Archive for Social Media Tool
Have you checked out Instagram since they released user profiles on the web?
Previously, the Instagram website only let users edit their account information (and also hosted the company’s blog).
But all that changed with the recent introduction of web profiles.
Here’s what marketers need to know.
Why Instagram Web Profiles Matter
These new profiles act as an extension of the Instagram mobile app, with users now being able to comment, follow, like and view other photos on the web.
Brands, marketers and users alike can use these web profiles to encourage engagement and interaction outside of the mobile app.
For community managers, it’s a plus to have the ability to update and manage your accounts on the web. Having said that, Instagram web profiles aren’t necessarily a game-changer.
Instead, you’ll want to use the new web profiles in conjunction with the Instagram mobile app.
What’s Missing in the New Web Profiles
If you’re already familiar with the mobile version of Instagram, you’ll notice some differences on the web profiles. Here are some initial drawbacks of the web profiles you should be aware of:
- There’s no search. That means searching for hashtags and specific users isn’t available. However, usernames are links and allow you to hop from profile to profile.
- Hashtags display as plain text, so you can’t bring up photos associated with specific hashtags. Twitter-like hashtags are the best way to get your Instagram photos seen on the mobile app, but their use is disabled with web profiles. You’ll still see them in photo descriptions and comments, but they aren’t links.
- You can’t see followers/following lists. Despite web profiles displaying follower and following counts, users are currently unable to see exactly which users these are.
- There’s no Popular page. If you enjoy seeing the photos on Instagram that are drawing the most attention, you’ll have to turn to the mobile app.
- Photo maps aren’t available. Many Instagram users choose to geo-tag their photos using the mobile app, but you won’t find these maps anywhere on the web. Instead, geo-tag information is shown with photos, such as the name of a location.
- You can only edit your profile picture through the mobile app.
Because of these downsides, you’ll want to consider using third-party websites like Statigram and Webstagram to grow an Instagram community through strategies like contests, giveaways, insights and promotions.
What Web Profiles Do Feature
While many features from the mobile app haven’t yet made their way to the web, Instagram web profiles do have:
- A Facebook-like cover collage at the top of your profile that features a rotating selection of your Instagram photos. Clicking a photo while it’s displayed in the cover collage will bring up that photo’s separate page.
- Follow and Unfollow buttons.
- Your profile biography. Be forewarned, if you’re using Emoji icons in your biography on the mobile app, these will not display on web profiles.
- A website URL of your choosing.
- Your account’s number of photos, as well as follower and following counts.
- An infinite-scroll timeline of your photos, separated chronologically by month.
- The ability to edit your profile settings, including your name, email address, username, phone number, sex, birthday, biography and website.
- A section where you can manage applications that have been given permission to access your Instagram account.
- Badges, which you can use to link to and promote your web profile.
Find Your Web Profile
First you’ll want to sign up for an Instagram account if you don’t already have one. Once you have your account, it’s easy to find your Instagram web profile. Any user can get to his or her web profile by going to instagram.com/username.
You can also find your web profile by logging in through the Instagram homepage:
- Click Your Account in the footer.
- Use your username and password to log in.
- Click your profile image and username in the upper right.
- Select View Profile.
Tips to Maximize Your Instagram Web Profile
There are over 100 million users on Instagram, and if your branded or personal account is one of them, then you’ll want to maximize and utilize your account’s new web profile right away.
#1: Understand the Increased Importance of Image Links
Chances are you’ve seen Instagram links in tweets. Images from Instagram also used to appear within tweets until Instagram recently removed support for Twitter cards.
What this means is that more Twitter users will be clicking these Instagram image links, and these links lead directly to Instagram web profiles.
For instance, here’s where you’ll be taken if the Instagram link in the above tweet is clicked:
An Instagram image link has always led back to a page featuring the image, its number of likes and its comments. But in contrast to the old pages, the new web profiles allow Instagram users who are signed into their accounts the ability to comment and/or like an image directly on the web—no mobile app needed.
Marketers can use this knowledge as an opportunity to promote more interaction among fans.
