In honor of Valentine’s Day and in the spirit of love, I thought I would share with you my very favorite apps, tips and tools that make my online marketing efforts ROCK. I don’t think it’s really possible to LOVE an app or a tool (although I’m certain I’ve been madly in love with a fella before who acted like a tool… ‘wa – wa- waaa’), I do think they can make our lives easier and deliver big time results for our marketing efforts (if used in the right way!).
Let’s get to it, shall we?
12. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn (the Holy Trinity for mylink love). You think I’m kidding? Hardly. With any new post that I write, I go directly to these three (individually, mind you) and share my posts accordingly.
I love hitting the Tweet button at the top of my blog, right after I hit ‘publish’. I then link it up to Facebook, providing an appropriate status update to entice discussion. Finally, I head over to my more ‘business’ mode networking party and share it there as well, either on my own status update or in a group. Important to note here: I stopped linking my Twitter account to my LinkedIn profile so that I wasn’t over-doing it with that particular audience and so that I was strategically and purposefully sharing what mattered most in that particular setting.
11. My FlipCam, iMovie and YouTube (the Holy Trinity of Vlogging). If you’re thinking of vlogging, or adding video into your blogging line up, I encourage you to embrace these three items. My FlipCam is by far the easiest tool that I own. If you’ve watched my vlogs at all, you know that I do all my own stunts, um…videos.
I also do all of my own editing (also obvious). Until I landed a Mac, I was doing the editing on my PC. It’s entirely doable, mind you, but not the preferred method for higher quality results. By using iMovie, I’ve cut my editing time in half (or more) and can do much more with transitions and music (hold on to your hats for that!).
Of course, once you shoot the videos, YouTube is where they should live. It’s a powerhouse for search and it amps up your presence online – important when you’re trying to be found, right?
10. iGoogle and Email Subscriptions for blogs. For many, Google Reader is their preferred method for keeping up with blog posts. For me, I found that completely overwhelming. So, I use iGoogle and a few email subscriptions. I tend to not subscribe to or place blogs into my iGoogle line up if they are already represented in my Triberr feeds. (see #6). With iGoogle, the blogs that I want to catch up on for that month or 6 week period (I switch them out to avoid getting into a rut) are front and center when I go online. For a peek into what’s HOT for me this month:
9. Google+. Although I’m not completely enamored with this platform yet, I do venture over to find new blogs and interesting posts from folks that are not in my iGoogle, email subscription or on Triberr. I purposely ‘circled’ up folks that I don’t always read, but should and it’s been very helpful in broadening my horizons and sending new people to my blog.
8. Links and Livefyre. Link love (done oh so well by my friend Jayme Soulati) is an art and one that you should cultivate. Artfully dropping in links (relevant, mind you) to other blogs as a sign of respect, deference and acknowledgement can produce amazing results. It can get new people to visit your blog, cultivate relationships with other bloggers (again, getting new people to your blog or website), and add depth to your posts so that it’s not all about YOU.
Add in Livefyre and the ‘recent post’ feature that goes with it and you’re creating a veritable playground for new bloggers and relationships.
7. Hootsuite. I use Hootsuite almost exclusively. It’s rare that I actually visit my Twitter page, except to update followers/following information. Hootie, as he’s affectionately known by my friend Adam, gives me tremendous insight (most of the time), helps me with scheduling, and allows me to monitor the over five other accounts that I manage for clients.
6. Triberr. I won’t go into too much detail here, as I’ve written about Triberr many times before. Let’s just say, it keeps me up to date and when I use it regularly, helps me promote some really great bloggers.
5. Buffer. I just found and fell in love with Buffer. After I installed it on my Google Chrome bar, I was off to the races, scooting around and sharing posts from blogs, news articles, and more. It’s super easy, strategically shares posts at optimal times and gives me additional data to use for future planning.
4. My Blog! Who doesn’t love their blog? I love mine because it drives traffic to my website (my business), generates leads, creates business alliances, encourages networking, and builds great relationships. It also enhances my online credibility (when I post on the content that matters to my audiences). I may not post as often as I once did, but my blog still rocks the house.
3. Google Analytics. Ditto Triberr here – I’ve written about this one several times. The short version: can’t miss data that when reviewed routinely and analyzed appropriately can yield incredible intelligence into who visits your site, why and for how long. Use it.
2. Get Clicky. Another workhorse when it comes to intel – Get Clicky works so well in giving me real time data. Even though Google Analytics has real time data as well, I still go back to Clicky because it’s faster, easier and gives me excellent data. I use GA for the big picture and GC for the minutiae.
1. My Brain! A major hat tip to Sean McGinnis for this one. If you’re not using your brain to generate a strategy that supports your overall marketing plan, then you’re just playing around. Really. Use your brain. #ThatisAll!
That’s it, mostly. I could add a few more, but for brevity (Ha!), I’ll leave it at 12 and wish you a fond and heartfelt Happy Valentine’s Day! Please leave your social media and online marketing ‘loves’ in the comments section below.
Heart shot via Flickr.