Fast forward to more modern times and Google Chrome is the undoubted king of the hill. Almost 60% of internet users prefer Google’s browser, with Safari – the next most popular – languishing in its wake with just 15% usage.
We know from our own analytics that almost 70% of you reading this article right now will be doing so in Chrome. And it’s a safe bet that most of those will have at least a couple of Chrome Extensions enabled up there in your taskbar.
Chrome was launched in 2008 and extensions soon followed. In case you’ve been living in a cave for the past decade, extensions are little plug-ins that sit in the top-right of your browser window and bolt extra functionality onto Google.
They can help you write to-do lists, check spelling, share articles and even play games if you’ve got nothing else to do in your lunch break.
How to access Chrome extensions
Click Chrome’s three-dot menu button and then select More tools > Extensions from the drop-downs. Your currently enabled extensions will be displayed, and at the bottom of the screen you’ll see ‘Get more extensions’.
Now you’re in the Chrome Web Store (which you can also get to by clicking that link, of course).
You’ll see a range of filtering options on the left of the screen. You can switch between ‘Extensions’ and ‘Themes’ – though the latter is probably only for those with too much time on their hands (and as a social media marketer, that isn’t you right?).
There are also options to sort by star ratings, and by features (such as ‘free’, compatibility with Drive, and whether you need to be online to use it). There’s also a drop-down which displays the various categories of extensions available, but these are pretty broad and selecting one will bring up an intimidating blast of thousands of extensions.
Finding an extension that might make your life easier can be an arduous, time-consuming process. Once you jump into the rabbit hole you might never come out.
Happily, we’ve done some digging for you and have come up with a list of extensions that we believe all social media marketers should consider.
In no particular order, let’s dive in…
The top Google Chrome extensions for social media marketers
1. Share to Facebook
Three guesses for what this extension does. Yep, you got it.
Enabling Share to Facebook gives you an eye-wateringly easy way to quickly share web content to your Facebook Page, Groups or Messenger – or even tag friends or other brands. What’s more, you can highlight some text you found particularly quotable and that text will be included in your post.
With Facebook’s news feed change effectively clamping down on organic brand activity, Share to Facebook provides a work-around for brands prepared to put the time in to maintain some kind of organic engagement. Create a Group relevant to your industry, then use your new extension to share interesting snippets you find online to that Group. Sharing interesting content that gets people talking will make you Facebook’s best friend.
Okay, so this one requires a separate subscription to the main Agorapulse package, but it’s sooo worth it (and they haven’t paid us to say that).
Agorapulse is a social media management tool that provides brands with a platform to manage their accounts by scheduling posts from within a single app. The Chrome extension is one of the simplest and most useful tools we’ve come across.
Find content you want to share, tap the extension’s little ‘a’ button, then select which of your social networks you want to share it to. The best part is that it also allows you to share it multiple times – either by picking the dates and times yourself, or by choosing a random sharing period such as ‘re-publish five days/hours up to five times’. This is especially useful for sharing your own posts multiple times.
>> READ MORE: 12 of the best social media calendars <<
Not a social media-specific extension, but one that all marketers will benefit from. If you’re one of those people whose desk is plastered with Post-It notes then Todoist could be the app you’re looking for.
To add a task, click on the extension, hit Add Task and start typing. You can leave it at that if you wish, but there’s also the option to set reminders or priority levels, add documents, categorise by type and a whole load of other useful stuff. You can also create projects and assign tasks to individuals in your team – though you have to upgrade to access premium features like that one.
If you’re the sort of person who needs a nudge to complete a task, then Todoist will keep poking you until you get the job done. Reminders can go straight to your email, or you can make do with the extension-only reminders; any overdue tasks will show up as a little black number on the extension’s button. We don’t know about you, but that alone is motivation enough to get the task spiked.
You’ll have heard of Buffer – the popular social media management tool. Well Pablo is an off-shoot product that enables social media marketers to create images to share on their networks.
Long gone are those frustrating days of trying to create images in the correct size and format for your social posts, not to mention making them look good in the process. Enable this extension and you’ll be able to right-click on any web-based image to open it in Pablo. From there you’ll be able to pimp it up to your heart’s content by adding text, altering its size, adding filters and logos or graphics.
Once you’ve finished, you can either download it or share it to any of the social networks you’ve connected to your Buffer account.
>> READ MORE: 10 essential WordPress plugins for your blog <<
5. LinkedIn Extension
LinkedIn is alone among the major social networks in not releasing monthly active user numbers. This is probably because only around a quarter of users actually visit the app each month. That’s a lot of missed networking opportunities.
If you’d like to start tapping into the rich treasure trove of contacts and leads just waiting to connect with you, then you need the LinkedIn Chrome extension. Its functionality is minimal – in fact its more of a glorified bookmark than anything else. It sits unobtrusively in your taskbar, politely alerting you via a little red square when you have a new notification.
So if you’d like to start becoming a more frequent LinkedIn user, you know what to do.
Upgrade your hashtag game with RiteTag – an extension that knows more about hashtags than most of us ever will.
There are three main features – all of them super useful but incredibly simple. Firstly, right-clicking on any image online will give you access to a range of hashtags relevant to that image. There’s also a text-based option – you can either type in a hashtag to see a range of relevant suggestions, or highlight some text to see RiteTag’s suggestions.
The extension also rates hashtags with a handy colour scheme, ranging from green for the most visible tags to grey for ones that almost nobody uses.
>> READ MORE: 9 of the best free social media monitoring tools <<
Answer this question: as a social media marketer, how much time do you spend networking with other industry professionals versus marketing to your customer base? Probably not very much. However, the idea of scouring the web or LinkedIn for ways to network with potential contacts isn’t very appealing is it? In that case, you might want to give Discoverly a go.
In a nutshell, the extension displays the social media ‘fingerprint’ of an individual you want to connect with. It’ll display any mutual connections you share, giving you the perfect ‘in’ to connect with them. It’ll also give you easy access to their recent Tweets, which will help give you an angle.
The extension works in Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as Gmail.
8. vidIQ Vision for YouTube
If YouTube is a big part of your marketing activities, then you’ll know how hit and miss videos can be. What makes a vid go viral? How much revenue did that ad campaign generate for your competitor? The vidIQ Vision for YouTube is ready to answer those questions and more.
The extension muscles into the top-right section of YouTube, where ‘Up next’ videos usually sit. It provides you with an in-depth summary of a video’s views, engagement, earnings and SEO details, as well as taking a broader look at the creator’s channel itself.
All that information helps you paint a picture of why a video has become successful (or otherwise), which will in turn inform your own YouTube creations.
Don’t forget, sharing is caring!