Essential Social Networking Tools
If you use social networking, bookmarking, or blogging sites these profile management tools will save you time by pushing your updates to multiple social sites.
With the hundreds of social networking and social bookmarking (tagging) sites available today, it's not surprising that people find it difficult to manage their social media accounts. While you want to have a presence on many of these different sites, it can be time-consuming to update your status and profiles on each site — especially if you also use blogs, social bookmarking sites and instant messaging platforms to promote yourself or your brand.
10 Free Social Tools
Here are ten free social networking tools that can help you manage numerous social networking and bookmarking accounts, plus save you time by aggregating your updates — that is publishing one update across multiple social sites.
AddThis is a tool that can help increase exposure to your blog posts or Web articles by giving your readers one-click access to share your content with their friends on social networking and social bookmarking sites. It is a free service and includes support for a number of social media sites. After creating an AddThis account, you choose where the button will be used (e.g, Web site, Blogger, WordPress or MySpace), select a style of button to share, and choose if you want analytics to track the performance of the button — if you create a button without registering on the site then you cannot view button analytics. When you have entered in those details you get easy cut-and-paste code to add to your site or blog post. It takes only seconds to create an AddThis button.
Buffer is an application that is designed to manage an array of social networks. This application allows you to schedule your posts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Buffer also provides a service to businesses that are using social media. Buffer is free when you sign up, and they also offer other plans with more features.
BuzzSumo is a resource to help you analyze what content is performing the best for any given topic or competitor. This allows you to find the key influencers who will help to promote your content and reach even more people. BuzzSumo integrates with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and even Pinterest profiles. BuzzSumo is free when you sign up, but they also offer several different tiers of plans that are price according to the user’s usage level.
DandyID is a profile management service that lets you add your info (name and ID) from more than 300 social networking and media sites. The basic free DandyID account will allow you to collect and identify all your online profiles, prevent others from impersonating you online, send messages and more. The Pro account includes additional features such as the ability to track how people are connecting with your identity online, and also increase your visibility in Web search engines.
FriendFeed is used to share and discuss the interesting things you (and your friends) discover online. After signing up for a free FriendFeed account or sign in using Facebook, Google or Twitter accounts. FriendFeed works like other social networking sites in that you find contacts and friends from within that service, but you can also publish your FriendFeed out to a number of other sites including Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, and Twitter.
Friends+Me enables you to share and repost your publicly published G+ posts to social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Tumblr. This resource also allows you to manage where you want to repostr their content as well as control the time and day they show up. Friends+Me is free up to a certain amount of accounts and provides additional plans that are priced according to the amount of accounts, members, and add-ons.
Hootsuite is a social media management site that allows you to manage and schedule your posts on several different accounts among various social media platforms. Different subscription plans are available which can be free or paid depending on usage. Many corporations that manage multiple social media accounts use Hootsuite as a single access point to all of their accounts, but individuals may use Hootsuite as well to reach all of their networks via social media from one platform.
Pocket is an app that allows you to save webpages on a singular platform that can be accessed offline later. Pocket is available for smartphones, tablets, and computers and offer free and premium accounts. Premium features include a permanent library, suggested tags, and more.
Swayy is a site that helps you discover what is the most engaging content to share with your audiences on social media based on your interests as well as engagement. Swayy integrates with your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. Swayy provides analytics to show you what content is the most effective for growing your community. Swayy has several different plans including a free plan. Paid plans are distinguished by the amount of dashboards, team member that are included, and more.
Twitter and blogs are a powerful combination and the free online service, TwitterFeed will automatically feed your blog updates to Twitter, Laconica, Ping.fm, or HelloTxt. After signing up on TwitterFeed you need to connect TwitterFeed with your Twitter (or other) account, provide a feed name and enter in the URL to your RSS blog feed. TwitterFeed also lets you choose how often to Tweet an update and you can also select a service to shorten the URL (e.g., bit.ly, TinyURL and others), and other customable options. If you maintain multiple blogs, you can add additional blog RSS feeds under one TwitterFeed account.
Last reviewed and edited by Erin Lee
Based in Nova Scotia, Vangie Beal is has been writing about technology for more than a decade. She is a frequent contributor to EcommerceGuide and managing editor at Webopedia. You can tweet her online @AuroraGG.