This means you need to optimize your web profile to get the most out of the traffic you’ll get through these links.
#2: Add a Website Link to Your Profile
If you haven’t added a link to your profile through the mobile Instagram app yet, then you’ll certainly want to take care of that using the web profiles.
Not only does adding a link increase visibility for your website, it also provides SEO value (despite being a no-follow link, it still sends a signal to search engines).
To insert your link through the Instagram website:
- Click your profile image and username in the upper right.
- Click Edit Profile.
- Enter your website’s URL in the last field on the page.
If you’re using Instagram as the manager of a branded account, you’ll likely want this link to be the brand’s homepage.
On the other hand, if you’re editing your personal Instagram account, link to a network like about.me, Facebook, Flickr or Twitter so that other Instagram users can learn more about you.
#3: Check Your Privacy Settings
Instagram users who like to keep their account set to private need not worry about privacy issues with web profiles.
According to Instagram, if you have a private profile, your photos will only be visible to logged-in followers you’ve approved. This also means that only those followers can comment and like your photos on the web.
Moreover, search engines are not allowed to index Instagram photos—whether your account is private or not.
Remember that if you’re managing a branded account, you’ll want to make sure the account and its photos are public. This setting can currently only be changed through the mobile app by going to your profile, tapping the settings icon and turning off the Photos Are Private option.
#4: Manage Applications
If you’ve been an Instagram user for a while, check out the Manage Applications section under Edit Profile.
Instagram will bring up a list of applications you’ve authorized to access your account. Some you’ll remember, some you probably won’t.
To get rid of any unwanted permissions, simply click Revoke Access next to the application name.
#5: Install an Instagram Badge on Your Website
Instagram recently rolled out badges for users to promote web profiles. To find them, go to Edit Profile and click Badges in the navigation bar on the left.
There are five buttons to choose from. Once you select the badge you’d like, simply copy the automatically generated code and paste it on your website or blog. The badge will link back to your account’s web profile.
This is an excellent chance for brands to promote a web profile on their homepage with other social buttons.
#6: Don’t Forget about Mobile
While Instagram’s new web profiles are a great addition, don’t forget that the mobile app is really Instagram’s bread and butter.
Still, web profiles provide another wonderful platform to engage with customers, fans and friends.
Take a Look at Instagram Web Profiles
Instagram is a great way for businesses to leverage their visual marketing. If you’re already using this platform, be sure to get the most out of these new web profiles. And if your business is not yet using Instagram, you may want to evaluate whether it’s now a good fit for you.
What do you think of the Instagram web profiles? Have you used them to manage your account(s)? Are you happy with the direction Instagram is going after its sale to Facebook? Leave your questions and comments below.
Are you looking for tools that will help you manage your social media efforts?
In this article you’ll discover 3 tools to enable you to become more efficient and effective with social media.
#1: Glyder – Social Media Marketing from Your iPhone
You no longer need a designer to produce imagery to promote your latest contest, offer or status update. With Glyder, you can choose from a wide range of graphic templates that use tried and tested formats and wording to help get the best conversion for your marketing messages.
Glyder helps you improve the quality of the content you share and be more efficient with your mobile device for social media marketing.
- Select one of the templates and personalize it by adding your own text, company name/website address and even change the image.
- Send your posts via Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, SMS, email, Constant Contact and MailChimp.
- Glyder also supports Apple Passbook. This means Apple iOS 6 users can add an image you send to their passbook. This is where they store other items such as movie tickets and flight boarding cards. This could be useful if you want to share something like a coupon that is redeemable at your shop.
- Create your post/message from scratch using your own text and photos.
- Adjust your images by zooming in and choosing the exact portion of the image you want to include, and applying a filter to enhance the color and tone of your photo.
- New images and templates are added regularly to make sure your messages remain fresh and new.
- Images are formatted to look great on mobiles, tablets and desktops.
Download the free app from the Apple App Store and connect to your social networks. At the moment, the app is only available for Apple iPhones, but support for other devices is in the works for later this year.
A Glyder is a message you want to share based on a template.
