Tag Archives: Facebook authors

Using the Later App as an Author: A review

3 May

I recently took a social media hiatus while moving, but during that time, I reflected on my social media use a lot. To be honest, I felt a lot better mentally and emotionally being off social media. (Not a surprise considering all the studies that have come out talking about the effects of regular social media use.) It’s not that I don’t like social media—I’ve actually met some of my best writer friends online—but reels of bad news, good news, all kinds of news absolutely uses up a lot of time and energy. I knew coming back that I wanted to change things.

For one, I wanted more time to myself. I wanted to get back to blogging more regularly again. I wanted more energy to dream up new book ideas, not tweets or Instagram posts. 

When I took a look at my social media use, I realized that Instagram—not Twitter—actually demanded the most of my time (and for the littlest return). Taking photos, editing them, then writing captions (along with viable hashtags) was just too much to handle on a regular basis. I didn’t like what I was creating, but I didn’t want to shut it down. I just wanted to adjust how I posted. 

I thought, Wouldn’t it be great if you could schedule your Instagram posts?

That’s where the Later app stepped in. 

Later is a desktop and mobile phone app that allows you to schedule your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn posts. For the purpose of this review, I will mostly be focused on Instagram, with a sprinkling of Twitter and Facebook. 

First thing’s first:

I downloaded the app and watched a couple tutorials. 

Pros:

I got my first big hiccup when I connected my Instagram. It was a personal profile, so it wouldn’t let me schedule photos to auto-post. When I changed my Instagram to a business account, Later didn’t notice this change, and I had to reach out for help a few times. But it eventually began working. 

  • You can schedule your Instagram photos and stories to auto-post any time, any day. This cut back on a lot of my free time and allowed me to stay in the moment a lot more. I always dreaded taking photos and then sitting there trying to post while the moment passed me by. It’s nice going about my day knowing that Later is posting my photo at 11 AM while I’m at work and don’t have the ability to check. (And I don’t have to wait until my lunch break to get something out!) I definitely think this feature is my favorite part, and I believe it will keep me posting more than I was able to in the past. 
  • You can use your phone or your computer. I actually used my computer the most, which helped because I type on my laptop a lot faster than on my cell’s keyboard. I scheduled three weeks of content on one Sunday afternoon. 
  • The preview feature on Instagram is so pretty! This is probably my favorite feature. I can preview the future on my Instagram through the app to make sure that my upcoming posts look good next to each other. If they don’t, I can quickly shuffle them around until they look aesthetically pleasing. I’m not *quite* using it that way, but I’m definitely planning on using this to sharpen the look of my social media in the near future. You can see mine from last month in the screenshot below. That said, there is a negative side, which I cover below.
  • There’s a calendar where you can check your timing: This helps if you want to make sure that you’re posting at different times on different days in order to reach new audiences. 

Cons:

  • The preview feature is beautiful, but it doesn’t show you how your feed currently looks. Instead, it updates based on what you’re adding from the top, so the sequence is off. I find this extremely annoying (and odd) that this feature is set up that way, because it’s supposed to be used in a way that helps you coordinate your photos. This oddity in design is definitely one of the biggest drawbacks for me. In order to see my feed the way I like, I often schedule three posts at a time and/or add extra fillers that won’t post so I can get my feed to look the same as my feed on the phone.
  • Unless I’m missing something, you still have to edit your Instagram photos in Instagram if you want a specific filter. The Later app has different filters. I find this design really strange. It would be nice if it could offer the same filters as the app you’re posting on. 
  • It’s not the best for Facebook and Twitter. You have to use an image in order to schedule posts, so if you just want to post a sassy tweet, it’s best to continue using the Twitter scheduler. 
  • If you do schedule through the Later app to post a photo on Twitter, it shows that in the sub-text of your tweet. (My post says Later app rather than Twitter web, if I had just scheduled it through Twitter.) This isn’t really a complaint, aside from the fact your followers will know it isn’t live, which might cut down on interaction. On my end, there didn’t seem to be any difference in how it showed up in the algorithm, which is nice. 
  • You can’t upload videos unless you pay. Not a huge deal breaker for me, especially since other scheduling apps require money far earlier than this app does, but it’s worth noting.
  • You also have to upgrade in order to schedule stories.

There’s a lot more features than just these, but this is what stuck out to me as a first-time user. 

Overall, my only other complaint is that there’s no way to take notes. I really want a place where I can schedule all my social media from one place and take notes, so that I can reference that as I continue to build my schedule. I’ve used Hootsuit and other planners in the past, but so far, I just haven’t found the *one*. 

Maybe one day!

Conclusion: 

I will probably use this app for my Instagram and continue to use individual scheduling for my Twitter and Facebook page. 

Do you use a social media scheduler? What are the pros and cons? What do you recommend?

Also, if you want to follow me on Instagram, I’m @authorsat. Comment on any photo on my Instagram and let me know you found me via this article, and you’ll be entered to win a query critique! Winner chosen Friday, May 7.

~SAT

The Funniest, Strangest, and Creepiest Topics you have Googled

22 Jun

For everyone that has been eagerly awaiting, Take Me Tomorrow, Fiction Friday released a HUGE chuck of Chapter One, and you can read it today by clicking here. It includes fan art, inspired by that particular scene.

I also wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who came to the Facebook Event Nightmares, Dreams, Fantasies, and Visions yesterday afternoon. I had a lovely time speaking with everyone LIVE! But I especially want to thank author, Lisa Klass. Please visit her website to read excerpts from her novels, including her latest novels in the Baby Girl series.

