Do you want to find more tools and tips to do your job even better?
Marketers are always looking for useful social media tools to increase visibility and productivity.
In this article you'll discover the best tips and tools I shared on the Social Media Marketing podcast this year.
#1: Easy Media Gallery Pro
Are you looking for a creative way to display photos on a blog or sales page? Are you just not satisfied with the usual methods of uploading images to your site?
Have you heard about Easy Media Gallery Pro? Easy Media Gallery Pro is an easy-to-use WordPress plugin that lets you seamlessly upload images into galleries for posting online. It offers several configurations, editing options and a wide range of display functionality. After you've created your gallery, Easy Media Gallery Pro generates a short code that you can simply embed into any blog post or anywhere else online.
Here is the plugin in action.
Once the code is incorporated into your website, Easy Media Gallery Pro automatically cycles through the pictures every couple of seconds. It includes navigation controls for your readers, as well as the ability to go full screen. Your readers can either sit back and watch the slideshow or navigate through the images at their own pace.
The best part is that Easy Media Gallery Pro is equally as effective on a mobile device. Your photo gallery looks just as good on an iPhone as it does on a full 27-inch iMac. This plugin does not disappoint.
#2: Hang w/
Hang w/ is an app for your iPhone or Android that allows you to do live streaming with the push of a button directly to your Facebook page or directly to other people who have the app.
It's a live broadcast and when the broadcast has finished, the video is then available on YouTube.
Joel Comm decided to do this quick 2-minute video at a buffet in a hotel. Everything was done seamlessly.
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When you first go to ClickToTweet, it will ask you to log into Twitter. You can then generate your tweet. The result is a custom URL that you can embed or use as a forwarder.
With the new updates, you can track the results of the tweets that you shared. It shows you the number of clicks and how many were unique. It even shows you on a timeline which day got the most clicks. You can also see on a map which countries the clicks came from.
With this kind of data, you can do tweet-level analytics. It's exciting what you can do.
There's also a WordPress plugin option that allows you to create a clickable box on your blog.
Another plugin in the WordPress.org plugins directory, called ClickToTweet by Todaymade, creates a really nice box with text in it.
If you think creatively, you can come up with some innovative uses for it.
When you're involved in a Twitter chat, it's important that it sticks near enough to real time because these chats can become intense.
The app tchat.io has a very simple interface. First you type in your hashtag. You can sign in with Twitter if you want. This allows you to tweet from within the app and it will automatically add the hashtag to all of your tweets.
This means that all of the tweets are aggregated around that particular hashtag. One of the cool things about the app is that you can mute retweets.
This app is close to real time and as the tweets appear, you can click on the one in question, then hit reply, quote it, favorite it or retweet it. It has all of the basic functionality you would expect of any good hashtag-based Twitter chat client.
GPlusData lets you track Google+ data and run a number of interesting reports, pretty much in real time. For example, you can look at:
- People who are most active
- Pages that are most active
- What parts of the country or the world that are most active
- The top posts on Google+
- What time of day people are most active
- The growth of your followers and a daily breakdown
- How many updates and shares you have
It's publicly available for just about any page. So not only can you look at your page, you can also look at your competitor's page to see what they are doing.
With the click of a button, it allows you to identify the largest communities on Google+. The largest at present is Amazing Places to See.
Although there's a limit to the amount of data provided for free, you can sign up for a paid version to get more detailed analysis.
It's a really cool tool.
#6: Splash Shower Tunes
I like to listen to podcasts in unusual places, one of them being in the shower. So I recently started to seek out an alternative way to listen and I came across the Splash Shower Tunes device.
It comes in different colors, and has a Bluetooth wireless speaker. You can stick it onto the wall, tile or glass. It has some very basic controls, but the distance from your phone to this device is amazing.
Tweriod runs an analysis of the last 1,000 of your Twitter followers. It lets you know when the vast majority of your followers are online and also when you'll get the most exposure for your tweets.
Use this data to strategically share tweets during the best times of the day.
#8: Talkwalker Alerts
Talkwalker Alerts is a replacement for Google Alerts.
You can put in a search query and then choose the different types of results you're after. For example, choose news, blogs, discussion, language, how often you want your notifications and whether you want to see only the best results or all of the results.
