9 Magic Social Media and Marketing Tools to Transform Your 2016

The year is drawing to a close and I want to share some magic tools I have discovered recently.  

These are social media and marketing tools I will be taking with me into 2016.  Now YOU can use them in 2016 and benefit from them too!  

9 Magic Social Media and Marketing Tools
Image by Shutterstock

But first, let’s discuss my criteria for this post. I wanted to share social media and marketing tools I haven’t mentioned much before and that I have only really started to use (or use in smart ways) in the last year.

And they have to be magic.

What’s my criteria for “magic”?  It’s that they have some feature or result that literally transforms your business, either through content creation and sharing, productivity, results, engagement, growth.

Or just hands-down saving you a ton of time and resources so that you can focus on the things that matter in your business.

These are, without a doubt, tools that I will be taking with me from 2015 to 2016.   I’ll explain.. let’s jump in!

 

9 Magic Social Media and Marketing Tools

(and why they are Magic)

#1  Image Optim

Want to see some Magic Tools? Check out this post - 9 Social Media and Marketing Tools

ImageOptim is a free app that allows you to optimize images so they take up less disk space and load faster.  As I write a lot about visual content I needto post a LOT of images on my blog – so this app has been an awesome find.

I was already using either Photoshop or Compressor.io to compress my images, but ImageOptim takes it a little further and squeezes more juice out of your images (more heavy kb juice that is).

The Magic?  You simply drag and drop your image into ImageOptim and it does its thing – no need to resave the image – your image file name is kept the same but the magic has been applied, which is one of the reasons I love it so much.  

 

#2 Ontrapages

Ok so I have mentioned Ontrapages in one previous post just after I had started playing with it, but I just have to mention it again because… magic.

Only released in late 2015, Ontrapages allows you to create beautiful web and landing pages, and gorgeous web forms and pop ups (including exit intent). This landing page I made quickly and easily.

You can pick your colours, fonts and backgrounds and change around elements from a drag and drop menu of design blocks or elements.

Ontrapages is the creation of Ontraport (my awesome email marketing system) BUT anyone can use it – you don’t need to be an Ontraport member.

It’s free for up to 10 Ontrapages and 3 Ontraforms (which are slick webforms and popups).  It’s only $15 per month ($99 per year) for extended functionality:  no branding, you can use your own domain and you can hook it up with any CRM.

I am gradually moving all of my landing pages over to Ontrapages.  I highly recommend you check it out as a tool you possibly can’t do without in the next year.

The Magic?  It feels like fun to use this tool.  I liken it to playing with lego –  you can add or remove blocks and create whatever you want. Use the templates, create your own … either way, the end result is pretty awesome!

 

#3  Brain FM

Check out these awesome tools that are magic for your business - 9 Magic Social Media and Marketing Tools for 2016
Want to train your brain? Tune into this radio station!

Oh my goodness. I am loving this tool. If you are like me (I’m a creative type so my brain is always buzzing with ideas…  then you will love Brain FM for getting your productivity back.

It’s basically a radio station for your brain – using scientifically proven audio brainwave training (backed by 180 studies) and special EEG technology.  It works best with headphones on.

You can use it for focus (which is what I use it for mainly) relaxation and sleep.

The best part is that you get a bunch of free sessions to try it… and then the monthly or annual subscription is super affordable.  Do yourself a favour and check it out.

The Magic?  Many people get results in as little as 30 minutes. My first 30 minute session I smashed through a task that I had been struggling to finish.  I’ve been quite productive with every time block I use it for since!  

 

#4  Wisestamp

9 Magic Social Media and Marketing Tools
See the shout out for our Visual Content Challenge? Easily added with Wisestamp.

Yes I did mention Wisestamp here , but I wanted to mention it again for a different reason.

I’ve used Wisestamp as my email signature across Gmail account for around a year now.  But recently I discovered a way to use it that has been great.

