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Archive for marketing tools

Tools for Digital Business on the Go

It’s been a while since I’ve posted in Plop! about tools for marketing, so today I thought I would share a few mobile versions I’ve been using recently for work on the go. I’ve posted a lot of comments and photos about our time spent at the farm a few weeks ago. What I haven’t mentioned is that our farm doesn’t have internet access. Yep, it’s true! There are places in the world where it is ok to live without DSL!

BUT, my privilege of getting away with the kids for any extended period of time is contingent on my ability to keep up with work in at least some ways — particularly my client blogging and social media work and the occasional emergency design project. No matter the best planning, invariably unexpected needs come up, and although it’s definitely good to put work aside sometimes, I have begun to appreciate more and more the ability to get projects accomplished almost anywhere.

When I’m at the farm or otherwise on the go, I use my 3G iPad and iPhone to keep me connected to the Internet and my clients, and a collection of apps helps me get the needed tasks done. Here are a few I used during our Spring break trip that might be useful for you too:

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PDF READER PRO
This app offers lots of file management features for PDF files including file markup. It’s great for my work on the go because it allows me to transfer files from my laptop to my iPad through iTunes.

The next apps are ones that I use very often in blogging, allowing me to work with photos or images and post directly from my iPad. Each of the photo-related apps save new versions of the images directly to the mobile camera roll.

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PHOTOGENE
This one is almost like a mini photoshop in its image editing capability. I use it a lot for cropping and retouching of images.

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iRESIZE
This app is just like it sounds. It allows me to easily resize images while retaining proportions.

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iWATERMARK
I love this app because it allows me to I.D. images on the go. You’ve seen that I post lots of photos and I like to tag them with the Small Pond Graphics logo. This app lets me take logo image files I have stored in my camera roll and apply them as translucent wordmarks.

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WORDPRESS
You can’t go wrong with this one. It offers almost all the same functions as the full WordPress CMS, but on the iPad. It’s super easy and you can even open the web format right through the app. In fact, I’m creating this post with it right now!

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A quick iPad tip: To take an iPad screen shot, press the “home” button (on front of iPad) and the on/off button at the same time and release!

Pinterest Tab for Facebook Pages

Do you have a profile on Pinterest you’d like to share with your Facebook audience? I think there’s a lot of marketing power in moving your audience across multiple media to experience more of your online presence. Creating awareness of various social marketing profiles is a first step! Last week, a Facebook “fan” of one of the client pages I manage contacted me about how to enable a Pinterest tab like the one she’s seen on the client page — similar to the one shown on my own page here…

I was happy to point her to the awesome free resource, and I thought I’d share it here as well. The Pinterest tab is a free and easy-to-install application from WooBox.com. They offer a variety of applications to enhance your Facebook page, some available as paid subscriptions and some free for a certain number of pages. The Pinterest application creates a tab to link your Pinterest profile to Facebook and imports your boards and pins into a Facebook-friendly format, while still keeping the Pinterest feel. You can see how my Pinterest profile displays on the Small Pond Graphics Facebook page below. What I love about it is that you can view individual boards and pin, like or send via email right through the interface. It also sends visitors back to your Pinterest page when they click either the Pinterest logo or the individual pins. Pretty cool. All WooBox.com apps also have a built-in analytics section to show at least limited stats on your tab traffic, so it’s easy to see if you’re getting added visibility.

The set-up of the Woo Box Pinterest Tab is super easy. You can click the “Install” button at WooBox.com, and once you allow permission through Facebook, you’ll see a settings screen like the one below. Simply input your Pinterest username and configure the various customizable features. Presto! Pinterest on your Facebook page!

With the popularity of Pinterest growing so rapidly, and more and more businesses creating profiles on the image-sharing platform, integrating Pinterest with your Facebook page can be a great opportunity for cross-marketing and reinforcement of your brand. The WooBox.com app is a great tool to make it happen, and it’s hard not to love free! Let me know how it turns out on YOUR Facebook page.

 

Adding Twitter to Your Business Facebook Page

If you’ve talked to me at all about my approach to marketing strategy and online media in particular, you know that I’m a big fan of finding ways to move your audience across your digital geography from one online medium or social space to another. I think this offers multiple ways to engage with other businesses or customers and to communicate more of your unique story. With the new Timeline format for Facebook pages, the story of your brand in that particular social space is even richer with more opportunities to share larger graphics and photos and better ways to organize your own information. One thing I like about the Timeline format for pages is the newer “tab” location — the four boxes just under the right side of the cover photo. The “photos” box is a constant, but the other boxes can be prioritized based on what you feel is most important to your brand.

