Talking of scalability, networking, and the ever-increasing customer traffic solutions and opportunities, small businesses have never had it this easy. Today, we see all kinds of project planning/productivity/management and social media tools and applications indulge in smooth talks of business relevancy for quick sign-ups and consequent upgrades. Are you afraid of having too many things going at the same time? Well, that’s the interesting part of doing business in this ever-changing tech age.
From incubating, processing, and refining of ideas to validation of business processes, creation of production inputs based on economies of scale, and tailoring of market-centric plans for greater revenue and customer generation, these new age digital tools and applications make a lethal daily survival kit, elegantly packaged via the Internet of Things. Everything boils down to the availability and usability of data, both small and big, and it is here that small businesses are finding themselves in a new territory of financial/operational/product experiments to build themselves from the ground up. While the early movers need not be told what they should try and do, a very large section of small business professionals are still out there carrying out their newly-built or newly-converted digital businesses from a position of limited outreach. In a technology and innovation-driven market where yesterday’s monopolies and competitive advantages are being disrupted every second day, one can’t afford to be limited in outreach. It’s time to understand the new game of data and make swift beginnings.
We have lined up a few planning, management, and resource tools that can work wonders for small businesses. There are always alternatives (some possibly even better) to the tools that we are going to recommend, but the ones making up our list are already making waves in the market. So, let’s get going with the list, which has been divided into five parts – i) content curation; ii) social media management; iii) analytics; iv) the art of story-telling; and v) inspirational springboards.

Content Curation

i) Website: www.nuzzel.com 01

What is it meant for?
Nuzzel enables you to gain the leverage of shared news from your social network (Facebook and Twitter).

How does it work?

The site has a simple sign-up with Facebook/Twitter login. Given below is a screenshot of my Nuzzel page (I’ve used the FB login): 02

As you can see from my page above, you can view “News from your friends”, “News from friends of friends”, “News you may have missed”, and “Recently read stories”. You can not only follow, share, and comment on the stories shared by your friends and friends of friends but also look at other stories they have liked and commented upon. You can invite friends to this network, and receive a daily email digest and news alerts for stories shared by friends in your preferred time.Benefits: Even the most ardent Facebook and Twitter aficionados miss out on a lot of action of their friends. But Nuzzel helps you keep track of all that they do on the social network in terms of news story engagements, giving you a heads-up on the trending topics across the world. Now, if a small business owner knows what’s trending in the market, he can take suitable follow-up action with his product and service deliveries. What’s more, some or all of your friends and friends of friends could even prove to be his end-customers or brand ambassadors if he cultivates a healthy relationship of news sharing (well, wouldn’t it be great if it’s a story of his own or a story on him?).

ii) Website: www.contentgems.com

What is it meant for?
Customized content couldn’t get any better. Contentgems.com curates articles on the basis of categorization of your interests and customization. It sources content from top content and blogging platforms by monitoring 200,000+ curated sources. It has a comprehensive user interface, enabling you to aggregate the most accurate topics through an instant, exhaustive search. Aside that, article sharing with your friends on social networks is easy through Contentgems.com since it is integrated with Hootsuite and Buffer.

How does it work?
Contentgems.com has a simple email sign-up. Once you arrive on your page, it shows up “What’s New”.

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Now, the screenshot that I have given above is a “What’s New” page that is in default, with “content marketing” figuring in the search criteria. It asks you to mention some keywords for the kind of article you are looking for, and then there’s the time span you can choose for each of these searches (as shown in the top panel on the right side). The “What’s New” dropdown below the search boxes indicate your interests. Users with a basic account can only go up to two interests (example: content marketing and web design). Any further creation of interests would require you to go for an upgrade. The account plan offered by contentgems.com is given below:

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Benefits: Customized content from 200,000+ sources. You can easily share articles on your social networks. You’ll also get a daily digest of news items based on your interests.

Social media management

i) Website: www.hashatit.com

What is it meant for?
Hashatit.com is a repository of messages, stories, images, and posts linked with #hashtags from social media sites. A #hashtag precedes a keyword or a conjoined phrase. It helps you find useful, relevant links from multiple sources on the basis of the keyword attached to the #hashtag. Ok, you have to be selective here since a lot of spammers are known for misuse of #hashtags and your search results may pop up with a lot of irrelevant links. But then, you know how to use your judgment, so that’s not a problem.

