Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Useful Platforms and Apps

Besides the usual twitter/instagram/facebook/tumblr/etc., I have a few other platforms/apps in my blogging arsenal that I love to use. They make it so much easier to blog and also to keep up with other bloggers. Most of them are well-known, but for those of you that don't, I urge you to check them out.. especially if you are a PR major-- these are tools that you should know like the back of your hand. I am always setting up accounts for the 'latest and greatest' just to get experience with the platforms. 

Google Analytics
The best for analyzing your website traffic. I need to do another analytics post because they are too fun! Google Analytics is also good to know for anyone in business/PR/marketing because these types of metrics are commonly used. If you are unsure how to use it, it's best to watch a tutorial on YouTube or Google some of the terms. The only downside is that Google changes its' algorithms which changes the metrics so it's sometimes hard to keep up. 

This is essentially Google Reader's replacement. It's a great platform for bloggers and readers alike. You just sign up with an e-mail address. You can set up a personal account and a page for your blog. This is a great way to keep all of the blogs you read in once place. It's almost like a Twitter feed filled with blog posts. 

This is somewhat similar to Pixlr. It's an app for your iPhone that lets you edit photos on the go. Considering I have no eye for photography or editing, it's still pretty simple to use and it's especially fun to play around with. For example, I used Vscocam to edit this instagram

Considering I have a full time job, I can't just tweet all day everyday. For days when I know I am going to be especially busy, I schedule tweets-- mostly just quotes and links to interesting things. It's especially perfect when there are a million and one things I want to tweet-- I can tweet them all but space them out time-wise so I don't bombard everyone's timelines. 

This is also one of those platforms that as a working professional, you should know how to use like the back of your hand. You only work certain hours of the day so it is great to be able to schedule posts for hours that you are technically not working-- that way, you will always be engaged with your brand's following. 

Bitly is a a site that converts clicks of a link to a useful number. It's fun to see when I post a link to a Summer Wind post to Twitter to see how many people actually click through. If you really pay attention, you can figure out when the best times are to post links or what types of links get the most traction. This also shortens a long URL so it is useful when you are posting to a platform with a set character limit. 

The 2013 videos that many people posted to their Instagram accounts were made possible by Statigram. It's a simple analytics tool for Instagram that gives you stats such as your total likes, total comments, most used filter, etc. 

Retro Instagram 
It's simply an app for scrolling through Instagram on your iPad. It's user friendly and free... because sometimes I'm too lazy to get up and get my phone. 

This is necessary. Whether or not you utilize them for personal use, work or blogging, anyone and everyone should be using a cloud based storage system. I use both Dropbox and Skydrive for personal use and then just Dropbox at work. I also have a portable hard drive where I back everything up about once a month. 

Google Chrome
This is hands down my favorite browser. I often have 3 different browsers open at a time, but Google Chrome is my default. It's great that all of my Google accounts can so seamlessly blend together (although also very creepy and discerning at times). 

This gives incredibly insight into Twitter. It shows incredibly detailed information/statistics about who follows you and who you are following. I definitely recommend this-- it is time consuming combing through all of the numbers and pie charts, but fun at the same time. 

So there you have it. My favorite platforms. What are yours? I am always looking for fun new apps to download and platforms to try out. Have a fabulous day! 



Hunter said...

I love these recommendations! I definitely need to check some of these apps out!

Prep on a Budget

Lauren said...

Thanks for the tips, I will have to check out some of these platforms!


Chelsea Oliver said...

I love Hootsutie! I don't know how I ever lived without it - and I'll have to check out Followerwonk! Thanks for the tip!


McKenzie Wild said...

I love the pinterest app. for the iphone. It is really useful for being able to pin picture you just took! And I have found pinterest is a HUGE source of traffic for my blog.

Dropbox is great, but I am very careful with it because it is not secure at all.


Allie said...

These are all super great, definitely going to check them out!!
Be sure to check out my blog!


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