Not a day goes by, it seems, without the announcement of a new tool or approach that advances (complicates? confuses?) the ability of marketers to monitor and manage their social marketing campaigns. In an earlier issue of Social Media Marketer, I profiled several, and there were some real gems in the bunch. Here are more that may be worth your attention:
• Buffer. Is it better to group your tweets all together or schedule them to be sent throughout the day? A quick glance at Twitter posts coming your way shows that people have different views on the clump-versus-scheduled approaches. For those in the latter camp, Buffer allows you to load your tweets and have them released sequentially throughout the day or week. With this feature, Buffer is not terribly different than Hootsuite, SocialOomph or TweetDeck.
A key Buffer differentiator, however, is that, through a browser plug-in, it enables you to grab anything that interests you on the Web during the day, create tweets on the fly, store them in Buffer and have them released on your schedule automatically. As a result, you can be a more productive tweeter while operating in your normal work mode.
• FanGager. All marketers seek customer and prospect engagement, and juicing up social sites with attractive—even valuable—features is one way to do it. FanGager offers a suite of tools that can add to a company's Facebook or Twitter page such things as customer rewards programs (airline miles, credit card rewards points, etc.), discounts, games, polls, focus groups and online buying opportunities.
The tool measures individual engagement, so participants can see their reward points for taking part in specific activities accumulating. To date, FanGager claims such clients as American Express Co., Microsoft Corp. and Nokia Corp. The company has posted a video case study on YouTube of an AmEx campaign that rewards Facebook fans in Israel.
• InboundWriter. Content essentially drives digital marketing, yet marketers struggle not only to develop more content but also to make it resonate on the Web and so improve SEO while adding social followers and fans. InboundWriter, launched just last month, is a “socially smart” writing tool that feeds information on what people are reading, sharing and discussing online to the content creator.
InboundWriter streams this information into a Web-based text editor, providing recommendations about the best words and phrases to use to create more relevant, shareable content. InboundWriter was developed by SEO company Eightfold Logic, which has posted a YouTube video on how InboundWriter works.
• ShortStack. ShortStack is a service that allows you to create Facebook tabs, those customized additions to a company's Facebook presence located on the left side of the page. Marketers can use these tabs to promote specific products and campaigns to make their social media marketing efforts more effective.
Facebook tabs can contain just about anything. With ShortStack, you can add RSS feeds from your blog, pull in Twitter feeds and embed videos from YouTube or Vimeo. ShortStack recently added a sweepstakes capability, so marketers can add contests to their Facebook pages.
Christopher Hosford is East Coast bureau chief of BtoB. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.