Useful Tools to Save you Time

Featured

As a social media professional, I am always seeking ways to make more efficient use of my time.  I belong to a couple of forums and groups that often discuss free tools or low-cost options.  I would like to share a compiled list here with you:

  • Hootsuite – one of my faves – up to 5 social media accounts for free, up to 20 for $5.99 per month
  • If This Then That - will help you do just that with about 11 social platforms – ex. if [Twitter mention] then [thank them] – will work with Facebook pages.
  • Buffer – share your posts at a later time on any Twitter account or Facebook personal pages
  • Dreamstime – free photos for use in your materials – they also have photos for purchase.
  • DIIGO – similar to Dropbox for websites you want to save for later – lets you bookmark in a cloud favorites by keyword.  You can even highlight things, place sticky notes on pages and share it with connections.
  • FanTools – the free side lets you set up one Twitter and one Facebook page, upgrades available for planning, coupons and deals.
  • YouSendIt – sending large files through email is no longer a problem, use YouSendIt.  You upload, the receiver downloads.  You must stay under a size limit for it to remain free.
  • Morgue File – more free photos. Has a connection with Dreamstime.
  • CutePDF – makes pdf files for any of your printable documents for programs that don’t already convert them.
  • Join.me – screen sharing
  • Skype – video calling and screen sharing, have a group video conversation for a monthly fee.
  • IWOWWE – video email and conferencing.
  • MailChimp – e-newsletter system free up to 2000 emails
  • FreshBooks – on-line accounting, up to 3 clients for free, up to 25 clients $19.95 mos.
  • BeFunky – photo effects editor
  • Zoho – CRM on-line tool.
  • Gimp – photo editing software – you download it.  You don’t need Photoshop with this one.
  • Inkscape – modify vector art similar to Illustrator.
  • ClipArt – open clip art library
  • AVG – anti virus
  • Adobe Browser Lab for website testing
  • WeTransfer – for sending files
  • PrimoPDF is also free PDF converter
  • Hamster – another Free video converter
  • MyPictr – Avatar creator – for profile pictures on social networks – not sure if its up to date but you can manually change the px size
  • DaFont – Free Fonts
  • OpenOffice – The Free and Open Productivity Suite
  • LastPass – Online Password storage.
  • Malwarebytes – Don’t run windows without it – not free
  • Nitro PDF Reader – recently added thanks to SME club thread
  • Toggl – Time tracking, great when you are billing by project
  • Avast! – Anti-virus, some free, but all the bells and whistles cost
  • Audacity – Sound recording and editing
  • TeamViewer – Screen sharing and more.
  • Jing – screen capture. pro version for a small upgrade is no longer available.  Will have to switch to Snag-it or Camtasia.
  • FileZilla – FTP management
  • CCleaner – keep your hard drive clean and optimized
  • Synergy – use one mouse and keyboard to connect multiple computers (from Zoho)
  • Any Video Converter – convert any video, aptly named
  • Dropbox – store and share files online
  • Google Docs, Calendar, mail, keyword tools, alerts, analytics, insights for search – access docs that you share, share with others, check your calendar, multiple email accounts from you desktop, phone, or laptop, find what keywords you need to use, set up alerts for anything you want to track from the web and blogs, add analytics to your website and track traffic to your site, .
  • Evernote -remember everything, anywhere
  • Readitlater – don’t have time to read that article now, save it to readitlater.
  • SimpleNote – similar to Evernote, jot yourself a note anytime, anywhere
  • KeePass – another password compiler
  • Free Conference Call – teleconferencing line available 24/7. Each call accommodates 96 callers on an unlimited number of 6 hour free conference calls.
  • SuveyMonkey - free survey tool
  • Evite – free party planning tool
  • Producteev – task management app, helping to organize office days. It’s cross-platform, desktop and mobile.
  • AnyMeeting – web conference meetings
  • Bit.ly – link shortener and tracking
  • Box.net – add files to this on-line application and link it to your LinkedIn profile
  • Scribd – post your pdf files and documents to share on your social networks if you don’t want to post them on your website.
  • Visual.ly – create your own infographic
  • Get Listed – enter your business name and zip code.  The tool finds the location sites on which you are or aren’t listed.
  • Timeline Image Tool – helps you build custom tab images without needing design software.

What have I missed?  What do you like best?  What wouldn’t you use?

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Social Media and Recruiting

Do you use social media for your recruiting and hiring efforts?

I recently helped Illinois workNet create a series of recordings and a webinar focusing on recruiting what works for youpractices using social media.  Check out all of the resources on the Social Media Guide.

Here are a few of the tips:

  1. Create a job posting on your website.
  2. Share the job posting link on your social media platforms.
  3. Ask your employees to share it to their network.
  4. Create a discussion in groups about your job posting.
  5. Participate on social media to build your company brand.
  6. Post items that will provide job seekers an idea of your corporate values and culture.
  7. Use social media to “check” applicants work history.

So frequently, we are reticent to implement change. Just one of the platforms could help you find the right person. It may even save you money.

Everyone knows that LinkedIn is the social media tool of choice when it comes to looking for jobs and looking for new employees. The resources I created help you with a few tips for blogging, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube. Also on LinkedIn, if you aren’t making use of the groups including the Illinois Virtual Job Club Network, you may be missing a valuable resource. If you aren’t already using these tools, investigate how you can. If you need more help than the brief tutorials offer, give me a call and I will help you establish a recruiting strategy.