For example, if you want to provide your fans/followers with a free download, you could select the template below. After selecting it, you customize it with whatever words you want to use and even replace the picture.
Your company name and website address are added to the bottom of the message automatically based on what you entered in your settings. You can change this to include a more specific link related to the message such as more details on the offer or the page where they can download the free report.
You can also change the style of the message, which controls the visual elements such as the colors for the text and surrounding area, the positioning of the image and text and so on. Choose from 14 styles via the buttons at the bottom of the screen.
If you’re not happy with the Glyder templates provided, you can contact Glyder directly and pay for a custom-designed template.
Once you’re happy with the content and appearance of your message, you then choose where you want to send the message.
- Facebook – once you log into your Facebook account, you can select which page you want to post the message to.
- Twitter – send a tweet to all of your followers. The tweet will include both a link to the message on the Glyder website and the image of the message itself.
- Pinterest – pin the image of the message to your board. If this option is selected, you’re asked to log into Pinterest after the message has been sent. You then enter the text to accompany your image and the board you want to pin it to.
- Email / SMS – send it to any of the phone numbers or email addresses stored in your iPhone’s Contacts list. In the case of SMS, the message will contain a link to view the message on the Glyder website.
- Email marketing lists – send it to one of your email marketing lists stored in either Constant Contact or MailChimp. Once you sign in, you’ll see all of the email lists you have already set up.
Regardless of which methods you choose, the message will contain a link to your message on the Glyder website. From here people can then choose to share it with their network via Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook.
Unfortunately, at the moment there are no analytics to show which method or channel produces the most shares/likes. However, Glyder is tracking this activity and has plans to provide detailed analytics in the future.
Finally, you can see a list of all of the posts you’ve sent via the Home icon. Here you’ll be able to view more details about each of your posts such as where each was posted.
You can also view the post as it appears on some of the channels, and if you like the style of the message, you can choose to duplicate it to save you some work on your next post.
There are several reasons to use Glyder:
- Images are very important on the social web, but you may not have time or funds to get them designed professionally. Glyder provides a very simple way to share professional and appealing messages that capture people’s attention.
- Glyder is a mobile application, so you can improve your efficiency by sharing items when you’re not in the office.
- Because of Glyder’s simplicity, you’ll be more inclined to engage with your followers/fans on a more regular basis and the templates may inspire some new ideas on how you can do this.
- Your imagery now includes text, company name and website details so if it’s shared, your branding gets shared with it.
Glyder is currently a free mobile application that will help improve your social media performance by sharing status updates using nice graphics.
Using predefined templates will save you money. Also, it can improve the chances of more fans/followers seeing your updates because images generally do better than text.
#2: Markerly – Make Content Sharing Easier for Readers
You probably have sharing icons on your blog to Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms.
But what happens when someone wants to just share an image, a quote or a paragraph with a friend over social media or through email?
What normally happens is that you don’t know when someone does this. Also, the content shared doesn’t always have a link back to your website.
Markerly solves this issue.
- Visitors to your blog can easily share any piece of content to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, email and more. Rather than sharing the entire article, you can just share a snippet of text, or the image that resonated or appealed to you the most.
- Any items shared include a link that directs people back to your blog.
- People can start, or contribute to, a comment thread on an image. Comment threads are generally only available on the entire post, so this can be a great way to encourage more granular and specific comments.
- Analytics are provided on specific content that is highlighted, what is shared and any results from this sharing.
- You get details about the people who shared your content on Twitter and got the most clickbacks to your site. This is a great way to identify your most active followers on Twitter.
- You can also disable the Markerly sharing options that appear when content is highlighted so that only analytics are collected. This is a great way to discreetly track the pieces of your content that your visitors find the most interesting.
Before you decide to implement Markerly, you can see a quick preview of how it will look and work on your own site. Simply enter your website address in the box and click Go. A pop-up will then appear with a demo of Markerly on your website.
If you like what you see and decide to implement Markerly, then select Get Markerly from the home page.