You then put in your email address, and you'll start to receive daily alerts.
Set up one for your company name and your name. You might want to set one up with your domain name, or even one with your competitor.
It's totally free and it allows you to set up as many alerts as you want.
Twitonomy provides you with intelligence or insight into anyone on Twitter.
When you visit the site, you first need to log in with Twitter and then you can add anybody's Twitter handle. For example, I looked at Chris Brogan‘s.
It shows you some of the basic things you would expect such as most recent tweets, people you're following and people following you, but it also gives you some very interesting analytics.
For Chris, it shows me that he tweets on average at least 63 times a day and gets 141 retweets. On a graph it displays over time when he is most active and the people who have retweeted him the most. These are probably some of his biggest fans.
You can see the people he has replied to the most, mentioned the most, the hashtags he has used the most, the tweets that have been most retweeted and favorited by him and his tweets that have been most favorited.
You'll discover the other kinds of analytics you can see and why it's also interesting to check out your own profile.
#10: Anti-Malware by GOTMLS.NET
If you have a WordPress blog, there's a chance that you might have some malicious code somewhere on it, which can sit latent for years. It only takes a troll to activate something, and then use your domain as a weapon.
To make sure that your servers are clean, I would recommend that you use a plugin called Anti-Malware by GOTMLS.NET.
Once you have it installed, you can carry out a scan. It's like running a virus checker on your computer, except it's inside of WordPress. You can tell it what directories to check, and then you run the scan.
They regularly update their definitions. It's free to use, but donations are encouraged. We ran this on all of our websites and malware was found—even on old blogs that we haven't used in a very long time.
This is very important. So if you're having performance issues on your blog, it might be that your blog is being used for outbound attacks.
This app lets you do some really cool things. When you enter a hashtag, first it shows you a map of where you are in the world and where most of the photographs were taken.
What I love about Instagram, and in particular Gramfeed, is that they allow you to very easily put in your hashtag and see the total number of photographs that were taken. In this particular case, there were 3,200+ pictures. You can see who took the picture and interact with all of these pictures.
If you only do a search on a hashtag, you'll be limited to the number of photographs you see. However, you can take it to the next level and create an account. All you need to do is log in with your Instagram account, and you can see all photographs for any particular hashtag.
This is a great way to manage and maintain a hashtag or even monitor a competitor's hashtag.
One of the challenges I face on a day-to-day basis is with my calendar. I use an iPhone and an iMac and have found it hard to synchronize all of my calendars.
Here's an awesome calendar called Sunrise. It's a free app, which works on iPhone, iPad and I believe it's available for Android.
What's really cool is that it integrates with your social media and all of your other networks. It integrates with Google Calendar, Exchange and Facebook.
It also shows you what the weather is going to be. In addition, it synchronizes with iCloud, LinkedIn and Twitter.
If you have a cause or are launching something in particular, Thunderclap helps you gather a bunch of your fans and followers so they can help you make a big noise all at the same time.
Watch the video below for a great demonstration.
The concept is similar to KickStarter, except it's for launches, events or causes. Podcasters even use this to help them get the word out about their launch.
To participate in a Thunderclap, visit the website and say that you want to participate. It will then ask you if you want to use Twitter. Once you confirm this option, you have to give authorization. On that specific day, it will put an automatic tweet out along with everybody else who is behind the cause, launch, etc.
Sniply allows you to share content to other people's websites, and at the same time bring them back to your own content with little effort.
It works similar to Bit.ly, as it's a link shortener plus more.
Put in a link to any destination, whether it's your own content or someone else's content. Then, the next step is where the magic happens.
For example, if you were to link to one of our articles at Social Media Examiner, you would paste the URL of that article into Sniply. You would then be given the option to create a piece of text and an additional URL.
This information then floats at the bottom of your screen and includes your photo.
You can be really creative with this, as there are many different ways to use it.
Placeit.net allows you to create professional-looking photos of your website running on various devices.
When you visit the website, you'll notice that there are hundreds of different shots to choose from. You also have the option of which electronic device you want your website or image to be displayed on.
Once you have chosen your shot, all you have to do is either upload an image or paste in your URL. Within a few seconds you get a beautiful photograph.
