15 Extremely Useful Websites You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of

As automotive digital marketers, we’re only as good as the tools in our toolbox. And if you’re like me, you are always looking for cool new tools to use that will make your life easier.

With the Internet being as vast as it is, it shouldn’t be surprising that there are dozens of websites out there that can be extremely useful to folks like you and me – if we only knew they existed.

15 Extremely Useful Websites You've Probably Never Heard Of

The past few months I’ve been on a quest to turn up some of the best undiscovered websites out on the ‘net today so I could ultimately share them with you.

Well kids, I think I’ve gathered enough of these handy websites for now, so lets get right to it. Here are 15 extremely useful websites you’ve probably never heard of but won’t soon forget.

Your Blueprint For Creating Attractive Social Media Images

In the first episode of the MarketPunch Podcast, my special guest, Aaron Wirtz talks about how we must have the necessary skills to create attractive images and content if we are to be successful with social media in the dealership.

Because of social media’s visual nature, part of that skill set is being able to create images that are optimized to be displayed for whichever social media network you want to engage your audience on.

Your-Blueprint-For-Creating-Attractive-Social-Media-Images

Stand out from the crowd by creating attractive and unique images to be shared on your social networks.

As Aaron points out, your audience can inherently tell the difference between a unique image that you create and one that is scraped off of Google Images.

Let’s take a step back and look at the visual content we are posting on our social networks. Are your images:

  • Original and unique?
  • Attractive and valuable?
  • Displaying properly in the stream and on your profile?

If you can answer ‘No’ to any of those questions, then it’s time to make the intentional effort to become a better graphic designer.

If The Image Fits…

I’ve mentioned a web app called Social Media Image Maker, both here and on the MarketPunch Podcast, which is a great tool to help you create images for your various social media networks.

However, as useful as Social Media Image Maker is, it can’t do everything full-fledged image editing software can.

As Automotive Marketers, ultimately we should be developing our skills to a point where we are creating attractive and valuable images from the ground up.

Like a construction manager, we wouldn’t just start creating an image without a set of blueprints to help ensure we are on the right path.

I ran across this awesome infographic from Tent Social which lays out the dimensions for every image that can be displayed on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram & YouTube.

4 iPhone and iPad Apps to Edit Your Photos

If you manage the Social Media accounts of your dealership, you probably already know that Photos are often the most engaging type of post. Because a decent picture can easily catch the eye as it scrolls by in a news-feed, photos are easy to like, comment, retweet, +1 on and share with our friends.

With a showroom full of colorful characters, a lot full of fantastic looking vehicles and happy customers taking delivery of their new cars; each day we have endless opportunities to capture a picture and start a conversation with our followers online.

Although the camera quality on the iPhone and iPad (or other smart-device) has gotten better, sometimes the photos we take can use a little extra editing before we post them to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram or Tumblr.

Certainly you could copy the pictures from your iPhone to your computer and use traditional image editing software like Photoshop or GIMP to manipulate the image before you upload it. But why take the picture off your phone or tablet to edit it when you can do it all right in the palm of your hand?

Here are 4 iPhone and iPad Apps that I use on a regular basis to punch up my Photos before I post them online.

Introducing Social Media Image Maker

If you’ve been tasked with managing and maintaining the Social Media assets for your dealership, then you know what a chore it can be to create optimized image content for your Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus & YouTube pages.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little extra help creating the unique images you need to stand out from the crowd?

Today, I’m happy to introduce you to my new best friend, Social Media Image Maker.

Social-Media-Image-Maker

Social Media Image Maker helps you create the perfect image for just about any Social Network.

Social Media Image Maker is a free web-based tool that helps you create, edit and punch-up images for just about any Social Media web-site.

With support for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Foresquare, SlideShare and more, you’ll be able to create the images you need for your dealership’s social media with this simple and effective service.

Ready to get started? Simply head on over to the Social Media Image Maker, (no login or registration required!) and select which web-site and the type of image you’d like to create.

From there drag and drop your image on to the canvas (or click add your file) and get to work.

Once loaded, you’ll be able to crop, rotate, flip & touch-up your image to fit perfectly within the required dimensions for that specific element.

You can also apply some basic instagram-style filters to your image if you so desire. Once you are happy with how your image looks, just save it to your computer in and you are ready to roll.

Will Social Media Image Maker become your best friend too? Give it a try and share your thoughts in the comments below.