First you need to customize the Markerly sharing options so that it matches your site’s colors. As you change the options on the left, you’ll see the result on the right.
- Select the ways in which you want visitors to be able to share your content. Some of the options are only applicable to text or images, but not both. For example, you can only share text on LinkedIn and only images on Pinterest.
- Choose the background color for the share toolbar that appears when you highlight text.
- Choose a color for the Share icons that matches your site’s style.
- You can switch off sharing of images if you only want text to be shared.
Once you have set up your configuration, you need to complete the sign-up box on the right in order to get the code that must be placed on your website. Enter your details and click Get the Code.
As this code needs to be on every page of your website, you should talk to your developer about putting it in the header section (just before the end of the <head> section).
If your site runs on WordPress, you can install a plugin that does this for you by adding the code to the Header.php for your WordPress install.
Once the code is enabled, you’ll see the sharing options appear on your site when you highlight text or hover over an image.
Markerly will then start to collect analytics on all of the content on your site that is highlighted, copied or shared.
To view these analytics, just log into Markerly. The analytics are split across two screens:
The Dashboard provides stats on how often your content is highlighted and copied but not necessarily shared. It also shows you the most popular content and posts. The content insights are broken down by the actual pieces of text or images that were copied from your site and then by the posts copied the most.
The Sharing Analytics tab contains insights on the type of content that’s shared the most (images or text) and the channels/methods used to share it. It also provides some additional insights on clickbacks.
These are shares on the main social networks that resulted in a click to your website, even if they do not originate from a Markerly share. In particular it focuses on Twitter, showing the top tweets.
The list of most valuable tweets is great. You can immediately see the tweets with the most clickbacks to your site, thus identifying your most influential users sharing your content.
However, while this is a great feature, one drawback is the fact that it doesn’t distinguish between general tweets and tweets that originated from a Markerly share. This would be a useful feature, as it would be good to see the effect Markerly alone is having on website traffic.
As you can see, this feature is in beta at the moment, so they are adjusting it and hopefully this suggestion will be considered.
Markerly helps you to:
- Encourage more sharing of your content
- Get a link back to any content shared, no matter how small, rather than losing all of that potential traffic
- Find out what content is the most interesting to people
- Find out general information on sharing, such as the most influential Twitter users who help to spread your content, the most popular channels for sharing content and more.
Markerly does encourage more sharing of the content on your website and provides you with good analytics to identify your most popular content and your most influential Twitter followers sharing your content.
While Markerly needs some additional functionality, particularly around the area of analytics, it’s still a good product with lots of potential.
Your visitors are already sharing pieces of content on your website, so why not use Markerly to encourage more of this?
#3: ManageWP – Improve the Management of Your WordPress Sites
If you have more than one WordPress site, they can sometimes be difficult and time-consuming to manage.
ManageWP provides an easy way to manage multiple WordPress sites.
- One-click login to access all sites
- Update WordPress and plugin versions at the same time
- Back up services for all of your sites
- Improved security through encryption and security features beyond what is provided by WordPress
- Uptime monitoring so you are notified if your site goes down
- Alerts for important events such as spikes in traffic, a highly ranked website that links to you and alerts for attacks by spambots
- SEO analytic tools to optimize your websites’ performance on search engines
- iPhone app allows you to do all of the above on your iPhone
- A range of functionality for updating content; for example, adding a post to all websites at the same time
You start by creating a free account. By default you are given access to premium features for 30 days. After this you revert to a free account that allows you to manage up to 5 websites.
After you create your free account, you will need to install a WordPress plugin on each of the sites you want ManageWP to use. You then add your websites to the ManageWP dashboard and start using ManageWP.
When you click on the WordPress repository to install the ManageWP plugin, you are brought to a page where you download the plugin. You then go to your WordPress install and upload this plugin.
After you upload the plugin, go back to ManageWP and add the details of any websites/blogs you want to manage.
You’ll see there’s an option to run a security scan and a performance test when you add the site. It’s worth doing both of these to highlight any immediate issues you may potentially need to address.
