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China invented gunpowder, but it was the armies of Europe who perfected its use to spread their influence (and bullets) far and wide. If you’re just starting to ramp up your social media efforts, don’t reinvent gunpowder; instead, take advantage of what others have already built by leveraging the latest in social apps.
Just because you’re a photographer who’s decided to zero in on Instagram, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be paying attention to other social networks or have your content be visible there. Test drive a few different “dashboards”—apps like TweetDeck and Hootsuite that show you the big picture by displaying multiple social streams on-screen at the same time. Now you can see the larger conversation or engage with followers on multiple networks from a single view. Instagram might be the best place to post new pictures you’re taking, but by posting those same pictures to Facebook and Twitter as well, you’ll get tons more engagement. Dashboards save you time (no need to visit the Twitter or Facebook websites) and make you incredibly efficient.
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Of course, you can become even more streamlined by using tools that automatically share your content everywhere natively. Cross-posting your social content with a dashboard isn’t seamless, since your audience might have to click through a link to see your picture (think about how Instagram photos work when posted to Twitter). IFTTT (If This Then That) is a tool that puts a powerful collection of functions in your pocket. For instance, you could take a photo from Instagram and then cross-post it to a dozen other social networks, or it could scan your inbox for new Twitter follower notifications and automatically write people back thanking them. Buffer is a another great app that plugs into your Twitter account and constantly shares posts from a queue at regular intervals throughout the day.
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