2020 Update: Back in 2017 Blog2Social had a security leak that caused a phishing attempt on my site. I deleted the plug-in, contacted them, and after about a year reinstalled the plug-in. Haven’t had any more phishing issues since, so it looks like the security issue’s fixed. Just full disclosure fyi.
How do you promote your comics on all TEH SOCIALS? It’s one of the questions that came up recently on the Webcomics Facebook Group I’m part of. Should you even bother posting your comics on socials? If so, which social media outlets should you bother with, anyway?
It’s better to do one social well than to do a million poorly. However, the more places your comic exists online, the more opportunities other people have to run into it. Posting to multiple socials also provides a great back-up in case your site goes down (like mine did last month), and, most importantly of all–
The more high-profile websites that link to your website, the better its ranking in Google.
Oh snap! You know what qualifies as a high-profile website? Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, the works!
That’s why I started posting my comics to the socials I don’t use all the time. And you know what? Since I started doing that, my views have multiplied by tens, yay! BUT OH MY GOSH IT IS TEDIOUS AND HORRIBLE to try to log in and post to a gazillion social media sites HOLY CRAP WHY WOULD I DO THAT–
So I don’t. I use the Blog2Social WordPress plug-in, which means that right after I finish a post, I get a page that looks like this:
…where I can scroll down to customize a promo-post for each social media sites. With images. Instagram, Pinterest, etc are below this screen–I just scroll down to edit each post.Anything I can do on the social site itself, I can do on this page.
Or, if I’m lazy, I can just pre-set Blog2Social to autopost when I hit publish here:
I advise against that because different social media sites really do have different culture, and I get more engagement when I bother to customize each post. It’s really fast and easy when they’re all on the same page like that.
Blog2Social has made my life so much easier.
There are other tools available to do this, and I have tried the major ones so you don’t have to.
I can tell you right now that Blog2Social doesn’t have as many esoteric social media options as SNAP (“social networks auto poster”) does: no app.net or Instapaper, sorry. Its free version also can’t troll through your old blog posts and auto-post them every now and then without you, the way Microblog Poster says it can (B2S can do that in the paid version, though). That’s truth.
But when I tried both of those plug-ins, they gave me buggy, difficult to use, get-under-the-hood messiness. SNAP posts did look nicer, when they worked, but the one by one installation and API management of each social media network took me literally an entire day, and in the end, half of the socials didn’t actually work. I feel like you basically can’t use SNAP without being at least an amateur web designer. Worse, it’s hard to customize each Tweet with images, which means I’m losing engagement and quality, and SNAP refuses to post anything from my comics category. Comics were the entire point in the first place! And Microblogposter straight up just didn’t re-post the old stuff like it said it would. It just didn’t.
I ended up uninstalling the Microblog Poster, and I now only use SNAP to try to auto-post to StumbleUpon and Deviantart…which it doesn’t actually do most of the time, but whatever. I do like Facebook Publish a lot: it’s got a lot more Facebook-specific features than B2S, so you could try to use them together. In the end, though, I ended up uninstalling Facebook Publish, too, because B2S just does what I need, and it’s never double or triple posted on me like FB Publish did to me the other day. Blog2Social pulls pictures from my links better than Facebook Publish does, which is important for comics:
The post above pulled my actual comic from the page. The post below, by Facebook Publish, pulled a generic picture off my sidebar rather than the actual picture in the post.
(We all love Natasha, though, so who can blame Facebook Publish for posting her instead = P)
B2S basically never fails me. It was easy to install and it worked immediately. No playing with API. No reading and troubleshooting. If it stops posting to a network, I just re-authorize that network (which means I just log in again) and bam, we’re back in business.
Everything I’ve shown you so far about Blog2Social is free, and I think the free version probably works well for most amateur comic artists working alone. If you have even less time than I think you have, you might want to look into the paid version so you can schedule the social media posts for their optimum time and connect multiple accounts to each network. For comics artists working with one or more partners, the Smart Version allows two users, and the Pro version allows five. That’s pretty baller. There’s a big businesses option, too, if you run, like, a huge comics news site or something (in which case, please get in touch with me, because wow we gotta talk!). That’s for if you need like 15 accounts per social media network, with 10 users.
You can do more comparison of the different plans on a cool chart like this…
…over at the Blog2Social website.
If you want that stuff, you can probably go here for the Smart Plan, here for the Pro plan, and here for the Business plan. (I say probably because I don’t know what post-apocalyptic future timeline you’re reading this from, and I don’t want to assume.)
And if you don’t want to give money to software creators, the basic version’s always free. It really does do just what I showed you in that screenshot, and it’s a total life-saver for me, especially because for a while, I didn’t have a phone.
No phone, no Instagram, right?
Blog2Social is the only tool I could get working that can easily and freely post my comics to Instagram from a computer, and I’d use it for that alone, since the Gram is becoming one of the fastest growing networks out there. Most of you are smarter than I am, so you can probably come up with a bunch of other uses for B2S that I haven’t thought of, but me, I just love how easy it is. This is why I became a Blog2Social affiliate: I tried the product, loved it, and thought, “hey, why don’t we team up?” I think a lot of webcomic artists want more time to draw and less time working on marketing, and we don’t all feel like learning how to develop software just to get our comics posted online. I support that, and I’m happy the company wants to support me and my comics with some moneys. I’m honestly thrilled about getting other comic creators posting smarter online: we need more comics, and less politics, out there on the Socials.
So how about you? How do you use B2S for your comics? If you don’t use B2S, what do you use? After this post, you think you might try it?
Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to check out my comic, up in the menu, and tell me what you think.