I think you'll agree that the visuals look extremely high-end. The only downside with the free version is the tiny watermark over the image. To have it without a watermark it's around $8 per shot.
Appear.in (recently rebranded as Whereby) helps you put together a quick videoconference.
You don't need to install special software, all you need is your browser.
First you create a room. You can name it anything you want. The next step is to give permission to your camera.
The link can then be shared with up to seven of your friends or colleagues. Once they have the link, they immediately appear on the screen and you can start a conversation.
It's a great alternative if you have problems with Skype. Some people use it to record podcast interviews, although I believe it only records the video, not the audio. You'd have to record the audio yourself.
I think it's an easy way to connect with people and it's also available as an app on the iPhone.
Flipagram allows you to create short video stories with your photos, and include music in the background.
You can create 15-second videos that you can use on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, plus many other places.
It works on both Android and iPhone. It's super-easy to download the app. It looks a bit like Instagram. Once downloaded, you can create your video. You first select the photos that you want to use from your phone or Facebook.
You select the order in which you want your photos to go and you can also zoom, crop or add cool effects. The next step is to choose a tune from your music library. Once all of these steps are complete, you push a button and then you have the video.
The video is now ready for you to put up on all of the different social networks.
#18: Grid Tool
The Grid Tool helps you see if your ad meets Facebook's 20% or less text requirements before you submit it to Facebook for approval.
Simply visit the tool and upload your proposed ad image. Facebook then shows your ad image with a grid overlay. You simply click each square that contains text and Facebook will calculate whether the image has more or less than 20% text.
#19: Trick to Take Selfies
Here's a really cool two-part tip for taking selfies with your iPhone. Even if you don't take selfies, you likely take a lot of pictures with your smartphone.
First, did you know that you can use either the + or – volume control on the side of your iPhone just like you would the button on top of your camera? Press either button and you'll take a picture with your phone.
Mari Smith shared the second part of this tip with me. You can also use volume control on the headset that comes with your iPhone to take pictures!
The headset hangs off of your phone similar to an old-fashioned camera, so you can have your hand below the camera. Just click the volume control on the cord to take killer pictures without having your arm stretched out in the photo at an awkward angle.
#20: Image Upload to Facebook
When you put a link for your own site or for another site into a Facebook update, you've probably noticed you often have a default image that comes up or an option to shuttle between the images to decide how you want the update to look. But what happens when the site doesn't have a nice optimized image for Facebook?
Here's how to upload a custom image to show with any link you post to a Facebook page.
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#21: ClamXav or Malicious Software Removal
Is your computer a little slow? Have you noticed that it seems pokey when you go on the Internet? You might have malware and/or Trojan horses on your computer.
We Mac users tend to think our computers won't ever have a virus because we don't hear about them occurring as much as we do with Windows. I use a Mac and recently found tons of malware on three of my computers.
#22: Google Social Behavior
Do you want to find out what kind of traffic a promotion is driving to your sales page? Here's how.
Log into Google Analytics and open up the Behavior tab on the left sidebar menu. Scroll down to Site Content, then to All Pages. Now you'll see data for the most popular pages on your website. If the page you're looking for isn't shown in the top results, type the URL into the search bar. When it shows, click on it to bring up data for that page.
Like other reports, you can go to the top of the page to select the date range you want to view. Just below the traffic graph, find the Secondary Dimension button and click on it. Open Social from the drop-down menu and choose Social Network from the options.
After a brief wait, you'll see exactly how much traffic is coming from each social network!
#23: Personality Test
Do you work with a team of partners, employees or contractors? Here's a unique way to learn more about your team.
The iOS app Personality Test by Andrew Helms is based on the Myers & Briggs Personality Type Indicator and asks you a series of questions to place you into four categories; extroversion vs. introversion, intuition vs. sensing, feeling vs. thinking and judging vs. perceiving.
Extroverts get energy from interacting with people and introverts get energy by reflecting, thinking and being alone.
Intuitives tend to trust in the future and theories while sensing people trust more in facts, details and present realities.
If you're a feeling person, you often make decisions that create harmony. However, if you're a thinking person, your decisions are often based more on logic and objective analysis.
A judging personality tends to make organized and orderly decisions quickly. If you're a perceiver, you tend to be a little more adaptable and you keep your options open based on the realities of the circumstances.
