I am often asked about the tools I use in my personal and professional life. Everybody has his or her favourites. And as you know, there are quite a few to choose from. With all the social media networks opening their architecture through APIs there are many small software houses who come up with some very interesting tools. And on top of that, you have the big companies who are constantly perfecting their software. So here are they are, my top tools:
WordPress is undoubtedly the best blogging platform around. It not gives you all the blogging features but you can also build your entire website around it. You can use the service online, hosted by WordPress, or you can download it to your own servers and host your site yourself. Many large companies use WordPress like this.
Moonfruit is a blogging platform with more creative freedom than WordPress. The CMS is not as good as in WordPress but its much better if you want to design your own site the way you want it. It has a full online shop integration as well.
Twitter doesn’t need much introduction. Its a fantastic “microblog”. A great tool to keep in touch with your network in between your blog posts. And to share your content. Its also good to build online connections.
Google Analytics is by far the best tool to measure traffic to your blog or your web site. It gives you details on number of (new) visitors, number of page views, where visitors come from, how they got to you site etc. Just sign up with your Google id, register your web site (every page) and Google Analytics will give you a code to add the html of every page of your site. With blogging platforms like WordPress and Moonfruit you only have to add this code once.
Linkedin is my favourite social network. Not just for connecting with your business contacts, but there are so many hidden treasures in Linkedin that will help you make it a very powerful tool for generating leads and positioning yourself as an expert in your field. Linkedin Search, Groups, Skills just to name a few.
Youtube is probably the fastest growing online community. Over 1 hour of video is uploaded on Youtube every second. Creating and uploading your video is very easy these days. Most people don’t realise that there are lots of tools in Youtube to optimise your video. Make sure you add keywords in your title and description, use annotations (you know, those clickable boxes that pop up in a video) and make sure you select the best thumbnail.
Hootsuite is fast becoming the industry standard to manage all your key social networks, for listening and sending out content on your various network feeds. You can create different channels, schedule your messages and use it with other people in your organisation. It also gives you extensive analytics.
Followerwonk is my favourite tools to search for Twitter users. You can search on bio (profile) and the results will give you the users online reputation, how long on twitter, how many followers, how many following and how many tweets sent. I use this tool to search for good bloggers.
Delicious. I use Delicious primarily to bookmark my favourite sites online. So I can have access to my favourite bookmarks wherever I am, independent from my laptop/PC or browser. I also ask people to bookmark my site on Delicious so I come up higher in the Delcious search results.
Netvibes is a great tool to create your online listening station. When I get into my office in the morning, instead of switching on my email I switch on my Netvibes listening station. I have different tabs on my listening station: a tab for my social networks, a tab with the feeds of my favourite bloggers, a tab with my google alerts, a tab with the development blogs of all key social media networks so I stay up to date with new features and developments.
Social Mention is one of my other listening tools. It’s great to find out what people are saying about your brand or any other term that you want to listen to. It will also give you a score in strength, sentiment, passion and reach. Great to set yourself targets for improvements.
There’s more to come in next week’s blog post. I will give you my favourite tools for content curation, podcasting, productivity, events and mobile. What are your favourite tools? Share them with us in the comments section.