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Top Social Media Apps and Tools for 2017

Here are my limited list of social media apps that you could use for free and for your personal or business use.

Organize Your Inbox

A cluttered inbox means unfinished business, and a cluttered mind. Organize your inbox if you want to get ahead of your personal day to day business and these tools will help you make your inbox as sane as possible.

  1. UNROLL.ME

    Price: Free

    The first step to relieving your inbox from all that email is to unsubscribe from all the newsletters you’ve subscribed to over the years. But unsubscribing manually from tens, maybe hundreds of newsletters would take forever.

    Enter Unroll.me, a free tool that lets you mass unsubscribe from all the newsletters you don’t read. You can either wipe the slate clean and unsubscribe from everything at once, or you can pick and choose. Read this blog post to learn more about how it works.

    unroll-me-gif.gif

  2. FollowUpThen

    Price: Free; Paid Versions Available

    Here’s another simple but useful tool, this time for reminding you — and even your clients, if you want — to follow up on specific emails.

    Here’s how it works: Compose an email, and then include [any time]@followupthen.com in the “Bcc,” “Cc,” or “To” fields of your email. The “any time” wording here is pretty flexible: It can be “tomorrow@followupthen.com,” “nextwednesday@followupthen.com,” “3hours@followupthen.com,” “everyday@followupthen.com,” “every3rdwednesday@followupthen.com,” and so on.

    What happens to that email when you click “send” depends where you put that @followupthen.com email address:

    Here’s a video that explains the tool in more detail:

    It works for every email client, and it’s free for up to 50 follow-ups per month. You can increase the number of follow-ups and add features like calendar integration for between $2–$9 per month.

  3. Sortd

    Price: Free For Now (Private Beta; Access by Invite Only)

    Sortd is basically a cleaner version of the Gmail Special Stars methodology I described above, in that you don’t need to star, label, or mark your emails in any way. But it does work right in Gmail: It’s what their team calls a “Smart Skin for Gmail,” meaning that it lives right inside your Gmail inbox so you don’t have to leave the app at all.

    What it does do is fix the problem of important emails getting lost below the fold — most importantly, by expanding your inbox into a flexible set of lists, organized cleanly into columns. This allows your emails, to-do lists, and priorities to live together in one place, and lets you easily drag-and-drop emails from column to column.

    HubSpot’s VP of Marketing Meghan Keaney Anderson is a big fan of Sortd. “I think of my inbox as a conveyer belt of sorts — bringing me a rapid succession of requests, resources, and to-dos,” she told me. “Email triage means keeping up with that influx without letting anything slip through the cracks. Before I found Sortd, I was marking any email that needed further action as ‘unread’ in the hopes of returning back to it to complete the review or follow up. It worked about as poorly as you’d expect.”

    This is what Anderson’s inbox looks like now that she uses Sortd:

    sortd-inbox-example.png

  4. SaneBox

    Price: Monthly ($7-35), Yearly ($59-299), and Bi-Yearly ($99-499) plans available.

    If you’re looking to automate prioritizing each email as it comes in, you may want to give SaneBox a try. There’s nothing to install here: Basically, it works with any email client to create new folders like SaneLater and SaneNews. When a new email comes in to your inbox, SaneBox quickly analyzes it to determine how important it is. This analysis is based on your past interaction with your inbox. If SaneBox finds the new email important, it’ll keep it in your inbox. If not, it’ll send it to one of those folders.

    Later, you’ll get a digest of the emails that were sent to those three folders so you can decide whether any of them need your attention when you have the time. Over time, you “train” SaneBox to filter certain types of emails into each of these folders.

    sane-box-gif.gif

    Image Credit: SaneBox

    SaneBlackHole is a fourth folder that’ll help you delete emails and unsubscribe from them in one fell swoop. When you manually drag an email into your SaneBlackHole folder, it’ll delete the email and unsubscribe from the source automatically.

    There are other cool features in here too, like the “attachments” feature that automatically sends all email attachments into a Dropbox folder.