How does it work?
Hashatit.com has a Facebook/Twitter/Instagram sign-up. You can even login with your email id. Once you arrive on your personalized page, create a “Hashtag Board” using the #hashtag with a keyword of your choice. The search results will show up all the stories/articles/posts matching your #hashtagged keyword. For instance, the screenshot of my page at hashatit.com shows the results generated by my Hashtag Board “#contentmarketing”. You can even look for separate hashtag listings on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Each link gives you the option of following people and companies, and if you are being followed by someone, that would show up in the dashboard.

 

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Benefits: If you use your #hashtags correctly, you will be able to make new connections that can bring you or your company immense benefits by way of useful, informative, and well-articulated content.

ii) Website: www.getresponse.com

What is it meant for?
GetResponse is an email marketing service that can help you achieve efficacy in your email campaigns. You are provided with all the necessary tools and elements that go into the creation of an email campaign, and these include embedded videos, links, web forms, social networking buttons, infographics, and anything that can serve as a great add-on. You can even use it for creation of landing pages.

 

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How does it work?
GetResponse’s dashboard enables you to search/add/import contacts; unsubscribe/blacklist multiple email addresses; create newsletters, autoresponders, and RSS to email. GetResponse not only gives you email analytics, import statistics, and survey statistics but also helps you create surveys, web forms, and landing pages. GetResponse’s account upgrade plan is given below:

 

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Benefits: GetResponse has a simple and easy to understand user interface, enabling you to start your email campaign right away. If you do not know certain aspects of email marketing yet, worry not. The dashboard of GetResponse will help you learn the basics instantly.

Analytics

i) Website: www.cyfe.com

What is it meant for?
Cyfe is an all-in-one cloud-based business dashboard that helps you aggregate, analyze, and monitor data pertaining to your online activities, individual departments, projects, and multiple websites including your social networks.

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How does it work? Please watch the official video in the link given below. We couldn’t have said it in a better way!

Cyfe premium plan: Cyfe Premium gives you unlimited dashboards and widgets, historical data, exports, sharing options, customizations, and more – all for just $19 per month ($14 per month, if paid annually).

Benefits: Isn’t it great to have a single business dashboard that can help you make sensible decisions with consistent monitoring and analysis of all of your online activities?

ii) www.socialbro.com

What is it meant for?
SocialBro is a tool that helps you derive more value from Twitter by helping you engage with your audience with insightful information about them and your competitors. 09

 

How does it work?
SocialBro helps you target new followers using filters and analytics; understand the strategies employed by your competitors and target their followers; tells you when is the best time to tweet; provides you with useful information about your potential audience; assists you in a direct message campaign targeting a particular audience; and gives you a better understanding of your account’s performance in comparison with others. Benefits: Great analytics, insights, and boost to your Twitter account’s performance. If you want to take bigger strides on Twitter, then you better consider SocialBro.

Art of story-telling

i) Website: www.infogr.am

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ii) www.piktochart.com

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What are they meant for?
With customizable templates, images, and tools at Infogr.am and Piktochart, you can create visually arresting infographics with easily digestible content.

How do they work?
Anything on these two sites is customizable. You just need to look up the price points of the packages being offered by the two companies. Benefits: Our brains absorb visual information more quickly than textual information. Need we say more!

Inspirational springboards

i) Momentum https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/momentum/laookkfknpbbblfpciffpaejjkokdgca?hl=en

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It is an inspirational personalized dashboard in the form of a Chrome extension. It helps you list and remember your to-do priority tasks through the day, lets you know the temperature of your city, makes you think of a goal for the day, inspires you with an appealing photo in the background and a motivating quote. It opens up every time you open a new tab on Chrome. There’s an “Apps” button on top of the page that will direct you to your default Chrome settings.

How does it work?
Let’s just say it nudges you into action. Benefits: If you are looking for motivation, this is a simple, personalized dashboard.

ii) www.medium.com

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What is it meant for?
If you haven’t heard of this platform, it’s time you discovered. That’s all we’ve got to say. So, what do you think of our recommendations? We know that we’ve left out some formidable players from our list, but hey, we believe the ones we’ve mentioned deserve to be checked out in right earnest.

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