I’m telling you this painful tale.

After the fall, I suddenly found myself with just one useable arm and hand. For eight long weeks, my left arm and a good part of my hand were in a cast. (The experience gave me a new appreciation for amputees.)

Even after the cast came off, for several weeks my hand would go into a spasm whenever I tried to type.

What’s a writer to do? This is how I handled the setback.

Social Media Hacks for a One-handed Writer

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My Fave New Twitter Apps: Swayy & ManageFlitter

Avoid Social Media Time Suck by Frances CaballoI am using two Twitter apps that I adore. Why do I love them? They economize my time on social media and when applications allow me to work more quickly without compromising the quality of my work, I’m happy.

When I was writing my newest book, I tried dozens of applications. I tested content curation apps, tools to schedule my tweets, and apps to configure my metrics.

There were a couple that seemed too expensive for my needs and there were others that duplicated applications I already use and like. However, I did discover some great new applications that I’m now using. Swayy and ManageFlitter are two of them.

5-12-14 Swayy


The founders of Swayy describe their product as “a personalized content discovery platform” that helps you to discover the perfect content to share on your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.

I’ll admit that I was skeptical at first. I already use, Google Alerts and Talkwalker and I’ve been satisfied (somewhat) with them. I tried using Twylah’s BrandBuilder and liked it at first but then became frustrated with the tool, for which I was paying $29/month.

Then I heard about Swayy and I thought I’d try it. The morning after setting up my account, I received an email with links to killer content. By the second day, thre were 25 pieces of content on my dashboard.

Swayy not only finds content for you, it also offers the options to post the links when you see them or schedule them for later. In addition, the tool recommends hashtags you can consider including with your tweet.

Did I mention that I’m using their free account? Even with the free account I’m able to access analytics. The three stories I shared in two days generated 32 links clicked.

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 3.29.44 PMThe app also tracks the number of times my tweets are retweeted or maked as a Favorite, the number of times I’m mentioned on Twitter, and it tracks the number of new followers I gain each day.

 With a free account, you can link your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, create a dashboard, and see your analytics. Paid accounts start as low as $9/month but most authors would only need the free account.


5-12-14 ManageFlitter ManageFlitter

You can use the free version of this tool to unfollow Twitter users and to use some features to grow your account.

If you’re willing to pay $12/month, you have access to additional features. You can:

  • Unfollow users who aren’t following you back.
  • Unfollow people who don’t use an image for their avatar
  • Unfollow people deemed to be inactive on Twitter
  • Unfollow fake accounts you are following
  • Block accounts that are fake
  • Unfollow users based on their influence (I don’t use this feature.)
  • Whitelist followers you never want to unfollow (I love this feature.)

In the example below, I added Jane Friedman and Porter Anderson manually to my whitelist.

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 3.46.23 PM 

You can also create a list of Twitter users you never want to follow.

The feature I love is the PowerMode. You can create your own filters and use them to create criteria for unfollowing people. First you make a selection in the top box.

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 3.49.35 PM

Let’s say that I selected “Users You’re Following” in the top field. Then I need to create filters from the bottom set of options. The screenshot below doesn’t capture every option offered.

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 3.51.16 PM

In the example below, I created a filter for users who aren’t on my whitelist, have not tweeted in a month, and who have unfollowed me in the past 10 days.

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 3.56.00 PM Once you create your filter, you click on Save and name your filter.

 Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 3.57.08 PM


You will also have access to the following metrics: your growth in followers, your following trends, your influence and your spam probability.


In addition, you can sync your Google+ account with your Twitter account, allowing your Google+ posts to appear on Twitter, not vice versa. I haven’t elected this option since I prefer not to sync any of my social media platforms. I think each network has its own voice and it’s best to keep them separated. However, if you are looking to save time, this might be an option you’ll want to try.

PowerPost is another awesome feature. ManageFlitter determines the best hour and day to send a power tweet. It also tracks tweets you’ve sent through this app and offers an option to schedule a recurring tweet – one that will repeat as often as you’d like.

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 4.08.07 PMFinally, ManageFlitter will remotely approve new followers that you select. Once you choose the accounts to follow, ManageFlitter will have members of its team do the clicking for you. This feature is offered at an additional fee and enables you follow people in large batches.

What applications do you use that help you to economize your time on social media?

photo credit: Alan Cleaver via photopin cc


Social Media Time Suck Final 200About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of  Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+. 

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

9 Twitter Apps You Need to Know

3-31-14 400I am a Twitterholic. There, I admitted it. I love Twitter and I pour far more time into this microblogging platform than I do Facebook or even Pinterest. (Confession: I’ve been neglecting Pinterest of late even but I promise to return to you real soon.) I’m always checking out lists of Twitter applications to see what’s new, which ones are worth trying and which ones are worth recommending.

Here are my recommendations of some twitter apps I’ve discovered recently as well as the tools I rely on to manage my Twitter account.

8 Really Cool Twitter Apps


This app is for Mac users only (sorry PC users). Once you download this tool, you can block tweets from users based on keywords, mute Tweeps you need to follow but whose tweets may be annoying (such as those from coworkers, relatives, etc.), and highlight the type of information you want to find. As its slogan says, this program “blocks annoyances and reveals gems.”

TweetCaster, A GooglePlay App

This app has many features so I’ll just highlight my favorites. You can use it to add captions that you upload to Twitter and filter your tweets so you’ll quickly find the nuggets you’re looking for. Its “zip” feature deletes annoying tweets from your timeline.


You’ll find this tool for your iPhone at iTunes for $1.99. This app will create a map that shows where your Tweeps are from and it will let you update both your Facebook and Twitter accounts.


Every Twitter account needs professional background themes and header images. If you aren’t using your book cover, you’ll want to use this application to create a theme that matches your brand.


If all you want is a simplified background theme that includes your picture, information about you and your book, then try this application.

Nutshell Mail

I’ve used this application for at least two years. Once you sign up for it, you will determine whether you want to receive an update once or twice daily and at what time. It will keep track of new follows and unfollows, mentions, and tweets from your favorite lists in your Twitter summary. You can even tweet, reply, retweet, and send a direct message without leaving your in-box.


Once you sign up with Twubs, you can join chats, and the application will automatically add the hashtag to your tweets. You can even join Twitter chats right on the Twubs website. It’s convenient and fast and keeps you updated about the latest addition to the conversation.


Use this application to find new followers, unfollow spammers you hadn’t suspected, and unfollow those users who simply aren’t following you back or never started tweeting. You can also use this application to send Power Posts and track your keywords.

My Favorite New Twitter App


Did you know that your Tweets carry a sound? According to the developers of this application they do. TweetBeep is designed to keep track of conversations that mention you and your books with hourly updates. My tweets had a techno sound to them. Find out what your mentions and retweets sound like and let me know.

About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web