 

Organizing your Social Media Accounts and Pages

  1. SocialSuite

    Price: Monthly ($0- $9)

    If you’re looking to automate and schedule your posts on multiple social media accounts and pages, then Socialsuite.com is for you. It’s simple, to the point and very easy to use. Best of all its’ free!

    socialsuite.com

  2. Cityblast

    CityBlast is a social media management agency. And it’s services are catered specifically for real estate agents. Tell them how often to post, what content style to use, and which geographical market to focus on.

    One of the major obstacles of social media marketing for real estate agents can be the steep learning curve.

    If you’re not comfortable with Facebook or Twitter, then it may take some getting used to.

    After all, it’s a whole different mode of communication.

    And you need to speak the language.

    Or else you will either be ignored or (worse yet) criticized.

    So while more than 50% of Realtors feel comfortable with social media, there are still quite a few who aren’t.

  3. HootSuite

    OK.

    This one’s a no brainer.

    If you’re a real estate agent who is serious about social media, then you need a tool that can schedule your posts.

    It is the number one way to save time.

    So what is it?

    Hootsuite in a nutshell:

    Hootsuite is a social media management tool. You can schedule social media posts for publication at any given time or day in the future. You can connect with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Youtube, LinkedIn, and more.

    It’s legit.

    Honestly, a tool like Hootsuite is absolutely crucial if you want to take your social media game to the next level.

    Here is an example of our own Hootsuite account at RESAAS:

    I recommend that you start out small.

Creating Post-Worth Social Media Posts

  1. Canva

    Cost: Free- Some stock images cost $1

    Most useful for: Creating graphics for amazing social media posts

    Okay, now that you’re finding all this amazing content for your audience and have it scheduled in Hootesuite or Buffer, how do you make sure it looks great? Enter Canva, the quick and easy way to get professional looking social media posts in 2017. Canva offers gorgeous stock templates with fonts, layouts, and imagery specifically designed for posting on social media. You can create infographics (local market conditions, recent sales, steps to buying or selling etc.), Facebook headers, Linkedin posts and more. You can also use Canva to create flyers or postcards for your listings, or graphics for your email marketing.

    Even better, unlike most free graphic design tools, Canva’s stock layouts are designed by talented graphic designers so making a beautiful post your audience will adore is a snap. If you ever wondered how that top producer in your office keeps posting such well designed social media content, now you know the secret.

    social media tools - canva

  2. Adobe Spark

    Cost: Free

    Most useful for: Quickly creating animated “storytelling” videos out of your pictures, that you can add music and narration to.

    Let’s face it. While browsing social media, a pretty picture and a giant “play” button can be pretty irresistible. The only problem is that in the past, video editing was tricky, time consuming, and since DIY results were often subpar, frankly best left to the experts.

    Not anymore. Today you can stitch together pictures, video clips, and your narration to help tell your audience your story with Adobe Spark. It’s the perfect way to create quick explainer videos for your blog posts, or highlight open houses or neighborhood tours. Best of all, Adobe Spark is free. Check out the video below to see how people are using Adobe Spark to engage their audience.

  3. Pexels

    Cost: Free

    Most useful for: Finding awesome free stock images and videos for your posts

    For as long as they’ve been around, free stock images have had a certain reputation for looking a little bit… unprofessional. The big sites like Magnum, had incredible pictures, but they could cost $100 or more. Luckily, today we have sites like Pexels that offer pretty great quality stock images for free. Unlike many other free stock image sites, Pexels doesn’t even require attribution for a large percentage of their pictures.

    While not all their pictures are Ansel Adams quality, since they seem to focus on quality over quantity, most are very usable and some are downright great. For a good example of Pexels quality, you’ve probably seen the stock image below on dozens of real estate blogs (including this one) but I’ll bet you didn’t know it was 100% free.

    You can use Pexels images along with Canva in order to create awesome custom facebook posts, backgrounds, blog post headers and more. All for free.

    social media tools - house house baby

  4. Venngage

    Cost: Free- $49 per month

    Most useful for: Creating charts, diagrams, and infographics

    If you find your audience is responding mostly to the nitty gritty data, then you owe it to them to start using Venngage today. Venngage allows you to quickly and easily create charts, graphs, diagrams, and infographics all from their easy to use app. You can even upload spreadsheets directly from Google Drive and create graphs and charts instantly.

