Stay ahead of the curve with social media, online and mobile tools, Pt. 1
By Todd Greider
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “How will I find the time to research and read everything going on in my industry?” There’s no simple answer and it will require some time. However, here are some tools that may make your life a bit easier.
Social media and online tools, when done right, can be extremely effective for communicating and building relationships. However, if only used for communication, you may inadvertently miss out on important content organization tools, as well as extremely helpful listening and research tools that will help keep you up-to-date on industry trends.
Your clients expect you to be the expert in your field and will rely on you for current information. With all the CE requirements needed to keep industry designations, as well as regulatory and other industry changes, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “How will I find the time to research and read everything going on in my industry?”
There’s no simple answer and it will require some time. However, here are some tools that may make your life a bit easier.
- Evernote: Perhaps one of my favorite tools, you can capture virtually anything. From documenting your ideas, things you see and hear (pictures, audio files, etc.), clipping articles from the web for easy sharing, or simply just organizing your thoughts, this tool does it all. Did I mention that it is accessible from anywhere (iPad, iPhone, Android, desktop, etc.)? I use it for taking notes at conferences, saving Web pages I want to quickly reference or categorize, and documenting my ideas for articles. Everything is at my fingertips, where and when I need it. From a communications perspective, it allows me to keep others informed of my research and work. All files can easily be shared to a social network or sent via email. It really is that simple.
- Pocket (Formerly Read It Later): This tool allows you to save articles you come across on the Web, but don’t have time to read immediately. When saving articles, you can assign tags to them for quick recovery later. Tag them for sharing, assign tag names for projects you're working on (i.e. research for a client), or anything else that you can think of. This allows you to read articles you’ve already sent to Pocket easily during your down time on planes, weekends, or with your morning cup of coffee before your first client meeting. It also makes it easy to share once you have read the article, and it's available on most mobile devices. This tool, coupled with others like Evernote and Hootsuite (more in part two), are great for content curation on your social media platforms. It helps keep a library of information in your cue for future distribution.
- Google Reader: I use this tool to subscribe to blogs and RSS feeds from some of my favorite bloggers and news sources. It is an incredible time saver. I no longer have to actively go out to different sites and look for articles of interest. I simply go to my Google Reader and scan through the various feeds in one location and identify articles of interest. Some I will read immediately
and others I send to Pocket or Evernote.
You may also be interested in knowing that you can create Google Alerts for key words (your name, company name, industry references, etc.) and receive the results as a feed to your Google Reader versus receiving an email. This approach has kept me better informed, while at the same time enabling me to cut back significantly on the number of emails I receive. Besides, we all know that email is the black hole of the Internet, where your valued time goes to die.