Are you overwhelmed by the sheer amount of time it takes to keep up with social media?
Do you wish you had a few tools in your chest to help you accomplish your goals?
Well, you are not alone! Recently, the Social Media Examiner put our their annual social media marketing industry report, aptly titled “2013 SOCIAL MEDIA
MARKETING INDUSTRY REPORT: How Marketers Are Using Social Media to Grow Their Businesses“.
One of the top five questions was about the best social management tools. In fact, 84% of the marketers surveyed were unsure which tools to use.
Pick the Best Tools For the Job
The best tool for the job depends on the job! You wouldn’t use a hammer to screw in a nail, right? Trick question. You don’t screw in nails, silly! That’s what pliers are for. ;)
OK, so home improvement may not be my forte, but luckily, I do know my social media tools.
Since there are umpteen articles written on the popular tools, I am going to focus on the more mundane tasks and some of the tools I use to make them a little less, well, mundane.
It’s hard to deny the power of Google Plus. Hopefully, you have stopped trying and have instead embraced it. Here are a couple nifty tools that I use.
Shared circles are one of the many unique, innovative aspects that users have come to love about Google+. They are a powerful collaboration tool as they allow you to group people in meaningful categories, based on common interests or any other criteria you decide is relevant.
You can have a seemingly unlimited number of people circle you, but you are limited to 5,000 people in your own circles, much like Facebook’s 5,000 friend limit. Given that limitation, circle management becomes much more important.
Two useful circle management tools are:
One of the best tools for finding shared circles is CircleCount. In addition to helping you find shared circles, CircleCount also enables you to view detailed statistics about your rank within the Google+ community, interaction on your posts and other handy tidbits.
2. Circloscope – Chrome Extension
Circloscope is a circle management tool. It has both free and paid versions. If you have been on Google+ for any length of time, you know it is easy to reach your 5,000 person limit.
Circloscope helps by allowing you to remove inactive users, uncircle people who do not circle you back and a host of other management functions, such as:
- analysis of your circles / followers / engagers (resharers / plussers / commenters)
- filter and sort by identity (name, email, id), circle names, number of circles people belong to, relevance score, location, education, employment, days since last post, person/page, uncirclers, reciprocal circlers, followers, etc with autocomplete for all filters!
- remove people from ALL your circles or from a specific circle
- add people to your circles
- move people between your circles
- export selected people to csv format
- undo those who’ve been removed accidentally
Sharing is at the heart of social media, but it is not as easily accomplished on Google+ as some of the other platforms. Use these two tools – you’ll be glad you did!
1. Replies and More – Chrome Extension
This Chrome extension is super handy because it add “Reply” and “Reply To Author” buttons to Google+ comments and a dropdown next to Share with additional sharing options (Twitter/Facebook/Email). There are lots of other enhanced features, but those are my favorites.
2. DoShare – Chrome Extension
Almost everyone has heard of Hootsuite, but what many don’t know is that it cannot be used for personal profile updates or community updates on Google Plus. That is where DoShare becomes invaluable. DoShare is a Chrome extension that allows you to schedule your Google Plus updates, thereby giving you the freedom to engage while remaining consistent in our posting.
Here are some of DoShare’s many useful features:
- Works for personal Google+ profiles as well as Google+ pages
- Easily share links to Google+ from any tab on Google Chrome
- Create a post, and schedule it for later – Do Share will automatically send it
- Supports sharing to circles, +mentions, notifying circle, link sharing, reshares, and photo uploads
- Supports sharing to Google+ communities
- Supports Hashtag autocomplete
- Allows you to share a comment from the Google+ stream
- Bring out your inner author with a distraction free rich text editor – Save a draft now, edit it into a post later
- Quickly share to your personal page from your page’s stream and notifications
- Supports Multiple Google logins
- Works offline
3. Friends+Me - Website
Friends+Me reposts your Google+ posts (profile or page) to Facebook (profile or page), Twitter and/or LinkedIn.networks. If you use Google+ as your primary network, this web app makes it super easy to share effortlessly to your other secondary networks.
Another great feature about Friends+Me is that it works across all devices: Smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktops.
All of the major social platforms now have a strong visual component. High quality images are a must if you hope to grab a viewer’s attention. Interesting images also increase sharing activities. Here are a variety of image manipulation, curation and aggregation resources.
- PhotoPin – Website
Photo Pin is basically fancy version of Flickr. It is an alternative user interface that searches the Creative Commons database of Flickr photos. Results provide a preview of the photo and the option to download the image. The best part of Photo Pin is that it gives you the HTML code to easily provide proper attribution to your photos. See the screenshot below (that I took with Awesome Screenshot!)
- Awesome Screenshot – Extension for Chrome, Safari and Firefox
With Awesome Screenshot you can capture the whole page or any portion thereof, annotate it with rectangles, circles, arrows, lines and text, blur text and then save to your computer. I can’t tell you how often I use this tool!
- Compress PNG – Website
Compress PNG does one thing and does it well! It compresses images into PNG-8 format with transparency support and full browser compatibility. Again, this is another tool I use all the time because large image files slow down your website. Speed matters to your site visitors and just as importantly, it matters to Google. PNG images are lossless when resized, so they are optimal for sharing, but they can get a bit hefty. Compress PNG does the job quickly. BMP, ICO, GIF and JPG files are also supported through auto conversion to PNG.
- Curate.us – Website/Bookmarklet
Curate.Us is very cool because it lets you make screenshot “clips” and formatted quotes from web content that you can post on select social networks: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. You can also embed the “clip” like I have below or you can email the clip. Clips link back to the original source. You can also make quotes by using extracted passages from any web content. They also link back to the original source.
While there is no substitute for personal, authentic interaction, it is nearly impossible to be effective in social media without a little help. The tools mentioned above are time-saving measures that you can easily utilize to free up some of your precious time, enabling you to actually engage MORE.
Have you used any of these tools? What do you think? Please share your favorites in the comments below.