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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.
  • 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?

 

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WordPress Post Template

Add a Subheading to your post with the keyword from your Title – Make this Heading 2 – Image bullet 2

Differentiation between a post and page – Post is where you put content that is not Static. Meaning it is not one of your main website pages. I added this piece using the ” mark from the WYSIWIG toolbar. It creates the pull quote option that we want for social media. Image bullet 9

blog template imageImage bullet 3 – Add content here. Make sure that the keyword you selected for your Title and Heading are included in the first paragraph. The content you write should be a minimum of 280 words but 300 is better. If you exceed 500 turn it into two articles of a duo or series. Make sure to “Save Draft” regularly, especially if you are writing a long article.

Include an image. The name of the image and the alternate text needs to include the keyword as well. Image bullet 4 is where you add the image for the post.

Add another subheading of lesser importance by clicking on Image bullet 2 – No lower than Heading 3

Image bullet 5 is where you can save the draft

Image bullet 6 is where you can schedule or pre-date a post, otherwise, it posts the moment you hit the “Publish button”

Image bullet 7 is where you can select a category for your post

Image bullet 8 is where you actually publish the post.

There are a number of SEO things that you can do with the Yoast SEO, but by following a number of these steps, you will have handled most of the cautionary items that you would trigger you to have to do something else with the post.

In your template, when you are typing in the text box for the post or the page, the side bar items might go away. This can be a little disconcerting, but you will get used to it. Just hover over one side or the others to get your menu items back.

blog template image 1

Tags in image bullet 10 is how people can search your blog for articles you have written on a certain word. They can include the keyword and other principle words in your blog article.

Depending upon your template, you may want to set a featured image. (Image bullet 11). These images may not post in social media, so if you can include a separate image as referenced above, it is best.

For the Yoast SEO (Search Engine optimization) you will want to include a snippet to describe the article that includes the keyword and interests people in what you are saying. Image bullet 12

Image bullet 13 is what Yoast tells you is readable. They offer suggestions to make your blog post better.

Image bullet 14 is where you tell Yoast what your keyword is so that it helps with people searching the web.

blog template image 2
If you want to see what your post is going to look like to make sure that everything is hunkydorey, just click the “View Post” at the top of the page in the WordPress toolbar.

Press This – How to use this plug-in

Press This used to be a standard feature

Now Press This is a plugin that you must add to be able to use. But if you write opinions on others work or as reference to a further point you are making, it is well worth finding it and downloading.

Find it here:

Activate it. Follow the directions to add the option to your bookmark bar, like this:

Once it is in your bookmark bar, when you are reading an article, (#1 in image below) click the “Press This” on your bookmark bar and you get a pop-up screen like this:

Put a few words or bullets in the body area to help you remember what you wanted to write about. Unless you are super confident, or have time to write the entire article right then, you will want to click the down arrow by #4 Publish to Save Draft.

Remember to change title (image bullet #3)to your words so you are not plagiarizing others work.

That is it! Easy peasy lemon squeezy, you have content for a new blog article. Remember you still need 300 words to make SEO work for you. Quite often, if you have a total different point of view you can easily squeeze out that many words.

 

 

Export LinkedIn Connections

Why would you want to Export LinkedIn Connections?

There are a couple of reasons why you would want to export LinkedIn connections, but the main one is to use them for your marketing/outreach efforts. If you don’t use the Sales Navigator feature in LinkedIn, you may want to download your connections and enter them into a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. Here is an article I found that lists more CRM tools that I would want to review – customer relationship management software apps

OR, you could just use them in an Excel spreadsheet and work through them making phone calls or sending letters.

Here are the directions: (watch a video)

  1. Click My Network icon in the LinkedIn menu bar
  2. Find the number that represents your Connections on the left side of the screen.
  3. On the right side find the words Manage Synced and Imported Contacts (it is a light gray color.) Click.
  4. Also on the right side find the words Export Contacts and click.
  5. This takes you to your privacy settings where you can download any and all of your data. Select the second option and select Connections. Fill in your password in the pop-up box. You will receive an email in about 10 minutes letting you know your file is ready.
  6. Go back to the screen where you ordered the archive and download.
  7. Unzip the file.
  8. Save as .xls instead of .crv
  9. Sort and use!

You may still have to use LinkedIn or other methods to find things like phone numbers and addresses, but you have the start of the database and an email address.

WWYD – What Would You Do?

Knowing the answer to What Would You Do can be difficult

We all have opinions. Some are stronger than others; others, vocalize their opinions louder than others; and yet most, will never change their opinion no matter what the voice of reason/opposition has to say. Playing off the television show, I ask, what would you do?What would you do

Here is the situation:

Recently, I saw a post from a Facebook connection. It was a video and social commentary on a rather sensitive topic. What I saw in the video was a bit different than what the poster had expressed in the written comment. I began to write my response to the post about 5 different times. Eventually, I ended up not typing anything.

Each time I would start thinking I was taking a different tact, but ended up deleting the response because the written word and a post is forever. It is so much more difficult to know the tone and intent of a comment when written than when you are speaking directly to that person because you are able to see the non-verbal communication.

Because of an experience I had years ago on a chat board with trolls who posted to cause a disturbance, I am much more aware of “newbies”, or even someone who has been around a long time, could take the written word out of context and think an innocent comment is a personal attack.

Additionally, I didn’t think that my comment would be taken in the right context as I could be considered on the opposite side of that particular sensitive topic.

Here are some thoughts to help you figure out what you would do:

  1. Do what I did and let the moment pass. I didn’t feel so strongly about the issue that I felt I had to make the comment.
  2. Write your comment and let the “battle” begin. Once I posted a bad review in a “What’s happening in ((You name the town))”. My post garnered a great deal of responses and some were just nasty.
  3. Unfollow the person or shut them out of your feed. ( I have done this before, it can be kind of liberating.)
  4. Try to send a private message to the person with your opinion so as not to take it public.
  5. Make a phone call.

Remember, you will probably not change the opinion of the person to whom you are commenting, so is it worth the angst you might feel when the return comments are heated, pointed or vengeful. (I just had a thought that I wouldn’t be writing about this, if the item or the issue were positive, like beautiful flowers or gorgeous scenery.)

What else would you do?