Screen Capture Tools for Social Media Marketing

Writing or presenting something on your blog might be easy to do, but getting your readers to know exactly what you’re talking about may be a little more difficult.  This is why Screen Capturing is a very important tool for bloggers.  Especially for Question and Answer posts, and even tutorial and help type posts work really well with screen captures.

Here are some resources and tools you should also consider:

For Desktop, we have:

  1. Print Screen – this button is already found on your keyboard and automatically captures the screen, and even allow you to paste it into MS Paint for editing.
  2. Windows Vista Snipping Tool – a Window Vista utility that captures screen shots easier, but is only available for Vista Home Premium, Enterprise, Business, or Ultimate Editions.
  3. Jing Project – a free software by Techsmith that’s available for Windows and Mac, that has the capability to instantly capture images and videos, as well as perform sketches on the picture and shared online.
  4. Snag-It – a very useful and perhaps one of the top screen capture software from Techsmith, that captures anything that you see on the screen.
  5. Snag-It WLW plug-in – a plug-in that allow you to capture screen shots using Snag-It, for those that uses the Windows Live Writer software as you blog.
  6. FastStone Capture – a featured screen capture tool that easily captures anything on the screen including menus, windows, objects, full screen, and even scrolling window/web pages.
  7. Evernote – a screen capture management tool that captures information anywhere on the web, that uses any device or platform that you find most convenient.

For Web Tools, the following are available:

  1. Browsershot – a free web service which is a must for web developers the looks of your website in different browsers or versions.
  2. Clip2Net – capable of capturing, sketching, and instantly shares screen captures online.
  3. Websnapr – allows you to create a thumbnail screenshot of any websites, just by simply entering the URL and hit “capture”.

For Firefox Plug-Ins, the available tools are:

  1. Snag-It for Firefox – a small custom Firefox toolbar which is an extension from  Snag-It’s Firefox browser that allows users to screen capture the entire scrolling window, region, Web page, and even texts which can be edited.
  2. ScreenGrab – allows you to save the whole webpage, a frame in JPEG or PNG format or even a particular selection.
  3. FireShot – a more advanced screenshot tool that provides a set of editing tools that can instantly modify web captures insert text and graphic annotations.  A Pro version with more functionality is also available in the amount of about $35.
  4. Page Saver – a free screenshot extension that is almost like ScreenGrab, but does not require Java. A commercial version is also available.
  5. Iimmgg Tools – a simple to use drop-down icon in the toolbar that enables you to capture screen shots of a selected region or the whole scrollable page, or even just the visible area.
  6. Kwout – a Firefox add-on that easily captures and online images or save web pages.  Also provides you the screenshot codes that can be immediately embedded in the website.

More sophisticated and advanced screen capture tools are available, but for Bloggers, these simple tools may be the best way to go.  Although these tools and its’ uses are legal, taking a screenshot of someone else’s website might not be.  So make sure you obey any licences and use only what is needed to make your point.  Also, remember to respect webmasters whose websites you are taking screenshots of.

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Effective Keywords: How to find them.

Your website can only get the best optimization with the right use of effective keywords. Search engine optimization relies on keywords as one crucial ingredient. The right keywords are therefore a requirement… a must for any website owner who wants to succeed in his or her SEO campaigns. But finding the right keywords or keyword phrases can be a very daunting task because a lot of the best keywords are being used by a product, service or business are already being used by many search engine optimization experts and professionals. You can either compete with them for rankings in search results but that would be very difficult. It is strongly suggested that you research your own set of keywords or keyword phrases that are as effective as popular keywords other optimizers are using.

As suggested above, your main task now is to find the most effective keywords or keyword phrases that you will use for your website. There a few strategies that you must consider to find the right keywords to help your site achieve top rankings in search results. First and foremost you need to find out that are the common words being used by people when they are searching for something on the net. These common words are like the “layman’s” terms. These are simple yet effective keywords. We each have our way of describing a thing or service like for example buying “email marketing service” or “email campaign providers.”

It is therefore important how your specific target market prefers to call your product or service. You can find this out by communicating with them through online chat, forums, blogs and social media networking sites. You may also find out how often people use keywords about your product or service by simply conversing with people that you meet every day and taking note of how they call your product or service. Take note of the terms that are often used by your own niche. It is best if you make a list of it and then start the words that top the list first. These words that top your list are the words being used more. Check also spelling variations and keyword phrases construction like for example for singular vs. plural variations and synonyms.

Once you have decided to use a specific set of keywords for optimizing your website, you have to research them to see if they are actually effective.  You want to know what each word’s KEI or Keyword effectiveness index is. Then you must monitor them within a specific period of time, and see if it does pull up your website on top of searches. This involves a little experimenting that you won’t be able to perfect in just a short period of time. It requires constant monitoring of the results. If you find that the keywords you used are weak, then it is time to other keywords and keyword phrases on your list, going through the same kind of process, from implementing to seeing the results.

This process will actually require from you a great deal of your time, but all your efforts won’t be in vain if you see more traffic pour in. You may opt to have someone do the research for you, you can hire an expert or hire a social media virtual assistant.  Whatever you choose to do, make sure you research your keywords before you start blogging and writing content for your website.

How to hire social media help for your business.

What to do when you are unable to do your own social media marketing, probably due to too many things on your plate, or you simply don’t want yourself directly involved on the day to day routine you must have in place to be effective. If you would rather hire someone to shoulder the responsibilities delicately on your behalf to expand your business through social media marketing, here are some of the things you must look for:

Before hiring someone to take your place, it’s imperative to consider the following guidelines to get your social media marketing efforts and be more fruitful in terms of increased business and satisfied clients.

1. Don’t expect it all: It’s obvious you cannot assign all the things to your assistant which involves social media for your business. There are some aspects of social media marketing which you have to do yourself. If you’re not willing to do that yourself, more than likely you won’t be connecting with your followers and your campaign will not be successful.

2. Clear game plan: You must spare some time to draw a clear game plan for your assistant to follow. What you expect him/her to do for your business and how much time is there to get it completed. A checklist to overview the performance regularly will be a good idea to gage the efforts being put in.

3. What tasks to be assigned: You must be very clear in what to assign your assistant, routine work, like uploading videos or writing articles, or you assign them to reply your friends and followers, posting on twitter, writing blogs, participating in discussions, and other more important activities.

4. Who to connect with: If you allow your assistant to more sensitive issues, you should have very detailed instructions with whom to connect and why.

5. Assistant’s Workload: The person you are hiring for your social media marketing should have sufficient free time to work for you. You must have understanding of his/her workload to judge his/her dedication to your assignment.

6. Test timings: Having selected your assistant for the desired campaign, you should allow him/her for a limited period of time to let him/her perform the services you asked for. Should your assistant perform the assignment, as you wished to be done, you may ask him / her to continue to the extended time you have agreed to complete.

You see, having developed reasonable understanding of social media marketing efforts and realizing the scope of work, you have to assign the job to a very competent assistant whom you have well thrashed out from the so-called experts and gurus, for their competency, and then you put some milestones to assess the results. Social media marketing takes time. You have to allow time to grow your followers and provide good content so your audience will listen to what you have to say.
If the SMM campaign gets you 100% of your desired results, you must pass credit to your assistant for his/her competency and devotion– a kind pat on his/her back, and an extra bonus would cheer them up and certainly you, too!