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Bookmark and ShareThursday April 18, 2013

Tools to make your social media job easier

By Kristina Carlberg, NAID Director of Communications

In the wake of two tragedies this week, I wanted to write a lighthearted post, something that could inspire creativity and improve business processes. This post is for social media novices and influencers looking for ways to stay ahead of the curve. This post is for businesses just starting to make their mark in the social media world and for those that are branding behemoths.

Since the rise of social media platforms in the early 2000s, hundreds of software developers have created tools that integrate social media platforms with various communities and technologies. There is a community, social media platform and tool to connect them to just about every topic, problem and person. Here are just a few that I have experimented with or researched recently with viable business applications:

HootSuite: According to Mashable, 20 percent of the top brands use HootSuite as their preferred management system. HootSuite is an online social media dashboard that helps individuals and businesses schedule messages, monitor conversations and track results across multiple social media platforms. Users can chat with other users in the dashboard, create Storify posts, and upload Instagram profiles among other things. Pricing for this tool depends on the size of your organization, your marketing and advertising goals and how many features you would like in the dashboard. Like many tools, HootSuite has a free 30-day trial period for those that would like to try it out first. For the small secure destruction companies or those with a small marketing department, this tool is a great way to stay organized while freeing up some time for other tasks.

Vine: In 2013, Twitter acquired Vine, which is a mobile service that allows users to create and share short videos online. Posts on Vine are about brevity and as cofounder Dom Hofmann put it, “We believe constraint inspires creativity, whether it's through a 140-character Tweet or a six-second video.” One of the best methods for catching attention and engaging customers on your social media sites is using visually appealing content. By being short, simple and creative, short videos can generate interest in your product, business or cause quickly. This mobile app is free.

Slideshare: Slideshare is the largest online community for sharing presentations that easily integrates with most social media platforms. By logging into Slideshare, you can upload Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, Adobe PDFs, Microsoft Word documents, audio, and images as well as embed videos, blogs, websites, company intranets, and more. Also, you can decide whether the Slideshare presentation you create is public, private or shareable on social media platforms. Successful social media marketing plans always incorporate solid content marketing and brand awareness strategies. This tool lends itself well to any content marketing strategy. Slideshare allows you to finally share those presentations and documents you have been wanting to on your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter pages.

Nimble: Nimble is a social relationship and sales management tool. This dashboard allows businesses and sales people to manage client contacts, communications, tasks, sales history and funnel, and other related activities in one place. By connecting this dashboard to your social media accounts, you can meet new people that could be potential clients, advocates, or influencers and stay in contact with current clients. The key to this tool is being proactive. You need to sync your calendars, import information, set up tasks, schedule activities, become familiar with the sales automation function, integrate your business social media accounts, and regularly log into the Nimble dashboard to be effective and efficient. According to Social Media Examiner, “As you grow your presence on social media, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain relationships with all of your fans, followers and contacts. It is a very effective tool that will help you nurture those important relationships and ultimately develop leads and sales.”

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