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Tools and Tricks for Social Media Marketing

Tips For The Social Media Marketer

Do you find it difficult to juggle all your social media pages? In this digital age, we have a whole new platform from which we can advertise and receive feedback. Sometimes however, it’s hard to keep on top of changing trends, which is why I have compiled this list of useful tools and apps that I have found invaluable in keeping on top of things. The tools social media marketers use are constantly evolving to help us do our jobs more effectively and efficiently. All the apps, add-ons and tools in this list are either free or offer a free version subject to limitations, and all of them have the potential to save you time and help you get the most out of your work.

Working on the Move

#1: Raindrop

Raindrop is a free cloud-based web, desktop and mobile app which syncs across all your devices. It can be used to organize and share content, and allows you to access your files anytime, anywhere. The extensive list of visualization options allows you to personalize your content and the Share Sheet button will allow you to instantly send web pages to raindrop for later if you come across something online and don’t have time to look at it right away. You can also use it as a collaborating tool by setting up shared folders, much the same as Dropbox.

#2: Scannable by Evernote

This free iOS app basically functions as a built-in scanner on your smart-device. Simply pull up the app and t will automatically scan and crop any document you hold the camera over. Even more, Scannable can scan business cards and save the person as a contact, even amassing their data from their LinkedIn profile if your Evernote is connected with LinkedIn.

#3: Trello

Trello is a free project management system that works with Dropbox and Google Drive and allows you to link together project documents and even people involved in a project, simply by using the @ symbol to tag them! Project group members receive immediate notifications on the smartphone app and browser versions, with no email sent where the notification is acted upon quickly. No need to worry about a cluttered inbox after an intensive working session! All involved can attach notes and comments as well as image files, cutting out the need for a project group to be physically in the same place in order to work together.

#4: Canva

Canva is an online graphic design platform which allows users free access to a variety of design tools and options. Unfortunately, you must pay to access the premium options, but even the limited free version is extensive enough that you can use it for web or print designs, blog graphics, presentations, Facebook covers, posters, invitations and so on. Its drag-and-drop interface is easy to use and the designs look professional. I’ve found it far easier to manage than many other free image editors or graphic design programs that are currently available. Canva is available as an iPad app which operates like, and offers as much as, the original desktop version.

Keeping Track

#5: SumoRank

SumoRank.com is a free tool which analyzes the rank and content of your Facebook page, supplying you with invaluable information on your page statistics, such as when during the day or week your page reaches the most viewers, as well as what type of post is most popular. You can review the level of engagement with your posts over short and long time periods and discover what elements in a post, such as photos or video links, result in a higher engagement level from your customers.

#6: BuzzSumo Chrome Extension

BuzzSumo is an extension for Chrome which allows you to track the share counts for a piece of content on any social media network you are using. BuzzSumo is important because its’ function extends to Twitter, which recently shut off the API which allowed third-party tools to collect Twitter counts on articles. The only requirement is a BuzzSumo account- the extension itself is free.


#7: Live Streaming Apps

Live Streaming is nothing new, but with the advent of live-streaming apps such as Meerkat and Periscope, it is becoming a popular way not only to connect with people on your personal social media accounts, but an engaging and interactive way for businesses to connect with potential customers. Meerkat and Periscope are two popular livestream app options- both are free and available on a variety of devices including Apple and Android. To complement this phenomenon and make it even easier for you to utilize live streaming in your marketing campaign, Katch is a free platform which automatically collects and archives your Meerkat and Periscope broadcasts shortly after they are aired. This happens automatically as long as you have Katch hooked up to your account, so it couldn't be easier to create and keep track of a whole new aspect of your marketing campaign.

#8: Blab

The most recent social networking venture by the team that created Bebo, Blab is a live-casting platform similar to Meerkat and Periscope, with the additional feature of being able to bring multiple people from all over the world into your conversation. Like Meerkat and Periscope, your Blab broadcast is free and available to watch as soon as you’ve finished recording it. It also sends you downloadable MP3 and MP4 files. It can be used to hold interviews and discussions, create podcasts and even talk to customers.

#9: Overcast

Speaking of podcasts, Overcast is a free iOS app which improves the way you listen to podcasts. Its’ voice-boost feature automatically normalizes the audio levels in a podcast you are listening to. You can also avail of Overcasts’ smart-speed feature which shortens the length of pauses in conversations so the show isn’t any longer than necessary, saving you valuable time. It can be connected to your Twitter feed and will help you find shows that your Twitter followers have been tweeting about. This is useful as it can enable you to keep on top of trends within your customer base and any episodes you share can be upvoted so you can view how shared podcasts rank among your followers.

