One thing I love about our fast-moving world is that there’s new innovation at every turn. As a founder of a web application myself, I know how difficult it is to think of a new idea and then go from concept to launch. So, when Neal asked me to write a recurring column on new social media tools and apps, I thought what could be a better start than wrapping up this year (holiday pun intended) by showcasing some innovations related to social media. You may have already heard about some of these, but I hope a few will be new to you. I’ve tested them all and, if they have made this list, they’re definitely worth checking out!
1. RebelMouse https://www.rebelmouse.com
A Pinterest-style display for your social stories.
RebelMouse is based on the idea that people are proud of what they share on social networks, but are starting to feel embarrassed about their websites. RebelMouse creates your social front page, building a dynamic site around what you share. I have been finding it a fun tool to showcase my social happenings, and see a digest of some of the people I follow. They are really trying to launch with a bang. and succeeding. I just read that they’re powering Time Magazine’s social reactions to person of the year, Barack Obama. Is it worth nabbing your name before someone else gets it? I thought so!
2. Newsle (beta) http://newsle.com
Newsle (pronounced nuz-il), is an app I’ve been having a lot of fun with. I hooked up my Facebook and Linkedin accounts and every time any of my connections gets covered in the news, I get notified. At first, I thought this could be annoying, but they do a great job of putting notifications into a digest, and the e-mails aren’t overwhelming. It’s helping me keep up with my growing connections, and keeps me in the loop when anything interesting happens. Great for keeping track of potential joint ventures, and for a little good karma (everyone loves being congratulated)!
3. MarketMeSuite’s Inbox For Social™ http://marketmesuite.com
MarketMeSuite is how small business manages, monitors and engages on social media. Use it to organize your social media marketing just like you do your email inbox. Real-time search and geo-targeting tools let you find targeted, relevant conversations amongst would-be customers and engage with them in a meaningful way.
In the interest of full disclosure, this is my app. In fact, launching an app myself is why Neal thought I would be well-suited to write a column about cool new applications, so stay tuned for regular posts from me! MarketMeSuite’s Inbox For Social was launched in February of 2012. Now, with over 30,000 users turning their Twitter feeds, Facebook and LinkedIn posts into qualified sales leads, MarketMeSuite’s is all about social media engagement.
4. New Pitch Engine http://new.pitchengine.com
Pitch Engine’s new mobile app let’s you take your PR on the go.
Pitch Engine didn’t launch this year, but their shiny new mobile app lands them on this list. Wherever you are, you can create a “pitch” with a photo, headline and summary. You can invite customers to view your pitch and follow future pitches via the mobile app or email notification. Your pitch is published through PitchEngine’s platform which optimizes it for search and the social web. I like the “social network” aspect of sharing and interacting with pitches much like you would a tweet.
5. Reachli (formerly Pinerly) http://www.reachli.com/
Market your visual content on Pinterest and across the web.
Pinterest has really taken off this year, and even in the absence of an open API, companies are still able to build impressive applications and services around it. Reachli enables you to create a “campaign,” post it across your social media channels (starting with Pinterest) and get analytics for it – eliminating the guesswork on what’s effective and what’s not. If you’re looking to reach out to people beyond your networks, Reachli also provides an option to “promote” the campaign and reach an even larger targeted audience.
6. PinReach http://www.pinreach.com/
PinReach (formerly PinClout) is focusing on bringing insight and analytics to Pinterest. They have some pretty nifty features in their suite. The PinReach score, a numeric representation of a member’s Pinterest influence based on a series of social attributes, is handy for helping you determine who you should get to pin your stuff.
7. Vyclone http://vyclone.com/
Vyclone is a social video platform that lets you co-create, sync and edit multiple views of a shared moment.
If you’re a budding videographer or just have a thing for remixed content, this is a really cool app. With the ability to remix, edit and share for your friends (and the world) to see. This app could wind up becoming the “Instagram” of videos. There’s a great social element that lets you interact with other Vyclone users; you can find movies to watch by searching users, tags, location and trends and follow your friends, celebs, musicians or anyone making content you want to see.
8. VsnapTM https://www.vsnap.com/
Vsnap launched this year as part of MassChallenge.org. The folks at Vsnap posit that email is a little “been there, done that” for dealing with customers. Vsnap makes it easy to send short video messages as a more personal alternative to email. A vsnap is 60 second “snap” maximum. There’s nothing to download. You can send vsnaps to any email address or group of email addresses, or directly to your Twitter feed. And you can add attachments to your vsnap, providing context that’s much richer than text. I’ve only just started to play with it and, while I’m not sure I’d replace all my customer emails with Vsnaps (nor do I think that’s what the folks behind it are suggesting), I like the idea of richer communication with my customers.
