8 Best Apps for Team Collaboration

8 Best Apps for Team Collaboration.

 

Business-apps

As more and more apps utilize the cloud‘s file-storing and -sharing capabilities, remote team collaboration becomes even easier.

There are hundred of apps that claim to “increase productivity” and “optimize company workflow,” but how many apps actually do? We’ve selected a list of 8 apps that actually make your workday easier, and team collaboration more enjoyable in the process.

 

Did we miss any of your favorite team collaboration apps? If so, please let us know in the comments section below.

1. Dropbox

Dropbox is the quintessential app for file-sharing and document collaboration. Through Dropbox, you can share PDFs, files and folders. When you star a file, you can access it offline later on.

The free app comes with 2.5 GB of free storage space, with options to upgrade your account at a flat rate of $100 per year for 100 GB of space. Dropbox also offers 250 MB of storage for free when you complete five out of seven Getting Started tasks.

2. Flow

Flow makes project management incredibly easy and collaborative. Many business apps try to do too much, resulting in an overwhelming and stress-inducing experience. Flow’s clean, simple design, however, brings a zen-like peace of mind to task management. Plan a project by creating a folder, adding in lists for each project component and writing in an itemized task for each list. You can delegate tasks to co-workers via email, even if the person you’re delegating the task to doesn’t have a Flow account.

The activity log helps everyone involved in a project see when someone is assigned a task and when someone completes it.

3. Skitch

Evernote‘s Skitch app lets you edit photos or snapshots with colorful shapes, arrows and text. With Skitch, you can caption pictures, circle meeting spots on a map or annotate a PDF document.

This app is ideal if you work in any kind of visually creative field. From planning concert brochures to laying out next month’s magazine cover, Skitch makes it easy to communicate visually.

Skitch

Image courtesy of Evernote

4. Salesforce

Salesforce offers an array of options for business-related apps that run on the cloud for seamless work-integration and collaboration.

The Sales Cloud is Salesforce’s CRM app. Its Leaderboard feature shows each sales team member’s rank. It also comes with access to a prioritized list of your top leads so that you can see them all on one page. The Sales Cloud also includes a page with customer contact information and links to their social profile so you can monitor their interaction with your brand on social media.

Social.com is a social advertising management app and is part of Salesforce’s Social Marketing platform. This app helps you manage all of your ad campaigns across every social media platform, from Twitter to Facebook. Social.com helps you target a specific audience and time of day in order to maximize your social reach. It automatically runs higher performing ads, so you get the most out of your campaigns. The Salesforce Marketing Cloud recently expanded its “listening” power to China and Russia through deals with each country’s primary social network.

The Service Cloud is Salesforce’s Customer Service app. It brings together all of your company’s customer support into one place and then directs certain issues to the appropriate channel, whether it’s to a 1-800 number, email address or social media channel. If there’s any problems fixing a problem, the Service Cloud has a task status feature that you can “Escalate” in order to alert your coworkers of the issue and solve the problem collaboratively. You can even facetime with customers through the app. The Weekly Agent Productivity feature provides incentive to solve situations quickly, while the customer satisfaction metrics let you know how good of a job your team is doing.

5. Dynamics Business Analyzer

Dynamics Business Analyzer is Microsoft’s free CRM app. The app requires Windows 8 or Windows RT to run, and features a colorful metrics dashboard so you can copy, edit, view and refresh reports directly on your desktop. You can customize which reports you want to include on the dashboard, ranging from gross profit reports to sales per month reports. This app integrates with the Windows 8 edition of Lync so that co-workers can collaborate directly on the reports.

Microsoft2

Image courtesy of Microsoft

6. Google Apps

The Google Apps for Business suite includes the Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides for collaboration in the cloud. Google offers a free 30-day trial and charges $5 per employee.

Google Hangouts is also a popular business app by Google. Hangouts are especially useful if you have employees who work remotely, as they can participate virtually in meetings and brainstorm sessions. You can share photos or emojis and add up to 10 friends per hangout.

7. Tempo

Tempo is a calendar management tool that pulls in contextual information about your daily events — from contact information to driving directions. Every day, Tempo generates a daily schedule that you can preview either in calendar or list view.

