3 overlooked social tools

It’s important to remember that the social media world isn’t all Facebook, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

Here’s my list of three underrated and overlooked social media tools/platforms:

1. Quora

Want the answer to a question? Quite often you’ll be tempted to turn to Google for a quick answer. Sadly, this can turn up reams of ageing or irrelevant content that you need to sift through – or even worse, direct you to one of those Answer websites.

This is where Quora can come in. It’s a sensational question and answer forum. You can submit questions, or search for questions and answers that might already be relevant to you. What’s more, you can Follow a Question which helps you keep connected to any further discussion or opinions. I dig it.

Granted, Quora’s not a platform I visit every week and not a space where you’d chat with friends. And you’ll undoubtedly come across answers which you think are bogus, some incomplete content, and also people touting for work. But that happens in most social networks and if you can forgive that, Quora can be extremely handy and shouldn’t be overlooked. In great Quora tradition, see this Quora question about using Quora.

See my Quora profile here: http://www.quora.com/Michelle-Prak

2.  Socialcam

This is one of several video apps I’ve been playing with over the past year (the others being Viddy and Tout). Socialcam is probably my favourite, for ease of use and reliability.

I’ve said previously that I’ve been surprised that social video sharing hasn’t been adopted more widely. I did think that if tools like Socialcam were available, a lot of people would enjoy sharing status updates or observations via quick, pithy video. But apparently they don’t. Not yet anyway. Perhaps it’s another sleeping giant like Pinterest or indeed Instagram. It can take time for the wider population to adopt new tools.

The other thing that’s perhaps holding Socialcam back, is that it may seem a little more invasive or scary to use. It’s easy for us to write a text update or share a photograph, but with video there can be sound aspects we’re concerned about – the sound or our own voices included – and also some nervousness about appearing on camera. Our friends may be more reluctant to take part, too. A lot of people just won’t be enthusiastic about being ‘live on social TV’.

Prakky Socialcam example: thieving kangaroo
Prakky Socialcam example: thieving kangaroo. Click to watch.

Socialcam is a little Instagram-like, in that it enables you to add a filter. It also gives you the option to add a soundtrack and a headline. Pretty groovy. And then of course, users have the ability to share their Socialcam work on the usual social networks …

Here’s Mashable’s Beginner’s Guide to Socialcam.

I have a growing number of connections on Socialcam and some brands are taking it up; but as yet it’s a quiet experience for me and thus features on my ‘underrated’ list.

As with any new social network, if you sign up with Socialcam, please check your settings straight away. There are some automatic posting options you may want to switch off (do you want all your Facebook friends to see the videos you’ve watched on Socialcam?) Not everyone is a Socialcam fan for this reason, read this  piece in Business 2 Community for more.

3. Buffer

I love, love, love Buffer.

I’m always looking for easier ways to share content that I find on Twitter, and Buffer has certainly made it easy. Add the Buffer tool to your browser and it’s a great experience.

When you come across an interesting website article, click the Buffer button and a tweet window opens with the website article headline embedded. You can add a few words for context (which I usually do) and choose to post the piece now, or ‘add to Buffer’ which gives the app the ability to send the tweet at the time it deems best.

If you highlight a sentence in that article (which is often an even better way to curate what you’re sharing), Buffer will draw that sentence into the tweet rather than the headline.

You can use Buffer for Facebook and LinkedIn too. Read about the tool in more detail in this piece on The Daily Egg.

You may already use bitly or schedule your posts in a dashboard like Hootsuite (both of which I still use) however I find Buffer is the winner for general article sharing. I stick with Bitly for more important, ongoing links (for example links to my own work or website) and for historical metric value, because I’ve been there so long.

I know a few pals who use Buffer, but for most audiences and clients I come across, it’s a tool they’re not aware of. So it rounds out this list of 3 underrated social tools.

Do you have any underrated tools you’d like to talk about? Or do you want to keep it all to yourself …

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Ash Simmonds says:

    I’m an underrated tool

    1. Prakky says:

      Oh I don’t know about that, Ash. We’ve always rated you highly as one. 😉

  2. Jorge says:

    Love the idea of social cam but just need to get it embedded in habit. With parents overseas I reckon its the best.

    Thanks for the tip on Buffer I think its going to be a very good friend very soon. 🙂

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