Useful Tools to Save you Time

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.
  • – 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
  • – link shortener and tracking
  • – 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.
  • – 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?


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B2B or B2C which social platform is better for your business?

Which type of business do you have?

B2B vs. B2CFirst, consider whether a business is B2B – Business to Business, or B2C – Business to Consumer. The difference is which tools used in a marketing effort, especially if they are on a limited time or money budget. After that determination, look at how the tools used interact with the website and the other marketing components.

All business, whether they are a mom and pop spot or a Fortune 50 company have the same goals when using social media:

  • Brand Awareness – making sure that customers and potential customers recognize your brand – what you provide and what your brand represents.
  • Thought Leadership – customers want to feel like they are getting an authority in their field whether it is a plumber or an HR representative.
  • Sales or Lead Generation – everyone needs new customers. If you are using social media to reach out to them, you need to track the flow of contact to contract.
  • Customer Support or Advocacy – this is when help desk support is provided through social media. Depending upon your business, it may require 24/7 responsiveness.

There are over 1000 digital properties that you can use for your business. Some are more appropriate than others. My preference is to start with the most common ones and branch out from there. Let’s talk about my top 10 and for which type of business they are best suited:

  • Blogs – is short for weblog. This is where we get to share our thought leadership. If you are strapped for time, this is the one thing that I recommend you do. Regular new content bring the search bots back to your website on a regular basis. Slight edge to B2B for this tool.
  • LinkedIn – if you are in business you need a LinkedIn personal account. Create a Company account for your business, which requires an email address at your domain name. Just another reason why you need a professional email address. The edge goes to B2B on this as well.
  • Facebook – is very definitely B2C, although many B2B business like my own can benefit from a regular presence on Facebook. Pictures and videos win on this platform. Offer rewards to customers who check-in or tag your business in one of their posts.
  • Twitter – is limited to 140 characters at a time. This is a great customer service tool. Many businesses alert their customers to specials of the day. Tie between B2B and B2C.
  • YouTube – is the 2nd largest search tool and it isn’t even a search engine. 4 billion searches a day, do I need to say more. This is a win for B2B with product demonstrations and how-to’s.
  • G+ – provides an edge on Google search results. It works like Facebook but not as many regular users. Worth investigating for B2B and B2C.
  • Photo sites – Instagram is the big player in this arena. Very definitely B2C with all the clothes, food and check-ins that happen with these types of platforms. Think about other platforms like Flickr and Picasso.
  • Pinterest – gets its own category as both areas can link to things on their websites, especially if you include an image in a blog post, then pin the image. This is a win for B2C.
  • Location sites – include Yelp, Bing places, Yahoo, Foursquare and the like. Even if you don’t have a storefront location, you may want to “claim” your business on a few of the appropriate sites. Winner again is B2C.
  • Emails – while this is not a social platform, it is social. People read more emails now because of smart phones. Don’t over send and make what you send worth reading. B2B and B2C.

Those are my top picks. How did you do on the comparison of B2B vs. B2C. You don’t have to use them all at once. Try working with one and then expand. Make sure to track incoming calls to know which ones are working best for you!

Editing Company Pages on LinkedIn Now!

Access to Company pages on LinkedIn has changed again!

I have the “new experience” for LinkedIn on my laptop/desktop. When they make changes, they make a splash and company pages is no exception. I discovered the hard way trying to make some changes to a few of the pages I manage for others.

Here is how you need to access your pages:Linked new company page access

  • If you’re in the new desktop experience, click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage instead. You can then select the appropriate Company Page under Manage to access the new Company Page admin center.
  • You can also search for your Company Page through the Search bar at the top of the LinkedIn homepage.
  • If you’re not taken to the new Company Page admin center automatically, click View admin pages or Go to admin mode at the top of the Company Page.

If you are admin to more than 10 pages, I have found that it is easier to just search the page and enter into the admin mode that way. If you are only admin to one or two pages, use the drop-down menu.

Sign-out is below your list of company pages. It was hard to see for me when I first was in the site. If you have the whole list of company pages, you will have to look beyond that to sign out.

LinkedIn Tags and Notes Going Away

LinkedIn Tags are Disappearing

I am totally disappointed in LinkedIn because of an email that I just received from LinkedIn telling me they are discontinuing the tags and notes functions in LinkedIn connections.

Here is the email I got:

At LinkedIn, we’re always looking for ways to simplify and improve your experience – helping you be more productive and successful. This sometimes means removing features that aren’t heavily used by most of our members to invest in others that members tell us offer greater value.

