As a blogger who also has a day job, the lure of automated marketing tools is, at times, nearly impossible to resist. But as I discussed in a recent post titled Four Marketing Technologies That Are Ruining the Internet, most of the tools marketers have to choose from do little more than encourage us to clutter the Internet with artificially-generated traffic, irrelevant information, and duplicate content. Finding a balance between making my life easier and retaining my ethical standards as a marketer is an ongoing struggle. But eventually, I plan to win.
In my never ending quest for high-value marketing tools that also allow me to sleep at night, I began experimenting with a social media productivity booster called SocialOomph (formerly TweetLater). My experiences with this tool—positive and negative—are outlined in this article. If this post generates a decent level of interest among readers, I plan to continue the series by investing my own money in (and subsequently writing about) other paid marketing tools and services. With this in mind, if you have any suggestions for tools you would like to see evaluated on this website, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas.
SocialOomph: A Quick Overview
SocialOomph originally got its start as an automated friend-finder for Twitter users, and like other tools of its kind has since added dozens of new features. Some of these features you can probably live without, and some are absolutely critical for execution of a comprehensive Twitter marketing strategy—the latter including bulk tweet uploading, @Mention and Retweet monitoring, Twitter keyword alerts, and management of multiple Twitter accounts from a single user interface.
The Professional Edition of SocialOomph (access to all features) is $29.97 per month, and prior to paying this subscription the company allows prospective monthly users a 6-Day Free Trial to test everything out. This review will be written from the perspective of a full-blown user, who has paid his monthly fee and re-upped his subscription, which I have done multiple times.
SocialOomph: The Good
As a fundamental part of any social media productivity service, SocialOomph’s Friend Finder tool is as feature-rich and robust as I could expect to get for less than 30 bucks per month. To satisfy my inner control freak, SocialOomph allows me to search for and filter potential friends using nearly 25 different settings—settings that include uber-nerdy stuff like Following-to-Follower Ratio, Username Keywords, Length of Twitter Membership, and even the type of thumbnail graphic a Twitter member uses in his or her profile.
I also love the Clout Calculation, which allows me to generate a list of my Top 50 “Most Influential” followers, so I know whose butt to kiss when I need some traffic. And of course, the Bulk Tweet Upload feature allows me to upload a virtually unlimited number of Tweets (I have yet to hit the limit, anyway) and schedule them for distribution at some time in the near or distant future. For a person with no time to spare, these features alone are worth the price. Aside from my three personal favorite time-savers, SocialOomph’s TweetCockPit (for managing multiple accounts) allows you to schedule @replies and DMs, send broadcast (mass-distributed) DMs, and run you own TwitterBots . . . something that happens to irritate me personally, but many of you might enjoy this feature.
SocialOomph: The Not So Good
Compared to other membership-based sites I pay money to use each month, I must admit I expected a bit more from SocialOomph’s User Interface. Sure, all of the features work as advertised, but the main interface is a mashing together of tabs, links and ill-formatted tables that sometimes make it difficult to find exactly what I’m looking for. It is quite obvious that this website is too busy trying to make money to improve the design of its site, but as a paying member in good standing I expect to see some big interface changes soon.
The other negative regarding SocialOomph is, unfortunately for them, something they can do nothing about—speed. Like any other automated social networking tool, SocialOomph is constantly accessing the Twitter API . . . which means when Twitter is slow, SocialOomph is slow. But until the owners of Twitter actually figure out a way to cash flow their idea and use the money to add more bandwidth, users across the globe will be forced to deal with the big blue “Twitter is Over Capacity!” whale dozens of times per day.
SocialOomph: The Missing
After three months of relatively intensive use, there are a few features I would like to see added to SocialOomph. First, I would LOVE a report that analyzes my Following List, and automatically un-follows anyone who has not chosen to follow me within (for example) a week of me initially following them (note that SocialOomph does have a function that un-follows anyone who un-follows you, but what I’m referring to here is a bit different). Second, for as much time as I spend on their site it seems only right that they allow me to customize my view—basically create my own SocialOomph desktop—so I don’t have to deal with the dozens of tabs and links I simply don’t use.
And finally, as counter-intuitive as this feature might be to the concept of social networking, I would like to see the good people at SocialOomph build a function that helps me weed out spammers and idiots—kind of like a “Friend Finder,” but in reverse. For example, among my followers I know I have dozens of shadow accounts (where the same person owns multiple accounts and tweets the same thing for each account) and “Enroll in the Trump System of Wealth” pushers. Quite frankly I’m tired of reading their crap, and if SocialOomph could give me a way to find and permanently block them, I might be a customer for life.
SocialOomph: Overall Impressions
Is SocialOomph the perfect social media productivity booster? Not quite. But as a key piece of marketing automation for bloggers and website owners, there isn’t much missing in the way of features. Also, the owners and operators of SocialOomph deserve a HUGE amount of credit for developing and migrating their system in an ethical manner. Not only does the site keep its members constantly updated on new Twitter usage policies, but they resist the temptation to ‘game’ the Twitter API by forcing users to grow their follower bases logically and consistently over time—versus other systems that make promises like “Gain 10,000 new followers per week!” and “Get as many followers as Oprah!”
If you’re in the process of shopping for a social media productivity tool, registering for SocialOomph’s 6-Day Free Trial is a risk-free way to get your feet wet. And who knows: after those six days, you might find you can’t live without it either.
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