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.
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, .
My favorite social media tool recently changed the way the LinkedIn background image appears on your public profile. I mean recently. I taught a class on May 7 and it looks different today!!
It is a good idea to include an image on your background. If you sell products or services, make it a marketing type image. If you are in job search mode, try to find an image that reflects what it is that you do. When I teach LinkedIn workshops, I suggest to attendees that they create a word cloud to find / represent their key words. That word cloud image might make the perfect LinkedIn background image for your profile.
The image size they suggest is 1584 pixels by 396 pixels. If you have an image created for a YouTube or Google background, the image is about the right size. As you can see from the image, your profile picture covers the lower left corner of the image, so take that into consideration when you are designing something new.
I write and teach about LinkedIn. In my opinion it is the best tool to network and connect for business. Using this image and a professional looking head shot will boost your views. You need to also pay attention to the keywords you use in your profile and where. Interested in an upcoming workshop for job seekers? Check this site – Harper College Eventbrite
If you would like to read other articles about LinkedIn, check out these:
Google Jobs is a job search tool that is definitely a game changer. You don’t have to go to Career Builder, Monster or even Indeed to find jobs listed near you.
There are even filters like:
Location – the distance you want to search
Type of job – full-time, part-time etc.
Company type – the industry of the listing
Employer – select one and it filters just those jobs.
You can bookmark the job and save it for later.
In the Google Search bar, I entered the word jobs and then the industry job title. It filtered the jobs near my location.
I could go in and filter more like I listed above, but I was totally impressed. It even ranks the jobs in the order they were posted or close to it.
If I click on the “Blue” job bar, I get the details of the jobs and the listing. I can turn on alerts to match the search. I can share this job to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and email to someone with a short link.
I don’t know about you, but this Job Search tool that Google has created is going to be a game changer for the job seeker.
Employers will still post their jobs wherever they like and it seems that Google will find it. The jobs I reviewed seem to be coming from Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter and CareerBuilder, but I did see some jobs directly from a company web listing as well.
Take a look at this video to see what I did and if you have any questions, please let me know and I will check it out further for you.
Speaking to the Associated Colleges of Illinois on LinkedIn
On November 3, 2017 I spoke to the Associated Colleges of Illinois about using LinkedIn and other social media to reach out to potential students.
I went to LinkedIn and compiled into one document the items that are associated with creating and using a University page on LinkedIn. If you want to download it click this link – University Pages on LinkedIn.
One of the things I noticed as I was researching all of this is the fact that they differentiate Company pages from University pages for the alumni aspect of the pages.
While many businesses have alumni, not all of them will talk up the positive aspects of that business as they may not have parted company in a good way.
LinkedIn has a whole section of videos and resources for higher education professionals. Take a look at them here. I watched the videos and hope to be able to share more information on the differences to other learning institutions who might have alumni like high schools or prep schools.
I also addressed why social media is important to incorporate in overall marketing plans. (Need me to talk to your group about that?) Here is that handout. Why social media
Last but not least I provided everyone with a copy of my current version of the LinkedIn takeaway from when I teach hands-on LinkedIn workshops. It is here – LinkedIn Take Away. (Need your group to learn more about their personal profiles and what to do with them after they are up to date?)
Whatever I can help you with for your social media needs, I am all ears. Give me a call or send an email so that we can communicate about your social communication desires!! Remember I can help you design, build or remodel your overall social marketing plan.
I was very diligent about sending out my email marketing, twice a month. Then, I got a gig with a customer that is a majority of my billable hours. I fell off sending out my email newsletters for about a year and a half.
It came time to renew the annual subscription and I was thinking hard about whether I needed to pay out that money when I wasn’t using the service. I decided it is better to have it and not use it, because when I do need it, it will be there.
When I went back in to the system there were a number of challenges that I faced. Couldn’t pay on-line because my password had expired, had too many contacts for the subscription that I had, and the people in my list were probably not going to want to receive my emails.
When I went into my connections, I had 500+ that were bots that had signed up for my emails. I cleaned out as many as I could find of those 500+ email addresses before I could send an email out to my real subscribers to see who still wanted communication from me.
In the process, I spoke with my email marketing provider and discovered how to add the “I’m not a robot” confirmation and to add a approve my subscription by email option – or opt-in.
This should cut down on the unwanted subscribers. Sending the email also allowed me to check the bad email addresses and allow people to unsubscribe. That way when someone sees my email, I know that they want to see it!!
Another tip you might try is using the automated options for sending emails to new customers or those who sign up for your email marketing newsletters. Need more information about using this? Drop me a line.
Essential Skills, workplace skills, soft skills, people skills are all names for the skills we continue to use no matter the technology.
This morning at a Small Business Advocacy Council meeting of the Fox Valley Chapter, I was leading a discussion about what has changed in your career pathway and what has remained the same. In almost everyone’s discussion it was one of the essential skills that employees need to demonstrate in the workplace that remained the same.
Everyone mentioned that technology was a big change – computing power in a phone, being able to get an insurance quote in 10 seconds vs. what used to take hours to compile. Faster, smaller, more precise, flexibility were all mentioned in the conversation. The few things that remained were things like customer service, standing behind your product, the know – like – trust factor of sales, and building relationships. These are such important elements that cannot be short-changed. If someone does not have these skills, they are more difficult to teach than the technical skills it takes to run a machine or an accounting program. In the picture, you can teach a dancer the steps, but can you teach them the value and responsibility of being a team player, or being proactive and ethical.
If you or your business need assistance with social media marketing, I am your girl. If you or your employees need help with essential skills (workplace skills or soft skills) use a resource of one of my clients – Illinois workNet. Check this guide for more information that can help you.
A small commercial about the SBAC IL – this group advocates for small business at the local, state and federal level. They are a non-partisan group founded by a Greater Chicago Area attorney. If you are interested in supporting local small business, consider joining us at an upcoming meeting. You can find out more information by clicking the link in the first paragraph.