Once you take the test, it describes your personality traits, identifies potential careers, tells you what to avoid and shows you some famous people who share your traits.
What's cool about having your team take this test is that it helps you understand their strengths and weaknesses and how to work with that.
#24: Gunnar Optiks
Do you spend all day at a computer? Do you look up and find your eyes are bugging and just can't look at the screen anymore? Here's a solution I've been using for years.
Gunnar Optiks designs great-looking glasses for gamers and people who stare at a computer all day long.
The glasses have a slight yellow tint that counteracts the blue light a computer screen gives off. The lenses curve around to fit your head and help your eyes retain moisture so they don't dry out. The lenses also have a subtle magnification to reduce eyestrain when you read text.
You can buy a pair for $79-$99 from Amazon or Gunnar Optiks. They can even be made with prescription lenses!
They have free and paid accounts, and you log in with your Twitter ID, Facebook account or both. It analyzes your audience and then shows the most popular trending topics your audience is talking about.
Swayy lets you share content within the app or you can use it as a discovery engine to find quality articles to schedule and share.
#26: Edit Flow
Do you work in WordPress with multiple writers? Do you find it complicated to manage everything that needs to be done to get the content produced for your blog? Instead of using spreadsheets and Google docs, try this plugin called Edit Flow.
Edit Flow has wonderful functionality, such as a comment thread only visible to your content team and a searchable and sortable calendar so you can see all of the articles that have been written. There's also the ability to indicate special needs of the article in the sidebar: deadlines, image needs, a custom checklist and more.
Are you familiar with Skitch? Skitch is a cool screen capture and annotation application that you can use on your desktop or mobile device. It's part of Evernote, and you can use it on Mac, Windows, Android or iPhone devices.
Take a photo or a screen capture, and then use Skitch to call attention to something on it by drawing arrows or adding text on top of that picture. Use these images for a blog post or a social media update. The best part is that it's integrated with Evernote, so your image will be available anywhere the program's installed. Check out Steve Dotto's review of Skitch.
Do you manage a brand or business profile on Instagram? Have you ever wanted to upload photos to your brand's Instagram account from your computer instead of your mobile device?
Gramblr allows you to upload a photo to Instagram from a desktop or laptop computer.
The advantage of using Gramblr is that you can refine or add text to an image on your desktop or laptop computer before pushing it to your live feed.
While Gramblr doesn't allow you to schedule posts, it is great for times when you want to post an image or video to Instagram that isn't on your phone.
Do you use Twitter in your marketing? Do you sometimes have trouble finding the right hashtag to promote your events or content? RiteTag is a tool to help you find better hashtags to get your tweets found and shared.
As you craft your tweets, RiteTag uses a color-coding system to indicate how effective your hashtags will be on Twitter. Green is great, blue is good and red is overused or too generic. It also shows your tweet's “chance of discovery” based on your hashtags, so you can tweak them accordingly.
RiteTag integrates with Twitter, Hootsuite, SocialOomph and a number of other available social media scheduling apps. It's offered as a free 30-day trial or as a paid app at various levels starting at $10 per month.
#30: Daily by Buffer
Are you looking for a quick way to discover and share great content with your audience? Is finding great content to share a challenge for you?
Have you heard about Daily by Buffer? Daily is a free iOS app brought to you by Buffer, the popular social media scheduling and management tool. Buffer pulls content from a number of sources, including all of your social networks. With the help of their analytics, a team personally handpicks the best content suggestions and delivers them directly to you through this app.
As the headlines and links are being served to your device, you have the option to quickly swipe right for content you like or left for what you don't. Daily then stores the content you like to your Buffer account, so you can read and share it with your audience later. Fresh content is being generated, curated and delivered every day.
By default, Daily presents everything it has curated to you, but you have the option to refine your search based on your specific interests or topics. The categories currently offered are Marketing, Inspiration, Lifehacking, Entrepreneurship and Design. Daily also offers a “Best Of” category that pulls its top five suggestions of the day across all topics.
Are you overwhelmed by the flood of news and information coming through your social media networks? Are you looking for a quick and easy way to discover the most important news stories being recommended by your friends and trusted sources?