Tempo is not specifically targeted toward businesses, but it can be especially helpful for pulling in email information about meetings or corporate events. The app comes with built-in Foursquare and Yelp integration, so locating your meeting is painless.

8. Evernote Business

Evernote Business breaks down communication barriers between departments. This democratization of knowledge facilliates collaborative problem solving, which drives faster solutions. Evernote Business also makes it easier for customer feedback to influence strategy.

Evernote Business easily integrates with your existing Evernote account and grants you access to Evernote Premium. With a Premium account, you get access to 2 GB of personal memory a month, and your company gets an extra 2 GM to share in Business Notebooks.

Image via iStockPhoto, akindo

 

 

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As Google Moves Away From Keywords, Can You Optimize For Gist? | WebProNews

As Google Moves Away From Keywords, Can You Optimize For Gist? | WebProNews.

 

Today, keywords still play a significant role in search habits, and in how Google and other search engines deliver search results. The trend, however, is moving further and further away from this, especially on Google’s side. Google wants to become less dependent on keywords, and gradually doing so.

Do you see this trend as a problem or a potential problem to your online marketing efforts? Tell us what you think.

When Google launched the Knowledge Graph, it was clear how proud the company’s engineers and executives are of what they have put together.

Google’s Matt Cutts proclaimed, “It’s another step away from raw keywords (without knowing what those words really mean) toward understanding things in the real-world and how they relate to each other. The knowledge graph improves our ability to understand the intent of a query so we can give better answers and search results.”

SInce then, Google has made numerous enhancements to the Knowledge Graph, and has tweaked its algorithm in other ways that would seem to indicate a decreased dependence on keywords. In fact, there have probably been a number of changes related to this that we don’t even know about because Google stopped publishing their monthly lists of algorithm updates for some reason.

Then there’s search-by-voice and conversational search.

Google put out a pretty interesting Webmaster Help video this week in which Cutts discusses voice search’s impact on searcher behavior. In response to the question, “How has query syntax changed since voice search has become more popular?” Cutts talks about the trends that Google is seeing.

 

 

“It’s definitely the case that if you have something coming in via voice, people are more likely to use natural language,” says Cutts. “They’re less likely to use like search operators and keywords and that sort of thing. And that’s a general trend that we see. Google wants to do better at conversational search, and just giving your answers directly if you’re asking in some sort of a conversational mode.”

While search-by-voice is certainly a growing trend on mobile, Google, as you may know, recently launched its conversational search feature for the desktop, and improvements to that shouldn’t be far off.

Cutts continues, “At some point, we probably have to change our mental viewpoint a little bit, because normally if you add words onto your query, you’re doing an ‘and’ between each of those words, and so as you do more and more words, you get fewer and fewer results, because fewer and fewer documents match those words. What you would probably want if you have spoken word queries is the more that you talk, the more results you get because we know more about it, and so you definitely have to change your viewpoint from ‘it’s an and of every single word’ to trying to extract the gist – you know, just summarize what they’re looking for, and that matching that overall idea.”

Good luck trying to optimize for gist.

“If you take it to a limit, you can imagine trying to do a query to Google using an entire document or you know, a thousand words or something like that,” Cutts adds. “And rather than match only the documents that had all thousand of those words, ideally, you’d say, ‘Okay, what is the person looking for? Maybe they’re telling you an awful lot about this topic, but try to distill down what the important parts are, and search for that.’ And so it’s definitely the case that query syntax has changed. I think it will continue to change. You know, we allow people to query by images. You can search for related images by dragging and dropping a picture on Google Image Search. So people want to be able to search in all kinds of ways. They don’t want to think about keywords if they can avoid it, and I think over time, we’ll get better and better at understanding that user’s intent whenever we’re trying to match that up and find the best set of information or answers or documents – whatever it is the user’s looking for.”

These days, Google is pretty hit and miss on the relevancy front when it comes to voice search, but I have no doubt that it will continue to improve rapidly. It’s already gotten significantly better than it was in earlier days.

Can you optimize for gist? How will you adjust your SEO strategy as Google moves further and further away from keywords? Let us know in the comments.

By · July 14, 2013

 

Why Is Google+ So Important For Your ECommerce Website |

Why Is Google+ So Important For Your ECommerce Website |.

