Ultimate list of the best social media tools

We have an amazing set of social media tools, audio/video tools, and internet marketing tools at our disposal when we are working on your project. Most of these social media tools are free and available for anybody to use. We use the tools listed on this page (and several other secret tools) to improve the search engine optimization, search engine marketing, and social media projects for our clients. For a company to appear on this page we have to have used them ourselves and been very happy with the service we received.

For several of the the social media tools on this page we list the relative cost in terms of Free, $, $$ and $$$
Click to jump to a section:Social Media Tools, Affiliate Networks, Analytics, Books We Love, eCommerce, Forums, Hardware, Hosting, Keyword Tools, Marketing, Merchant Accounts, Productivity, Website Testing, WordPress Resources

Social Media Tools

  • Hootsuite – This is a web-based dashboard that lets you read and update several social media sites all at one time. We use this daily. This company is constantly upgrading and adding new features. It is easy to use, and can handle all of the major social network that are online right now. You can preschedule any social updates, and also measure how many people use your links. The pro version of their software is only $6/month.
  • Buffer – You can’t be online all of the time sharing and cultivating great content for your followers. This is where Buffer helps. It is a easy, affordable tool that helps you schedule your content sharing. We spend an intense period of time every day to find useful information that helps our followers and clients. We then use buffer to share this information on our social media accounts over time. We use buffer to keep our sharing frequent enough to be useful, but we also space out our updates so we are not too annoying. I don’t know what we’d do without it.

Affiliate Networks

  • ShareASale.com – Free -  Affiliate network. Sign up and there is a wealth of products at you fingertips if you’d like to marketing something online but don’t have a good source of ideas, stores or products.

Analytics

  • GetClicky – $ – Our current favorite analytics tool. Allows real time user tracking and a level of detail that most other tools do not. You can drill down to each user session and track their route as they browsed around your site. Also has an iPhone version which we love.
  • Google Analytics – Free – The industry standard when it comes to web analytics. Provides an amazing amount of in-depth information about your web traffic. Also ties into your adwords accts for good measurements on conversion and PPC ad effectiveness.
  • Optimizely - $ – Allows amazing A/B testing of website content
  • Piwik – Free – Open source free website analytics (free)
  • Reinvigorate - $$ -  Paid web analytics package. Nice features like heatmaps, etc.

Books We Love

  • The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization (Theory in Practice) Ultimate list of the best social media tools – $ – This is one of the best SEO books we have read in a long time. It is not a small book and it is deeply technical and analytical . Don’t get this book if you don’t have the time or inclination to get hardcore geeky with tuning your website. But if you are that type of person you will love this book. This is one of the favorite technical books our possession.

eCommerce

  • 3D Cart – $-$$$ -  If you are looking to get into ecommerce over 10 products or $2000/month we highly recommend this shopping cart. Online shopping carts are an area that we have extensive experience with. If you’d like to discuss ecommerce in more detail before starting contact us so we can ensure you project gets started on the right foot.

Forums

  • AbestWeb – Free – Affiliate Marketing Forums. A great place to learn about marketing other peoples products online . Also just a great place for online marketing knowledge.

Hardware

  • Kodak PlayTouch Video Camera- $$ – I bought this to replace our previous recommendation since they don’t make the Flipcam any more. I love this camera. I did a lot of reading before I bought this and there are no important areas where this camera suffers. I’ve made several test videos with it and the quality is great. It is small, light and comes with a protective bag. The screen is larger than most cameras in it’s class. There are no buttons ; everything runs off of the touch screen. It is a regular camera in addition to a video camera. It comes with a removable battery and memory card. I recommend you buy and 16G card for so you can hold plenty of video. Mine says I can get almost 4 hours on it. It has a built-in microphone and an external microphone connector. I recommend you spend $20 and get a lav mic to plug in to it. I also picked up a remote control for it. It was very to get the video from the camera to my mac for editing and posting to YouTube. The camera comes with it’s own software to this but I would not recommend using it.
  • Blue Yeti THX Microphone – We bought this microphone in November of 2010 and are in love with it. All of our microphones sounded great until we picked up this jewel. It is big and heavy which is exactly what you want for a desktop microphone. Not those skinny, light, flaky things you see at Walmart. The sound quality and settings are the best we have in the company now, and we look for reasons to record this. Customer feedback has been great from across the country also. If you want to up the quality of the internet marketing you do for your customers then you want this microphone.

