COM0015 – Blog #1: Tools and Sources

social_media

Photo by Ada Love on uwmedicine.org

In today’s day and age where multitasking is the new norm it can be difficult to manage our time effectively. We can be consumed by having so much to do in such a little amount of time that any tools which can help us select and analyze the information we need most are extremely useful.

Whether it’s using these tools for your own personal brand or for social media strategies in a business, the main goal is to minimize stress.

Think of it like yoga for the body. We can stretch our muscles and sharpen out focus, self-reflect upon what’s working for us and what we could improve upon. Just like these tools help us organize our thoughts by scheduling posts, and seeing what can be done better through analytics, it’s important to use these tools properly to get the most out of them.

So what tools are most useful?

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is great. I can use it to monitor the web for topics that interest me, like keeping an eye on digital marketing and public relations key words as those are the career paths I am pursuing.

I like that I can tailor my search results and listen to what trends are changing to stay on top of social media trends related to business.

Buffer

I like Buffer because it’s simple. I know a lot of people who praise Hootsuite as the end-all for social media scheduling and monitoring, and I do find it great when managing multiple platforms at once, but I prefer the streamlined interface of Buffer more user-friendly for personal use of just my own accounts.

I found an interesting article comparing the two here, which points out the different features each has to offer in case anyone was curious.

Simply scheduling my posts and having analytics which show me basic engagement is enough for now, though I would consider adding Hootsuite as a complementary feature.

***

Aside from listening and monitoring tools, we also gather our precious news from many different sources that best suit our needs.

Facebook

I love Facebook because it not only acts as an access point for communicating with my friends and family, but also is a great feed of news updates depending on whom you follow.

I personally like to go to Facebook for my motivational updates. I follow pages like Inc. Magazine, which shows ways to better improve yourself and bring success to things you do, and Girls LOVE Travel®, which is a community of women from all over the world who talk about their adventures and ask for advice.

On top of motivational pages, I can get my daily news from places like CNN or the Ottawa Citizen, which keeps me informed on what’s happening in the world.

Instagram

In contrast to Facebook, I like to use Instagram for more creative purposes.

Since I am into fashion and would like to work with environmentally-conscious brands in the future, I follow many on Instagram to get a better understanding of international brands that maintain my interests.

A couple of the pages I regularly check on for news include Global Fashion Exchange, a page focused on news relating to sustainability in fashion, and LONDRĖ Bodywear, a Canadian brand that I love which makes swimwear out of recycled water bottles.

Having interests in photography also makes this an excellent source as it presents information largely through images which can sometimes be more powerful, and more concise, than articles themselves.

With all of the different news sources available today, it can be overwhelming to try to consume so much at once. What is your favourite news source or monitoring tool that keeps you sane? Please let me know!

Christina

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