3 Content Aggregation Tools for Social Media Marketing

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest — your social media streams are full of customer-generated content that you can use to help market your business. From spontaneous expressions of joy over your service to photographic evidence of your product being used, these posts can turn a browser into a customer.

To take full advantage of these powerful posts, you need a tool that pulls them all together in one place. For that, you have options. Here’s a look at three we found useful:

1. RebelMouse
This online tool curates a collection of social-media posts and turns them into an easy to scan, grid style, never-ending page. Use RebelMouse to connect all of your social-media accounts including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Then paste the embed code on your own website for an instant wall of information.

You can also use RebelMouse pages to curate industry news or compile company mentions using hashtags and keywords. You can also run a collection of tweets from a variety of people using Twitter Lists.

RebelMouse is free to use but if you want to remove the Following and Featured sidebar boxes from your page, or host the page on your own domain, that costs $9.99 a month.

2. Paper.li
You can turn your favorite social media posts into a digital newspaper with Paper.li. The online tool curates the social media content you specify based on keywords, hashtags and selected accounts. You can also add information from any RSS feed. Then, the tool looks for URLs in the posts and extracts the content. Instead of posting a tweet with a link, Paper.li posts the linked content, be it an article, video or photo.

All content is prioritized and categorized based on your specifications. The finished product can be embedded on a website or shared through a link. The system automatically creates a new paper on a daily, weekly or twice daily schedule. As soon as the paper is ready, Paper.li automatically tweets with @user mentions for the original content creators.

A basic Paper.li account is free. If you go Pro for $9 a month you can move your paper to a custom domain, run ads, gets stats via Google Analytics and produce a newsletter.

3. Postano
Postano essentially turns social media posts into dynamic marketing displays. Imagine an industry convention where every hashtagged tweet shows up on a giant monitor in real time. Or a retail store window with a 10-foot display of the brand’s Facebook and Pinterest posts. And they don’t stop with the usual players. Postano can pull results from Foursquare, Blogger, Vine and Flickr, too. The best thing about a Postano display is that it gets people looking up instead of down at their phone.

The average Postano installation starts at $25,000 and that includes a full year of content management.

 

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YouTube Apps Suggest Videos to Watch Next

Brands that use YouTube to promote their products or services will welcome the latest update to the video service’s mobile apps: video overlays that suggest what users should watch next. Google calls it “InVideo Programming,” which means that YouTube creators can cross-promote their channel’s videos — linking one video to the next so, ideally, a user will play all of them. While this feature is new on mobile, it has been available on the desktop version of YouTube since last fall, and is already used by more than one million channels, Google says.

The update also includes call-to-action overlays. You can share additional information about your videos with these overlays or use them as a space for brand promotion. As of now, the overlays are available only to advertisers who use AdWords for video, but Google plans to bring them to all channels before the end of the year. — TheNextWeb

Twitter buys a startup: Spindle.
Twitter has purchased Spindle, an app that allows users to discover Twitter content created near to them. Spindle will shut down and its team of about 10 employees will move to Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco. “By joining forces with Twitter, we can do so much more to help you find interesting, timely, and useful information about what’s happening around you,” the company wrote in a blog post. — SocialTimes

Facebook lets users comment with photos.
A new Facebook feature lets users comment on status updates with photos rather than just text. The feature came out of one of Facebook’s employee hackathons. Photo comments are becoming available on the web to all users, but the feature is not yet available on the mobile apps, though photo comments are viewable in the apps. — Mashable

Vine co-founders tease upcoming features.
Not to be outdone by Instagram’s new video feature, the co-founders of the Twitter-owned Vine video app released have teased some upcoming features. It appears that full-screen videos and comments will be among the new features, though no one is saying for sure yet. “Over the next few weeks, we’ll be introducing some exciting new parts of Vine,” the company said in a blog post. “As always, we’ll share details on updates as we release them.” — AllThingsD

