November 9, 2010

10 ways to create a social media dashboard

HootSuite
Hootsuite: Among the best of breed.

How to manage the multiple online conversations for your business

By Kim Bale and J.D. Lasica

With the torrent of social media conversations coming at us today, how do you manage the flow?

The answer used to be: Painstakingly and one conversation at a time. But a new crop of social media tools aims to tamp down the social media gusher by letting you update, manage and maintain several communication outlets at once. (While it’s sometimes hard to know what counts as a social media dashboard, we’re not including a wide range of customer relationship management (CRM) or social media monitoring tools here.)

When selecting a dashboard for personal or professional use, you should consider such items as cost, analytics and which social networks they support, among other things. Our list is meant to feature some of the breakout social media dashboards in the space and highlight their distinguishing features to make the selection process a bit easier.

 

Threadsy

Threadsy: Unify your email, social networks

1Threadsy is an intuitive, easy-to-use dashboard that allows organizations to connect through multiple email accounts as well as Facebook and Twitter. Free to use, Threadsy is great for managing your brand from one clean dashboard across the big names in social media platforms. With no fees and no downloads, this service should make a splash in the space for both personal use and use by your business or organization.

myweboo

Myweboo: Organize your information streams

2Haven’t heard of Myweboo? That’s OK. This upstart startup invites users to discover, browse and read popular streams and share them with friends and followers. You or your organization can choose from a wide variety of “applications” to connect to and stream to a dashboard from categories like news, social, fashion, photo and video. These streams can be viewed together of filtered from “My Dashboard” and then easily shared via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Delicious and other networks. You’re in complete control of which sites will make up your dashboard. Free to use, Myweboo is run by an appealing brother-and-sister pair of young tech stars.

hootsuite

Hootsuite: Integrate all your platforms

3Our personal favorite is Hootsuite because of the depth of its products and services. You can update multiple social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook and more) from a computer or iPhone, Android or Blackberry. A team of users can track results of their interactions and create a dashboard that will work efficiently with their preferred social streams. Hootsuite offers two versions. One is free and aggregates up to five social network and two RSS feeds; it stores stat history for 30 days and is ad supported. For $5.99 a month, your organization can enjoy unlimited capabilities for a single user, with each additional user costing $10 per month.

spredfast

Spredfast: For teams of social marketers

4Spredfast allows an organization not only to manage its social media presence but also to monitor and measure its voice across multiple social media channels from one easy-to-use dashboard. A great choice for organizations with multiple hands in social media marketing efforts, Spredfast offers superb organizational tools that help identify and assign tasks to multiple users across multiple social media sites ranging from Facebook and Twitter to LinkedIn and blogging platforms. It also lets you publish video to many video sites at once, similar to TubeMogul. Free for 30 days, Spredfast has pricing tiers that start around $250 per month for businesses. See our recent writeup on Spredfast.

MediaFunnel

MediaFunnel: Collaborative, permission-based system

5Coordinate and manage your business’s social media presence with MediaFunnel, a collaboration platform that lets you navigate and moderate online conversations about your brand. One interesting feature: You can use MediaFunnel to manage your team member’s social media updates — say, by holding your intern’s tweets in a queue until approved by a supervisor (roles include admins, publishers and contributors). Chiefly geared to businesses, MediaFunnel makes it easy to combine several social media accounts and to offer solutions for presenting a brand’s presence through multiple voices. Scheduled tweets, brand alerts and tweets via email or SMS are supported.

cotweet

CoTweet: Advanced features for Enterprise users

6CoTweet is used by thousands of individuals and employees at enterprises around the world. The free Standard edition is limited to a few Twitter accounts and geared to a couple of team members. The paid Enterprise edition supports Facebook, too, and is geared to brands more deeply engaged in social marketing, brand building and customer support. It supports an unlimited number of users, advanced workflow, more analytics, third-party integrations — including Salesforce.com — productivity tools, unlimited conversation history for deeper customer relationships, a mobile app, rich profiles of fans and followers and more.

seesmic-logo

Seesmic: Free, clean & credible

7Seesmic allows users to manage unlimited Twitter accounts as well as Facebook, Google Buzz, LinkedIn and Foursquare accounts. Another free service, this dashboard is well-organized and can be sorted into a variety of timelines detailing tweets, retweets, @mentions, direct messages and lists. Seesmic also publishes trending topics, making it easy to join already popular conversations. This dashboard — created by Loic Le Meur, founder of LeWeb, and his San Francisco-based team — is clean, simple and affords the ability to update several statuses, send direct messages and check in to locations from one easily navigated page.

Netvibes

Netvibes: Share your widgets with the world

8Netvibes lets organizations keep track of the news and trends that matter, create unique personal and public dashboards and share these public dashboards or sites with anyone, anywhere, at any time. You can easily create fun and personalized widgets — detailing the weather, to-do lists, Twitter feeds, Facebook posts or Flickr updates, among many others — and post them to both personal and public dashboards. Businesses can choose a theme, name their pages and organize them with tabs and share them with the world.

TweetDeck

TweetDeck: Connect with your contacts

9If you’re a Twitter aficionado, you may already use TweetDeck, which works on the Mac, PC, Linux, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android. It connects organizations with contacts across Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Google Buzz and many more. Free of charge, TweetDeck allows users to schedule future posts, manage multiple accounts and update several social media sites at once to maintain consistency. One unique feature allows users to send tweets longer than 140 characters through smart cross-posting to both a Buzz and Twitter account. Twitter is a desktop app and not Web-based, so one thing we don’t like is the inability to manage the app’s font size on different screens.

brizzly

Brizzly: Simplify your updating

10Brizzly simplifies your social media browsing and updating experience while taking some of the work out of keeping up to date with trends and followers. It lets you update on Twitter and Facebook. Its Brizzly Guide helps explain trending topics on Twitter. Brizzly is free.

