5 Tools for Integrated Social Sharing
The savviest brands on the Web are no longer chasing their tails – considering likes, re-tweets, +1s as the metrics that move their digital needles. Instead, they are focused on providing share-worthy content that will be meaningful in the form of increased website traffic, loyalty and conversions.
Since social media become popular, a variety of vendors have popped up overnight and been forgotten about just as quickly. A few, however, have stood the test of time and adapted to brands’ changing social needs. There are even more that are still up-and-coming but solve common problems. Here five-plus tools for integrated social sharing.
Perhaps the most well-known name in social sharing and management, HootSuite is a popular choice for many reasons. First and foremost it’s that even its free version enables hesitant or resource-poor brands to get a feel of how to manage up to five social profiles from one dashboard, schedule social posts and analyze basic social analytics. Secondly, its HootSuite Pro edition obviously offers more robust features, including advanced analytics, vanity URLs (for example http://wsm.co/trackvia1 rather than http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/pages/editor-s-review-of-trackvia.aspx?source=print) and more.
Offering many of the same capabilities as HootSuite, SproutSocial provides a solid way of scheduling and managing social accounts, analyzing Web traffic from social posts and more. Another handy feature that SproutSocial has is the ability to monitor all conversations happening about a brand if users share content from its website, use its hashtag, reply to its social messages/posts or tag it in a post. Below is a screenshot of a brand’s social demographics shown in SproutSocial.
Each social channel has a “trigger” but doing the “action” takes time. If This (the trigger) Then That (the action), or IFTTT, makes it so users can create “recipes” – essentially setting them and forgetting them. There are personal-use examples like “mute my ringer at bedtime” or “unmute my phone when I get home.” Business examples include, “every time a fan tags our brand in a photo, add it to Dropbox” or “Share Popular Articles from __ with LinkedIn connections” or “auto post Instagram photos to Google+ business page” or “schedule daily or weekly Facebook posts.” The combination of recipes is nearly endless and can be used with more than 100 channels.
Newer on the social sharing scene is Addvocate, which serves as a good example of how much has changed about social media management. Even just a few years ago, brands were scared to empower employees to post on behalf of the company. Today, however, it’s common practice (using the right security measures, of course) to let brands’ most valuable assets talk about company promotions, parties – you name it. Addvocate takes this a step further by enabling all workers to create, curate and share content for a company. The beauty of it is that through moderation, companies can ensure messages are suitable for the masses. Equally as valuable is using a simple pie chart (shown below) companies can measure individual’s social contributions and view top circulated content to praise employees or use to empower others.
Similar to Addvocate, GroupTweet lets brands allow any number of contributors to Tweet from a group account safely and securely. Contributors Tweet from either the GroupTweet dashboard or direct from their own Twitter accounts. A media outlet, for example, could Tweet from the publisher’s account by adding the pre-defined GroupTweet hashtag to their tweets, which gives followers an inside look at stories.
Used by Website Magazine’s Editor-In-Chief (so it must be good), Buffer makes it effortless to share any page you’re reading. This is particularly helpful for thought-leaders or those in charge of a company’s social media account (albeit if the articles are relevant to the audience). Brands can also integrate Google Analytics to get more from Buffer.