In the spirit of Thanksgiving (and #tweetsgiving of course!), we've been thinking about all of the websites, tools, and applications that help us and our clients to grow everyday. Here are our top 10 - got any others you think belong on the list?
10) Facebook - I know - OBVIOUSLY, right? I'd be willing to bet that more people could talk for a full minute about Facebook than could name the capital of Louisiana. But many still do not know how to use Facebook to benefit their business! Our CEO has already published a very nice list of ways to make the most out of Facebook here. Two of my personal favorites are the FBML application (which adds your own boxes to your Facebook page, customizable with HTML) and of course Social Ads.
9) Google - Setting up a Google Adwords campaign is still one of the cheapest and easiest ways to boost traffic to your site and get your product out there. We also have a love affair of sorts with Google Docs, which allows you to host a living document so that everyone with access to the document can update and edit it together from their own computers. It's not social media in the broader sense, but it certainly helps inside our own close-knit community!
8. YouTube - As much as Hulu seems to be taking over when it comes to licensed content, YouTube remains the easiest channel through which to upload and share your videos, no matter how amateur or professional. Frankly, I still find it easier to upload videos to YouTube and share the link than to upload videos directly to Facebook's video application, so YouTube certainly remains worthy of my thanks!
7) LinkedIn - Facebook may have over 120 million users, but LinkedIn has over 30 million professionals who have joined for the explicit purpose of networking with other professionals like YOU. Connect with current and past employees, employers, and clients to gain access to their own networks and find new contacts through mutual friends. Even if you don't forge a strong relationship through the web, should you run into each other at a conference or event, you already have a conversation starter!
6) Twitter - #hashtags and memes make it easy to join in on the conversation - just check out Twitter Search for the top "Trending" topics to see what everyone's talking about! Trending topics are all about volume of posts regarding a particular topic over a certain amount of time, so as long as you're well organized it's pretty easy to land your topic in the top 10! (though keeping it there will definitely require concentrated efforts.)
5) TinyURL etc. - TinyURL, twurl, SnipURL, and a dozen more sites are out there for one reason: to shorten your confusing, lengthy URL, making it ten times easier to share! You can also customize it with a description - after all, we're much more comfortable clicking on http://tinyurl.com/TinyURLrules than this gibberish: http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dd8w95bj_1hgh4cnc4.
4) Blog Widgets - Easy to use and even easier to find - Use these widgets to add RSS feeds, badges, links, or any other number of fun gadgets to add personality to your page! Most importantly, you should be using these widgets to make it as easy as possible for your readers to follow your blog, whether through e-mail subscriptions, Google readers, etc.
3) XinuReturns - Want to land yourself a place in Technorati's top 100 blogs? Figure out how your site measures up in terms of page rank, backlinks, and more at XinuReturns.com. Plug in your site's URL to see where your numbers need to improve!
2) Power to the People! - Really, our favorite thing about social media is the ability of the proverbial underdog to rise up, whether to rage against the machine (#motrinmoms) or to carry the torch for a great cause (#tweetsgiving). If a quick text to cyberspace can spring you from an Egyptian prison, is there anything it CAN'T do?
1) Offline WOM - Okay, so it isn't technically a "social media" tool.. but nothing beats good, old fashioned, face-to-face word of mouth! Regardless of what new innovations and improvements are made in the world of social media in the future, none will have the same impact as a personal testimonial or demonstration from a trusted friend.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us on theKbuzz team!