Reputation Management and Social Media

When it comes to Reputation Management, how can you use social media?

In my last article we talked about customer service and reputation. Now I want to talk about how you manage that reputation through social media.Your reputation is under a magnifying glass.

When you post something on your social media, it keeps pressing the previous items down on the list. Sometimes, when you actually want to find something, it is buried so deep, it becomes almost impossible to find.  The same holds true with search engine results.

When someone searches your company name (when was the last time you searched for your company on Google, Bing or Yahoo?) they get the most recent results.  Sometimes, they may find something that is several years old, but has not been pushed down in the SEO rankings below the first page. Worst yet, is when the person looking can’t find your company because someone else has commandeered your name on the internet.

One of my clients had experienced a lawsuit some years ago and it was showing up on page one of search results. By adding the additional social platforms and posting regularly, they were able to push the negative post down to page two of the results.

On review sites, it is important to balance any negative comments with a higher ratio of positive ones. Are you aware of all of the sites in your industry where customers can leave a review? One way to be aware of what is being said about your company is to set up a Google alert with your name, company name, company nickname, and any other keywords that have to do with your business.  That way if someone mentions your company by name, you will get a notification about it. That way you can deal with the comment before it festers and ruins your reputation.

The best way to counteract a negative comment is to have an overwhelming number of positive ones.  Do you need to develop a plan to accomplish that? Give me a call, we can talk.

Customer Service and Reputation

Manage your Customer Service and Reputation all at once!

Once upon a time, I worked for Spencer Gifts. Part of the training package for new employees was a cartoon video that talked about customer service. The video talked about how customers experience Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt when it comes to making certain purchases. Having good customer service can help overcome the “FUD” factor.Good Customer Service  overcomes Fear Uncertainty Doubt

The training continued with data that told us that a happy customer will tell 2 people, while a dissatisfied customer will tell 10 people. This was in the days before cell phones! Ten people spreading news about your business could ultimately damage your business’ reputation. So, customer service and reputation were tied together at the hip. But who are we kidding, customer service and reputation have almost always been tied together.

Enter social media. Tho days of someone who is dissatisfied telling 10 people number has now multiplied by hundreds, thousands or millions. Depending upon the audience of the person who is posting, how active or passionate about a topic the followers are, a simple statement can raise up an item or make it crash and burn. That is how virility with a YouTube video, Facebook post or Tweet gets going.

Remember this story – United breaks Guitar – turned out alright after the fact Read more. But that video and example is used quite a bit in how customer service and responsiveness are so much more important now, then ever before. There are now over 14 million views of the YouTube video of an event that happened in 2009. All someone has to do is create a video, share it on their social media channels, and have a couple of key people share the posts before something spins out of control.

If you need to know more about managing your customer service and reputation through social media, check back. I will cover reputation management in my next article.

What is the best social media for your business?

Do you know what the best social media tools are for your business?

At a networking event recently, I had my 60 second commercial to give. I asked two questionsQuestion

  1. What is the best social media tools for your business?
  2. If you have time to do only one social media thing what would it be?

One person said it depends on your business. I countered with “for your business”.

The answer to the first question is dependent upon what type of business you have. Each of us have a different audience and a different product. Some of us market to other businesses, hence, B2B. Others market to consumers or B2C. Depending upon which type of customer you have depends upon which are the best social media tools for you to use. You can discover more in my series of articles on B2B vs. B2C social media marketing. Once you have determined which one(s) is right for your business, include them in your overall marketing plan.

The second question is a bit of a trick question. Where should you invest your time if you could only spend it on one social platform? My answer is write a blog article. The caveat is that it must be attached to your website like this one is attached to mine. I use WordPress as my platform. My blog is considered self-hosted. This helps your website work because it adds new content on a regular basis to your website. If you are regularly writing posts (regular is different for everyone, but my definition is at least twice a month), the search engines return to your site, find new information, and index your site higher in the search results for your related search terms. Writing a blog also helps demonstrate your subject matter expertise and shows visitors to your website that you are staying current on your industry.

If you have the time to expand into other social media tools, you have automatic items to share from your blog. It becomes a win-win!!

Give me a call, send an email, or reach out on social media, if I can help you establish the best social media tools for your social marketing efforts.

Social Media and Job Search

A few tips for Social Media and Job Search

I have been writing some help-guides for using social media and job search for Illinois workNet. I won’t steal their thunder, but I want to point out a few key items that showed up on almost every sheet that I created.socialJobSearch

  1. Job search and social media do not exclusively mean LinkedIn.
    1. Many of the other platforms have very relevant considerations for boosting your job search.
    2. Some platforms make more sense to find jobs.
  2. When you are in job search mode, you are creating a brand – YOURS. Be sure that you are making a positive impact for your brand on your social media platforms.
  3. Be consistent with your brand appearance – icon, images, voice.
  4. Participate regularly. The number one rule of marketing is your Brand/name has to be remembered. People will not remember your name if it isn’t in front of them regularly.
  5. Search – use the search function of the platform to find information about companies to which you are applying. You will also want to look at company culture and values to help you make a decision about applying or accepting positions.
  6. Status updates need to include two different elements:
    1. Let your connections know that you are in job search mode in a positive manner. NEVER bad mouth your former employer.
    2. Let your connections know that you have the beat on your industry by sharing thoughts and articles that are useful and informative.

If you need to know more of the specifics of the hand-outs I wrote, I encourage you to join the Illinois Virtual Job Club Network. We will be sharing the handouts there over the next few weeks.