Thursday, March 27, 2014

Five Useful Google Chrome Extensions for Social Media Marketers

One aspect sometimes overlooked when talking social media strategy is browser extensions. There are numerous blogs on the topic, if you go looking, but it’s one of those things that the people who know, know, and those who don’t might miss out if they don’t ask. Extensions are a valuable time saver, and it’s worth ensuring these are noted when offering advice to any business or person looking to increase their social media profile. And with that, here are five Google Chrome extensions that I’ve found highly beneficial as I go about my daily social media interactions.
Pinterest Pin It
1. Pinterest’s ‘Pin It’ Button – This is a pretty basic tool, but one which is a great help in ensuring you remain active on Pinterest. The Pin-It button gives you the ability to pin any image to your Pinterest page quickly and easily. This is great for pinning relevant pieces to your Pinterest pages as you search and read, but more importantly, it makes it incredibly easy to pin your own images and blogs straight to Pinterest – and having the Pinterest logo constantly present on your browser screen always keeps it front of mind as you go about posting and sharing. Pinterest is sometimes under-valued as a marketing platform, so anything to help keep it active, keep you pinning and engaging with the site, is well worth utilising. Make sure you customise the text when you post, adding relevant hashtags for each pin.
Hootsuite Hootet
2. Hootsuite’s ‘Hootlet’ – I’m a big fan of Hootsuite and Hootlet is an excellent addition. Hootlet allows you to share content via your Hootsuite account direct from the page as you search. It gives you access to all the regular Hootsuite functionality, with options to choose the network/s you share to, ability to create and edit messages and scheduling selections. Hootlet will also automatically shorten the link for the piece before adding it into the message window. As a regular Hootsuite user, this comes in handy, as any content I add is sent to my schedule in Hootsuite, so I can go back and check when it’s set to go in amongst any other planned tweets and posts. Another great aspect of Hootlet is the addition of Twitter search results to compliment Google searches. Just type your terms into Google, get your search results on screen and then click on the Hootlet pop-out , peeking out from the right-hand side of the screen. The pop-out will expand to show all Twitter matches for the search term/s you’ve entered – a great addition to your research capabilities.
(Note: The Buffer Chrome extension has similar, if not better, content scheduling functionality to Hootlet, but as a Hootsuite user, the integration of the browser and the Hootsuite dashboard, and the social search capability, puts Hootlet ahead. If you’re a Buffer user, the Buffer extension is a must)
3. CircleCount – Google+ still holds many mysteries for a lot of users. While the learning curve is quite steep, the platform has some great functionality and passionate communities that make it worth the time it takes to familiarise yourself with the network. One way of getting more integrated with Google+ is by using the CircleCount extension. A click on the CircleCount icon opens up a new page of Google+ data on any blog post you’re reading, including info on public Google+ pages that have shared the piece, how it’s spread through the network (through crossover links in a bubble graph) and influencers who’ve interacted with the content. This is a great way to monitor the reach of your own content and engage with users who’ve read your stuff, as you can use the overview to click through to each individual who’s shared your content. From there, you can thank the user for sharing the piece or initiate a conversation based on the content, a stepping stone to further relationships. When you’re in Google+, CircleCount gives you access to further data about each individual post and user, including ‘Ripples’ for each post and options to add it to a shared circle or to your favourite posts via CircleCount. The CircleCount extension a useful addition to have, especially if you’re trying to get more involved with your Google+ communities.
Klout Chrome (Beta)
4. Klout (beta) – Some don’t care about Klout, some do – either way, influence metrics are going to become more important, and Klout is the current leader of the pack - it's worth making yourself aware of it, even if you don’t feel it’s highly relevant. The Klout extension adds every user’s Klout score to their profile image in Twitter, giving you a measure of each person’s influence. This is important for locating industry influencers and ensuring you establish connections with them where possible. It’s an extra data point to use in your interactions – it’s not to say that anyone should be addressed any differently because of it, but if someone’s Klout score is in the 80s and they re-Tweet one of your posts, you definitely want to be aware of it. Influence metrics are important, and can pay a big part in spreading your message to a wider audience. Being aware of who you’re interacting with can be of major benefit – and any additional data you can get on this front is worth having.
RiteTag Chrome
5. RiteTag – Rite Tag helps you find the best hashtags to use to maximise the reach of your message. The system takes into account how often a hashtag is used then assigns a colour code to each based on that data – a red hashtag is overused and it’s likely your message will get lost in the flood of other posts using the same one, a blue hashtag is under-used and your content’s potential to be found will be limited because fewer people are looking for it, and a green hashtag is just right. You can also run a hashtag audit on your profile, or anyone else’s, in one click, which will show how good your hashtag use is overall. There are always queries about hashtags, and there are various tools available to help you work out which to use to achieve best reach, but having that info right there, within your message, is a great help. The overused info is particularly useful – most hashtag apps will show you the most popular tags, which in itself is great, but understanding overuse, and how that can be detrimental to reach, this detail is good to know as you're putting together your posts.
There are a heap of other extensions available in the Chrome Store, access to streams of additional data that may be of significant benefit to your day-to-day tasks. It’s worth spending some time going throughto see what’s there - there might be something that saves you major amounts of time and/or uncertainty, helping you work smarter not only for yourself, but also for your clients.