Today, I wanted to have a little fun. A few weeks ago, I shared The Top 10 Seriously Awkward Conversations I’ve Had When People Hear I’m a Writer, and it got me to thinking about something else that I have happen to me on a regular basis. If you have a blog, then you know how the Dashboard page works. It delivers yours stats, tells you how many views you received, and even explains what viewers have Googled in order to find your website.

So I am sharing the funniest, strangest, and creepiest topics people have Googled to find my website, and I’m responding to them.

Funny:

“hilarious bad attitude” – Does this describe me or something?

“twelve nerds” – Just one actually. Me.

“Shannon a. Thompson is a fallen angel” – Stop it. You’re making me blush.

“shannon tatum in magic mike” – I think you mean Channing. You must have been super disappointed when you found me.

Creepy:

“shannon thompson june 23 birthday” – Um…Yes. My birthday is coming up. Thank you for remembering. I think?

A new picture of Bogart in the Thompson household for the searcher.

A new picture of Bogart in the Thompson household for the searcher.

“pictures taken at the thompson house w bogart” – You really love my cat as much as I do.

“Shannon Thompson bikini pic” – Please. Don’t.

“real pussy needed in life.” – You…You are quite vulgar. So are you, Google.

Strange:

“actors who end up working retail” – I’m not an actor. And I’ve never worked in retail. But okay. (Fun fact: I did work in a sport’s bar for four years.)

“shannon ann Thomason” – Shannon Ashlee Thompson? (Yes, “Ashlee” as in “Ashlee Simpson.”)

“shannon thompson had two kids by 18” – nope. I don’t have any kids. I just have cats.

Help Wanted:

“what we need in snowstorm” – probably a jacket. And a shovel. Maybe some apple cider.

“need to read the first paragraph of extremely loud and incredibly close by jonathan safran foer” – Ah! One of my favorite books. Here’s a link to Amazon to preview the novel.

“is there alot of blood and gore in looper?” – Toward the end, yes.

“can i write something about me in a blog?” – Yes, you can. You now have my permission.

My Favorite:

“i told someone to follow their dreams” – You go! You’re the best!

Seriously, Google. I do appreciate the traffic, but why? I honestly don’t want to waste people’s time anymore than they want me to. (And – as much a I enjoy awkward moments – creepy moments are just…creepy.) I love blogging, and this is actually one of the aspects of blogging that causes a great amount of giggling. If you’re a blogger, do you have any moments like this?

~SAT

New Page: Tips

10 Sep

If you follow my Author Facebook Page, then you already know I’ve been spending the day updating ShannonAThompson.com. I’m excited, because I’ve been talking about this update for a while, but I finally found some spare time (even thought it’s because I’m sick and sitting around in bed.) But I’ve added the “Tips” page. And, yes, it’s already up on the bar.

So what is the “Tips” page?

It is a collection of all the writing, editing, and publishing tips I’ve ever posted about. It also includes helpful websites and inspirational ideas at the bottom. From now on, I’ll be adding each of my posts to this list, so you can easily return to it in the future.

Check it out, and let me know if you’d like to see it set up different or anything else added! I’m always up for suggestions, and I look forward to continue on with more writing tips.

But, just for fun, the Minutes Before Sunset Facebook Page has a new cover photo:

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~SAT

Writing Competition & Giveaway!

19 Aug

Please like my Facebook page!

Please like my Facebook page!

First: I’m going to be doing my first LIVE radio interview on August 20 at 9:30 a.m. (CDT.) Join us at Back Porch WriterI will also post a link to it afterwards if you’d like to listen to it later.

If you follow me on my Facebook page then you already know that I received three copies of the new edition of Minutes Before Sunset. And I was so excited! (Still am) They are beautiful. The coloring is just as I’d always imagined, front and back, and the wording has been delicately refined. On top of that, there’s only one extra page (because of the changed language) so you don’t have to worry about a much longer or shorter novel. The new edition means so much to me that I haven’t been able to put it down since, which is how I got my idea.

The new edition is on the left; the first edition is on the right. Sorry about the glare!

The new edition is on the left; the first edition is on the right. Sorry about the glare!

It’s already for sale for only $12 through Amazon and Barnes & Noble, etc. But I wanted to celebrate by giving three SIGNED new editions away to my talented readers. That’s right. Talented–not just lucky. I wanted to do my first giveaway that celebrates the talent of all of the writers I’ve met through this blog. So if you write–you’re eligible, and there’s more to win than just Minutes Before Sunset.

Check it out:

Now, this is a different kind of a writing challenge: I don’t want an entire story. I don’t want a single line. What I am looking for is an excerpt (no longer than 10 pages) and I want to see beautiful prose. There’s only one twist.

Do you have favorite quotes from a novel–those words that just stuck out from the page and made you think? I want to see that. I want to be reading along and see a life lesson hanging on the sentence but blending in to the descriptions. (You’re even welcome to bold it.)

Not only will you win a free signed copy of the new edition of Minutes Before Sunset, but you (and your book/websites) will be featured on ShannonAThompson.com in an upcoming future post, which we will discuss over email, so it won’t be spoiled for everyone else!

Okay. So one last time:

  1. Pick out an excerpt of your writing–no more than 10 pages. Also include genre and brief synopsis.
  2. Bold your life lesson line (or a quote you think readers will attach themselves to)
  3. Send it to shannonathompson@aol.com with the subject “Giveaway” before August 26. 

I will announce the winners on September 2, and, hopefully, have that post up the next time (as well as your prizes shipped to you.)

So what are you waiting for? Email me with those delightful entries! I accept all genres 😀

~SAT

Announced posts to look forward to:

August 21: Back Porch Writer (Radio Interview)

August 22: A Matter of Resistance: Release Party!

August 26: Competition Closes

September 2: Winners

September 25: One Year Anniversary

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