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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 – still one of my faves – but they have changed things up. Now for free you get 2 social account. I am now paying $75 a month for what I used to have in the legacy edition for $5.99 per month.  This was a big shift and what they promised me isn’t working out. I still have enough slots for all my customer accounts but… (updated 7-2021)
  • Trello – this is a Kaizen board tool to help you track projects!!! Love this tool. (updated 7-2021)
  • Miro – this is a flow chart tool. It is just cool. Play with it. I used it for an on-line baby shower and everyone got to play at one time. (updated 7-2021)
  • Slack or Teams – communication tool to help you stay in touch without having to send emails. (updated 7-2021)
  • Zoom – virtual meeting tool (updated 7-2021)
  • Thryv – CRM tool – I wish they had the ability to use one log-in for multiple accounts. Right now, I have to have a separate email for each account I manage for customers. (updated 7-2021)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • SNAG-IT – 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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Content Feeders

Do you use a content feeder for your social media?

Whether you use a content feeder or blindly share posts from sources you trust, you should check the content on your social streams daily.

Innocently enough, I found a post that I would never have approved that made it out to my LinkedIn feed. My associate caught the title of the post that had come from a source that I trust within a content feeder that I use for my own social media. (You know the shoemaker’s shoes story right??) Most of the time the content is spot-on, but for some reason this particular post addressed an industry that is thriving but that I would not promote. I didn’t even take the time to look at who the source of the article was. I only trust information from a select few sources.

The lesson learned here is:

Even if you use a source or service you trust – read what goes out on your social every day!

Case in point – the other day, we posted an image for one of our customers. The image had been supplied by a field rep of the company. Unbeknownst to us, the image violated some OSHA rules. As soon as the “boss” saw the image, he texted me to take it down. Things like this happen and we react as quickly as possible. Fortunately, no one had reacted to the post on my company page and no one had reacted to the OSHA violation post.

I need to post, but I have no time!

You want more customers. To get them, you have to advertise and market your business or network. One of the (not so new) avenues is social media.  You can post your own content. There are challenges that you may face with that:

  • Lack of time & time management 
    • Creating
    • Publishing at the right time
    • Publishing on the right platforms
  • Lack of ideas
    • Coming up with something everyday
    • How often should you repeat
  • Lack of human resources
    • Soloprenuers only have themselves
    • Small business may not have the knowledge

To bring the story home further, if you don’t have the time to post to your social media regularly (sometimes as little as once a week can boost your organic results with social platforms) try using a service or a content creator to help build a cache of posts that you can schedule. Or there are other services available if you search.

Whatever you do, find a representative that will uphold your brand. We provide a couple of options for you:

  • We can help you create a content posting calendar.
  • We can create content for you to post as needed.
  • We can post for you with content we create.

No matter which option you choose, we work with you to find out the important topics, keywords and resources to use to represent your company on the appropriate social platforms for your business.

When was the last time you

When was the last time you did some of the following things?

At a recent networking event I asked the attendees some questions. One of them was when was the last time you updated your website?

Here is my list of questions (raise your hand if):

  • How many of your have a website?
  • How many of your have a Facebook personal page?
  • How many of you have a company Facebook page?
  • How many of you have a LinkedIn profile?
  • How many of you have a company LinkedIn profile?

Then the questions were asked about when the last time any of those were updated.

It is great if you have a website! When was the last time it was updated? When was the last time you wrote a new blog post? How old is the content that the search bots will find. Are they totally ignoring your site right now?

It is great if you have a company LinkedIn or Facebook page! When was the last time you posted something to it?

LinkedIn itself has seen brands that post once a month gain followers six times faster than those who keep a lower profile. That pattern continues with more frequent posting: companies that post weekly see twice the engagement, while brands that post daily gain even more traction. Credit

Posting times vary based on your clients, type of business, and whether you are B2B or B2C. In my experience with B2B clients, once a day at the beginning of the work day tends to give the most engagement. That may not be the case for your business.

So, when was the last time you updated, posted or thought about how the search engines are finding you, let alone how potential customers are finding you. If you would like to have a more in-depth conversation, please reach out and let’s talk about your options.

Open to Work

LinkedIn Open to Work

If you are Open to Work, do you truly want to advertise that? Just a thought. Everyone has their own opinion about this. Mine is that it is better to share that type of information in a more private type of message or a post rather than have a “photo frame” on your profile image. I still feel there is a bias against interviewing or hiring someone who is not currently employed. If you are open to work and employed, with that photo frame, do you feel 100% secure that your current employer is not going to find out (unless you are part of an approved layoff). Unfortunately, I feel that recruiters look at having a current work history shows as making you more stable.

The settings in LinkedIn for the job preferences allow you to enter five job titles, pick multiple job locations, start dates, a variety of job types, and last but not least add a photo frame on your profile image of #Opentowork to share with anyone on LinkedIn including your current employer if you have one.

To me, the more subtle way of approaching this is by selecting the Recruiters only option.

Additionally, I recommend that you never use the words Looking for (insert word related to jobs or work), Open to New Opportunities, or Currently seeking at all in your headline or summary. If you are working at a part-time or fill-in job, you can use the phrase “While waiting for an opening in my career field” I am doing X, Y, or Z. But make someone search for it.

 

Add Screens

Can you add screens when you are away from your office?

I personally work on 2 monitors that are 20″ each. When I had to downgrade to my laptop because I was at a client’s office, I would strain and try to get done as fast as possible. But now, I can add screens to my laptop and have almost as much space as when I am at my desktop!!!

Enter Mobile Pixels!!!

I started out with one of the 12.5 inch options. Then I upgraded to wings!! I now have 2 of the 14″ monitors. I love the flexibility it gives me. I can have one open, or both. I can have them facing me, or I can have them facing away when I am sharing a presentation.

Now I can have the flexibility I want when I am on the road! And if you want to use them with your mobile phone, you can share your screen on one as well.

If you would like some of your very own, use my affiliate link to make the purchase and I will be happy to help you with any set-up questions or use questions that you might have.

Click here.

And if you have any questions about your social media, please give me a shout!

LinkedIn Headline

Does your LinkedIn headline help you in landing in search results?

Three places in a LinkedIn profile need to focus on keywords:

  • Headline
  • Summary (About)
  • Skills & Endorsements

It is good to splatter those keywords wherever else you can in your profile, but those three are the biggest spots. They are where people will look the most and where search algorithms come into play.

Think of keywords in your LinkedIn profile the equivalent of organic adwords.

Is your LinkedIn headline searchable keywords?

In other words, do the words or phrases that are in your headline include those words that people type into the search bar if they don’t know your name?

I see a number of my connections that have phrases or “cute” words. Think about what you enter when you are looking for someone other than their name. Do you enter “Enhancing Performance to Drive Business Results” or would something more succinct get better results. If you did changes yours to keywords, are they all run together without spaces i.e. keyword/keyword/keyword. Or do you just have your job title in the headline?

Whether you are looking for a job, own your own business, or are comfortable in your current job, consider using keywords in your headline that tell the story of what you do. If you aren’t sure what those keywords should be, look down at the skills section and start typing in your keywords. The suggested phrases will offer you the proper suffix to use i.e. trainer or training.

If all else fails, give me a call and we can work through your profile to optimize it to help you be found.