 

Google+ has over 100 million users, with slightly less of those users based in the United States. If you’re trying to sell your products to consumers, consider websites beyond Facebook. Google‘s group of small-but-dedicated users might just become your most-loyal customers.

Promoting Your eCommerce Site on Google+

Not only does Google want to promote its own products, but sites such as Facebook and Twitter don’t allow Google to crawl content. If you ignore the fact that Google+ is a social network, it’s one more location for Google to index when the search engine sends its spiders to crawl the Internet.

Google also gives prime real estate to content posted to its social network. When people perform searches when they’re logged in, they’ll see photos, links and posts at the very top of the search results. That content could be yours if you utilize Google+. When you’re promoting your latest sale or special, for example, there’s no better place to appear than the top of the page. Posting links to specific pages on your website to your Google+ profile can give those pages a boost.

Plus, you can add your author tag to content that you post on the Internet. When you write about what’s going on your industry, you build your reputation as an authority. Even if consumers aren’t ready to open their wallets yet, establishing your company as an authority can bring in shoppers in the future.

Content Control

Unlike other social networks, Google+ makes it easy to edit content that you’ve posted. This option doesn’t exist at all with Twitter. If you make a typo or if information changes, you must delete your old tweet and add a new one. Facebook allows limited editing, but Google+ has more options for every post than other social networks by far.

Google+ also lets you choose title text with your posts, which is an important aspect for ranking highly. Quality content helps you go viral, while incorporating keywords into titles can boost your search engine ranking. My experience in creating Google+ campaign for www.paramold.com , eCommerce website from New York, was great. Website has improved rankings big time and attract a lot of new visitors, coming directly from Google+ . 

Videos also get more prominent exposure, and they’re a great way to introduce visitors to your company or CEO. You can provide tutorials, display new products or unbox the newest gaming console just in time for the holidays. Videos also work well for Q&A sessions, which have the added benefit of showing customers that you’re listening to their questions.

Google Keeps You Connected

With Google+, you can connect with other users in more ways than Twitter and Facebook combined. Forget simply mentioning someone in your posts, there are a plenty other ways that you can interact with Google+ users, including:

-Sharing content to them directly or to circles that people belong to

-Commenting on a post that a person has created or commented on

-Tagging someone in a photo

-Comment on a photo someone has tagged or posted or is tagged in

-Invite them to events, send event updates or comment on someone’s event

Hangouts, which Google has just upgraded to replace GTalk, are the final way to connect with visitors, allowing you to do so in real time. You could even use Hangouts for your Q&A sessions because Google+ enables you to really connect with other users and not just advertise to them.

Use A Google+ Business Page to Grow Your Visibility Online – Business 2 Community

Use A Google+ Business Page to Grow Your Visibility Online – Business 2 Community.

 

A Google+ business page is one of the ways that you can grow your visibility and connect with others.  Small business owners have opportunities for connecting and marketing with others through their Google+ business page. A Google+ business page can be a powerful marketing tool that allows you to connect with your target customers, communicate your business message and build relationships with peers, industry leaders and target customers.

To help you get setup with you Google+ business page, I’ve created a starter list of things you should keep in mind:

  • Remember that your Google+ Page needs to integrate with your Google account. If you have a separate Google account for your business then use that one and not your personal one to connect to your Google+ business page.
  • During the sign up process you will need to have two of these three things: valid telephone number, your location and a profile photo or logo.
  • Select the correct category for your business from one of the following: Local Business or Place, Product or Brand, Company, Institution or Organization, Arts, Entertainment or Sports, and Other. Then hit the “Create” button.
  • Create a tagline of 10 words to describe your business and add a profile photo or graphic.

This is all it takes to set up a “basic” Google+ Page. However, as a business you want to maximize your profile and exposure on Google+ so remember:

  • Increase your exposure by adding a +1 button on your site. This allows people to vote on you.

