13 Social Media Tools you should use as a consultant in 2014

Social-Media-ToolsOver the course of the years we have seen an explosion of social media networks and tools.  Though most of these tools come in Freemium, most of us continue with the free version.   Here is a list of tools  – and I will exclude Twitter and LinkedIn since most of you are using these anyway-  you should be using if you are trying to make your life simpler while using social media.

1. Hootsuite (www.hootsuite.com )

Whether you are managing, monitoring or posting (planning) messages, Hootsuite is the tool that allows you to manage 5 profile for free (my suggestions: personal Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts plus your Facebook page and LinkedIn Company page).

2. Google Alerts (www.google.com/alerts )

To complete your social media monitor you could set up a number of Google Alerts to get informed when Google has indexed more articles within your search criteria (your area of expertise, News, Video’s, etc.) . This is an ideal source to find content to share with your audience or leads

3. Buffer (www.bufferapp.com )

As a consultant you are probably reading a lot of blogs or articles.  Posting and sharing this information all at the same time is not a good idea.  Buffer will help you out by allowing you to schedule posts from theses articles themselves over 10 time slots during the course of the day on 3 social media platforms for free.

4. Commun.it (www.commun.it )

If you are a Twitter user, understanding and managing your audience is key.  Keep track of your new followers, who to unfollow, who to engage, etc. is good to know but what really stands out is to know who is no longer following you.  Commun.it and some other tools will provide you with the answer.  You can re-engage them and recapture your unfollowers.

5. WordPress (www.wordpress.com )

Consultants have  a lot of knowledge which could position themselves as a thought leaders.  You are probably trying to get into the press to get visibility with your target audience and it does not always work out every month.  So why not auto-publish and start your own blog.  Sharing your views, best practices, tips and tricks are great ways to get recognized for your knowledge.

6. Slideshare (www.slideshare.net)

Giving presentations and training sessions are part of your life.  Uploading your presentations to Slideshare will not only boost your SEO, but also create thought leadership and even generate leads.  It is also a great source to find information about your area of expertise or about your clients.

7. YouTube (www.youtube.com )

People like to see their consultants at work. Nothing works better than videos.  Using Instagram, Vine or just your smartphone you can create a good sample of what you do.  Posting these videos of presentations, training sessions or workshops will create the necessary trust to get invited for a sales pitch.

8. Google+ (www.googleplus.com )

You are for or against G+.  I am all in favor because the Hangouts are a powerful tool for communicating with clients.  Using these Hangouts you can not only save yourself from driving a lot of miles to visit your clients but also have face to face contacts and share data/presentations/et al from your PC in a streamlined way.  It can also be a great collaboration platform between fellow consultants working on the same projects.  A wonderful timesaver

9. Doodle (www.doodle.com )

Setting up meetings via email and/or phone can be very time consuming, so let Doodle help you find the ideal time to meet.  Yet another timesaver.

10. Dropbox (www.dropbox.com )

Sharing files has never been easier, using Dropbox you can share files between your own devices (PC/Smartphone/Tablet) but also between clients or peers.  There are of course alternatives such as Google Doc, Skydrive, Googgle Drive, etc.  These applications can also be used for making a backup of your data.

11. Evernote (www.evernote.com)

One of the apps I have come to appreciate over the course of the last year is Evernote.  Taking notes has never been easier.  The notes are synchronized between your devices so which ever device your bring to the meeting you have the latest meeting report on you.

12. Zapier/IFTTT (www.zapier.com & www.ifttt.com)

Though I am not a big fan of automating my social media activity, I have found that Zapier and IFTTT do have a place in my modus operandi.  It can automate the repetitive tasks I would do anyway.  And yes, they are people who are against this

13. Wunderlist (www.wunderlist.com)

If you are a bit like me you have a number of to do lists, As with Evernote, I have come to appreciate Wunderlist as a cross-device platform to keep track of all those tasks I need to accomplish.

Of course, the list does not end here.  There is always a bit of a trade-off between how much time you need to spend using the tool and how much ROI it provides.  Which other one’s are you using to make your social media life simpler or more complete.

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