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15 Social Media Tools Recommended By Experts

15 Social Media Tools Recommended By Experts

In 2015, everyone wants to proclaim him or herself as a “social media expert.” The truth, however, is that there are only a few on the frontline of the industry, and there are only a handful of revolutionary tools and technologies. We’ve done our best to scour the internet and learn from those who’ve had the most success. Ultimately, we came away with a list of 15 tools that you – and anyone who works with social media on a regular basis – must have to succeed.

Multi-Purpose Tools

1. Use Grammarly to Check Spelling

grammarly-screenshot

    When you’re in a word document, spellcheck is often taken for granted. But what about when you find yourself whipping up a quick tweet or typing a lengthy Facebook reply? Nothing makes you look more unprofessional than poor grammar and incorrect spelling. Grammarly is a free browser plugin that lets you spellcheck anything you write.

    Pros: Grammarly is very effective and this can help save embarrassing moments as you send a spelling, grammatical, or even typing error to your boss or a customer.

    Cons: I’ve found that the plugin can cause problems on individual webpages, although that is a rare problem.

    2. OptinMonster for Capturing Leads

    optinmonster-screenshot

      Upon first glance, you may not consider OptinMonster your prototypical social media tool, but it’s a resource that experts frequently use to maximize efficacy. When sending social users from a networking site to a landing page, OptinMonster allows you to A/B test pages for higher conversion rates and fewer bounces. The basic plan starts at only $49 for an entire year.

      Pros: Higher conversion rates equals more customers.

      Cons: $49. (Although with more customers this is well worth the price!)

      3. Discover.ly for Enhancing Networking

      discover.ly

        Again, not a typical social media tool, but that’s what makes it so great. Discover.ly is a free Chrome browser extension that gives you the capability to see which social networking sites your email connections are members of. It has the ability to take your online networking to the next level.

        Pros: Never forget why that name just looks so familiar.

        Cons: Too many plugins might slow down your browser.

        4. BuzzSumo for Better Market Insights

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        buzzsumo

          Do you ever feel like you’re out of the loop when it comes to what people in your industry are talking about? With BuzzSumo, you’ll never feel like this again. It lets you type in any keyword or term and see how many people are talking about it and on which platforms.

          Pros: This is a great way to find content to share or even just a list of everything written by a particular person.

          Cons: The free version is pretty limited and you have to pay to get more content.

          Facebook Tools

          5. Edgerank Checker for Rich Insights

          erc-tour-recs

            Not really quite sure what’s happening on your Facebook page? Need rich insights to point you in the right direction? Edgerank Checker is an easy-to-use analytics tool that tells you how effective your page is and where you can improve. There are both free and paid plans available.

            Pros: This is a super useful tool for delving into your Facebook demographics and can give you a lot of valuable information.

            Cons: To get the most out of this tool, you have to upgrade to the pro version.

            6. Likealyzer for Improving Effectiveness

            likealyzer

              Likealyzer is a similar tool to Edgerank Checker and gives you helpful and ongoing tips for improving the effectiveness of your Facebook Page. It tells you exactly which posts your followers enjoy the most and which ones aren’t worth your time. The best part is that it’s free.

              Pros: It’s free! And it gives you really detailed information.

              Cons: Anyone can use it to look at anyone else’s Facebook page. So your competitor could use your information to their advantage as well.

              7. Heyo for Easy Facebook Contests

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                Do you every wonder how certain companies run such effective Facebook contests? Well, odds are pretty good they’re using a tool like Heyo – which lets you set up and optimize campaigns with no coding skills required. You can start with a free trial and then proceed with paid versions if you like the tool.

                Pros: Facebook giveaways are a very popular way to increase Facebook engagement.

                Cons: Again, you have to upgrade to the paid version to continue using it if you enjoy your free trial.

                8. Contact Form for Connecting with Followers

                contact-form

                  If you’re looking for a way to make your business more accessible to Facebook followers, you can use Contact Form to effortlessly add a contact section to your Facebook page. It utilizes Google Maps or Bing to show followers where you’re located.

                  Pros: This makes it a lot easier to communicate with your friends using your Facebook page, which is important for creating conversions.

                  Cons: You have to pay to remove the ads from your forms.

                  Twitter Tools

                  9. Bit.ly for Shortening Links

                  bitly

                    Are you tired of links taking up precious space in your tweets? Use Bit.ly to shorten URLs and maximize your tweetable real estate. There are both free and paid accounts.

                    Pros: Easily track who’s clicking on what links from where to better curate your content.

                    Cons: People might be more hesitant to click on a shortened link if they’re not sure where it’s pointing.

                    10. Paper.li for Curating Content

                    paperli

                      While everyone knows content curation is important on Twitter, it can be very time consuming. That’s why many experts use Paper.li to streamline the process in a sleek newspaper-style format. It’s free to try!

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                      Pros: It’s a very clean design and it’s awesome for finding interesting articles to read.