Keeping it Simple

#10: Reverse Image Search

This surprisingly little-heard of tool allows you to instantly source any image by simply dragging the image, or it’s URL, into the Google Images search bar. As of March 2014, Bing Images also offers the same function. These free tools are incredibly useful as they not only allow you to source images that you would otherwise be unable to source, but if you have uploaded a unique image such as an advertisement you can use the reverse image search function to see if your image has been posted anywhere else on the internet.

#11: Reader Mode

Another feature which is gaining popularity and which you may not be aware of is Reader Mode. Reader Mode is becoming available in a range of browsers including Firefox, Chrome and Explorer is. This free app easily allows you to adjust the text size, font and background of webpages and articles, as well as removing pictures and graphics, to make them easier to read online. If a page is available in Reader View, an open book icon will appear in the URL bar. I use Firefox Reader mode which allows you to save pages to you reading list for later. This function is also available as an add-on for Android. Safari is an Apple download which offers similar functions.

#12: Opera Mini Browser

We’ve all experienced the frustration of not being able to sleep on a work night, but did you know that your smartphone can interfere with your brain’s ability to switch off? This is because the blue light that is given off by your smartphone is scientifically proven to stimulate your brain in the same way that sunlight does, tricking your brain into thinking it’s daytime and making it harder for you to power down. Opera Mini Browser, available on iOS and Android, has a possible solution to this problem. It offers an extension which will allow you to adjust the brightness of your screen, and also includes the “reduce eye strain” mode, which adjusts the tone of light from your browser from blue to orange. This is easier on your eyes and shouldn’t interfere with your brain activity and sleep patterns, so you can continue to work from your smart device in bed if needs be without jeopardizing your performance the following day. I’ve found that it does make night reading easier- however the extension can be a little unreliable and it doesn’t work in all versions of Opera.

#13: MileIQ

For when you do need to travel, Mile IQ is a smart drive detection app which tracks your miles for you. You know those fitness apps that log the amount of time you spend working out and calculate the calories you’ve burned? MileIQ is essentially the same thing for driving. It was designed to simplify mileage reimbursement for companies, but even if you are a freelancer this app can be useful in enabling you to get the most value out of every mile you travel. You can use it to calculate the shortest driving distance between locations as well as the cost of each journey, and you can save and categorize drives into personal and business trips. MileIQ is available for iOS and Android, and has a free version which offers 40 drives per month.

#14: World Clock

When you are working with customers or colleagues from all around the world, a World Clock app can be very useful indeed. Rather than having to keep track of or constantly check up on the time difference in locations across the globe that you are working with, a World Clock app will let you know instantly and with most of these apps, you have the option to save your favourite cities. The greatest advantage to this from a marketing point of view is that you can use it to schedule your broadcasts at peak times in the areas where they will be most relevant, thus maximizing the effectiveness of every publication. Depending on what device you have, there exists a variety of free World Clock apps to choose from.

#15: Spritz/Squirt

Ever heard of Optimal Recognition Point reading? No? Neither had I. OPR reading is where, instead of traditionally reading a paragraph of text the way you are probably reading this one, the words are fast streamed one at a time in front of you. The idea behind this is that in traditional reading, your eyes have to constantly search for a specific point in each word (this is the Optimal Recognition Point) in order to understand it. As the Optimal Recognition Point of each word varies depending on the length of the word, your eyes often have to jump from right to left while trying to identify a word, akin to reading backwards. This could happen an infinite number of times in any given piece of text, so not only do you lose valuable time while reading but your brain is so focused on trying to identify words that you typically aren’t absorbing as much information from the text as you could be. In 2014, Spritz was launched- the first app to stream words one by one, always centred on the Optimal Recognition Point so that your eyes can focus on the one spot while reading. Spritz is available for Android, and Squirt is the more recent version for desktop. I’ve tried Squirt, and it certainly enables me to read much faster than I usually do, although there are some definite downsides in that coughing, sneezing or blinking can cause you to miss words (startlingly there is no rewind function), and it’s necessary to pay much more attention to the text in order to remember and process everything you have read- although this may be no bad thing! The jury’s still out as to whether or not this is something I will use regularly but if gotten used to, it could certainly save a lot of time. In any case, it’s free, quick to install and easy to use so why not give it a try?

If you’d like to read the full article from Social Media Examiner, you can find it here.

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