You can also distinguish each website by color and organize websites into groups. In this example, two websites have been added to ManageWP, so when we view the dashboard we can now perform operations at the same time for both WordPress sites.
ManageWP is a very comprehensive tool, providing you with some great functionality for you to manage, monitor, optimize and protect your WordPress sites. While it won’t be possible to cover all of the functionality in this article, let’s take a look at some of the top features it has to offer.
Install updates with just one click. You can keep your sites up to date with not only the latest WordPress updates, but also with the latest versions of your themes and plugins. This can be a very time-consuming task, and one that generally doesn’t get done as often as it should. So being able to update everything from one place is a great feature.
Perform backups on all sites. Backing up your website is one of the most important tasks that you need to be on top of. ManageWP provides a very comprehensive backup feature (paid version only) that allows you to create, run, automate and manage backups for all your websites from one location.
You can also configure the backups to be stored on an external server for added security.
Access individual WordPress admin screens. Within the interface, you also get full access to the WordPress admin dashboard for each website, should you have some specific tasks you need to carry out for a site. No need to login via a separate interface.
Manage comments. Keeping on top of comments on one site is hard enough, but when you have multiple sites to manage, it can become a painful and time-consuming process. You can respond to comments, mark a set of comments as spam or just approve them all from the one location.
Perform security scans. Keeping your site secure is of the utmost importance, and quite often you may not even know your site has been breached. ManageWP enables you to perform security scans on your sites so that you can identify security breaches and take immediate action.
Run a performance scan. There are many reasons why your sites could be running slowly or taking a long time to load.
By running a performance scan, ManageWP identifies where improvements can be made and provides a detailed report on your websites with recommendations on how to resolve issues and improve the performance.
Improve SEO. You can monitor SEO and social media statistics based on various resources available.
This covers just some of the many features available with ManageWP.
ManageWP allows you to:
- Save time by managing all of your sites from one location
- Easily keep up to date with WordPress and plugins if you use the dashboard
- Access a range of top-class monitoring and scanning tools from within the one interface
- Add services such as SEO – this is a paid service, but it’s great to have more services managed within one tool
- Manage all of your WordPress sites from a single management console within ManageWP
If you have multiple WordPress sites, it’s essential to use some form of management tool to help you keep current with all of the updates and changes and manage your sites more effectively.
The comprehensive functionality provided by ManageWP gives you greater control over your sites. It also ensures that you stay on top of all of the essential tasks needed to protect, optimize and monitor your sites on a regular basis.
ManageWP is a great tool. I was certainly impressed with how easy it was to set up and how useful the functionality was! Even if you’re only managing one WordPress site, I recommend you give ManageWP a try.
What do you think? We would love to hear your feedback on the tools above. Please let us know in the comments section below.
Are you looking for actionable tips you can apply to your business?
Here are our most popular articles from 2012.
7 New Facebook Changes Impacting Businesses
Did you follow all of the changes on Facebook in 2012?
Facebook made many changes that impact anyone with a Facebook Page.
Several of these changes emerged from Facebook’s fMC 2012 Conference.
The overall message was that Facebook is looking at Pages as a “mission control” point (which is where the MC comes from in the conference title).
26 Tips for Using Pinterest for Business
To say there’s been a lot of buzz about Pinterest in 2012 would be putting it mildly! Pinterest’s ease of use for visually bookmarking, organizing and sharing things you love made it a hit among individuals and businesses alike.
Whether you have a Pinterest business account or not, follow these tips to get more exposure for your business on Pinterest.
Read more for an overview of how your business could use Pinterest.
30 Social Media Predictions for 2012 From the Pros
Did you follow the evolution in social media practices this year?
Here’s a look at what marketers were talking about at the beginning of 2012.
Read more to find out what social media experts predicted.
22 Top Blogging Tools Loved by the Pros
Is blogging an essential component of your content marketing?
Here are the blogging tools you need for successful business blogging.
Read more to discover the new tools the pros love.
24 Must-Have Social Media Marketing Tools
Do you keep track of all of the new social media tools coming out? Do you follow the useful updates of existing tools?