Use social media a lot? You might be a narcissist.
A new study found that frequent tweets and Facebook status updates were highly correlated with narcissistic traits in both college students and adults. “Facebook is a mirror and Twitter is a megaphone,” researchers from the University of Michigan wrote. People use social media “to boost their egos and control others’ perceptions of them,” they said. Narcissistic young people favored Twitter, while their older counterparts tended to rely on Facebook to garner approval. At this point, it’s unclear whether Twitter and other social-media platforms lead to narcissism, or whether they simply provide an outlet for existing narcissism in some users. But you’re free to ponder this question next time you see someone tweeting multiple times an hour. — AllTwitter

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Why Video for Instagram Isn’t a Vine Killer

For Facebook and Twitter, the competition is heating up again. Facebook’s announcement yesterday that Instagram users can now create shareable, 15-second videos has spurred a healthy debate over whether this new capability will make Twitter’s Vine obsolete. Vine also allows us to create short videos, but in the form of six-second looping clips.

While video for Instagram seems like a pretty useful tool, it’s not going to spell the end for Vine.

Since launching about five months ago, Vine’s popularity has grown quickly, amassing more than 13 million users. Within days of being released it was one of the most sought-after apps for iOS, and it continues to be among the top downloaded apps in the iTunes store, and more recently the Android store as well.

Vine has been a video platform from the start, essentially innovating the model of social storytelling through six-second videos. This first-to-market head start has allowed Vine to establish itself and, with Twitter’s resources behind it, has become a unique opportunity for businesses to market their products and services.

Granted, Instagram has more than 100 million users and also has huge resources behind it with Facebook, but it’s likely the new video product is too late to the game to kill Vine outright. As an app that was originally built as a photo-sharing platform, Instagram is now playing catch-up in the video space.

This competition is good for users because the teams from both platforms will push each other to consistently innovate. This was already apparent earlier this week when Vine announced, ahead of the Instagram upgrade, several updates of its own — including the ability to save drafts and create multiple posts at the same time, full screen videos and the ability to send private messages between users.

Is there room for both video platforms? Sure. Users should find a lot of value in Instagram’s 15 seconds of air time versus Vine’s six seconds. An added bonus: people can add some Instagram magic to their videos by sprucing them up with 13 custom filters and a special stabilization technology.

Forward-thinking brands like Lululemon, GE and Michael Kors are already trying out the Instagram video. The videos are impressive but they look similar to what you would see on Vine, only nine seconds longer and without the loop.

For business owners, it comes down to which platform and functionality aligns best with your marketing goals. Will a quick, six-second shareable video work better or a “longer-form” 15-second video make more sense? Both will be used to tell different types of stories.

 

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5 Ways to Promote Your YouTube Videos

Facebook Adds 15-Second Video Clips to Instagram

Users of Facebook’s popular photo-sharing tool Instagram will soon be able to share more than just pictures of cute babies and puppies wearing hats. At a press event today at its Menlo Park, Calif. headquarters, Facebook — which acquired Instagram last year for $1 billion — announced that it is adding the capability to share short, 15-second videos to Instagram.

“This is the same Instagram we all know and love, but now it moves,” Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom said at the event.

Launching today on iOS as well as Android, users will be able to record and share 15-second videos on Instagram, much like how Twitter users can record six-second video clips using Vine. Unlike Vine videos, Systrom said Instagram videos will not loop, playing over and over again.

Some additional features: Users will be able to alter their videos using 13 custom design filters and add cover frames to their videos. Instagram has also developed a tool it’s calling “Cinema,” which essentially aims to clean up shaky images of videos taken of moving objects.

The point of video on Instagram is for videos to be “fast, simple and beautiful,” Systrom said.

Earlier this week, Twitter’s Vine said in a blog post that it will be announcing “some exciting new parts” of the micro-video sharing tool over the next few weeks. Vine was launched earlier this year and has 13 million users.

At the press event, Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said Instagram now has more than 100 million active members. With Instagram, Zuckerberg said Facebook is “just getting started.”

