TechWeb

Top 20 Apps For Managing Social Media

Nov 27, 2010 (01:11 AM EST)

Read the Original Article at http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=228200568


With TweetDeck, users can customize their Twitter experience with groups, columns, saved searches and automatic updates to help them stay updated about interesting people and topics. TweetDeck, which is free, allows users to track what others are saying about them, and give updates via tweeting, sharing photos, videos and links.

There are more than 550,000 active applications on the Facebook platform, according to social media company. The number of registered OAuth applications is now at almost 300,000, Twitter said. Add LinkedIn, YouTube, MySpace and other social media sites, and the choices become almost overwhelming. Social media professionals, marketing executives and individuals, therefore, have a plethora of options. In many cases, there are competing apps available so if one tool does not fit the bill, there could well be another app that exactly meets a user's needs.

After all, without add-on tools, it's all-too-easy to get lost in social media. Apps that help launch and manage campaigns, that simultaneously post to multiple social media sites, and eliminate marketers or unwanted followers can boost productivity and effectiveness. Other apps simplify sharing, allowing users to easily send photos, videos, links and text to specific groups or individuals.

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HootSuite enables organizations to use the social web to launch marketing campaigns, identify and grow their audience, and distribute targeted messages across multiple channels. Via HootSuite's social media dashboard, groups can collaboratively schedule updates to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress and other social networks via web, desktop or mobile platforms. Teams also can track campaign results and industry trends. Basic membership is free; a pro membership costs $5.99 a month.

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Gowalla, a free app, lets users share the places they go with friends and contacts, using posts, pictures and videos. Social media mavens can connect with Gowalla via Facebook and Twitter. Gowalla currently offers native applications for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Palm and iPad. Support for other phones may be provided in the future by third-party developers, the company said.

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Shareaholic, a free tool for Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and other browsers, lets users share any page, anytime, with more than 100 services like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Mail and WordPress. The tool lets registered users simplify their bookmarks, and find new materials as they arrive on the web, according to Shareaholic.

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Kinoma Play is a mobile, social media player that offers hundreds of features to users. Kinoma Play, available for Symbian/S60 and Windows Mobile 5 or later smartphones, costs $29.99, with a free trial available. The company also offers a FreePlay version. Users can transform their phones into a "mobile media powerhouse," Shareaholic said.

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Friendbinder brings together friends from an array of social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Digg -- even if friends don't join its free service. Friendbinder lets users track all friends in one place, and allows users to post replies and responses, the company said.

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Looking to cut through the noise of millions of Twitter accounts? Twollo is designed to help Twitter users find a more targeted audience for their posts. There is a four-day free trial. After that, Twollo costs $5.99 a month for five key words; $9.99 a month for 10 keywords; $19.99 per month for 20 keywords, and $59.99 month for unlimited keywords. Annual subscriptions also are available for 5, 10 and 20 keywords.

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Chirpstat -- formerly called Twitless -- is a Twitter follower stats tool that notifies Twitter account-holders when somebody stops following you and tell them. The service, available by following Chirpstat on Twitter, graphs users' follower history over time.

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Developed by a team of people interested in uncluttering life, Nest Unclutterer helps users rid their Twitter follower base of marketers, serial followers and others. The free app removes followers who have been inactive for a set period of time, helps create a white list, and lets users review a list of accounts, according to Nest Unclutterer.

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Pluggio, which ended its freemium program in August, simplifies tweeting via scheduled tweets. The app also lets users increase their following and discover their content, according to Pluggio. There is a free 30-day trial. A plus account costs $7.95 per month, premium accounts are $9.95 each month and a max account costs $19.95 per month.

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CoTweet by Exact Target helps companies manage conversations on the web. With CoTweet, groups can publish updates, collaborate on responses, track engagement activity and analyze campaign results across social networks. CoTweet comes in standard and enterprise editions. The standard edition works with Twitter, while the enterprise version works on Twitter and Facebook. Contact CoTweet for pricing.

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Thing Labs' Brizzly helps people stay abreast of hot topics, via the Brizzly Guide. It allows Twitter users to create lists to organize followers, shows the full in-line links from URL shortening and includes and videos photos from photo sharing services like Flickr and YouTube. In Facebook, Brizzly users can view and update their status, wall posts, comments and likes. Brizzly Picnics let invited participants privately share and communicate.

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Vinehub connects multiple social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Buzz, with more to come. The social aggregator lets users streamline their social media accounts into one central application. Vinehub features unified streams throughout the application; displaying users' updates, messages, and contacts together. Users can also send updates to their networks all at once, saving a great deal of time. Base level accounts, supported by ads, are free, and paid professional and business accounts include enhanced features and reduced limitations.

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A free tool, Hellotxt lets users read, update and organize their social media accounts over more than 50 networks, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr and Tumblr. Users can post photos, audio or video to multiple social networks and services by sending one email from their phone or any web email client. Hellotxt also works with instant messaging services such as GTalk, MSN and Yahoo Messenger.

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Chatterbox aims to keep Twitter users in the loop on subjects that matter to them, an increasingly difficult task given the site's growing base. The tool centralizes information via interesting keywords or specific user handles, placing them in a common dashboard that individuals and teams can leverage to manage and respond to those conversations, Chatterbox said. The tool simplifies companies' ability to assign workflows, prioritize, tag and efficiently respond to tweets.

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For people tired of trying to manage updates, Nutshell Mail delivers a summary of users' social network updates to their inbox in one email. The free tool encompasses Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn and Ning. Facebook account-holders get all photos, birthdays, friend requests, posts, news feeds, events and group invites and messages in one interactive Nutshell Mail email.

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Internet calling became easier when Skype integrated with MySpace and mobile phones. Skype teamed up with MySpace so users can search and speak to people they know, free. Account-holders can add their MySpace friends to their Skype contact lists, simply by locating their names and clicking on the MySpaceIM tab. In addition, Skype Mobile delivers free Skype-to-Skype calls and IMs with Verizon Wireless, saving on wireless minutes, and is available on many other smartphones, such as iPhones.

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The Foursquare mobile application was designed to make it easier for people to explore cities, share their geographic location and find nearby friends. Using Foursquare, participants check-in to a location, share this information with friends and track the history of where they've been and who they've been there with. The free app has about 3 million users.

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In September, the beta release, version 1, of ÜberTwitter was released. The app, designed for the BlackBerry, is a full-featured Twitter client that lets users upload pictures to a site solely for ÜberTwitter users, and automatically update their locations based on their smartphones' communication with the cell tower. ÜberTwitter users also can send videos embedded in their tweets, see all people who are tweeting nearby, and optionally update their Google Talk status with their most recent tweet, thereby reaching beyond Twitter followers. A free version is available or a full subscription costs $4.99

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A free service, Ping.fm lets users simply update their status on various social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace. Ping.fm, which was acquired by Seesmic at the beginning of the year, supports mobile apps, messaging and email, as well as more than 100 web and desktop apps from third-party developers, the company said.

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