Social media pros shared their favorites to help you choose the best tools to use to improve your social media marketing.
Read more to discover the 24 must-have tools.
3 Steps to an Effective Social Media Strategy
According to the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 78% of marketers saw increased traffic with just 6 hours a week invested in social media.
Keep your social media strategy simple and give it a chance to be more effective.
13 Tools to Simplify Your Social Media Marketing
Are you a small business marketer struggling to keep up?
Here are the tools you need to simplify your social media marketing.
9 Tips for Running Successful Facebook Contests
Are you like the increasing number of business owners who recognize the value of Facebook contests for their business?
Here’s what you need to know to make your Facebook contests successful.
26 Tips for Writing Great Blog Posts
Bloggers are always looking for ideas to simplify their content creation process. They sometimes feel like they’re trying to reinvent the wheel time and again.
You’ll discover everything from being Anatomically Correct to being in the Zone for Writing.
5 Twitter Tools to Enhance Your Marketing
Here are 5 lesser-known tools that your business should be using. Each of these tools has unique capabilities to help your business get an edge over your competitors.
Read more to discover these 5 free tools.
How to Track Social Media Traffic With Google Analytics
Would you like to discover where visitors to your site come from, how engaged they are with your website or if they have converted as a reader, subscriber or customer?
Google Analytics is an awesome free tool. It can give you the information you need to use social media more effectively.
Read more to know how to track social media traffic.
5 Ways to Enhance Your Facebook Timeline Page With Images
With each new overhaul of Facebook Pages, there have been increased opportunities for brands to use imagery to better promote their offerings and create visual interest, and timeline for Pages is no different.
Timeline for Pages provides significantly more opportunities to create a visually compelling Page, starting with the masthead.
Read more to explore 5 ways to enhance your timeline Page with images.
10 Creative Ways to Use Instagram for Business
Here’s how to give your business extra visibility and better engage with the Instagram community.
6 Tips for Using LinkedIn’s New Endorsements
LinkedIn recently made the endorsement process super-easy with just a simple click.
In addition to providing some credibility, this new Endorsement feature can also be considered a networking tool for savvy online marketers, because a LinkedIn endorsement is an easy way to get on someone’s radar.
Read more to find out how LinkedIn Endorsements can help you.
3 Successful Google+ Pages and Why They Work
How are brands finding the most success with Google+ business pages?
Here’s a close look at the strategies employed by the top brands on Google+. Use these insights to help you mount your own Google+ campaigns.
Read more to discover examples of great Google+ pages.
9 Businesses Using Pinterest Contests to Drive Traffic and Exposure
Running contests on Pinterest is a great way to expose your brand to a large audience, attract new followers and engage with your existing follower base.
It gives your brand the opportunity to engage with customers in a personal and cost-effective way.
Read more about why you should consider Pinterest contests for your business.
5 Ways to Increase Your Facebook Fan Engagement
A great way to increase your Facebook fan engagement is to have a call to action on your Facebook Page’s wall. This encourages or even incentivizes fans’ responses to your content, and it can be as simple as a status update.
Fans enjoy interacting with your Facebook Page and your Page will benefit the most with increased visibility, traffic and marketing opportunities.
Read more to discover 5 effective ways to call your fans to action.
5 Ways to Grow Your Exposure With Instagram
In the last year, photo sharing has become an increasingly popular method of social interaction.
Instagram is a free application for iPhone or Android that lets people take photos, apply filters to change the look of the photos and then share them on Instagram or Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare.
This represents a great opportunity for businesses to participate in this thriving community.
Read more to find out how to successfully use Instagram.
10 Ways to Grow Your Facebook Following
Are you are looking to grow your Facebook community? Now is a great time to examine your Facebook activities, cut out what isn’t working and expand what works.
Read more to learn 10 tips to help grow your community.
5 Ways to Use Google+ to Improve Your Search Engine Optimization
Do you want to improve your search engine optimization? Google+ should be on your short list of activities. Google+ is making its presence known in Google search results now.
What do you think? Which article did you most enjoy on Social Media Examiner? Please share it in the comment section below.