Hosting/Domains

  • DomainsBot – Allows you to put in keywords and have a variety of domain names suggested to you. Great when you need to purchase several domains to cover an area
  • Hostgator - We love them and you will too. They are very WordPress friendly. Important: We have a special deal set up with them for one cent hosting for the first month of service ONLY IF you sign up with the coupon code ‘allaboutfocus‘. This coupon works for anybody you want to share it with. Special Note: If you use the link above to sign up for Hostgator web hosting I will install WordPress for you for free. Email me or call me for details.

Keyword Tools

Marketing

  • SkinIt.com – Laptop, iPad and iPhone Skins. This is the company that I used to order the infamous JustAskPatrick.com laptop skin. My laptop skin gets me business all of the time. Put yourself in the right place in a coffee shop and everybody in the place will see your billboard. Much better than advertising for the company that made your laptop.
  • Allographics – $$ – Oklahoma City-based graphic and web design. Great budget-friendly designs catered towards the small business
  • Event Espresso – $ – What we use to manage our paid/free event calendar in WordPress
  • Infusionsoft Marketing Automation – $$$ – This is what we use for marketing. The GOLD STANDARD when it comes to email marketing, marketing automation, eCommerce and affiliate management. We live and die by this tool. It does amazing things, and takes the place of four other tools we were using. Click on the link and get their free guide. This product and company is amazing.
  • MailChimp- Free/$  – The email mailing list software we use and love. Up to 500 people on your email list for free.
  • Freshbooks- $ – Online invoicing for your clients. We use them to bill our clients. Makes doing business fast and invoicing customers fun.
  • Speechpad Audio Transcription Service – $ – This company will take any video or audio file and turn it into text for you. This is great for people like us who have a lot of content to share but don’t want to take all of the time to write it up.

Merchant Account/Accepting credit cards

  • eOnlineData – $ – Start accepting credit cards at your real or virtual business today. Very fast approval. This is who we used for our merchant account
  • CompleteSSL- $ – Makes your site secure, needed for eCommerce and shopping carts that are NOT using PayPal

Productivity

  • Dropbox - Free/$ – Online file sharing, backup and versioning at it’s best. You install Dropbox, you start keeping all of your files there, and you sleep easy at night. Every file is backed up online and to every other computer you own. And every file is versioned so you can fall back to an older version. Dropbox is the absolute first thing I install on on every new machine I set up.
  • Leechblock – Free -  A very nice Firefox plugin that allows you block certain sites for certain time period. Great for maintaining focus.
  • RescueTime – Free/$ – We use rescue time to track our productivity and make sure we are spending time on the projects and things that matter most to our business. Try it out – free 30 day trial.
  • RingCentral – $ – This is who we use to manage our local and 800 number services. They do virutal PBX, voip, local numbers, 800 numbers and many other services that you can use to make your company look very professional a small budget. We love our RingCentral.

Webinars/Seminars

  • Stealth Seminar – Webinars are an amazing selling and lead generation tool. If you can sit at your office and educate your clients, then you have a very high value low expense way of building business. If you can automate it and repeat it – it gets even better. That is what Stealth Seminar does. It lets you set up regular, recurring, recorded webinars that generate business for you. Click the link and check it out.

Website Testing

  • Google Website Optimizer – Free -  Test multiple versions of content on your site to see what converts better
  • Optimizely - $ – Allows amazing A/B testing of website content
  • Pingdom – $/Free -  Test your website speed. The faster the site the happier the customer
  • W3C Standards Testing & Validation – Free -  Test a website against industry website best practices and guidelines

WordPress Resources and Plugins

  • Wishlist Membership – $$ -  Create a private members-only area (free or paid) on your WordPress website. Keep content, blog posts, videos, etc. private. Allows multiple membership levels.
  • MaxCDN - $/monthly – Distributes copies of your website files all over the world. When you need amazing performance out of your website you want to use MaxCDN. It will ensure your users get your website as fast as possible.
  • StudioPress – $$ – Another place for great WordPress themes and WordPress theme frameworks
  • Networks + – Set up multiple WP site networks and subnetworks
  • WP Replicator – Easily copy a WP site to another WP site
  • WordPress Technical Quick Ref – (Thanks Jon Fisher) – Great quick reference sheet of WordPress files and functions that is meant to be printed and turned into a poster. Only use this if you have high geek skills. Not for the faint of heart.
  • WordPress Function Reference – Interactive quick reference guide
  • WordPress Yoast SEO Plugin – $ – We installed this on one of our sites and within ten minutes were amazed by how useful it was. Definitely check it out for your own use.

Disclosure: Some of these links are direct links and some are affiliate links i.e. we get compensated for the referral. That does not affect who we list on this page. We fully support any company that we refer because we have used their services to grow our own business and to grow yours. If you have any questions or issues with the links on this page please contact us.