At the beginning of the year we posted about five social networking trends that freelancers may wish to explore. While those five trends will still be of interest to many, six months is a long time when it comes to technology. That’s why I’m posting today about four more social media tools or apps that you may wish to explore.
Here’s the newest list of social media trends for freelancers:
Perhaps the biggest change in the social media arena is the addition of a major new platform by Google, Google+. Although the platform is still in beta at the time of this writing, it will almost certainly become a major player in the social media arena.
Of course, the number of users on Google+ is currently limited to those who can get invites, but once Google opens it to the general public I expect that it will take off. With Google as a backer, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one advertised on mainstream media either–Google certainly has the resources to wage a full scale campaign.
I’ve been fortunate enough to be one of the early adapters of Google+, and my initial reaction is mostly positive. This platform directly addresses many of the concerns that users have had with Facebook and other social media tools (such as the ability to control who sees which information). In addition, Google+ has the potential to become an all-in-one platform since other Google tools are already incorporated. I also understand a business platform is on the way.
Some key features include:
- Circles. Divide your contacts into categories. You get to choose which circle can see which information.
- The Plus. The plus of Google+ allows you to vote on virtually everything on the Internet. Ultimately, this will impact search engine rankings.
- The Hangout. Chat with up to ten of your contacts at the same time.
- The integration. Google offers a large number of tools already (such as Google Documents, Analytics, email, etc.). Now they are all integrated with Google+.
Google+ is definitely one to watch and it might well eventually become a social networking standard for freelancers and other small businesses.
Influence, and specifically social media influence, has been a big topic for the past year, or so. People are looking for ways to determine whether their social networking is effective. (And who can blame them?)
As a result of this need, several apps have sprung up to help social media users determine whether their efforts are working. Klout is one of these apps.
If you give Klout access to your Twitter, Facebook, and/or LinkedIn account it will provide you with some interesting statistics about your social media usage conveniently displayed on a handy dashboard. Among other stats, some information you will find includes:
- A list of those you interact with most frequently
- The probability that something you share will be acted on (amplification)
- Your true reach
You can also compare your influence to others and even affect the Klout scores of your friends. One of the most interesting aspects of the app is the underdeveloped Perks feature, which offers “rewards” to those who have achieved a high Klout score.
The Klout app is also in beta, so there may be additional features added in the near future.
Twylah is a Twitter aggregator, much like paper.li. However, rather than the end result appearing like a newspaper, the Twylah aggregation is designed to be a customizeable landing page of your related topics. In fact, the focus of Twylah seems to be much more about you and your brand. There’s even an option for your readers to click on so they can follow you in Twitter.
Another distinguishing feature of Twylah is the power tweet, which some reviewers have claimed can dramatically increase traffic. However, like other Twitter aggregators, Twylah creates an additional layer between Twitter and the original source of the content.
Like the other tools mentioned, Twylah is in beta version.
ReferralKey, or something like it, may well be how freelancers find jobs in the future. (Although some might argue that LinkedIn is already meeting this need.)
The site is designed specifically for helping freelancers refer projects to each other. Freelancers connect with those who they might recommend for future projects, with colleagues rating each other in six categories ranging from responsiveness to fees. There’s also the option to reward those colleagues who refer work to you with a finder’s fee.
ReferralKey is also open to members of the community, who can review the profiles in the member directory and select the freelancer whose services they wish to use.
I know this will be a place I check when I need to refer work to a colleague.
Have you tried any new social media tools or apps lately? Share your experiences in the comments below.
Image by Arne Hendriks