Image from iStockPhoto.
Are you looking to simplify management of your social activities? If so, then Ifttt is for you.
Don’t be put off by Ifttt’s crazy name. This is one handy tool that you should definitely know about.
Ifttt stands for “If this, then that,” which is a very basic way of explaining the site’s whole premise.
With very little effort on your part, Ifttt will connect your online accounts and services to create triggered events. After setting a trigger from one service, you can create a task to be activated automatically when the trigger goes off.
So for example, you might set an RSS feed of local news to trigger an event any time your hometown is mentioned. You can then create a task for Ifttt to perform when this trigger goes off, like sending you an email or text message. Neat, right? This is called a recipe.
Personally, I believe Ifttt is incredibly useful if you use it right. It’s one of those services with a lot of potential that could seem useless if you can’t find a need for it. Initially, this is exactly how I felt, but once I found a need for Ifttt, I realized how useful it can be.
Here are some examples of how Ifttt does do the drudgework for you and saves you time and energy.
If you manage multiple social media accounts, you’ll appreciate the ease of linking them together. With Ifttt, you can link up your accounts to perform particular actions automatically.
Linking one account to another will allow you to repost updates across different networks. If you only want to do this occasionally, you can create a hashtag to trigger the action.
For those who use Tumblr or a similar media-focused blog platform, Ifttt allows you to automatically post items from RSS feeds, creating a continual stream of shared content on your blog. You can also set your own blog’s RSS feed to automatically post updates on your social media accounts.
If you’re a fan of Buffer, you know how easy it is to add new updates. The process is even simpler with Ifttt, as you can set items starred or labeled with a particular tag to be sent to your Buffer account automatically.
Manage Social Media
Managing your social media accounts is more than just creating and sharing content. Ifttt can help you with administrative tasks such as monitoring and keeping your profiles up to date.
If you like to keep your profile pictures the same across different networks, you can set a trigger to activate when you change a picture on one account to update your other accounts to match.
Using Evernote, you can create an archive of your social media updates by sending them to your notebook as soon as they are posted. You can also archive them by date, posting them to your Google Calendar.
If you want to keep track of links you’ve shared online, saving only your updates containing links will help you find them again later. Using Delicious or Evernote, you can keep a searchable archive of all your shared links.
Evernote is also a great place to keep blog post ideas. By setting a tag to send straight to your Evernote account, you can collect ideas from your Google Reader with ease.
Organize Your Life
The automatic nature of Ifttt keeps you organized even when you’re not. Set these tasks up once and you’ll be surprised at how handy they become.
If you’re a fan of GTD, you can add labels to your Gmail messages to have them sent directly to your Evernote notebooks with tags added. This is handy for getting your to-do list out of your inbox without a lot of extra effort.
Emails can also be used to create calendar events automatically by using labels, message contents or sender details.
If you use Dropbox, Ifttt can simplify your backup processes by sending documents, pictures, email attachments and more straight to your account. You can also back up images by cross-posting them to different networks. For instance, you might repost all of your Instagram pictures to your Flickr account.
Easily my favorite use for Ifttt so far is weather and travel notifications. Ifttt has so many channels set up, you can set notifications to arrive via SMS, email, social networks or even a phone call. Creating a notification for travel delays on your train line or weather warnings in your area can save you time and energy (not to mention a bad hair day if it’s raining!).
If you need a regular reminder for something, Ifttt can do this too, using the time and date as the trigger. SMS reminders every Monday to put out the garbage or an email on the first of every month to pay the rent will save you the headache of remembering to write these things on your calendar.
It’s likely that you’ve come across some of these features elsewhere already. You might even use them regularly. With Ifttt, all of the possible combinations of triggers and tasks that you can set up will make your life more simple and organized. You can also pause or turn off a task at any time. Having all of this control in one easy-to-use interface makes the process a breeze.
What do you think? What’s your favorite Ifttt recipe? Is there something it can’t do yet that you would like it to? Leave a comment below and let us know.
With the growing number of social networks, it can be a pain to keep on top of them all.
