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Anita Elder
Freelance Graphic Designer
Seattle, Washington
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Top Social Media Tools

What are the essentials every business needs? How can you possibly manage all the various social medias? Here are my top picks and tools to help.
Written Jul 21, 2010, read 1273 times since then.
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We’ve all heard about the importance of social media to promote our businesses and attract new clients. We need a blog, should be sending out Tweets, connect with former colleagues, and don’t forget the video on YouTube. It’s a lot of work trying to figure out what is important and update everything on a regular basis – who has the time?

Essentials Every Business Needs:

  • A Blog – my preference is WordPress. Most hosting services today let you install the software on your hosting service with a few simple steps. Search through the WordPress site to select a template or hire someone to create a custom template that fits your branding and your needs. A bonus of using WordPress is that you can set up your entire website as a content management system (so no more hiring someone to update your site when your content changes). There are thousands of plug-ins that will do everything from creating XML site maps for the search engines to creating slideshows. If you can think it, chances are there’s a plug-in that will do it.
  • Twitter – A great way to promote your business is to send tweets about it. Send tweets about specials, discounts, events, and more – all to attract more customers.
  • Facebook - Many people already have a Facebook page, but not as many are aware that you can set up a business page where others can become fans. Use this page to post things related to your business (and keep it separate from your personal stuff).
  • YouTube – If you haven’t done it yet, create a video to promote your business.
  • LinkedIn – Reconnect with former and current colleagues/clients and let them know what you’re doing now.
  • Yelp! – Make sure your business is listed on Yelp! so your customers/clients can post reviews about you. The people at Yelp! monitor it pretty well, too, so malicious posts are reviewed and can be removed.
  • Google Maps – List your business on Google Maps. Once listed, be sure to add coupons, videos, pictures, keywords, etc. – these all help get you higher in the search results. Clients can also post reviews and they have more weight than those posted on other sites.
Management Tools
  • TweetDeck – TweetDeck saves me time by organizing the tweets I’m following. I can also upload a picture or video directly from the application (yes, it’s an application you need to download and install). As it says on their home page, “TweetDeck is your personal real-time browser, connecting you with your contacts across Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Google Buzz and more.
  • dlvr.it – Want to be able to tweet, update FaceBook, MySpace, LinkedeIn (and more) every time you make a new blog post? This website allows you to do just that. Just set it up and you’ll never have to manually tell everyone about new content on your blog ever again.
  • Wibiya - Want to add a toolbar to your website that makes it rich and interactive? Wibiya has a free version that has most of the bells and whistles, but for a modest fee, you can get the professional version that allows you to even set up a chat window from the toolbar. With all the features it offers, viewers will never have to leave your site. You can see it in action at the bottom of this post page.
  • Mail Chimp – Easy to use and cheap email marketing site that is filled with templates and tracking tools.
  • PageModo - Easily build an about us Facebook page for your business.

Learn more about the author, Anita Elder.

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