Have you heard about Nuzzel? Nuzzel is a content aggregation tool that finds the top stories being shared on Facebook and Twitter by friends and experts in your field and lifts it up for you to see. It's available as a web-based platform or an iOS app and offers a number of features to make sure you never miss anything big or newsworthy again.
In the settings, you can give Nuzzel a threshold of a certain number of friends who have to share a news item before it's delivered to you. You can search to see what news items have been popular among your friends and colleagues over the last 24 hours, 8 hours, 1 hour, etc., and then share what interests you with your friends via Twitter, Facebook, email or SMS from within the app.
#32: Video Upload to Facebook
Do you create videos for your business or brand? Are you looking to get more exposure for your videos?
Have you heard about uploading videos directly to Facebook? Great exposure for your videos once meant getting the most views on YouTube. In the past, YouTube was highly optimized for Facebook. Facebook now gives preferential treatment to video directly uploaded to its feed as opposed to simply linked from YouTube or Vimeo.
A really cool trick offered with Facebook is the Embed Post feature. You can embed any Facebook post, including your video and accompanying text, into any website or blog. So your exposure and interaction transfer off of Facebook as well.
There are many other advantages to uploading videos directly to Facebook. The autoplay capability as you scroll through their news feed is one of the biggest benefits.
You can also tag other Facebook users in the video, which leads to greater exposure because your video is then shared on their personal news feeds and timelines too. You can also add a location or call to action to your videos within Facebook.
#33: Facebook Debugger
Have you ever shared content from your blog or website on Facebook, but found it doesn't pull the correct information? Are the graphics or text shared either incorrect or outdated?
Have you heard about Facebook's Lint tool? This developer tool allows you to scrape and see how your website or blog will appear when someone shares your content on Facebook.
When you enter your URL and hit the Debug button, all of Facebook's cached images and information from your site will display. If there are any changes to your site, you can clear and refresh all fetched information and ensure anything shared from your site will be gorgeous and accurate.
#34: Case Mate
Do you always have your smartphone in hand? Would you like to make a cool first impression with your smartphone?
Have you heard of Case Mate? Case Mate offers a robust, completely customizable phone case for your iPhone 5/5S, 6, 6 Plus or your Galaxy S5. Its tough exterior protects your phone (especially your screen) if it's dropped. It lasts a long time and is absolutely gorgeous.
Once you select your phone, Case Mate has a do-it-yourself interface to help you design your very own custom case. The site offers multiple layouts, fonts, colors, etc. You can also upload images from your computer or social media profiles and position them anywhere you want on the case.
Once you're satisfied with the look, you preview and purchase. It's simple to create and a great way to stand out from the crowd.
#35: Google Webmaster Tools
Do you notice the links from your website Google recommends when you do a search for your company or product? Are you wondering how you could remove or edit which site links Google shows for your company?
Have you heard about Google Webmaster Tools? Google Webmaster Tools lets you to do a lot of cool things with your website like research data and keyword searches for your site. It even scans and notifies you of errors, malware or other issues with your site.
Once you've set up your site on Google Webmaster Tools, you will have access to a feature called Search Appearance. This feature shows what appears when a Google search is returned with your site.
In the menu beneath Search Appearance, a tool called Sitelinks allows you to select which pages of your site will show up in Google's search results as recommended links. You can demote or promote specific sub-links from your website and hide others.
Do you ever have issues with your website not operating properly? When this happens, do you find yourself reaching out to people in remote locations to ask if they're seeing the same thing too?
Have you heard about GeoPeeker? GeoPeeker is a web developer tool that makes it possible to load any website or URL and view how it's loading or being viewed from multiple locations around the globe. The locations GeoPeeker uses are: San Jose, CA; Ashburn, VA; Sydney, São Paulo, Ireland and Singapore.
GeoPeeker shows you how the rest of the world is seeing your website and lets you very quickly spot what the issue might be.
Over to You
It's an exciting time to work in social media. New tools and apps are popping up all the time. Their goal is to help us do a better job of social media marketing, whether it's for increasing social media reach, helping us find great content, aiding our productivity or using photos or analytics.
Search Discovery to find more tools and apps featured in the Discovery of the Week segment on the Social Media Marketing podcast.
What do you think? Have you used any of these tools and tips? Have you found other useful social media tools recently? Please share them in the comments below.
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