Lucky Number 27!

Don’t you just love the world we live in?

Things change faster than a girl changes her hair color. From using social media as an after dinner activity, it’s progressed to being something of a necessity. One that we can’t do without anyway!

No, we’re not obsessed with it but just having it is such a good thing! There are a lot of social media platforms out there and with more coming out everyday! So how do we chose amongst the ones that are already there? If you’re relatively new to using social media it can be daunting to get your head around it. So we have broken it down to the essential 27, across different platforms that are good to get you started, up and running in full swing.

Whether it’s for business – needing to market your company , personal branding, reputation management or just  plain networking; you need the right set of tools and resources to get you through it.

With the wave of websites, apps,tools ,blogs & resources to choose from, here is the list of our favorites that we use and recommend to get you accustomed to this wonderful social media world.

1.Blogging and Blog comments:

It’s a no brainer but  we love WordPress because of it’s flexibility, user friendly interface and it’s a good beginning for low cost users. There are over 200 themes to choose from for a unique blog design without all the ground work ! You can start using WordPress.com or WordPress.org for self hosting. WordPress allows you to import from other blogging sites too.

2. You can also use Themefuse for a varied range of WordPress themes as well as packs including domains and hosting.

Okay, So to manage comments on blog posts, Disqus    is a good tool as it makes commenting easier, works with many different platforms like Tumblr,Blogger, Drupal etc however it doesn’t always work with other plug-ins.

3. Twitter Tools:

You will need tools to manage and control the tweets, here are some that we recommend.

Socialoomph – Professional edition. This tool does the scheduling and publishing of tweets, recurring tweets , auto follow back, tracking keywords among others. All time saving options

Tweetdeck – For serious tweeting!  It is invaluable for updating Twitter,Facebook and LinkedIn Simultaneously. schedule tweets,arrange feeds – the works basically!

Tweepi – Manage and grow your twitter account- with statistics.

Twitterfeed Have blog content to share? This little wonder allows you to share bloggers content without having to manually tweet your latest blog posts. It’s handy when you want your content to be available to your twitter followers too.

TwitterCounter Want to be Mr Popular? This tool allows you to see how many twitter followers you have from  as far back as 6 months ago to a month ago and compare with other users you like! Nifty huh?!

Tweetadder Twitter marketing and promotion is done best with this tool! All within the rules of twitter

Tweetcaster   for adding photos, unique profile view, send tweets to Facebook, operate multiple accounts -all with this app.

4. Facebook  Tools:

If you’re not on Facebook, get in there now! It’s the biggest social network to be on. Apart from networking , Facebook allows you to have business pages as well

Shortstack If you’re not a programmer and you want custom Facebook pages, this is the tool for you. Customize your page with promotions, videos, contests etc.

5. Virality and Search

SEO- Google Analytics  one of the best tools that is not only free but also excellent at measuring phrases that drive traffic to your site.

Google Adwords-Keywords tool- Also free, it tells you what keywords potential customers are looking for as well as the level of demand for those words.

Topsy – Virality, Tracking , Social listening all rolled into one. it also has great metrics. Find a tweet that your competitor has sent and check how many times it was Retweeted! ( Cool ain’t it ?) great data analysis tool

6 .Photos

When using social media, it is vital to have striking images or photos. they are great for traffic building and conversation generators. So here are our recommendations

Flickr- Access free photos under a creative common license. The pictures are varied and of great quality

ShutterStock -Absolutely wonderful collection of images and photos- but they don’t come free

Big Stock photo– Perfect for high definition photos that has a paid service.

Skitch- Who doesn’t love a little photo manipulation, and if you’re not a Photoshop whiz  you will love this tool. It’s great for saying a lot through it’s annotation and shapes

7.Tracking

Bitly – this is very good at tracking  and analytic , apart from being a URL shorten-er. Add “+” at the end of any bit.ly URL to see how many times it’s been clicked on , and by whom. Pretty neat eh?!

Source metrics – All your social media analytics in one nifty dashboard. Track your audience and engagement, integrate campaign publishing, check your blog traffic, subscribers, fan followers  and so much more!

8.Content marketing

Hubspot – One of the best software providers! Generate traffic leads, manage your sales funnel, improve search rankings and so much more.

9.Content creation

Slideshare Upload and download thousands of presentations on various topics, grow your audience just through its magnifying power of shares. we  find that the content posted or shared is both varied and up to date, so get sharing!

10. E-mail

Mail Chimp – easy to use email marketing platform that is cost effective.  features include, email templates, Multi -user accounts,spam filter accounts, RSS to email, analytics and others.

FeedBurner – Power your RSS feed and send daily emails using Google  feed burner service. It’s free and easy to use

11. Listening

Social Mention – Most comprehensive social media searching tool that indexes tweets, blogs,posts etc. real time social media search and analysis

Radian6 – Advanced social media listening tool that helps gains insight about your brand, products and those of your competitors, get all the latest trends. It offers a wide range of services- that comes as different packages

Google Alerts – Very valuable tool for finding bloggers that have linked to your posts, get email updates on all the latest news, web  based on your queries while also keeping an eye on your competition !

There you are! 27 of our most used tools broken down to make easy to understand and use right away

What tools do you use? How have they worked for you? Let us know!

This week, we’re asking our followers for topics they’d like to hear about, so keep writing and let us know ! We look forward to a good discussion

-Social Pandora

 

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