Below I’ve highlighted three tools to help you manage your various social networking accounts from one neat dashboard.
From blogging to bookmarking, image-sharing to shopping, Alternion will cover more of your accounts than any other dashboard I’ve tried so far. For business and marketing purposes, you’ll find most of the accounts you would need: Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Digg, StumbleUpon, Delicious, Vimeo and YouTube are all here.
Alternion also places an emphasis on user privacy, with sharing options available for each linked account (perhaps having learned a lesson from Facebook’s privacy fumbles). You can decide whether to display a link to each account on your Alternion profile, and who can see your updates from a specific network.
The main dashboard page is a little reminiscent of Facebook’s once-simple layout—the blue and white design and clean structure make it easy to focus on your data and the task at hand.
Alternion offers three main viewing options: your social news feed, which pulls in updates from your social networks; messages, which allow you to interact with your various email accounts; and contacts, which is fairly self-explanatory.
One great feature that I was surprised to find is the ability to not only edit your Facebook and Twitter lists, but also to create brand-new lists from within the contacts tab.
Alternion also creates a user profile for everyone with an account. On your profile page, you can see updates you have made to any linked social networks, links to your various social profiles, photos and videos you have shared and some basic stats about your activity (number of profiles, number of updates, etc.).
Unlike Alternion, LiveGO focuses on a smaller number of popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter. It also incorporates email accounts and instant messengers such as Gmail’s GTalk and AOL Instant Messenger.
LiveGO has several viewing options, allowing you to get an overview of everything at once or focus on a particular area. The standard inbox view shows your email inbox at the top, with mixed social network feeds underneath. Your instant message accounts live in a sidebar to the right, which can be hidden when not in use, giving you more space for other tasks.
Each of your accounts has its own button on the left, with a pop-up menu that makes it easy to switch to specific feeds; for instance, Twitter mentions or email drafts. A menu across the top of the main feeds panel offers different areas of each network, giving you full, integrated access to your account.
Each Twitter account has its own panel as well, showing your main feed, your own tweets, favorites, mentions and direct messages.
A constant update box sits at the top of the screen, allowing you to update any of your social networks with ease. Choosing the account you are sending from is clear (something I have had issues with in other dashboard apps), and sending the same update to more than one account is an option.
Finally, a couple of unusual features that caught my attention: First, the ability to add special characters (music notes, hearts, arrows) to your updates. Admittedly, this is not something I use often, but is an interesting addition to the update box, especially considering an “add media” button is conspicuously missing. Second, a feature I have never seen before: an automatic collection of updates from the same person. See the image below for an example.
Netvibes is more of a monitoring dashboard than an integrated updating tool. With the ability to add several social networking accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace (yes, really) and email accounts, it offers a good overview of your networks. Its focus is more on monitoring your brand across the web than communication, however.
With the ability to add several “dashboards” to your account, Netvibes offers a comfortable way to keep different areas of your work separated; for instance, personal and professional accounts or different brands you are monitoring.
Each dashboard view lets you choose widgets to add, which come as specific as the calculator, weather or to-do list widgets, and as indistinct as standard text or HTML widgets.
Each social networking widget offers standard functionality, such as replies, comments, retweeting and other sharing options. The email widget, however, is disappointing in its lack of features, offering essentially an inbox monitor and nothing else.
Adding widgets is a fairly simple process, with categories to browse at the top of the page. Each widget can fit into different areas of your dashboard, and change size and shape accordingly.
The one thing Netvibes really does differently is the integration of RSS feeds. With RSS widgets, you can quickly get an overview of recent headlines, and open these in a reader view to see the full article.
This integration makes Netvibes the perfect place to monitor specific topics across the web, without actually “traveling” across the web.
Netvibes also offers the most extensive personalization options of these three apps, with several themes available to choose from, and color options available for each separate widget.
As always with these roundup posts, your needs will determine which app is of the most benefit to you.
What do you think? Let us know which dashboards you’ve tried, and what you like best. What features would you like to see added to your favorite dashboard?