Also, don’t forget other tools that can integrate your social networks:

• You might want to try using a browser as your social media dashboard. Flock has been the most social of the social browsers for the past five years. Others say Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox will get you a social media dashboard with the right add-ons/extensions. And Marc Andreessen’s upcoming RockMelt (Mashable review) will take it a step further, requiring you to log into Facebook before using it.

Unilyzer has a social media dashboard to unify yourTwitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts.

• We’re impressed by the private beta of Nimble and will report back when we’ve used it more extensively.

TwitterFeed lets you feed your blog to Twitter, Facebook and more.

Ping.fm is a free service that makes it easy to update your social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr and Delicious.

RowFeeder is a tool to cross-post, to track conversations on Twitter and Facebook and to create analytical reports.

What’s your favorite social media dashboard? Please add a comment.

Cross-posted to Socialbrite.org.JD Lasica, founder of Socialmedia.biz, is now co-founder of the cruise discovery engine Cruiseable. See his About page, contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

  • http://twitter.com/cphilc @cphilc

    New RockMelt social web browser, not the same race but the same features http://www.rockmelt.com

  • http://www.ravisie.nl Ben Licher

    Hootsuite is my favorite.

    • http://www.iowaturkeyfarm.com Natalie Harding

      Do you know if Hootsuite will let you set up automatic responses for example: A thank you for following me message?

  • http://www.garious.com/ Marissa @ Garious

    Wow, this is a mega list and I haven't tried a lot of tools you mentioned here. I think I'll have to share this to my tweeple as well and I believe they will find the info as useful as I did. Many thanks! By the way, will you know when RockMelt will finally launch for people to use?

    • jdlasica

      Hi Marissa! I just got a private invitation to RockMelt yesterday, so I think they're rolling it out slowly. Will let you know when I see a public beta.

  • renepower

    Nice post Kim. After a brief recent flirtation with TweetDeck, I'm back with Hootsuite. Easier and more intuitive to me.

  • Eliott

    MediaFunnel and Seesmic are the strongest tools on there. Especially with new features, MediaFunnel is on it for brand monitoring! Great article!

  • http://www.gregboggs.com Greg

    I used Twitter's website for months until I had to start managing multiple accounts. Twitter makes it almost impossible to keep track of more than one account. Media Funnel has really made my life easier. Not only can I manage my own Twitter accounts, I can manage accounts for my clients too. It's a huge time saver.

  • marciet

    I'm a hootsuite fan too… who can resist that little owl?

  • http://www.stephaniehaller.com Steph

    I think I'm in the minority when I say I like the New Twitter. If I'm quickly updating my personal account, I just use the web interface. But I use MediaFunnel for different clients and organizations I'm working with. Like mentioned by Elliott, it's the brand monitoring with MediaFunnel that I especially like. The emails are handy if I'm working on something else at the moment.

  • http://www.twisplays.com Joshua Persky

    Use Twisplays to display Twitter streams, engaging your customers and employees – and yourself!

  • http://applicanttrackingsoftwareblog.com/ Aaron Lintz

    Throw Sproutsocial in the mix with hootsuite. Both lack some of the hardcore multi-brand and niche site options that are missing today. I still need some kind of RSS functionality for trends, pinging tools, and possibly ties to CRM /Email marketing. No one has the one ring….yet.

    • socialbrite

      Did Sprout rebrand itself as Sproutsocial? Know there were a couple of Sprouts floating around … (jd)

  • http://www.compassroseconsulting.com Donna Price

    I found TweetDeck bogged my whole system down, so didn't work for me. I appreciate all of these new resources. I use HootSuite but am not totally thrilled with it. Am excited to look at all of these options. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/VerticalMeasure @VerticalMeasure

    @Ben Licher, us too…we love hootsuite! There are so many free tools to take advantage of that can benefit your online marketing campaign. Don't be afraid to try a new tool!

  • http://flitter.co.nz Justin

    Ive tried all of these applications and while some are better than others for certain cases, non has been better than tap11.com fro me. An efficient social media client with great analytics

  • http://holisticinternetmarketing.com Amy

    Thanks for this great list, Kim. My tool of choice is currently Hootsuite, but I will check a few of these out. Netvibes is probably the first I will take a look at.

  • http://www.socialmediajobscourse.com/ Lowell

    Some of these are new to me. Thanks! I will try media funnel first, sounds interesting.

  • http://www.MikeWilliamsPro.com mikewilliamspro

    This list is very DOPE!!!! I use Hootsuite and it is magic. There is so many tools to use don't get too over whelmed pick one and learn all about it, then find another that can top it and do it all over again until you find one you totally love.

  • http://customers.agriya.com/products/fixed-price-platform fiverr clone

    I use tweetdeck, thanks for updating various tools here…

  • http://www.affilorama.com/blog Rod Tolentino

    Thanks for the post! Very informative and helpful! Multi-tasking tools for the win!

  • BornEmpowered

    Seesmic has been acquired by @HootSuite and as of March 2013, the Seesmic website is no longer supported. But HootSuite welcomes all Seesmic users into their nest!