The search box on the Google+ platform is an easy way for people to find you “if” they know your name or keyword. This is called “Direct Connect”. You will know if a page is a “direct connect” page as the page tagline and graphic will show in the drop down menu. However, with so many business pages, not all pages will show up in the drop down menu. Just like moving up in the search engines, you want to move up in the Google+ search as well. You can do this by:

  • Sharing your page – Once your page is set up you will be given the option to share it. Make sure your profile is ready to go and share it.
  • Be sure to set up a +1 button on all your sites then let everyone know about your +1 button. The +1 buttons are easy to install with the javascript code provided. You can then customize it and place it on our site. The +1 is a great way to gain exposure as it shows others what’s interesting. So if someone +1s a post you made then it signals that the post was interesting to them and others should take notice as well.
  • Enable Google+ Circles. Circles are becoming a very important part of Google+ so be sure to have these activated. You can do this by going to your account settings and selecting Google+ and then customizing your Google+ Pages settings. It is quick and easy.
  • Create a badge for your page. You can do this at the time you create your page or just enter your URL into the box provided to create a badge. This is not a +1 button, but a unique badge you can post on your sites to increase exposure.

Google has already stated that high “direct connect” status is based upon page relevance and popularity. It is based on the number of links between your site and your Google+ page. So in order to move up the ranks be sure to:

  • Interact regularly via Google+. This means have relevant links, posts and keywords. Make sure the content is valuable in nature and is original.

Last but not least, PROMOTE YOUR GOOGLE+ PAGE! Add fresh content often and link it to your AdWords campaigns if you are using one. Just promote, promote, promote. The more people who know about your Google+ page the better. If you use these simple steps you will have a great Google+ experience and you’ll be able to maximize your experience. This is a powerful marketing tool just waiting for you to take advantage of it.

After you set up your basic Google+ business page you will want to continue to learn about promoting your business on Google+. A great way to do this is by joining Training Hangout. Training Hangout gives you access to special guests who are experts in their field. You can also learn to easily conduct Google+ Hangouts which are an excellent way to increase your visibility.

By Kim Beasley

LinkedIn For Brands: Emulate These Big-Brand Tactics To Get Better …

LinkedIn For Brands: Emulate These Big-Brand Tactics To Get Better ….

Want your LinkedIn page to generate more page views – and generate leads?

The trick lies in taking advantage of the wonderful free tools LinkedIn has to offer – and they DON’T require a paid upgrade! A company page offers far more opportunity than most  realize; even large and enterprise-sized companies often aren’t taking advantage of them. There’s no reason small companies can’t leverage these same resources!

Watch this new Slideshare presentation for specifics on how to:

  • Add custom header images to the company page
  • Customize a products and/or services page
  • Upload video and customized product promotions for each product page
  • Hyperink a product to a specific page on your website with more detail
  • Wrap in contact information for the person on your sales team connected with that product or service

Did you know all of these opportunities are available? I’ll bet your competition doesn’t – so rock the status quo in your industry and jump ahead of the others by taking advantage of it! It’s an easy win-win.

 

Managing Social Media Marketing | Social Media Today

Managing Social Media Marketing | Social Media Today.

Social media marketing has become a staple in online business. It is the internet equivalent of word-of-mouth advertising. It is not like traditional advertising where a business talks one way. It works as a 2-way conversation. As you publish posts, your readers will make comments about them and this is your chance to tell them about your business or simply to build your reputation. 

Many people find it confusing and there are so many different platforms to use. In this article, I’m going to offer some advice and discuss the three C’s of social media marketing.  These are curator, content and calendar. 

#1 C – Curator

The first letter C stands for curator and this is your point person for social media marketing campaigns. Whether you do it yourself or pay somebody else, it is important to have a single person who is in charge of all social media campaigns to avoid confusion. There are so many different social media outlets these days that it is hard to keep up with all of them. Even if you’re only using Facebook and Twitter, it is easy to lose your direction and focus if you are not careful. 

You also want to make sure that there is consistency in the posts that you publish. People will not come back to read your content if all your posts are about the same thing based around your industry. They need to be engaging and blended with images, videos and articles. 

#2 C – Content

The second letter C stands for content. Content is king and this is what attracts your readers. As long as you have good, relevant content, people will come back to your site or social media page to read more. 

Businesses need to remember that content is about building reputation and authority. That is why it is important to publish good content that is both original and educates your readers. Your posts should be at least 80% educational, and less than 20% promotional.

If you want loyal readers and clients, you must give them something of value. 

For more details on types of content to post on your social media, you can download my free content guide: Ultimate Guide to Social Media Content Creation.

