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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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                                Larry Alton

                                Business Consultant

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                                Published on September 20, 2018

                                11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                                11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                                In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

                                Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

                                In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

                                Minimizing Tabs

                                Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

                                Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

                                Incognito Mode

                                Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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                                1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
                                2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
                                3. Download extension New Incognito Window

                                This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

                                Save Webpages as PDF Files

                                Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

                                Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

                                Open Recently-closed Tabs

                                Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

                                One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

                                The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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                                Solve Mathematical Problems

                                Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

                                For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

                                Play Media Files

                                Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

                                In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

                                Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

                                With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

                                Stay Focus(e)d

                                Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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                                Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

                                With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

                                This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

                                Grammarly for Editing

                                Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

                                You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

                                Loom

                                There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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                                There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

                                With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

                                Chrome Calendar Extension

                                No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

                                Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

                                Final Thoughts

                                Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

                                Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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