You can easily click on the Wisestamp icon in Gmail and edit the signature to show your latest event or promotion. It’s a cool little feature that allows for such a quick edit.

Now I can always make sure I have my email updated to show the most important information quickly and easily.

The Magic?  It’s amazing how many emails we send per day. We often focus so much on our email from tools like Mailchimp, Aweber, Infusionsoft or Ontraport, that we forget that we also send a lot of emails through a tool like Gmail.  Wisestamp was a surprise to me in terms of how I was not using it to its full capacity – it’s a magic little marketing tool.  If you are using Wistestamp already, revisit your dashboard and add in the feature to promote something!  

 

#5  Social Quant

9 Magic Social Media and Marketing Tools
Double your Twitter followers the RIGHT way with Social Quant

I must admit I was a late starter to Twitter (mainly due to not “getting it” for a year or two).  Funnily enough, it’s currently one of the main sites I get traffic and sales from.

So I was reasonably happy (being a late starter) to have built my following on Twitter to around 10k quality followers.  All organic, and the only tools I used were for scheduling tweets.. no fancy tools, and a lot of engagement.

But recently I was chatting to a friend, Ian Cleary from Razor Social about a tool he was using to grow Twitter Followers – Social Quant. – so I decided to test it out too (you can read Ian’s article about it here). My engagement and posting hasn’t changed (I still post a lot of content from my own blog and especially other people I follow.  But Social Quant has been a great way to find quality people to follow.

Admittedly I was a bit haphazard with my following strategy before now,. I would always follow people that share and tweet great content, but I was not doing it regularly.

The result? I love it.

Why? I doubled my followers in exactly 3 months.

Not from buying followers (that idea is abhorrent to me). I doubled my followers from following the right type of people. Social Quant follows people based on strict categories and criteria.

For example, if you want to be following people interested in finance and accounting, those are the people that Social Quant will follow.

Personally, I have chosen to follow people interested in visual content, image creation, social media marketing, as well as specific tools like Canva. I have also set Social Quant to follow people that follow influencers I know that my audience would be interested in… and so on.

The Magic?  Social Quant doesn’t just randomly follow people. It’s based on carefully selected categories or keywords that you enter and you can modify in the dashboard at any time.  So the people you follow via Social Quant are quality, and are

(a) within Twitter’s follow rates based on your current following.

(b) quality followers because they are based on targeted keywords.

A Tip:   As I said, I was following people who engaged with my content (great for growing a quality following, but it does have its limitations!).  You will get a few more Auto DMs than usual when you follow more people so be prepared for that  – I wish Auto DMs would disappear to another galaxy – but that’s a post for another time.  On the upside, it’s a way to find people to engage with if you have time.  I definitely still get some great DMs amongst them and find they start some fun conversations on Twitter.  

 

#6  Place It

9 Magic Social Media and Marketing Tools
Be a branding ninja with Placeit

LOVE this tool for being able to easily create the most awesome branding image mockups and demo videos.  Placeit allows you to take any of your branding images, logos, photos and place them into pre-designed images ranging from technology devices to apparel.

You may have heard of Placeit and maybe used it a while back. I would suggest that now is a great time to revisit Placeit and check out their templates. Because a lot has changed, and a lot has been added.

The Magic? If you are creating online courses, social media images, webinars, products or basically anything that involves showcasing products and images of your brand, this tool can literally create visual magic and make a small biz look like a big gun. Check it out!

 

#7 Buzzsumo

9 Magic Social Media and Marketing Tools
Be a branding ninja with Placeit

 

I have used Buzzsumo this past year and I love it. I wrote about it in more detail here.  But I wanted to share something cool about Buzzsumo that I discovered recently and it has to do with Twitter (and Google Chrome).

The Buzzsumo Chrome Plugin Simply Rocks!  You can grab it here.  It rocks because of many reasons, but for me the main thing it has brought back to me is my Twitter Shares.