9. Flock https://theflockapp.com/
Automatically sync photos with family and friends into a shared album for everyone to enjoy.
Flock finds the photos you take together with friends and family and “magically” brings all the photos from each person’s phone together into a single shared album. The cool part? Flock knows who you’re with. They use location information to automatically detect which of your friends you are “flocking” with, filters out the strangers and creates a shared album for your friends who were present (your flock, get it?).
10. SaveLocalTM http://www.constantcontact.com/deals/index.jsp
Create and sell shareable local deals.
We’ve all heard of Groupon and Living Social, so is there room for another “deals” platform? What I like about SaveLocal is they seem to have taken a hard look at critical problems with the current daily deals model — problems that put merchants at significant financial and organizational risk, problems created by business models that usurp all deal control from the merchant. SaveLocal gives merchants complete control and allows small businesses to run deals that don’t break the bank, incentivizes social sharing to attract qualified new customers, and drives repeat business. And, it’s owned by online marketing juggernaut Constant Contact, and, if anyone is going to crack this particular nut, I’d bank on them.
11. Kippt https://kippt.com/
Sync your favorite links from other services to Kippt and make them searchable.
On a mission to make the web more actionable, Kippt allows its users to collect relevant links on the web and sync them to one place for easy curation and sharing. I’m enjoying the social element that lets you follow other people to see what they’re collecting and sharing. In my opinion, anything that makes the Interweb’s value easier to find is going to become more and more useful. The web is getting so cluttered; I tip my hat to the folks at Kippt for working on making it a more manageable place.
12. Ticketfly http://ticketfly.com
Ticketfly itself is not a new app for 2012, but they launched a new version this year that gets them on the list: “Tickets Everywhere.” The updates include a revamped social ticketing experience including Facebook and Twitter, and venues can now use the social channels to push out promotions. It’s a nifty concept; you’re a heck of a lot more likely to buy tickets to an event if you know your friends are going.
13. YouTube for iPhone https://itunes.apple.com/app/youtube/id544007664
Shortly after iPhone announced the removal of the YouTube app from iOS 6, YouTube launches it’s own app with more social power than the first.
The good news? This app is better than the original in many ways – more content, more social sharing. The bad news? For the first time in a native iOS experience, YouTube shows pre-roll ads ahead of its mobile videos. But hey, I guess everybody needs to make money somehow…
14. @Holla http://www.atholla.com/
@Holla is a voice, texting and conferencing app that lets you use @names and #tags to call or conference anyone without the need for a phone number. It’s a cool concept. Users on social networks like Twitter can be reached (via voice, texting or conferencing) simply by using their twitter handle. For example if you dial @jim#meet, the app starts a conference call in room ‘meet’ for ‘@jim’ and any allowed user that dials that address may join. @Holla also works with phone numbers, provides domestic and international services, plus lets users get a phone number mapped to their @names.
15. Chee.rs http://www.chee.rs/
Share the love and appreciation for anyone, anything, anywhere.
You have to love an app whose mission is to spread joy. It took me awhile to understand what this app does, so some work could be done to the website to explain it a little better but, once I got in, I can see how it could become addictive. There are different categories known as “missions” that you can follow and invite friends to. One mission I am on is “Holiday Traditions.” You can add a “cheer” to the mission, in the form of a photo from your iPhone, and describe what it is and what makes it cheerful. Everyone who is on the mission can see it and, ultimately, you brighten someone’s day.
16. Timbre http://www.timbreapp.com/
This is a location based application that lets you browse events near your current location, essentially letting the music find you. When an artist or band finds you, you can tap on the band name and a sample of the music is automatically played on your iPhone. You can then choose to buy tickets, or share with friends and family. This is brand new, and I’m just starting to really delve into it, but I’m finding it super easy-to-use and I’m loving the local love element.
And a Bonus:
17. ViralGains http://viralgains.com/
Using a smart algorithm you can make your video content go viral.
ViralGains Process is an online video advertising platform focused on a social approach to distributing video content and maximizing social sharing and conversation of online videos. This company is definitely in its early stages, which is why I’ve included it as a bonus 17th tool, but I’ve had the chance to meet the team behind it and I see this type of platform/service combination really taking off in 2013 as businesses are trying to find unique and attention-grabbing ways to getting their message heard.
It’s the beginning of a whole new year and I’m excited to see what new social media tools and apps the next 12 months bring. Cheers to that and — happy new year!