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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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                                Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                                7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                                Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                                Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                                So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                                Joe’s Goals

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                                  Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                                  Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                                  Daytum

                                    Daytum

                                    is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                                    Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                                    Excel or Numbers

                                      If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                                      What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                                      Evernote

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                                        I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                                        Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                                        Access or Bento

                                          If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                                          Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                                          You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                                          Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                                          All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                                          Conclusion

                                          I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                                          What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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