You see, Twitter recently removed access to their share numbers for plugins and apps, but Buzzsumo have struck a deal with Twitter to retain that information. So I can simply open the app and see how many shares a post has had on Twitter.

I know that there are many other stats we need to look at and shares can be a vanity metric BUT I still want to know what is being shared so I can get feedback.  I won’t lie, I wish Twitter would bring back the access, as it’s just strange, but the google chrome plugin is a small way to make it better.

The Magic?  There are a thousand ways why Buzzsumo is awesome and you should check it out, but the magic to me is the way Buzzsumo acts like a crystal ball for seeing what works online in terms of content. The Google Chrome Plugin just adds to the magic.  

 

#8 Reflector App

Reflector App (2) has been awesome for creating magic when doing (a) presentations and (b) video recordings.

If you have visited here before, you know that I post a lot about visual content and in particular visual content apps and smartphone tools.

Sometimes I want to record how they work in real time, and Reflector allows me to record my iphone by mirroring what I see and do on my iphone to my laptop where I can record it with Screenflow.

It’s great for live presentations or for recording how-to videos on my smart phone. It’s live streaming for teaching.

The Magic?  It’s pretty obvious – this tool allows my subscribers and program members and audience members to literally look over my shoulder as I create content.  That to me is magic.  

#9 Rescue Time

Want to get your time back? Check out this post - 9 Magic Social Media and Marketing Tools.
Want your time back? Use Rescue Time.

Remember that little “productivity” challenge I have on a daily basis? I finally gave in and tried Rescue Time as recommended by a friend (thanks again Ian Cleary… the man’s a genius).

Rescue time allows you to understand your daily habits so you can focus and be more productive.  It’s a cool tool that ticks along in the background as you do your work – you can use it to monitor and provide feedback OR you can use it to block certain sites you want to stay away from (hello Facebook) so you can get more done).

The Magic?  For me, it’s the feedback and the blocking capabilities. When you know you are being watched (in a nice way) you get more done. Magic.  

9 Magic Social Media and Marketing Tools for 2016
Love these Magic Tools? Pin it for Later

Over to You.

Are you going to take advantage of these magic tools and check them out?  Which ones are you using already and which is the one that you can’t wait to try?  Let me know in the comments below.  

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is the founder of Socially Sorted, a Top 10 Social Media Blog Winner in 2015 & 2016, and winner of the 2014 Best Australian Blogs Competition (Business Category). Donna helps businesses, bloggers and entrepreneurs use visual social media and content strategy to get more traffic, shares and sales in their business. She is a contributor to Entrepreneur Online and Social Media Examiner and has been featured in Forbes, NBC, Yahoo, the Huffington Pos, Entrepreneur and Problogger.
  • Louise Bradley

    This is a great round up and came at just the right moment! Like you, I came late to Twitter. Joined in 2009 and started using November 2015! I didn’t want to hack grow, and have spent many hours getting to 1000 followers the other day. I decided that it was time to use Social Quant (I’ve considered a few options) but should I persevere till I get a few more numbers? I have plenty of other things going on in starting up my new biz (website, FB page, biz social platforms) and btw was meant to be doing a visual challenge you set, but am sinking under lack of time. I’m thinking Rescue time too 🙂 ps. I hate dm’s too, and don’t want to things to look ‘automated’ but I’m one person…so needs must, and as you rate SQ that has helped me make my decision. Thanks!

    • Hey Louise – great questions and I feel your pain re trying to do a lot. I would consider social quant but just bear in mind it works better after 2000 followers as that is the point at which Twitter lets you follow more people – however – it also does help you get to 2000 – just that part is a little slower. I have been using it on my newer Twitter account and after 3 months it has almost hit 2000 so it definitely helps and I will be more active on that too which will grow it quicker. It also helps if you monitor your keywords so you are following great people. As for the visual challenge, stay on the list and join if you can but if you can’t don’t beat yourself up about it as the content is designed to help you in the long term as well as during the challenge and funnily enough we also cover tips for where to start if you are feeling like you are – not sure where to start next .

