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Managing a wide array of social networking profiles can be time consuming without the right tools. This blog post will identify 7 free social media cross platform branding tools essential to the success of your brands social media marketing campaign (not to mention your sanity!). While a campaign may still be ‘manageable’ without third party tools, the ones we identify in this piece will help save time, keep you organized, streamline your efforts, and more.
The first step to using the below chart to figure out which tool is best for you is to make a complete list of all the social networking profiles you’re actively utilizing. I’m a spreadsheet geek and recommend keeping this information readily available for organizational purposes. Secondly: identify which profiles are essential for your brands messaging strategy on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Set up an editorial calendar to keep yourself organized. Plan out daily, weekly, and monthly messages that are consistent with promotions for your brand. Finally, streamline the messaging with one (or a few) of the tools listed below based on the specific social site your updates need to be placed on.
If you follow me on Twitter or have read my past blog posts then you know: I’m a huge brand advocate for Hootsuite. I log into Hootsuite daily, and use it more than any other system. Allowing users to manage profiles on Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Pages, MySpace, LinkedIn, Foursquare, WordPress and Ping.fm, their online platform and mobile app seamlessly connects all your branded accounts for ease of use in monitoring, listening, and messaging. Similar to other platforms such as Seesmic and Tweetdeck, users are able to set up organized columns of data to view threaded conversations, search information, group users, and more. What sets Hootsuite apart is the ability for team members to assign each other tasks on specific messages to respond to, messages to send out, etc…Hootsuite does have a paid option to their platform, giving users even more customization options. Interested in learning more? Visit Hootsuite’s website.
As mentioned above, the Seesmic platform is very similar to Hootsuite. As a real-time platform, receive instant updates from many popular social networking sites: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Buzz. Seesmic users are able to utilize a Desktop platform, a web browser add on, and a mobile app as well. Interested in learning more? Visit Seesmic’s website.
With an iPad app, Mobile apps, and desktop application, Tweetdeck is the preferred platform of many. Message like a pro on Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more. Share photos and links directly from Tweetdeck, comment and like posts on Facebook, and group friends. Tweetdeck wants you to think of their system as an air traffic controller of Twitter and other social networking sites. Interested in learning more? Visit Tweetdeck’s website.
Dreaming of a system that will allow you to update your status message across over 30 social networking sites? It’s possible with Ping.fm. While Ping doesn’t offer a dashboard to manage conversations, it does provide users with the ability to send your message across multiple platforms with the click of a button. Hootsuite, Sendable and Sharaholic allow you to manage your accounts on Ping.fm, creating even more usability! Interested in learning more? Visit Ping.fm’s website.
Sharing is as easy as sending an e-mail with Posterous. Posterous has been touted as one of the webs best social networking tools, and is used by social media mavens such as Guy Kawasaki, Justine Ezarik and Robert Scoble. What Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Seesmic lack, Posterous has. Even more sites are connected with Posterous in addition to Facebook and Twitter: YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, Picasa, and more. Interested in learning more? Visit Posterous’ website.
Sharaholic makes sharing easy: one of the simplest tools to share, save, and spread information on the web. 1 click posting is available for over 100 social networking sites, and with Sharaholic’s web browser add ons users are able to share, save and spread info from any web page. Sharaholic is award-winning and highly recommended to help you keep a finger on the pulse of the web. Interested in learning more? Visit Sharaholic’s website.
Promote, grow and track your brands not only through the use of social media, but also SMS and e-mail messaging. Self described as a one-stop-shop for all your marketing needs, Sendible certainly has a lot to offer. I’ve been testing out Sendiable for a short time, and have started to fall in love with it’s easy to use dashboard and cutting edge offerings. Available to agencies with a paid option for increased usability options, the free option provides a lot of usability options as well. Post to multiple services, schedule messages including e-mails and SMS texts, bulk message, use analytics to make reports, and integrate functionality with customized applications. Offering the most options that we examined in the above tools, Sendible is certainly worth a look. Interested in learning more? Visit Sendible’s website.
Business tools for the social web include SproutSocial, allowing businesses to listen, engage and grow in ‘minutes a day’. Pricing & plans start at just $9 monthly, ideal for in-house brand managers and agencies alike. “Sprout Social is a solid offering for the smaller brand or agency; it offers more robust management tools, but it’s still affordable” – Mashable. Interested in learning more? Visit SproutSocial’s website.
The ultimate Facebook application design company has developed the ultimate platform in social media management. Involver’s engagement platform integrates seamlessly with many social media networks and is ‘the only tool of its kind to quantify, monitor and optimize their brand’s audience across social channels and then take action with that information – at enterprise scale’. Pricing is not available on their website. Interested in learning more? Visit Involver’s website.
A social media monitoring and engagement platform for brands, Radian6 is one of the most popular for full brand management. Intelligent reporting and analytics are available with each Radian6 dashboard. Pricing starts at $600 monthly, which includes unlimited archiving for the life of your brands active profile. Interested in learning more? Visit Radian6’s website.
Virtue Publisher 2.0
Facilitating the 2-way conversation between you and your fans or followers, Virtue Publisher 2.0 is there to help deliver your brands message directly to Twitter and Facebook with the click of a button. Manage your social relationships with dynamic applications, scheduling and moderation, real-time metrics, and integration of third party analytics and metrics tools. Pricing is not available on their website. Interested in hearing more? Visit Virtue Publisher’s website.
As a brand, or even an agency managing your client’s social media marketing, you have many options as far as cross platform branding tools go. Examining all of your options based on the social profiles that are important to you will help you make the final decision of choosing one of the above tools we’ve highlighted.
Have experience with any of the above tools, or know of a new tool we should add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!