April 8, 2013

7 Essential Social Media Tools To Stand Out Online

Dave Kerpen

Amongst the many online conversations I have with people each day, one of the key questions I get asked is: How do you keep up? I’m on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Quora, Foursquare, Slideshare, Instagram, Vine, and Google+. And yet everyday, there is something new coming out, a new social network to pay attention to or new features of the current popular ones. And everyday, it seems like there are more people on social media, more content to be consumed and shared, and more people to reply to. So how in the world can you keep up with it all, and stand out amongst all of the noise?

It’s about using the right tools and developing the right focus on what’s actually important in social media. And yet, ignoring the noise, and standing out in a positive way is easier said than done.

Here are the top seven tools to easily create a valuable, stand-out social media presence for yourself:

1.) Feedly – The best way to organize your favorite content

The first thing people often ask is, “What is the foundation of a great social media presence?” and the answer is simple: “Find great content to share.”

Feedly is a great way to organize content from all of your favorite sources on the web, and then share that content with your social connections. Here are are some of the top things you can do:

– Connect your RSS feeds, Google Reader account or discover new sources.

– Curate your content and share it at the best times with Buffer through Feedly.

– Work on any platform including web, Android, iPhone, iPad and more.

2.) Buffer – The smartest way to share on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin

Buffer is an absolute must have tool. The most important task to stand out through social media after finding great content is to share it intelligently, at the best times to your social networks of choice. I use Buffer to schedule most of my content in advance, so that I can work all day and still share great articles and links with my audience while I work, play and even sleep.

Here are three of the top things you can do with Buffer:

– Share to your favorite social networks from one place, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.

– Use the Buffer button directly from blogs or from inside apps like Feedly for better sharing.

– Receive analytics to know how many people clicked, retweeted, commented and more.

3.) Mention – Track your name and business and get alerts in real time

One of the most important things I talk about in my first book is the importance of listening in social media. Responsiveness is no longer optional. When you don’t respond, it is like hanging up on someone you’ve just started talking with – with thousands of people watching.

Mention is an awesome tool to be in the know of absolutely everything that is being said about you on the social web. Mention works like Google Alerts, but for social networks. You can:

– Monitor any source on the web, including social, blogs, news sites and forums and get notified instantly.

– Use it across platforms on the web, desktop and mobile.

– Export all your analytics and collaborate with a team to tackle all mentions more easily.

4.) IFTTT – The best way to automate your online life

All of the above tools sound great. But a lot of these processes are very time consuming.Isn’t there a smarter way to connect it all together?

If This Then That, or IFTTT, allows you to connect any two web services together and automate actions through the social web by creating automatic “recipes.” Here are some of the most useful social media recipes from IFTTT:

Recipe 1: New photo on Instagram -> Send as a Tweet (and bypass Instagram turning off Twitter cards)

Recipe 2: New photo on Facebook with you -> Add to Dropbox

5.) Tweriod – Find your optimal times to post on social media

Tweriod should be in everyone’s social media survival toolkit as it answers the questions, “When should you tweet? At what time are most of your followers online?” Anyone that’s used Twitter knows how much noise is there, and getting noticed in a seemingly endless sea of tweets is a challenge for everyone.

Tweriod offers a fantastic solution to get around exactly that, allowing you to:

– Get general stats on what time of the day and what day of the week most of your followers are online.

– Export your reports via PDF to use in your presentations or emails.

– Easily share at the best times suggested.

6.) Storify – The easiest way to turn social media posts into a story

Storify allows you to collect and organize tweets and posts about an offline or online event, conference, or topic and then turn them into one concise, beautiful story. I’ve talked before about why storytelling helps you attract more customers, and Storify helps you:

– Curate any element from social media postis such as text, images, and videos.

– Embed your stories anywhere and quickly create elegant blog posts.

– Gain traction and spread your stories throughout the social web.

7.) Bottlenose – Ultimate intelligence for your social networks

Bottlenose is one of the most powerful new social media tools I’ve seen. It hooks into any social network you connect it to and then gives you intelligent, real-time insights about what’s going on.

Amongst the things Bottlenose allows you to do, here are my 3 favorite ones:

– Find the most shared links amongst your friends and followers.

– Track RSS feeds right inside your social media dashboard.

– Analyze, target, and engage in real-time (especially valuable for marketers and salespeople).

These are seven of my favorite social media tools to help you navigate through the noise and stand out in a positive way. Here are some more tools I love: honorable mentions go to: Flipboard, Bit.ly, Brewster, Couple, Yammer, and Newsle. Now it’s your turn. Have you used any of the above tools? What are your favorite tools to manage your social media presence and stand out? Let me know in the comments below. And I’ll see you on LinkedIn. Or Twitter. Or Facebook. Or…

This article was originally published on LinkedIn.

Tags: Best Practices, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Niche Networks, Pinterest, Tools, Twitter

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