With the goal of exposing Facebook connections to your other online media spaces, including a Twitter feed as one of the top apps is a great approach. I’ve tried several Facebook apps for adding a Twitter feed, including the Involver app, Tweets to Pages. It works great and is an easy, free installation. However, I have to admit, that the one I like best is the Twitter app from Tradable Bits. It’s just as easy. It’s free for up to 5 apps installed per page, and I just like the interface a little better.

You can see from the screen shot of Tradable Bits Twitter on my Facebook page that the app works well within the Timeline page format. The thing I like about Tradable Bits over the other apps I’ve tried is that it includes your Twitter profile pic and bio at the top of your feed along with the “follow” button. I just like the continuity of having the bio present. I like the polish that it gives the tab’s view. The other plus for this app for me is that it also includes the tweets in your feed that come from Twitter’s easy re-tweet function. Some of the other Twitter apps I’ve tried didn’t do that. I tend to use the RT function a lot with links I find useful or interesting on Twitter, and showing those tweets in the feed demonstrates an interest in sharing information and engagement — something I actually look for in other tweeters.

The installation of Tradable Bits Twitter couldn’t be easier. When you click through their website and give Facebook authorization, you reach a screen similar to this one where you can simply type your Twitter handle and click a button to the right to publish to your Facebook page.

I’m always drawn to the details when I’m looking for marketing tools, and Tradable Bits Twitter app for Facebook pages has those small things that I think that can be very valuable in strengthening your online presence.

Tools for Sane Social Media

During this first year of Small Pond Graphics, I’ve really seen a lot of exposure and new business opportunities sparked through my profiles on both Twitter and Facebook. I’ve been experimenting over the last few months with different ways of sharing client projects, original content, inspiration and ideas there and integrating the content here on Plop! as well. There’s no question social media takes time, and as with any marketing effort, for it to effective it takes some planning and thought as well.  Today I thought I would share a couple of tools I use to help me with the logistics. Time spent on social media can get away from you if you’re not careful, and it can quickly turn non-productive. I use these tools for scheduling and managing the content I want to share–and for keeping my time on social media sane. Maybe they’ll help you as well.

1. Twaitter.com — Twaitter is a marketing tool for Twitter that allows you to draft, schedule and send tweets. You don’t need a separate account, you just log in with your Twitter username and password. Simple enough. There are many twitter tools that facilitate the process of scheduling and sending tweets. The reason I like Twaitter is because I can schedule recurring tweets on a very specific time frame. While I don’t recommend bombarding your Twitter followers with repeated messages, I do think it’s valuable to send regular tweets with general information about your business. I use Twaitter to send a weekly tweet listing my services with a link to the Pond website and weekly tweets inviting followers to join my facebook page (with a link).

2. Postling.com — Postling is a great comprehensive service for posting to multiple social media channels or blogs at one time. It also allows you to manage multiple brands if you have more than one business on your social media plate, and it allows you to schedule in advance. I frequently use it to schedule the Daily PONDspiration posts I add to the Small Pond Facebook page each day. I like it because you can select to post to both your personal FB profile and any pages you administer and Twitter. It automatically shortens the links for my posts and I like it because it allows me to choose an image from the linked page to include, much like if I was posting it directly into Facebook. That’s important to me because my posts are design oriented. I usually spend some time over each weekend scheduling the upcoming week’s daily FB posts all at once. Makes my life easier!

Note: Postling also tracks comments and interactions with your social media posts. Nice.

3. Amplify.com — Amplify offers a very similar service to Postling with a few added features I love. Like Postling, it allows you to choose multiple profiles and media outlets to post a single message. But, Amplify offers an easy browser toolbar button that lets you “amplify” a link right from your browser. I use it to share links or information on Twitter or Facebook on the fly without a lot of additional browser windows or logins.  If I want more control over what is shared, I also sometimes use it  to schedule Daily PONDspiration posts. The toolbar button offers the option to “clip” a page. I can select an image and various paragraphs of text straight from a web page. [It’s very helpful for those webpages whose images won’t automatically import into Facebook.] Another great feature of Amplify is that it lets you compose your Twitter and Facebook wording separately since you can utilize more characters on Facebook.

Note: Amplify sets up your amplified posts as a micro-blog of sorts that you can promote if you desire. When posting, you can link to this micro-blog or to the original web page you are sharing.

4. Network Blogs — I wanted to throw in a tool I use for Plop! as well. Network Blogs is a Facebook application that lets you link your blog content to your Facebook page and/or profile. You can essentially set up a mini page for your blog and manage how it is “syndicated” to your FB profile or any pages you administer. The application creates a “blog” tab showing all your posts, and it can automatically post links for new blog posts to your wall. I also activated the feature that lets you post to Twitter automatically as well.

Of course, some of the services these tools offer overlap. I’ve established sort of a mish-mash protocol for how I prefer to manage my social media marketing. These free services may offer you the opportunity to do the same!

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