From Zoofs to Flickr, Technorati to Stickr, here are the top 10 social media tools the savvy Generation Y can’t live without in the latest Virgin.com guest blog...
Entrepreneur or no entrepreneur, if you’re honest, you know you can’t live without the many amazing things that Web 2.0 has brought to your life. Twitter anyone? Facebook? Admit it.
Much like yours truly, there’s just so much you can do using the power of the internet that you can’t possibly imagine a world without it.
But of course, living in the Web 2.0 world is different from living with the Web 2.0 world.
Using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter is just the tip of a very popular iceberg. There is tonnes more that you can do with the web, when you know the right tools and tricks to use.
What’s the use of having the power to create your own content or talk with people in China when you don’t know how to make the best of it? There are a lot of social media tools and platforms thriving on the web right now, and it can serve you well to familiarise yourself with a few of the hardier ones and find out that they actually do.
You can utilise platforms and tools like the ever-present social networking sites, as well as the lesser known social bookmarking, social content and even social recommendation sites, to get your business the increased visibility you’re looking for.
And if you’re into building a solid web presence like me, there’s nothing better than having the best geeky gadgetry and online weapons. You’ve got to be a technology ninja in today’s world if you want to survive and thrive.
That said, here are my top 10 useful social media tools that you can use for just about every aspect of your business - blogging, management, photo sharing, storage and even leisure.
10 Social Media Tools You Should Know About:
Get your professional contacts assembled and ready to rock under one roof by using LinkedIn. Just like Facebook, LinkedIn is built around the idea that years and distance shouldn’t be a problem for you to stay in touch with your people. But unlike Facebook, this site is mostly devoted to business networking, so you can create meaningful working connections with your suppliers, contacts, clients, competitors and others. Oh and friends and family too, if that’s your thing.
Yumminess on the web is just wonderful, don’t you think? With Delicious, you can bookmark, tag, share and organize all in one go. The web is full of so many incredible things, but here and there you’ll find some rubbish stuff that could get in the way of your supreme online experience. This social bookmarking site does the dirty work by saving all your bookmarks online so you can access it anytime, from any computer and keep your content filter clean.
If you haven’t heard of YouTube, I’ll assume that you’ve been living under a rock for the past five years or so. That’s how long this powerful audio-video content site has been around, making it easy for ordinary people like you and me to share user-generated videos. You don’t have to pay anything or do any cute tricks like bending over backwards to gather an audience all your own—just post, tag and sit back. You may be surprised at the results.
Flickr is to photos what YouTube is to videos. Flickr lets you tag, share, organize and upload your photos. One of the most practical uses I’ve seen it applied for is displaying website layout designs. You just have to pick out a thumbnail of the design that looks okay to you, enlarge it and check how it can be installed on your site.
Quirky people come together in this world that tumbles up and not down. Tumblr is short, direct and really sweet. When I think of weblogs I see huge blocks of texts and very few pictures, but when I think of a Tumbleblog I see a video or photo thumbnails and a short caption underneath. It’s a different and fresh take on microblogging that gives Twitter a run for its money.
Looking to use an all-in-one solution that will allow you bookmark, share, find, and recommend using just one website? Well, that’s Technorati for you. It’s the number one blog search engine today, ranking, tagging and profiling almost all the blogs that mushroom in the blogosphere so you can get the latest updates on just about any topic. You can also find the content you need right from where it came from for purposes of proper attribution. Want to find out more about how your blog is doing? Check out Technorati’s blog stats.
Me? I’m a visual creature, and I like to see my favourite websites and their corresponding icons splashed across my screen every time I go online. Do you feel the same way about your website picks? Favetop is what you need. Keep track of everything you like on the web, from websites to photos, videos and other online media. It’s like social bookmarking, only cuter.
Want to leave little notes on the websites you visit so you know how they struck you the first time you came across them? That’s exactly what Stickr does (Web 2.0 people seem to love omitting the ‘e’ in their names). With 140 characters you can leave comments on websites and know if you want to contact the site owner sometime or if you want to order something from them, or whatever. Your imagination is the limit on this one.
In relation to YouTube and Twitter, you will definitely find this social media tool a worthy companion. You can find out exactly which videos are making waves in Twitter by seeing how they rank on Zoofs. As an entrepreneur, this will definitely give you an idea of whether or not your video is doing what it’s supposed to—making your audience interested in what you have to offer or say.
Online collaboration made much easier is what this tool is all about. Give your office an online extension by inviting everyone over to Socialwok, where you can share ideas, files, URLs and a whole lot more with your co-workers. Include or exclude everyone as you please to make sure that information goes where it should.
And there you have it, 10 social media tools that you should know about, if you don’t already. Check them out, get involved, and get with the times. I promise you’ll enjoy it.
Cori Padgett is a freelance ‘ghost’ as well as the creative brains behind Big Girl Branding. To find out more you can stalk her on Twitter.