    Want to tell your audience about trends in the local market without boring them to death? Make a sexy shareable infographic using Venngage.

    social media tools - venngage

  5. Magisto Editor

    Cost: $9.99 per month

    Most useful for: Creating professional looking videos

    Magisto Editor is an easy to use video editor that is surprisingly powerful for it’s relatively low price. Like Adobe Spark, it allows you to stitch together photos (think listing images or local neighborhood snaps) add music and narration and create awesome videos your audience will love. Unlike Spark, you get a much larger music library and more advanced editing features. The app can also automatically reduce camera shake, add effects, transitions and can even automatically edit your video for emotional impact using advanced AI they call Emotion Sense. Pretty cool.

     

     



ADVERTISING TOOLS

  1. Here’s a survey of what’s available now. Many tools are still proprietary, e.g., LinkedIn has its own advertising network. We’re sure there’s more to come.

    Facebook advertising

    With more than 800 million users, Mark Zuckerberg’s brain child is not only a social phenomenon—but an online advertising one as well. Yet, try to manage your campaigns without using a 3rd-party tool and you’re likely to lose time, money and your mind.

    • Alchemy
      As one of Facebook’s original Ads API partners, Alchemy was the first in this space, allowing them to market, develop and innovate ahead of competition. In addition, social advertising is their sole focus, which means uncompromising expertise. With a license you get a 14-day trial. After that, you pay 2-5% of your media spend.
    • AdParlor
      Just because they boast large clients like Groupon, Sega and Ubisoft, AdParlor is suitable for the one-man or one-woman shop, too. Pricing models include install, cost per acquisition and Fan.”As consumer use of and time spent on social media sites increases, the opportunities for effective advertising become more attractive to companies in search of customers to connect with.” Lee Odden
    • Clickable
      Their award winning Facebook suite allows you to manage massive Facebook advertising campaigns, thus cutting down on time while improving ROI. A TechCrunh40 finalist and Ernest and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year.” Call for pricing.
    • Marin Software
      Basic package starts at a minimum $499/month spend, of which Marin gets 5%. But you get good bang for your buck: audience segmentation, targeting, image library, creative rotation and engagement tracking.
    • Keybroker Social
      This Facebook ad tool suite is unique in that it offers a free package. You get only 15 ads a day, but hey, not everybody needs 10,000 impressions a month to survive.

    Other social media channels

    Yes, Facebook is a behemoth in the social media world. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t diversify your social media advertising portfolio. There are other significant avenues out there that can provide you targeted audiences. Here are the other major players.

    • LinkedIn DirectAds
      DirectAds is LinkedIn’s own advertising network and allows you to target over 90 million professionals, including all C-levels at the Fortune 500. Ads are your typical short text with image and you can get started for $10.
    • YouTube Video Targeting Tool
      As the second most used search engine and online video advertising revenue expected to hit 5.7 billion by 2014, YouTube presents a huge opportunity for exposure. Create ads to appear beside or in videos. Run by Google, of course.
    • StumbleUpon Paid Discovery
      With millions of “stumbles” a day, StumbleUpon offers Paid Discovery for brands to have their content integrated into the stream of sites that users stumble to, based on their interests. Advertisers can target by interest, location and demographics. From $.05 to $.25 per visitor.
    • Twitter Promoted
      Newer to the advertising game is Twitter’s promotional arm, including promoted tweets – tweets labeled as promoted and broadcast to a larger audience, promoted trends, which appear at the top of the Trending Topics list on Twitter, and promoted accounts, in which Twitter suggests accounts that users don’t currently follow
    • Reddit
      Reddit allows brands to buy space in the sponsored links section of the social news website. In keeping with its younger, tech-savvier community, the site helpfully provides a cartoon by The Oatmeal to explain its advertising possibilities.
    • Digg Ads
      Digg offers a spot for web surfers to uncover new, interesting content, and its advertising options include sponsored article placements, display ads and content ads.

    Other social media advertising tools

    • Flite
      This tool allows you to edit ads in real time, and then spread that message across your social network. For example, say foot traffic to your store slows one afternoon. You create a promotion and edit into your commercial video, then post on your Twitter stream. About $1 CPM.
    • Kontera
      Through Kontera’s “Social Boost” service, readers on thousands of different web properties are led to a brand’s social media account by hovering over a highlighted word in a blog post or article.

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