Whether you’re promoting a product, a service, or just trying to expand the audience for a post on your blog, social media has grown into a digitized word-of-mouth marketing platform that, when used correctly, can outcompete a billboard or an ad on television. When you really want to get the word out, spreading that news across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ are the go-to mediums.
But for those services to be effective, the ‘word’ has to be worth talking about. It’s important that everything you post to your feeds be relevant and engaging. With all that pressure to be interesting and spark conversations, it can seem overwhelming to utilize so many different platforms. Many companies, especially small businesses, might rely on Facebook while letting other social media outlets slide.
Fortunately, tools exist that can streamline outreach across an array of social media platforms. In the time that it would take you to post exciting news about your company to Facebook, it’s now possible to spread it to Twitter and Google+ as well. Social media aggregators come in various shapes and sizes, depending on your needs. Here are four worth considering.
The reigning king of streamlined social may currently be the cute little owl, boasting clients from Lamborghini to McDonald’s. In addition to the main players, it syncs with FourSquare, Flickr, Constant Contact, and WordPress, allowing users to pick and choose platforms and send updates to multiple accounts at once. HootSuite includes built-in analytics through Google and Facebook, letting users easily track the effectiveness of their outreach to determine what type of posts are driving the most traffic. Of course, it includes Android and Apple apps so that you can post and control everything from your mobile device. The pro version runs $9.99 a month.
Designed as a sort-of Constant Contact for the long-range social media plan, Vertical Response lets users schedule posts and social campaigns a month in advance. If you’ve got 30 tweets in the hopper, you can type them all in at once and schedule their release every 12 hours. Of course, you still react to news and developments with your own live tweets, in addition. The system also incorporates email outreach, consolidating yet another useful tool into one system, and the iPhone app lets you handle it all on the go, for a paid pro option of $18 a month.
For a small business, or even an individual who likes to chat online, Digsby is a simplified solution that requires less time investment than other options. The service syncs multiple chat accounts (including AIM, Facebook, MSN, Yahoo, Google Talk, ICQ, and Jabber) into one portal and contact list. It does the same thing for email, filtering Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, and any other POP or IMAP account into a single inbox. Finally, it creates a unified homepage for Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn. Best of all, it’s free.
This Twitter plug-in was designed for tweets (hence the name), but now works with Facebook, FourSquare, Google+, and LinkedIn, filtering messages and news feeds from each service into a unified column display. It’s free to use and allows advanced scheduled posts, making it another viable option for the small business owner on a budget.
What social aggregators have you used? Are there any that you recommend using or avoiding?
About the Author: Tim Eyre helps residential and business customers who use storage units when they don’t have enough storage space on their own property. Tim’s company – www.extraspace.com – has locations from coast to coast, including Houston self storage units as well as self storage yards in over 20 other cities in Texas.