                      Cons: The free trial is only ten days. After that, you have to pay to continue using this site.

                      11. TweetDeck for Managing Accounts

                      tweetdeck

                        Managing multiple Twitter accounts can be challenging. That’s why you need a desktop app like TweetDeck to organize activity and stay on top of the things that matter most.

                        Pros: This is great for social media managers who are working on multiple accounts.

                        Cons: You can’t use this tool to manage other social media platforms like you can with Hootsuite.

                        Instagram Tools

                        12. ScheduGram for Account Management

                        schedugram

                          ScheduGram is sort of the TweetDeck for Instagram. It lets you efficiently manage multiple accounts by giving you the power to upload and schedule multiple posts. This is a paid tool, though, starting at around $5 per week.

                          Pros: As far as I’m aware, this is the only scheduler available for Instagram.

                          Cons: It’s by far the most expensive on our list, coming in at $260 a year.

                          13. Iconosquare for Promoting

                          iconosquare

                            Need help promoting your Instagram account to the masses? Iconosquare lets you manage your existing community while simultaneously assisting with growth. It has a slew of other features, including the ability to run and monitor contests.

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                            Pros: Iconosquare has powerful analytics tools beyond having an Instagram page on your Facebook.

                            Cons: Some of the higher-end features are hidden behind an upgrade-to-pro link.

                            LinkedIn Tools

                            14. Connected for Strengthening Relationships

                            linkedin-connected2

                              Do you ever wonder how you lose track of people so quickly? Well, with Connected, you can strengthen relationships via LinkedIn and continually stay relevant with those who matter most. This tool syncs your calendars and contacts and provides you with insights and reminders about friends, colleagues, and acquaintances.

                              Pros: This is an awesome tool for helping you remember details about your colleagues

                              Cons: It’s one more app you have to download.

                              15. LinkedIn Connected for Mobile Alerts

                                This awesome tool lets you stay connected wherever you are. The LinkedIn Connected app tells you when it’s someone’s birthday, notifies you when a connection switches jobs, and gives you information you need to know.

                                Pros: This app will send you alerts when you have networking opportunities on LinkedIn.

                                Cons: More notifications!

                                With these 15 apps, you too can become a social media expert. Which one is your favorite?

                                Featured photo credit: stokpic via stokpic.com

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                                Published on November 9, 2018

                                How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                                How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                                Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

                                Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

                                So, are you ready? Here we begin.

                                6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

                                When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

                                1. Spreadsheets and Databases

                                Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

                                To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

                                In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

                                • Microsoft Excel
                                • Microsoft Access
                                • Statistics
                                • Data Analytics
                                • Adobe Campaign
                                • Quickbooks
                                • XML Database management system
                                • Filemaker Pro
                                • MATLAB
                                • Hive
                                • FORTRAN
                                • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
                                • SAS

                                2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

                                Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

                                Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

                                • Content Management System (CMS)
                                • Google Analytics
                                • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
                                • Email Marketing
                                • Web Page Design
                                • WordPress
                                • Digital Media
                                • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
                                • Campaign Management Software

                                3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

                                A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

                                • Adobe Photoshop
                                • Adobe InDesign
                                • Adobe Illustrator
                                • AutoCAD
                                • CorelDRAW
                                • Microsoft Visual Studio
                                • Maya
                                • Microsoft Word
                                • Microsoft Publisher
                                • Operating Digital Cameras

                                4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

                                The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

                                To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

                                • HTML
                                • C/C++
                                • Java
                                • Python
                                • XML
                                • UI/UX
                                • LINUX
                                • CISC and RISC architecture
                                • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
                                • Memory Management
                                • PCB Layout
                                • SQL

                                5. IT Troubleshooting

                                Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

                                So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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                                • Backup management
                                • Diagnostics
                                • End User support
                                • Client-Server management
                                • Installation and configuration
                                • Issue tracking system (ITS)
                                • System administration
                                • Tech support

                                6. Enterprise Systems

                                Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

                                Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

                                The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

                                Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

                                Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

                                Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

                                1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

                                a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

                                Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

                                Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

                                b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

                                This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

                                c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

                                Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

                                Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

                                2. Rule the Social Media World

                                a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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                                Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

                                From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

                                b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

                                This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

                                c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

                                Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

                                Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

                                3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

                                a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

                                From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

                                b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

                                Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

                                The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

                                c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

                                The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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                                4. Live and Breathe Creativity

                                a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

                                It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

                                From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

                                b. Canva Design School

                                From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

                                c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

                                62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

                                d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

                                The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

                                Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

                                5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

                                a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

                                IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

                                It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

                                b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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                                The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

                                Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

                                The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

                                • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
                                • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
                                • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
                                • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
                                • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
                                • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
                                • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

                                Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

                                Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

                                1. Practice, Practice, Practice

                                It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

                                Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

                                2. Work on Your Efficiency

                                Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

                                For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

                                3. Look for Shortcuts

                                Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

                                4. Apply for an Internship

                                Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

                                By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

                                How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                The Bottom Line

                                Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

                                So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

                                Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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