November 9, 2010

Top 10 social media dashboard tools

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HootSuite
Hootsuite: Among the best of breed.

How to manage the torrent of social media conversations — and increase your productivity!

By Kim Bale
Socialbrite staff

One of the things we often hear from nonprofits and social enterprises is: How do I manage the torrent of social media conversations coming at me?

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, monitor, 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.

Here are 10 of our favorite social media dashboard tools:

 

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 nonprofit or business’s 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 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. Nonprofits and cause organizations can update multiple social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook and more) from a computer or iPhone, Android or BlackBerry device. 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 $212 per month for nonprofits. See the new writeup on Spredfast on our sister site, Socialmedia.biz.

MediaFunnel

MediaFunnel: Collaborative, permission-based system

5Coordinate and manage your nonprofit’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 nonprofits and corporations 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. Organizations 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.

Tools that can integrate your social networks

There are, of course, other social media dashboard solutions for the enterprise. One good choice for businesses is Awareness, which lets your team publish, manage, measure and engage across multiple social media channels.

Another is Sprout Social: Social media tools for business, a social media management suite. We listed Sprout Social in our roundup of Paid social media monitoring services.

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 your Twitter, 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.

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Kim Bale was recently the community outreach specialist for The Extraordinaries. Follow her on Twitter at @balekimb.

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  • http://www.simpletaxappeals.com/ Simple Tax Appeals Illinois

    I like the valuable info you supply on your articles. I will bookmark your blog and test again here regularly.

  • Savvy Sleuth

    Thank you! Very helpful list.

  • Mortgages

    nice one

  • http://www.shaneatkins.co.uk/ Shane Atkins

    What about Sprout Social?
    It’s so much easier to understand and use on a day to day basics than any other one I’ve come across.

    • http://www.socialmedia.biz/ JD Lasica

      Shane, you’re right, Sprout Social rocks. We’ve covered them elsewhere and should have mentioned them here. But that’s what the wisdom of the crowd is for. :~)

  • http://twitter.com/DatatoDashboard Learn Dashboards

    Good list. Don’t forget long-standing metrics dashboards for professionals – http://www.Unilyzer.com

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  • http://twitter.com/deepsoulsurfer Deep Soul Surfer

    Very useful information. will test, to see which one suits me best. Thanks for the list.

  • julesvern97

    Another new web app worth mentioning is TodayLaunch, made by Todaymade (where I work). It’s a social media dashboard that focuses on being fast and easy while managing multiple social media accounts from one place. One of my favorite features is that it lets you archive old posts or comments, making it so you can clear out your inbox and stay on top of things.
     
    http://todaylaunch.com/

  • http://www.my1login.com jryan

    Ya I also love BringShare, its awesome. 
     
    And by the way the post is very nice.

  • emmiedexter

    Do you know if any of the tools will allow you to post to multiple self hosted blogs? Hootsuite does not allow posting to self hosted blogs… 
    Thanks!