      • Ps if you want other tips for growing your Twitter followers the article by Ian Cleary above is great – the link is in the social quant section!

  • Katie Bennett

    Fab article Donna! Thanks for putting this together 🙂

    • Thanks Katie – glad you found it useful! (if that’s the photographer Katie I think you are how are you and where are you now!!)

  • Checking out Reflector app and Brain FM now! Thanks for the tips. LOVE Wisestamp and place it too 🙂

    • Awesome – hope you love them like I do! Glad to hear you like wisestamp and placeit too!

  • Hey Donna, thanks for the magical Social Media Marketing tools!

    I’m going to check out PlaceIt and Social Quant now 🙂

    Daniel

    • Awesome Daniel – I hope they help and Happy New Year!

    • Debina joe

      Hi Daniel,
      I would think Blog2Social WordPress is a better option. It has an advantage that there is no server side installation or setting required. You just have to simply install that thing. It allows the post author to advance directly to the posting dashboard of Blog2Social Word-press, in which pre filled posting texts are provided. After customizing the texts the author schedules the posts or publishes them without delay.

      • Thanks for the suggestion Debina 🙂

        Daniel

        • Hey Daniel – I’d be careful as Debina is spamming a ton of blog post commenters with this spiel and I don’t recommend any wordpress plugin that we haven’t tested and had my web guy check out for me. Just wanted to let you know (and I know you can see uncool social practices a mile off, just like I can).

          • Thanks Donna, I thought as much I was just being polite. Can’t believe people still try and market in this way it’s crazy!

          • Debina joe

            Hi Donna and Daniel,

            Thank you for your message.

            Apologies for any inconvenience caused and I am really gutted that you felt I am spamming your blog, but I will make sure that don’t comment on it any longer, thank you very much for the heads up and I will look forward to reading further blogs from you.

            Regards,
            Debbie

          • Hi Debbie – my assistant checks out some of the tools that people recommend as a natural course of blog comments on our site – any of the good ones, I check out too. She noticed your tool didn’t really have similar functions to those I mentioned in the post, so she did a search as your comment sounded a little promotional. That’s when we found you had posted the same thing on quite a few other blog posts.. always suggesting to try your tool instead.
            Usually when that happens it is often someone who owns a tool company or is working for one and is spamming other sites to spread the word about their product. I am sorry if the word spam offended you, but that is the word that describes posting unsolicited content on someone’s blog that is purely self promotional. We don’t have an issue per se with followers mentioning their favourite tools, and you will notice I often ask for people to post about their favourite profiles/tools/strategies int the comments – it just becomes an issue when it is another company posting about their own tool. If I am wrong and you are just a super fan posting about a tool you love, then perhaps consider contributing to blogs and joining in the discussion instead of just posting about that same tool. If I am right, then please consider changing your approach. Thanks.

      • Hi Debina – please refrain from spamming blog posts about your tool (and I presume it is your tool or you work for this company as you have written this same comment on a bunch of blog posts about tools). It’s not cool social… and if you post again like this on my blog I’ll be deleting your comments. In fact I will probably delete this too. There are better ways to do marketing and you are not giving your plugin a good name by doing it this way.

  • Loved some of these tools Donna. Thanks for the round up. Quick question re: PlaceIt… do I need Photoshop to edit those pics or can I use an online tool like Canva or PicMonkey?

    • Hi Monika – no you don’t need Photoshop – you can definitely edit your images in any image editing tool (I use Canva for most of my images now) and it will be fine in Place It – as long as it is in the dimensions they require you are good to go (sorry for the delay in replying – I was travelling on my way home from Holidays).

  • Veronika med K

    Thanks for the tips! I’ve downloaded Image Optim and RescueTime. I’m VERY curious to see what the latter reveals… I’m suspecting a big YIKES! (I tried another similar service a while back but it froze up my computer which hardly lead to more productivity, but have high hopes for this one!)

