Digipropolis Blog: Marketing Pros & Their Cons



March 2011 Update on Social Media Tools + Tracking

March 2011 Update on Social Media Tools & Tracking

Tools_Hammer_SpannerI find the array of tools for managing social media marketing a bewildering sea of choices. Some tools are aimed at managing conversations, while others are also aimed at managing campaigns and attributing business inquiries and sales to social media efforts. To make matters even more confusing, these tools frequently update their features and pricing plans. What should I be using now, you might ask.

Here’s my round-up of the current features and pricing for a few of the leading social tools:

 

  

Argyle Social:

 

Pros:

  • Tracks each Facebook comment, Twitter Mention, Direct Message, and RT
  • Provides a dashboard that allows you to post to Facebook and Twitter, monitor feedback, and create automatic reports of social media activity
  • Allows team member collaboration, providing a view of all posts and feedback, and allowing all team members to participate in social media
  • Automatically shortens URLs to maximize character space
  • Allows advanced writing and scheduling of posts in the future

Cons:

  • Not free. However, cost is reasonable at $149 per month for an individual marketer and $499 per month for larger organizations who expect more than 10,000 activities per month

CoTweet logoCo-Tweet

 

Pros:

  • Tracks each Facebook Comment, Twitter Mention, Direct Message, and RT
  • Allows Team member collaboration. Sends an e-mail copy of each message to all team members “On Duty,” allows all team members to compose posts  
  • Maintains conversation history with each network member
  • Provides advanced Twitter member profiles, including Klout score
  • Automatically shortens URLs to maximize character space
  • Allows advanced writing and scheduling of posts in the future
  • Integrates with Salesforce.com CRM system, allowing interactions with customers and prospects to be tracked along with traditional sales activities

Cons:

  • Free edition is limited to the Twitter network. Must purchase Enterprise edition to access Facebook and also to access iPhone app.  Enterprise edition costs a whopping $600 – $1500 per month.

 

Hootsuite logo

HootSuite:

 

 

Pros:

  • Social media dashboard allows you to post messages to Twitter, Facebook (as both Wall and Status updates), WordPress, and Ping.fm
  • Allows team collaboration through multiple- user stream interface, allows tasks to be assigned to individual team members
  • Allows advanced writing and scheduling of posts in the future
  • Allows monitoring of keyword mentions across all major social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace,  Wordpress, Foursquare, and Ping.fm
  • Shows analytics for each message and provides automatic report exporting
  • Provides optional translation of messages into foreign languages
  • Has rich mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, and Android  

Cons:

  • All messaging outside of Twitter and all advanced reporting is available only with a fee-based Pro plan upgrade. However, prices are relatively low, beginning at $5.99 per month for a single individual and $15 per month for each additional team member.
  • Considered an unofficial app by Twitter. Compatibility with future versions of Twitter may be a concern.
  • Provides automatic translation of messages into foreign languages. While this could also be considered positive, I would be concerned about the appearance of inauthenticity created by using poor automatic translations

 

 

Pros:

Tweetdeck logo

TweetDeck:

  • Tracks each Facebook comment, Twitter Mention, Direct Message, and RT
  • Allows posting directly to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, MySpace, and Google Buzz
  • Imports LinkedIn contacts
  • Allows advanced writing and scheduling of posts in the future
  • Allows “long posts” (longer than 140 characters) via its proprietary Deck.ly service.
  • Allows viewing of videos and posting of videos from within TweetDeck application environment
  • Has iPhone, iPad, and Android apps, and continuously synchronizes tweets between desktop and iPhone
  • It’s Free!

Cons:

  • Support is richest for Twitter
  • No social media metrics
  • Considered an unofficial app by Twitter. Compatibility with future versions of Twitter may be a concern.

Right Blue ArrowAfter all this, who would I go with? Hootsuite. They offer the most for a low price, they are scaled for individuals and small businesses rather than for agencies and “enterprises.” Importantly, they look to be long-term compatible with Twitter’s policies regarding third party apps.

What do you think?

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