 

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Twitter Makes Analytics Open to All Users, for Free

The days of relying on third-party tools to provide you with analytics for your Twitter marketing efforts are over. Twitter has opened its analytics dashboard to all users, free of charge. Simply sign into the Twitter Ads dashboard from your Twitter account, and click on Analytics at the top-left of the page.

The Timeline tab displays a graph of your user activity for the past month — the number of mentions, follows and unfollows you have received. Below this is a list of your recent tweets.

For each tweet, you’ll see how many favorites, retweets and replies it earned. Better still, the Timeline view also shows the number of times someone has clicked on each link embedded in your tweets — allowing precise measurement of responses to your marketing efforts. — TheNextWeb

Facebook implements clickable hashtags.
Better late than never: Facebook has finally brought clickable hashtags to its platform. Hashtags, which are used to organize conversations around a particular topic, are already in use on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+. “Whether it’s talking about a favorite television show, cheering on a hometown sports team or engaging with friends during a breaking news event — people on Facebook connect with their friends about what’s taking place all over the world,” Facebook product manager Greg Lindley wrote in a company blog post. Lindley says Facebook will make use of the feature to give visibility to interesting conversations about public events and other topics. — The New York Times

Like Foursquare, Yelp now recommends nearby places.
Local businesses take note: Yelp has launched neighborhood recommendations, allowing users to find places nearby to dine and drink. Long known for its detailed information on, and customer reviews of, local businesses, Yelp is now following in Foursquare’s footsteps. “Imagine it’s noon and you’re hungry for lunch, but don’t want the same old ham n’ cheese from the corner deli,” Yelp product manager Travis Brooks wrote in a company blog post. “A quick visit to the Nearby page might bring up a highly rated spot around the corner that is known for their banh mi and has been reviewed by one of your Yelp friends.” The updated app, available now on iOS and soon on Android, makes suggestions based on your location, Yelp check-in and review history and other factors. — CNET

Google+ gets new features and better Android app. 
Android owners, rejoice: the updated Google+ app released this week has a new menu design and new features, including the ability to see a post’s number of reshares. The platform in general is seeing improvements as well, such as notification syncing across all devices. That way, you won’t have to click on the same notifications to dismiss them first in your mobile app and then in your web browser, or vice versa. Once will be enough. Another new feature is a notifications tray that separates new items from previously read items. That feature will be seen first on Android, and later on the Web version and iOS. — CNET

In ad campaign, Jell-O creates a new meaning for a popular, yet profane, hashtag. 
#FML is getting a makeover, thanks to Jello-O. The company is trying to change #FML’s profane meaning — it stands for a four-letter expletive plus “my life,” and is generally used for talking about terrible situations — to “Fun My Life.” The innovative ad campaign, which ends today, puts everyone who tweets the hashtag into a pool, from which some of them will be drawn as winners of “Fun My Life” prize packs. So far, there have been nearly 275,000 #FML tweets in the past 29 days. — Adweek

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New Google+ Dashboard Lets Businesses Manage Multiple Tasks in One Place

Google has created the Google+ Dashboard, a new way for businesses to manage their brand across some of the company’s most popular products. The new tool promises to make it easy for businesses to update and monitor information across tools such as Google+, Google AdWords and Maps.

With the dashboard, businesses are now able to update their URLs, store hours, address and phone number on Google+, Google Search and Maps from the “Overview” tab all at the same time. Previously, users had to update each profile individually.

The Dashboard also puts some of the most popular Google+ tools in one place. Businesses can use the dashboard to monitor their Google+ notifications, assign administrative privileges, share media and start a Google Hangout among fans and followers.

“We want to make it easier to manage your online presence — all across Google,” Pavni Diwanji, a senior director at Google, announced on Google+.

Image credit: webpronews.com
In addition to streamlining how businesses connect with their customers, the Google+ Dashboard provides new tools to manage and monitor their AdWords Express and Google Offers campaigns with useful data and statistics that weren’t as readily available before. For instance, a business can see geographically where the top searches are for their business as well as where driving directions to their business are coming from.

For now Google says the new dashboard is available only to businesses with a verified Google+ page.

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