MailChimp, Constant Contact and Emma enable you to connect directly with constituents via email.
Paper.Li enables you to aggregate content around particularly topics and distribute it to constituents.
SurveyMonkey enables you to conduct informal surveys.
Slack enables you to do group messaging, across teams and topics.
Google Docs, Campfire, GroupMe and Yammer enable individuals to work on projects together online.
Doodle enables you to schedule meeting times with several different individuals.
Canva is a fun tool that enables you to integrate text and visuals into your social posts.
Jing lets you create and share short screencasts. Its bigger sister, Camtasia lets you produce longer videos, including screencasts of Powerpoints, etc. Recordit also works.
Evernote lets you keep track of a variety of media all in one file.
Pocket lets you save links from social media sources to read later. Invaluable for collecting items to read from Twitter!
Dropbox offers cloud storage that makes your files accessible on any device.
Social media management
Hootesuite enables you to schedule tweets and Facebook posts across your social platforms.
Here is a link to a downloadable social media posting calendar.
Does your office have a social media policy that spells out the rules of the road for your staff? You should. Here are some examples. Here is the Mass.gov social media policy. Here's the social media policy for the City of Boston.
Here are some guidelines for developing your own policy. Here's a roundup of policies from state legislature and executive branch offices, via the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Here's a directory of state legislature social media sites from around the country. See what other legislatures are doing. Here's an archived webinar on Social Media Policies for State Legislatures sponsored by the NCSL. And here's the PowerPoint that accompanies the presentation.
Social Media Today covers it all.
AllFacebook and AllTwitter cover developments in those social platforms.
Social media tutorials
Want to create a Twitter list for your followers around a particular topic? Here's how.
Want to embed your Twitter feed onto your website? Here's how.
Want to create an animated GIF using Photoshop? Here's how.
Want to learn how to use Facebook Live to take questions from constituents? Here's how. (This is an archived, ticketed webinar, well worth the $19 fee.)
Experts worth following
Tips from Sree Sreenivasan, one of the leaders in social media education, who is now the chief digital officer for the City of New York. Sree offers online workshops and tips, and has a Facebook community that your social media manager should connect with: Sree's Advanced Social Media Course. It's a closed group, but easy to join!
Jeremy Caplan, director of education, Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, is an excellent resource on digital media and social media. Here's his slideshow on 50 plus Social Media Tools and Sites: Beyond Facebook and Twitter.
Op-ed writing advice
Have you got 750 words to say about a topic? This piece, by the late New York Times columnist William Safire, offers excellent advice on how to write a solid op-ed piece. It's more than 20 years old, but it still holds up.