I get asked what tools I use for some of my daily social routines on a somewhat frequent basis. The other day I got that question and it dawned on me that many of the tools I’ve written about for the basic stuff have changed or evolved over the past six months.
So, I thought it might be useful to write a post outlining my current tool set for consuming, sharing and interacting online.
It seems to me that Google Alerts might be on the scrap heap over Google as it not only suffers from lack of innovation it just seems pretty lame in terms of what it picks up anymore.
I’ve recently gone to a combo of Mention and Talkwalker to get alerts for things like my name, brand, journalists and important phrases. It seems like they tend to pick out different things so the combination is very strong.
By now you’ve likely heard that Google Reader is shutting down. While this caused widespread panic and prompted lots of anxiety about replacement tools, the fact is the technology is pretty simple and this opened the door for some innovation in a long dormant space.
For now, I am sticking with Reeder, a Mac based laptop, iPad, iPhone app that relies on Google Reader but says it will replace the underlying technology. I really like the interface and love that I can interact with a piece of content in the app by sharing, bookmarking or saving in a variety of ways. I use it with Buffer to share lots of content to Twitter and Facebook.
I think it’s worth noting that many people have also started to embrace tools that surface content based solely on category or the recommendation of friends rather than sticking to content produced only in blogs they subscribe to. I’ve started to use a service called Newsle in this fashion.
I have been an avid Tweetdeck user for years but recently made the switch to HootSuite. For me Tweetdeck was getting a bit tired in terms of innovation. While it took a little bit of time to embrace the somewhat more complex interface of Hootsuite, I’ve grow to like the tabbed profiles approach and the fact that you can get so much more information on individual profiles and tweets. I also like some of the integrations available. For example, with one click I can add people who I interact with on Twitter or that get added to a list, based on search terms in Hootsuite, to my CRM tool.
This last element is a crucial piece of the engagement puzzle. I currently use two CRM tools. I use Nimble for the daily interactions that I have or should have with clients, influencers, authors, partners and prospects for various types of projects. Nimble allows me to create a unified messaging platform that includes email and important social networks. This way I can view a record of what these important groups of people are saying and doing in real-time and what I’ve said to them over the course of many interactions. Access to this level of information helps turns transactions into trackable conversations.
In addition to Nimble I use Infusionsoft to run the many ecommerce functions of my business such as shopping cart, list segmentation, follow-up and email marketing in general.
The key to making this part of the communication cycle work is that most of these tools talk to each other and almost all are available in synced versions on the desktop and on a variety of mobile devices and tablets.
So, that’s it for now, until, well it isn’t. Always love to hear about tools you find useful.