Sunday, April 5, 2015

Most Essential Social Media Tools For Today’s Entrepreneurs

Juggling so many tasks can be daunting and lead to a lot of stress. So if you’re an entrepreneur and you want to become more efficient, productive and successful, there are tools that can help you track all possible social media data. Most are easy to use if you take the time to learn them, and many have both free and for-fee versions, the latter offering more detail. Take a look at the list of tools below.

  1. Buffer is a great platform and app to find and schedule content on all social media platforms. You can also view analytics, shorten links, create schedules and reshare messages that have already been shared before. This makes building up your brand and company on social media extremely easy.

  2. Asana is a free project-management tool that allows teams to communicate without email, in one central location. Because many work with virtual teams, this is a great tool to stay in touch.

  3. Most people already know about Google Drive , but Chromebooks and ability to convert and edit Microsoft Office documents make it (and accompanying Docs and Sheets) a great way to collaborate and share documents with your clients, freelancers or employees.

  4. SoundGecko translates online content — like news and blog posts — into an audio file. This allows you to “read” any content that can help you with your business — including articles on productivity, sales and branding — on the go.

  5. If you are seeking funding for you business, AngelList is a great social network that can help you seek funding and make connections with those in your community.

  6. If you need a logo, social-media cover photo, podcast intro, website content and more, be sure to check out Fiverr. Sure, the gigs start at $5 but that doesn’t mean they are sub par. Look at reviews and actual Fiverr gig samples before deciding on a contractor.

  7. If you need a freelancer for a long-term project or something more extensive, try Elance, a platform that allows you to post projects and find freelancers that have what you are looking for.

  8. Original websites are always a good thing, but if that is lacking in your budgets, Wix is a pretty and simple website builder that has modern templates that almost anyone can edit.

  9. If you need an office or just a place to work for the day, try ShareDesk orDeskTime to find a co-working office or open desk that allows you to have office space without paying for an entire office.

  10. If you are an Android user, connect your Google account to your phone and take advantage of Google Now , which can tell you when to leave for appointments that are on your calendar, whether or not your flight is delayed or even new articles from websites you frequent often. This “virtual personal assistant of sorts” can help you stay organized and on track, even if you have a lot of balls in the air, as most entrepreneurs do.

  11. If you fly or travel to a lot for conferences, meeting with investors or clients, or other events, TripIt Pro (there’s also a free, less robust, version) can help you stay on top of flight changes, frequent flyer numbers and more.

  12. NerdWallet offers an array of airline credit cards, which can help you accrue points to fly where ever you need to build your business. Put all your business expenses on a single card — from Dropbox subscriptions to office supplies — and watch the points stack up.

  13. Amazon’s Audible/Kindle Unlimited allow you to listen and read several books from its service each month. Just like SoundGecko, it’s another way to stay up-to-date with business, self improvement and more.

  14. AllConferences, Lanyrd, ConferenceAlerts, and Confradar great ways to build a good business is to meet other entrepreneurs and industry colleagues through conferences.

  15. If you are looking to drum up business within your local community, try Meetup to find networking groups, industry meetings and speakers. EventBrite is also a great place to find tickets to smaller, local events as well.

  16. Pinterest can be a great place to find inspiration for new products and upcoming trends (so you can use them in your own projects), as well as a place to share your products and inspirations as a company. Power personal blender Nutribullet is a good example of a growing company that capitalizes on its audience’s interest in healthy living on Pinterest.

  17. Once LinkedIn accepts your request to join LinkedIn Content Platform , you have free reign to contribute content as much as you want. It’s probably best to only post original content on LinkedIn. Because LinkedIn is already such a large platform, its content will get indexed faster and could potentially give you more visibility than your company’s blog.

  18. Contently automatically creates a writing portfolio for them based on the websites they say they write for.

  19. Think of Talkwalker as Google Alerts, but better. It offers more comprehensive results and more options that allow you to check for mentions of your company online. This helps with public relations and the chance to interact with people who are discussing your brand online.

  20. HARO helps a Reporter Out is an email that goes out multiple times per day, with requests from reporters for sources for their stories. This can turn into free publicity for your company. Be sure to respond ASAP, as some requests can get competitive.

  21. HelloSign or EchoSign is legally binding digital document signing services that allow you to get contracts, agreements, W2s and more signed quickly and over email. Be sure to check your state’s regulation on these documents, but they usually stand as legal in the majority of states.

  22. Going back to working with a distributed workforce, Join.Me allows you to share your screen with another user quickly, for free. All you need is the free software, and the other user can see your screen from their browser. If both of you have the software, however, you can also cede control of your mouse to the other user, allow tutorials, customer service and how-to demonstrations easier than ever.

  23. Jing is a free screencast (screen recording) and screenshot software that makes it easy to record product demos, illustrative how-tos for virtual assistants or screenshots for blog posts and product description pages.

  24. If you are looking to reach out to journalists to cover your company, product launch or other news, PressPass and JustReachOut allows you to search for journalists by beat, industry or region.

  25. Like PressPass and JustReachOut but for bloggers, BlogDash allows you to connect with bloggers in your specific niche to review products, sponsor blog giveaways or build relationships.

Further more tools provide anything from simple tracking systems to advanced data management from multiple social media accounts, and knowing your social media goals and objectives will help you decide which ones to use. Here are a few more:

  • Blitzmetrics lets you monitor content from Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and other platforms. Checks news feed coverage and feedback rates, and helps determine which demographics are most responsive.

  • Bottlenose analyzes and provides data from real-time activities across numerous social networks.

  • Carma lets you review and evaluate your social media image, brand recognition and message penetration through traditional and social media analysis.

  • Conversocial monitors comments and customer service issues on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram. Comments are sorted into positive, neutral or negative categories, and can measure such data as customer satisfaction, agent response times and issue frequency.

  • Curalate applies advanced image analytics to social media conversations to help strengthen campaigns for Pinterest and Instagram.

  • Facebook Insights is Facebook’s free built-in analytics tool provides metrics based on Facebook content.

  • Google Analytics provides web, social media, mobile content, conversion and advertising analytics and reports.

  • HootSuite is a social media management tool that tracks various social media platforms at one time with free analytic data. A pay version provides more detailed reports.

  • MediaVantage provides real-time traditional and social media monitoring in a single database to keep track of what’s being discussed about your brand.

  • NetBase lets you monitor social media or specific platforms in real time to analyze your campaigns, consumers and competitors, and engage or react accordingly.

  • Pinterest Web Analytics is Pinterest’s free analytics that provides users with data on reactions and responses to their pins.

  • Social Mention is a free aggregator that tracks user-generated content in a similar manner to Google Alerts, except the focus is on social media sites. Also provides email alerts on your brand, your competitors or your industry.

  • SocialOomph allows you to follow up on keywords, auto-follow new Twitter followers, track retweets or utilize the many functions for tracking your social media accounts.

  • Sprout Social is a web app that tracks content and conversations across social media platforms by demographic measures, monitors trends in social engagement, and tracks customer service response times.

  • Talkwalker monitors trends, your brand and products, and also identifies influencers.

  • Topsy lets you search by location or keywords and monitors tweets, retweets, websites and blogs. Also analyzes, indexes and ranks content and trends.

  • TweetDeck is a service that allows businesses, organizations and individuals to monitor, manage and schedule their social media marketing activity.

  • Viralheat aggregates your social media traffic into a single stream for easy access, and lets you sort using various filters.

  • YouTube Insight provides total views, their demographic and geographic breakdown and even how long people are watching your videos.

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