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

LinkedIn Groups Updates

Have you seen the latest LinkedIn Groups Updates

Today in LinkedIn, I clicked on Groups and noticed there has been a significant LinkedIn Groups Update.

See the image below, but to summarize:LinkedIn Groups appearance has changed

  • The groups to which you belong are listed across the top
  • Click “See More” to view all of your groups
  • Check the number of groups to which you belong – remember you can join up to 50 groups
  • Follow the conversations from your groups in a stream below the list.

Now one of the best things that this change has brought about is that if you want to start a discussion in more than one of your groups you don’t have to go from group to group to start the discussion.  For example, this is especially useful if you are sharing a job posting.  Click here to read about how to Share a Post that you see in your updates stream or from company updates.  What is great about the new feature is:LinkedIn Group Discussion

  • you type in your headline,
  • type in your message,
  • pick whether it is “General”, “Promotion”, or “Job” and then
  • Select the “Choose a group” to you see the drop-down list of your groups!

This is a great time saver if you don’t have an update to share from a company. It is a great way to gather information from multiple groups for research or to obtain an answer to a questions for which you just cannot find the answer. Share a workshop or other event to appropriate groups.

As a reminder, some groups moderate their discussions, so your post may not appear automatically. Be careful not to appear spammy so that you are cut out of the loop!

Happy posting!

Make your Breaks Count

Taking a Break may make all the difference!

This recent article from Fast Company, addressed the benefits of who, what and when we take a mid-day break. Since I work from home, I am very guilty of going into the kitchen, making lunch or breakfast, heading back to the computer, and eating while I work.  I have noticed, that when I have a meeting to attend or a luncheon for which I have to leave the house, my day, while broken up, seems to be a bit more focused.brainstorm

Making sure that you take a break every now and then is refreshing to the body and soul, but can also be the cause of a new inspiration or break-through idea.

What do you do when you need to brain-storm? You find another person or a group of people to share and get your creative juices flowing.  When you work by yourself at your desk all day, you may become complacent and not have that awe-inspiring idea that will get you the next contract, a promotion or kudos for the job you do.

What are some of your favorite break-time activities?

Enhanced by Zemanta

LinkedIn – Send direct messages

In LinkedIn, one of the best features is you can communicate with your network.  How can you accomplish that besides posting a status update or creating a discussion in a group?  That is the topic of this post:

LinkedIn – Send direct messages

You have decided to point out a particular feature of your company, or perhaps a new showcase page for your company, maybe a featured post you found on LinkedIn. Other than posting it to a group discussion or taking the chance that someone will see your status update, you may want to send direct messages to specific people.  Now if you have taken the time to Tag your connections, you can send it to a tagged group of up to 50 people at one time.  If you haven’t tagged your connections (read more about doing that here), or you just want a few people from different within your connections you can do that as well. Follow these steps:

1.  Select the message iconLinkedIn Send Direct Messages

2.  Select Compose message

3. Start Typing Names

4. Use your address book for additional names (additional image below)  You are limited to 50 addresses in one email.

5. Compose your message – use a generic Salutation so that you can include multiple people without having to send each one individually.  If you are sending the message to more than 50 people copy the body of the message for the next email.

6. Who will see – At the bottom of the message window is a box to select or deselect that determines whether the other message recipients will see each others name.  If you want the message to appear as if it was a “singular” message, you will want to uncheck the box.  If you are sending the message to a group of people to whom you would normally send a message, you leave it checked.

7. Send your message. Repeat the steps until you have sent your message to everyone to whom you wish to send the message.

LinkedIn address bookAddress book lists your connections alphabetically.  Move through the alphabet as you add people to your “To” list. When you check the box next to their name, it automatically adds them to your list and tells you how many you have left in your “50″.

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

B2B vs B2C – Google

B2B vs B2C – Google

In the continuing discussion about the better platforms for B2B vs B2C – Google+ is next up.  Google+ has seen more than a 58% increase in users over the past 9 months. AnB2BvsB2Cgoogle article from October indicates there are over 300 million users with 1/3 of them in active mode. One of the things about creating a Gmail account is that you automatically get a G+ account. When you have a Gmail account, you connect with all of the other Google services, +, YouTube, Hangouts, Drive, Picasa, and on, and on. Google was a bit late to the game creating a “posting” platform, but with the power of a search engine behind it, Google+ gives you a huge opportunity if you choose to optimize a platform here.

B2B

Create your company profile and verify your “official” page. Share photos with links back to your website. Recommend links to your blog posts. Use analytics to look at traffic and leads. Use the Hangout function to hold long distance training or brainstorm with colleagues in out of town offices or clients.

B2C

One of the benefits of Google+ and a brick and mortar location is the map functionality. While G+ is not quite as robust to the consumer as Facebook, the ability to post photos, have images related to your business and reviews about your business may help drive business through your doors. If you have a G+ local business page, you get much more real estate on a search results page. Verify your address to have that show up.

No matter which business type you have, you may want to consider establishing a G+ account and putting up a few posts. Engage with others as you can by sharing posts and +1ing posts from others.

Why | Blogs | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Video

Google | Image | Pinterest | Location Sites | E-news

B2B vs B2C – Video

B2B vs B2C – Video

When people think of video on the internet they almost always think YouTube. But there are other video opportunities as well like Vimeo and Vine. While it isn’t “technically” video, SlideShare can become automated and could function like video. So how does theB2BvsB2Cvideo comparison work for B2B vs B2C – Video? One of the things that I always ask when I am speaking to a group is “Where do you look to find how to do something?” So many people tell me YouTube. That is evident with the 4 Billion searches a day on YouTube. How can you take advantage of that statistic?

B2B – in this application, the slight edge goes here because of the how-to aspect of product demonstration, training opportunities, and explaining corporate identity. Take advantage of the 24/7 workhorse of Slideshare or video describing your product or company while you sleep or meet with other clients. Both tools work in conjunction with LinkedIn which is why I am giving a ever so slight advantage to B2B on this platform.

B2C – can you use this platform to “get found” just like so many of today’s musical talents? Video is a great new platform for job seekers to show people some of their skills and imagination. Use video to demonstrate your product or how a consumer can use your product.

The second largest search tool isn’t a search engine at all, but is YouTube. How can you take advantage of this Google product to help your business?

 

Why | Blogs | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Google | Image | Pinterest | Location Sites | E-news

Enhanced by Zemanta