    • haha thanks Veronika and yes I was a bit worried about Rescue Time too – I did notice a few places I was letting my attention stray, that’s for sure!

  • Wow, so many amazing tools. I’m a big fan of Wisestamp, Buzzsumo and Brain FM. I’ve also used Rescue Time and find it useful. I’ve never come across Reflector- it looks like it’s what I’ve been looking for!
    I had heard of Social Quint before, but not looked at it closely until now. I love the idea, but unfortunately I think there a few potential issues. Firstly they require your Twitter password which is a big no no from a security standpoint. I am sure I can trust them, but it’s not good practice to give a 3rd party your Twitter password and it goes against Twitter’s terms. Secondly Social Quint automate following and unfollowing- and that definitely goes against Twitter’s terms. Manage Flitter had this issue a year back- and had to change to a manual process. I fear Social Quint is going to be asked to stop this automation from Twitter. A shame, as it looks like a great tool.
    I have to say, I always love your tool round ups- I like to think I know quite a few tools- but you always surprise me! Thanks! 🙂

    • Thanks Ian – yes Reflector is great for doing recordings of your ipad or iphone screen and showing all those wonderful apps we can use. I also really love Brain FM – I am using it a lot now. I used to use another one that was similar called Focus at Will – otherwise I have a tendency to listen to other music that has me dancing more than working… but Brain FM is definitely a good one.

      Re Social Quant I researched recommendations from HubSpot, and of course people like Kim Garst, Ian Cleary, John Jantsch etc..as well as talking to the CEO at length before trialling it. Yes it does require password management which is like handing over your password to a social media manager – I will edit to add that people should contact their team to chat with them at length about this, as I totally appreciate there is always a level of risk in having someone manage your accounts like that. Most of the people I know who are using it are happy with that risk assessment vs having a team member do it but it is definitely a factor. Trust me I am usually very wary and everything is via Lastpass. My research and discussion with their team indicated that they are doing a similar process to Manage Flitter in that it is not fully automated – ie tweeting is managed by a team and only some parts are automated in terms of decision making re who to follow etc. Yes, pure machine automation is against the terms of Twitter and I would recommend you reach out to their CEO, Mike to discuss it if you want to know more about how it works. You can read more about Social Quant on Social Media Examiner, HubSpot, Rebekah Radice, RazorSocial or I strongly recommend reaching out to the CEO Mike Kawula at 844-738-9338 who is very open to answering questions on Social Quant (and you can email him easily as well via their contact form – he is very engaged with users). I appreciate your comments though and hope you are having a great start to the year!

      • Thanks for your reply. I’m very excited about Reflector because it’s totally cross platform. Since I have a PC, an Android device and an iPad this means I am totally covered. Thanks for the recommendation.
        As for Brain FM, I should use it more. I do need something when I am working out and about- for example a coffee shop. I used to listen to brown noise via simplynoise. Brown noise dulls the sounds around you and is less harsh than white noise. I’ve found it hard to work with music in the background- maybe because I’m also a musician and I tend to analyse the music I listen to, but Brian FM works really well.

        As for Social Quant, I had second thoughts after posting those comments. I hope my comments didn’t sound too critical. I know some big names use and recommend the tool. I use LastPass too and wouldn’t be without it- glad you do too. I suppose it’s just a case of understanding the risks. There are other tools such as Schedugram that require login details. Personally I’ve never been comfortable with tools that need this, but it’s very much a personal thing- and as long as you understand the risks then great.

        I’ll definitely contact Mike as you say. Great that he is approachable and open. I love hearing about new tools. And I really want to like Social Quant!

        Thanks again, and a very Happy New Year to you. Hope I can get to meet you properly at SMMW!

        • No problems! and it’s always worthwhile doing your research… and I am the same – I get too involved in regular music so I find Brain.fm to be much more productive!

