Toolbox

The following is a list of resources, services and tools that can support your social media strategy. Most of these resources are free to use.

Social Media Channel Setup Kit

This is a pretty useful set of templates (not mine) for social media channels. Even if you’re not planning on being active in a particular platform, these templates are helpful for establishing your ‘set it & forget it’ home pages.

Google+ Profile Cover Photo Template
LinkedIn Company Page Cover Photo Template
Twitter Cover Photo Template
YouTube Channel Cover Photo Template
Facebook Cover Photo Template

 

 

Putting It All Together – combining social media accounts and feeds

By no means a comprehensive list, here are just a few tools to help manage social media.

  • friendfeed – a central ‘meeting point’ for all your profiles.  Along with normal options to connect with others, ff automatically pull in updates from the services you already use, like Flickr, YouTube, and Twitter.
  • Facebook Like Box – creates a widget to allow people to like your page from another site (i.e., your blog).
  • RSS Graffitti – Automatically pulls in RSS feeds to Facebook.
  • Yahoo! Pipes – Powerful, but can be complex.  One relatively simple operation is combining different RSS feeds into a single feed.

 

Tools For Managing/Automating Social Media Posting

  • Tweetdeck
  • Seesmic
  • Twuffer –  Schedule your tweets to be published at a specific time.
  • Twitterfeed – automatically send blog posts, Facebook posts, or other RSS feeds to your Twitter account.
  • Social Oomph – Automatically schedules tweets.  Free and premium features are available.  A great way to keep your feed full while managing your time effectively.
  • Timely – Schedules tweets
  • Bufferapp – perhaps more robust than Timely. A more common tool.
  • MarketMeSuite – Full dashboard of tools, including integration of platforms and automating posts.
  • HootSuite – Dashboard of tool, including scheduling posts and analytics.

Domain Names and Web Hosting

  • bluehost.com – I’ve heard good reports from people I know.
  • 1and1.com – I use them and have had good luck. Especially recommend for domain names
  • Hostgator – Have used their service and had no issues.
  • Go Daddy – Good for domain name purchasing.
  • namecheap.com

Sources For Images To Use Blogs, Headers, Etc.

Be aware of copyrights.  Filter for Creative Commons license when appropriate. Good sites for truly free images come and go. Feel free to let me know of any needed additions or deletions from this list.

Keyword Research

Facebook Customization Tools
Custom pages on Facebook can be a great way to offer unique and strategic content to your community. That said, developing a custom page is not the simplest thing you’ve done on Facebook. Below are some tools that may help. Keep in mind, Facebook always changes, so please let me know if you find anything here to be out of date.

  • Secure Hosting Solutions – One of the requirements for the custom page is that content be hosted on a secure server. That means you’ll need to host your own content in conjunction with an SSL certificate. These can be pricey, but here are some free/cheap solutions.
    • Social Server – I’ve not used this option, but many report that it works.
    • Amazon S3 – A reliable, secure service. They have a free, low volume service that will get most pages through a year. After that, the fee depends on the volume. For all but the very popular pages, this amounts to pennies per month.
    • Dropbox – Free for up to 2 GB of storage. Place content in the ‘public’ folder and add an s to the http:// part of the Dropbox URL so it’s https://dl.dropbox.com…
    • Shared SSL certificates. This is an option included free with many hosting plans.

*Some of the above links are ‘affiliate links’. Those in my blogging class will understand that this is one way of monetizing your site, and I may receive a commission if a purchase is made after following some of the links.

In my classes I show how affiliate links are one way to make a little profit (could actually be substantial, depending on your market niche) by offering valuable resources to your community. Rest assured, whether I’m an affiliate or not, any product listed on this page has my genuine recommendation. Any product I have not used personally is only offered after I’ve indicated what I personally use, and is one in which I have full confidence. Feel free not to use my links if you like.

**Final Note: This kind of disclaimer is a legal requirement in the US when offering affiliate products. It needs to be clear, but not necessarily as blatant as this. That said, transparency can go a long way toward building trust in your community.  🙂

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