I’ve been working with clients to set up social media “satellite sites” as I call them to extend their brand and take advantage of the exponential power of social networking for reaching out to consumers. The question I hear time and time again is “How in the world can I manage all these social networks if I can’t even get to the rest of my work?”
I know we are all crunched for time. Sometimes, I don’t even know how I keep up with all of my writing and blogging, client projects and social networking sites. But I have found some cool “social aggregation broadcasting tools” that are making at least some of my tasks easier to handle.
What is a Social Aggregation Broadcasting Tool?
Okay, I have to admit, I just made that term up but I think it covers what I’m trying to convey. There are tools out there that help you aggregate your social networking sites for the purpose of broadcasting a message to more places with fewer steps hence Social Aggregation Broadcasting Tools (SABT? lol!).
These applications are a combination of standalone apps like HelloTxt or ShareThis along with the connectivity features within many of the social networking tools. Some SABTs help you pull all, most or many of your social media sites into one place so all you have to do to broadcast a message the ones you’ve aggregated is to post once within the SABT and the tool distributes that post to your MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. – so easy. Something like ShareThis facilitates a slightly different type of action – allowing your readers to do the distribution of your content for you so I would consider this a Passive SABT.
So I would say there are Active SABTs, Passive SABTs and Integrated SABT functionality like what you get on Utterz, for example. When I post an Utterz, I have my Connections set up so that it automatically posts to my blog and my Twitter page. I can also have it post to my Blip.TV account, Pownce, among others.
Are you with me so far?
On the flip side, Social Aggregation Broadcasting Tools are different from Social Aggregation Listening Tools (SALT?!?) that are sites like FriendFeed that pull together your feeds and the feeds of your “friends” so you can hear what they are Twittering about, Facebook statusing (?!), ad nauseum. But let’s not forget the feed features now on so many of the social networking sites made popular by Facebook and quickly adopted by MySpace, LinkedIn and many others. I’d call those Integrated SALT functionality.
So Where is the Time Management Aspect Here?
Clearly SABTs are the time savers here. Although having your friend feeds from all of their social networks brought into one place for “easy reading” must save someone out there some time, I am still finding SALTs to be the proverbial firehose that I’m trying desperately to drink from before I choke.
Another type of broadcast tool I have not mentioned because it is more of an add-on – although it does save you time – is the tool that allows you to easily post to one of your blogs or social networking sites. These would be tools like Twhirl that lets you post to several Twitter accounts easily. Or any bookmarklet such as Typepad‘s that let’s you post a link and excerpt of an article or blog post you are reading to your own blog or Tweetburner that does the same for Twitter. Or Twitterfeed that let’s you enter your blog RSS and automatically checks your blog for new posts and Tweets them.
Let’s call these Narrow SABTs for right now, not because they are narrow in power but because they are narrow in reach yet still useful. They aren’t mass broadcasting tools but, of course, once you have set up for SABTs properly, posting to your blog once, for example, could trigger a series of automatic actions to broadcast that post with just one click of the Publish button.
The key to remember is that you only need 1 or 2 of each at most to pretty much cover all your social networking bases. So instead of posting to 30 different sites, you shouldn’t be posting more than 4-6 times at most to get full broadcasting distribution. And for those using the most popular social networks, you can probably get that down to 2-3 posts. That means you publish the same post in 2-3 SABTs and those 2-3 actions then reach over 10x that many sites instantly. Then you add on the Passive SABTs and the potential reach of your post grows exponentially as others share your content for you.
These are the SABTs that I personally use.
1. HelloTxt – Covers Twitter, Plurk, Jaiku, Pownce, Facebook, Plaxo, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Meemi, Beemood, Gozub, Frazr, Numpa, Mexicodiario, Fanfou, Feecie, Hi5, Bebo, Myspace, Brightkite, at press time
1. ShareThis – Allows others to share your content on Reddit, Facebook, del.icio.us, Technorati, Yahoo! Bookmarks, Windows Live, SlashDot, N4G, Blinklist, ma.gnolia, Digg, MySpace, StumbleUpon, Google Bookmarks, Yahoo! MyWeb, Propeller, Newsvine, Mixx, Furl, Mister Wong, Faves, Simpy, Yigg, Fresqui, Care2, Kirtsy…
2. AddThis – Readers can post your share your content on Google Bookmarks, Delicious, Digg, MySpace, Facebook, Furl, Yahoo MyWeb, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Newsvine, Live, Technorati, Twitter, Yahoo Bookmarks, myAOL, Ask, Fark, Slashdot, Propeller, Mixx, Multiply, Simpy, Blogmarks, Diigo, Faves (Bluedot), Spurl, Link-a-Gogo, Mister Wong, FeedMeLinks, Backflip, Magnolia, Seganlo, Netvouz, Tailrank, Blinklist, and..
Integrated SABT features
1. Utterz – Let’s you form “Connections” with Blogger, LiveJournal, Tumblr, TypePad, Twitter, WordPress, Movable Type, Flickr, Yahoo Groups, Twitxr, Drupal, LiveSpaces, YouTube, MetaWeblog API, Pownce and Blip.TV as of press time
1. Twhirl – Have more than one Twitter account (like me)? This desktop app let’s you open a tiny window for each to cross post when/where appropriate.
2. Tweetburner – If you are reading something interesting that is worth tweeting about, click this bookmarklet, add your comments, then Tweet.
3. Twitterfeed – Use this tool app to link your blog and Twitter account so a single blog post can Tweet automatically.
What are you using to save time and manage your social network postings?