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Congratulations! You’ve successfully set up social media accounts for your business and are gaining followers and increasing engagement daily. Your hard work is paying off, but do you feel like social media management is becoming a full-time job, on top of running your small business? With the numerous platforms available, all which have different functionalities and requirements – cue Twitter’s 140 character limit for tweets – it can be a cumbersome undertaking. You may find that you spend a shocking amount of time on this one piece of your business. If you’re nodding your head in agreement, then keep reading!

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As small business owners, you know that networking is of utmost importance to building your business and credibility. Word of mouth endorsements are invaluable and you never know the connections you will make at an event or during an online networking hour. Yet, as a small business owner, attending hours-long events to establish relationships and potential partners is just not part of your daily routine because they’re a major drain on your most precious resource: time. Luckily in this fast-paced digital age, there are a number of professional networking apps that help you to network effectively on your own time.

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Organizer

We’re all guilty of it: toggling between screens and applications; answering emails while talking to someone on speakerphone. These are normal daily activities that eat away at our productivity. The ability to focus on a singular task has become a novel idea; we have forgotten the importance of paying attention to one thing at a time and having complete focus. With increasing responsibilities and deliverables, the average person has resorted to ‘multitasking’ all the time. It is so common that it doesn’t even seem like multitasking anymore.

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Social Media Marketing can be a challenging (and very time consuming) job.  Between finding sharable content, writing high quality blog posts, engaging with your followers, and scheduling posts on all major social platforms, you could drive yourself crazy!

That’s why we’ve put together a list of 16 social media marketing tools that will keep you sane AND reduce the amount of time you spend managing a successful social media presence for yourself or your clients.

Enjoy!

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In the digital age, it becomes easier and easier to build your business with virtual toolkits filled with software and apps that can help your small business function like big business.

But at the same time, we know that the same technology can change in the blink of an eye and unveil a whole new toolbox of resources that can grow your business.

With 63 million Americans telecommuting by 2016 (Global Workplace), it makes sense to evaluate if your own business is providing the necessary technology to keep current employees happy and prospective employees knocking as the typical workday shifts from office to home.

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As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you pride yourself on the ability to wear multiple hats – accountant, marketer, HR manager, analyst, etc.

But we know that what you really care about most is your customer. Which is why you wear all those hats – to be fast, agile, and dedicated to providing the best service and/or product for your consumers.

Sometimes it is tough, and you wonder, ‘if I had resources like the big businesses have, would I be able to better provide for my customers?’

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We’ve talked before about the value of user testing for your small business website, and a few ways to go about it. But have you ever wanted to get the same unbiased feedback to help you make other strategic decisions? Whether it’s a logo, a user experience flow, a new ad, or some copy you’re trying out, getting measurable feedback early in the process can help you save money and get better results.

So, how can you get a significant number of opinions in a way that’s easy to read and base decisions on? Desinion. Every now and then a product or service comes along that seems so fantastic that I just can’t believe that it’s really as inexpensive as it seems. Desinion is one such service. There are free and paid options ($19/year), both of which seem to provide a really excellent value.

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In order to maintain an energetic social media presence and an ambition content posting schedule, sometimes we really need to think that every person who sees and engages with our social posts is a power user; those all-important industry influencers who have the power to make your content go viral.

And while that fantasy can certainly help keep you motivated, it’s important to be aware – even if only in the very back of your mind – that it’s not really the case. Do I say this to dishearten you or rain on your parade? Certainly not. But it is important to be mindful of the need to make every interaction with an influencer on social really count.

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Optimizely Homepage

As a Webs user, you’ve probably experimented in the site builder with different images, different calls to action, or even different button colors  on your website.

How do you usually decide which option is best or appeals to your customers the most?

Do you do user testing, ask friends, or just go by your own gut feeling?  Wouldn’t it be great if there was a tool to help you discover what site designs and images resonate with your customers the most and then provide you with the testing data to provide it?

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Dropbox for Business keynote video


When you small business was in its infancy, it was fine to just email files back and forth between your collaborators – people like your graphic designer, your business partner, and maybe your accountant. But as your business grew and the volume of files being shared around become less manageable, you might have made the switch to a cloud sharing solution. And while that’s a big step toward professionalizing your interactions, you’ve probably noticed the potential complications of having all your business files mixed in with photo albums and personal documents.

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