I should preface this by saying Social Media still confuses the tar out of me. I don't even remotely understand algorithms, or what makes a good social media presence. I'm still muddling my way through it all.
All of that to say, I have learned at least one thing that might be beneficial for someone else!
So, fellow creators, I totally get it. We're busy like whoa. Because unlike lots of others, we have like, eight jobs. We're creating our art (whether it's illustrations or writing or photography or sculpting or music making or anything else), we're sharing it online with people, we're working on selling our art, we're researching how to sell our art, we're trying again and again different things because so much of what we do is trial and error, and we have day jobs that pay the bills.
The last thing I wanted to do was be on top of posting regularly to social media and typing out on my phone all of the text and hashtags. And remember what I thought of days prior when I was in the shower to write that I thought might be engaging.
There are lots of different "social media automated posting" programs out there. They all have varying versions of free and paid options. And they're all equally expensive for the paid versions.
At first, I thought Later - probably the most popular platform for Instagram based posting - and found that I couldn't do everything I wanted. Most notably, the free version wouldn't let me post "feed carousels". I could post a singular photo, which would work for some of my posts, but not all of them.
So I went back to the drawing board and searched. After a bit of clicking and reading through options, I stumbled upon Tailwind.
This isn't a paid sponsorship thing guys, I'm just telling you what I've found that's worked really well for me so far. Now, if Tailwind happens to come out of the ether and offer to sponsor my blog posts or whatever, I'd happily say yes.
I haven't used the paid version because, quite honestly, I can get everything I need out of the free version. Which is fantastic.
Tailwind allows you to schedule up to 25 posts per month. For me, that's a tad less than I'd like, but hey, it's really close! On top of that, they let you post feed carousels. Now, if you wanted to utilize everything that Tailwind can do - like schedule posts to multiple social media sites and schedule stories and all sorts of other things - you're gonna run out of those 25 posts quickly. I was content to work with simply having it handle posting to Instagram. I took care of the rest.
Because I'm not a full-fledged business, I can't utilize the automated feature, but that's alright. I get notified when my post was scheduled and it copies everything over into Instagram for me. Then I can select Facebook, Twitter, and/or Tumblr for sharing across platforms.
As for their interface - they limit file sizes, which hasn't dampened quality at all on my end. As you type in your description, they begin to give suggestions for hashtags they think might be pertinent to your post. They have suggestions in reds and greens to let you know what hashtags they think are best. Some of them I listen to, and some I don't. Then you choose when you want the post to be scheduled. Tailwind gives suggested times based on the day you choose (almost all of them are in the middle of the night - at least for me). But you can easily choose your own time for posting.
And then you're done! You get a notification on your phone (you gotta have the app on your phone, but that's small commitment honestly), it pulls all the data you input earlier, and voila! Your post is ready to go, hashtags and all.
I've really liked using Tailwind. It's not perfect, and I'm sure some of the paid features would be nice to have. But for a penny-pincher that's starting out in the whole legitimate attempt of marketing my book, the free version is coming through huge.