As such, we’re removing the Notes and Tags features on the LinkedIn profile, which allowed you to add notes and tags to your connections, to help manage your professional relationships. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, so please know that you can download this information through March 31, 2017. You’ll find instructions below.

As an active user of Notes and Tags, you will find similar functionality in LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator. To see if Sales Navigator is right for you, we are offering you a free three-month trial*, which will allow you to transfer and view your existing notes and tags. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a product we launched a couple of years ago and is targeted at sales professionals – it lets you keep track of your existing relationships, research your network, and find new leads with tailored recommendations.

Below you’ll find instructions on how to download and transfer your data as well as information regarding your free Sales Navigator trial.

Well, I guess they aren’t going to totally get rid of them, but they are going to make you pay for them if you want to continue using them. It’s all about the money! I have been using tags to differentiate my connections for many years now. It is something that I teach in my LinkedIn workshops as a valuable searchable tool. Now, I will have to make sure I stress the importance of keywords in your profile even more.

AND on top of this, I just saw the roll-out of the new personal profile. Upon investigation, it makes more sense about how to add things, but the functionality has changed and I don’t know if it will come back. You used to be able to reorganize the sections and at this time until the roll-out is complete, you can’t do that. All this change all at the same time!!! It is one of the reasons why I love and hate social media because it is always changing. Not always for the better!

Reply Don’t Accept Yet – LinkedIn Invitations

Do you get invitations from people you don’t know? Use the Reply Don’t Accept Yet feature

I get a ton of invitations from people that I have not ever met. I bet you do too or your wouldn’t necessarily be reading this. I have a solution for you that I have been using ever since I found out about the option. It is one of my Gotta Love this list of features on LinkedIn – reply don’t accept yet.

This has changed over the years, and I pray that LinkedIn never eliminates this feature. Change it how you want, but puhleeeeze LinkedIn keep it!!!

Here you go:

Hover over the Invitation Icon next to your picture in the Upper Right hand corner of LinkedIn screen. You should see the words “See All” next to the Pending Invitations. This works best from a laptop or desktop instead of a tablet. Click the “See All”.

A new screen will appear with all of your invitations – see below:

LinkedIn reply don't accept 1

If an invitation has a pair of conversation icons, it means that the invitation was personalized. If it has an arrow, it was not. Click the arrow in the corner.

A new window will open and a conversation option will appear where you can ask the potential contact – “Please refresh my memory of how we may have met. I like to tag my connections for future reference.”

After that, if the person replies to you, you can decide whether to accept the invitation or not!

Don’t forget to tag you new connections. Need to know how to do that? Read this article. It is a few years old, but the concept is valid. I will write an updated version later this month.

Milestones in your Life

Today is one of those Milestones in my life!

This is my birthday. It is one of the milestones birthdays that ends in a zero. I am not birthday milestonebeing dramatic or overwrought because I did that when I turned 20 because I wasn’t going to be a teenager any longer.  No, today I celebrate a milestone and want to recount the good things that have happened in my life.

I am blessed! I have a husband with whom I have loved, laughed, fought with and fought for, for 25 years this year. We met on a blind date over 30 years ago and I am blessed every day that this man is in my life. We have built a life together, a home together – literally built the house together, and enjoy spending time with each other. We are there for each other in good times and bad.

That man I met so many years ago, came with a 6 year old daughter that has become the daughter that I love with all my heart. We never had children of our own together, so this, technically a step, daughter is more important to me than she will ever know. I thrill in her accomplishments, agonize with her pains, and enjoy seeing her happiness blossom.

My own family was small. I was an only child. Both of my parents left this earth a number of years ago. What I gained from meeting this man I married, is a huge loving Italian family. So many brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, and cousins that I truly lose count! There is always some sort of celebration or family function that we could attend, and I love it!

I have wonderful friends who have become the sisters that I never had. While I may not see those friends every day or talk to them even monthly, the friendships that I have been blessed to create is another milestone in my life. When my mother died, one of those friends came and spent a few days with me so that I could go through mom’s things. She recognized when I had enough and helped me get through everything.

Our home is a milestone. We built it from scratch and it is still everything that we need. And it created an opportunity for us to expand into a design build custom home and remodeling business.

I have had a few jobs in my life. Many of them have accounted for long periods of time. My most recent milestone was getting laid off from a job that I had had for 12.5 years. Because of that I started my own consulting business which has been thriving for a number of years.

I have many milestones and many blessings, but I think my very most favorite of them all is my grandson that I wouldn’t get to love unconditionally and spoil unmercifully if I hadn’t made that very first milestone. These two men are what make me happy and joyful and looking forward to the next milestones in my life!