The Facebook timeline change left a number of older apps high and dry until they could adapt. Now, partway through 2014, some apps have emerged as clear leaders in utility and popularity. Here are three great choices to help you run your Facebook campaigns.
Formerly known as Lujure, Heyo is a company providing a suite of useful apps for any Facebook marketer. Originally, the company was entirely based on Facebook as a platform, but along with the name change, it transitioned to a robust app suite that includes website building and mobile apps.
Heyo Social is the core of the platform. It’s a dedicated fan page builder, allowing you to customize a fan page in a wide range of ways. The expanded version with the Heyo rebrand includes similar options for websites and mobile apps, using the same robust design engine. You’re given a selection of templates to select, or you can customize the page to your specifications. Heyo Social also includes several dozen additional widgets for use in your fan page, including contest support.
Based on the content you create through Heyo Social, with Heyo Mobile you can develop a mobile app with one click. The app will be based on the design of your fan page and will include the same functionality. There are several mobile widgets available now to incorporate into your app, with more coming in the future.
Following Heyo Mobile is the Heyo Web app, which works the same way. You can click to convert your fan page into a hosted and functional stand-alone website. Again, a range of widgets for support are available.
Heyo offers a free trial and three basic packages. $25 monthly gets you two campaigns. $50 gets you five campaigns with premium templates, widgets and support. The enterprise solution, at $125 monthly, also includes an account manager and phone support, along with additional campaigns. You can also contact them directly for a custom package.
Vocus, formerly known as North Social, provides a single platform with a wide range of features. These features fall into three primary categories, as divided by Vocus itself.
The Attract and Engage features are there to help your business bring in new leads and convince them you have what they need. A robust recommendation engine scours the Internet for conversations on social media and discussion sites, looking for mentions of problems that your products can solve. It also offers detailed campaign management tools. Furthermore, Vocus provides a news release service for maximum exposure.
The Nurture and Convert features turn the leads generated by the previous features into customers. It has integrated email and social apps to create audience profiles and target them with specific advertising. It has customizable landing page apps complete with analytics. And, an important feature for all small businesses, Vocus includes plenty of automation options for content distribution. If your business currently uses Salesforce, Vocus integrates smoothly as well.
Finally, the Vocus Measure and Improve features integrate detailed analytics and reports. You’ll be able to measure everything about your campaign in great detail. To avoid flooding you with information you can’t parse, the robust report generation tools present your data in an actionable, intuitive way.
Vocus, unfortunately, has one major drawback. It’s far from cheap. Even the most basic, limited plan is $300 per month, with prices rising from there. Of course, you get access to hundreds of apps, features and tools for that price.
Vocus also includes a handful of services to assist you in using their platform, including consulting and training. You can contract them and be set up quickly, ready to put their tools to use.
HootSuite can be divided into a few categories of offerings as well.
On the platform site, HootSuite offers a host of social engagement apps. It also includes tools for listening to your audience, to gain feedback and a clear idea of what they want out of your service. Collaboration tools further allow you to work with your development team or with third party clients. All of this can be measured and adjusted using data from the HootSuite analytics tools, which provide you with clear and concise reports. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, HootSuite security tools make sure your social media platforms are safe and secure against intrusion.
HootSuite also integrates with dozens of third party apps for further utility, including OneDrive, Box and Dropbox. Trello, Gmail, Pinterest Viraltag; HootSuite includes well over 100 different apps you can integrate. You can also take advantage of Hootlet, HootSuite’s own social management app, which includes scheduled posting and social search.
HootSuite solutions include a number of social tools. Social media management integrates with Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, WordPress and all the other major platforms. Social marketing follows up with detailed campaign management tools and analytics, to help you measure your investment and conversion rates. A dedicated social selling suite helps you find leads throughout the web and bring them into your domain for further engagement. Finally, the HootSuite social customer service program is a unique system that helps you proactively identify customer service issues so you can address them and build a positive brand reputation.
HootSuite starts with limited free services with a free package, perfect for individual entrepreneurs and small businesses. The Professional version works best for SMBs and starts at $9 per month for the most basic selection of options. The Enterprise setup includes everything and is, of course, more expensive. HootSuite is highly modular and your price can vary depending on the systems and services you require.
All of these platforms are necessarily robust and incredibly powerful. They aren’t your small, individual app tools. It’s difficult to rank individual apps on the basis of their utility and popularity; one low-use app may be invaluable to everyone who uses it, but its niche use is enough to keep it away from popularity contests.
You can do just about anything you need with one of these platforms. Not a fan? Tell us what your app of choice is. You never know who might benefit from your comment.