  • After your post I’ve tried Social Quant and I can say, it rocks! I’ve doubled my twitter followers in a week and I get engagements now, chats and good connections. Thank you!

    • Awesome – glad you are finding it effective – and the engagement and connection is the best part! That trumps followers any day!

  • Hi Donna,

    Thanks so much for sharing this list! I can’t wait to try out Brain FM and Rescue Time.

    I love using WiseStamp, PlaceIt, and Buzzsumo! I didn’t know you can edit WiseStamp for promotions. Great idea!

    Thanks and take care,
    Lillian

    • That’s great to hear Lillian – I am loving both of those tools too… though my procrastination qualities are not too happy about them haha. Yes the WiseStamp link is great – it’s so easy with it being integrated in Gmail, I just add it to the list of links and banners to change when we change promotions – you simply click on it, edit, add the new link and voila – it’s in all of your emails!

  • sri raj

    Nice handy tools Donna. Thank you for sharing!

    • Thanks Sri – glad you liked it!

      • sri raj

        Donna I am wondering how much time and research you are putting to make these beautiful pieces of content. I truly appreciate work you are doing. Each piece is very valuable to a fresher like me. Once again thanks for helping us

        • thanks so much Sri – I must admit when I first started writing it would take me hours to do a post but I have a bit of a system now so it is much faster. It also depends on the content – posts like this are not too hard (other than uploading all the images etc) as I can easily write about tools I love. Deeper, strategy posts etc can take a little more research and work, but it always makes it worth it to get feedback like this. I really appreciate you stopping by!

  • Hi Donna,
    BrainFM really caught my intrigue. It is cool reminiscing on this tool. For it having the capability to improving focus, relaxation and sleep means that it is the right tool for productivity. I am checking out the free session, already!

    • I LOVE Brain.FM – I have been using it a lot today as I had a lot of work to get done and I really focus well with it. The cool thing about the free sessions is that you get about 6 or 7 of them so it is plenty of time to try different music and different styles (ie focus, relaxation etc). Have fun with it!

  • Gabriel Trigg

    Donna, the BrainFm app is rad! I had my doubts before trying out the app. I thought i was gonna fall asleep! I have this 1000 word article due on Friday which I just started last night–I was out of focus lately due to other tasks piling up. Then I tried BrainFm—my creative juices finally snapped and my mind was like on hyper focus. I finished the article. I hope you keep posting magical apps to help everyone. 😉

    • I LOVE that! I had my doubts too but I was so productive and still am (about to switch it on now, thanks for the reminder). And yes, I am always finding magical apps for you so stay tuned!

      • …tuned to Brain.FM of course haha couldn’t resist!

  • You are amazing, Donna Moritz!! Everytime I read you it’s like I wanna kiss you or something! Thank you so much for this tips!

    • haha thanks Lorena – on a Friday afternoon when I have had enough of work and I am ready for a wine that made me smile (and laugh). Glad you found it useful – have an awesome weekend!

  • Ivelisse Arroyo

    Donna these are wonderful tools I didn’t know existed! I will definitely try them. Thanks for sharing such valuable information to make things easier, less time consuming and yet so powerful!

    • Awesome Ivelisse – glad you found it useful! And glad to know I achieved my goal of helping you to win back some time!

  • Thanks Donna for the compilation. These tools will be of useful to me. They are more simple yet not so complicated tools that perform there job perfectly as you want. Tools and software are everywhere. It is as many as you can imagine. These tools are truly magic. I will try each of these tools. More articles to write.

  • Gloria

    Wow, such a great list! Very inspiring 🙂 I love it, Donna!
    I also wonder have you ever try social listening for social media marketing? I would like to recommend to try BRAND24 which is very nice, easy to use and efficient tool for social listening, real-time internet monitoring and analyses. I’m sure you would like it!

    • Thanks (i see you are their community manager so best to send pitches to our team via my web form and not here) but I have not used it (though I am not a full service agency).

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