#3 C – Calendar

The third C stands for calendar. You need to plan your efforts ahead of time so that they will be organized and consistent. There is a lot of competition on the internet, and if you want to keep your readers you need to make sure that your content is not only of high quality, but is also released regularly. 

When you are publishing posts it is crucial that you have a plan in place to keep it up. Your readers will expect it and it will help you stay organized and on-task.  Once you have your content calendar in place, you can preschedule these posts through a platform like Hootsuite or even direct through Facebook with their new scheduler. 

Keeping track of the times and dates you publish posts should be done for analyzing your efforts. You need to know which campaigns are working, and which ones you should discontinue; otherwise, you may be doing a lot of work for nothing. 

Social media is a profitable tool for businesses when used correctly. It can seem overwhelming at times, but it does not have to be difficult. Remember the three C’s of social media marketing: put one person in charge (curator), create good content that is educational and offers value (content) and develop a routine (content calendar) that you can follow. Staying organized by following these three steps actually brings in a fourth ‘C’. The fourth ‘C’ is conversion of activity into sales.

 

Authored by: Janet Johnson

Report: 1 in 3 Restaurants to Use Mobile Payments by 2018 | Mobile Marketing Watch

Report: 1 in 3 Restaurants to Use Mobile Payments by 2018 | Mobile Marketing Watch.

On Wednesday, MMW received a sneak peak at a forthcoming major industry report that shows 1 in 3 restaurants will use some form of mobile payments within 5 years.

MMW will be able to show the findings of the full report once the study’s embargo lifts next week.

All told, the data corroborates recent predictions from other leading research firms, which have long indicated that mobile payment transactions are on pace to reach $1.3 trillion by 2017.

And perhaps nowhere will this growth be more pronounced and apparent than in the restaurant space.

Retail and mobile technology experts believe that it will soon be close to impossible to find a restaurant that doesn’t offer some form of mobile payments option to boost convenience and security for patrons.

PayAnywhere, one of the country’s fastest growing mobile payment solutions providers, recently shared with us their new infographic illustrating why mobile payments will soon be on a menu near you. Check it out below.

How to Repurpose Your Content with a Wow [#infographic]

How to Repurpose Your Content with a Wow [#infographic].

You probably get all kinds of advice telling you that you should repurpose your existing content. Just to be clear, content repurposing is taking one piece of your high quality content at a time, and then using multiple channels of distribution and strategic repurposing to spread that content in different formats all over the web.

And you most likely know the benefits of doing so:

  1. You don’t have to continuously work so hard to create new valuable content.
  2. There is no quicker and more powerful way to increase your authority, your perceived expertise and your influence.

These benefits are an integral part of the C.R.E.A.T.E. formula Denise Wakeman and I discussed in a complimentary teleseminar about building your digital empire.]

The only problem is that nobody tells you exactly how to do it, except to give you a long list of things you can do, like pull tweets from your articles and post them or turn your articles into an eBook and so forth. Most people just don’t know how to start.

With that in mind, how would you like a simple, visual explanation of how to repurpose your content in a clear, step-by-step way, starting with one single blog post?

Take a look at the infographic below for my easy to follow roadmap. By the way, this infographic is in itself a prime example of content repurposing…this time into a valuable infographic!

View full image Content Repurposing Strategies

What’s your opinion of this infographic? Is it just another pretty picture, or does it present a clear, visual path for you to follow to repurpose your own content?

Read the rest of this article on The Future of Ink: http://thefutureofink.com/repurpose-your-content-infographic/

Infographic of the Day: 29 Ways to Stay Creative – SociallyStacked – Everything Social for Small Businesses and Agencies

Infographic of the Day: 29 Ways to Stay Creative – SociallyStacked 

 

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Our goal at Socially Stacked is to create (and share) content that is useful, includes the tips, links and tools that will help ShortStack users and our blog readers solve a problem or reach a goal. But it can be difficult to put out enticing, educational content day after day. That’s one reason we love this list of ways to stay creative.

Hat tip to art director Islam Abudaoud for his simply designed list. We love it! First thing we’re going to try is #9: Listen to new music (does anyone have a Pandora playlist or TurnTable room they want to share with us?). We’re always down with #28 and we’re intrigued by #23: Read a page of the dictionary.

We want to know: how do you stay creative at work? Let us know, on our Facebook Page, of course!