The ever-growing world of social media management systems continues to blur the lines of categories of platforms. We’ve discussed before the consumer desire for all these tools to get their feature sets together and provide us with an all-in-one digital marketing place. But in the race to make big brands happy on Facebook, we’re left having to piece meal software together to do what we want.

Shoutlet took a nice step forward recently with the addition of something they call the “Switchboard” that integrates a bit of marketing automation with social media management. Instead of setting Tweets or Facebook posts and the like to fire at certain times or days, using Shoutlet you can now set them to send based on events or triggers.

Reach 10,000 fans on Facebook? System fires a celebratory coupon to the fans or can even fire off an email to your newsletter list (if integrated with your email marketing provider).

Shoutlet Switchboard Screen

This pairs nicely with Shoutlet’s above-average content management system, which includes iTunes, video and other platforms beyond Facebook and Twitter. Integrating conditions and triggers into your messaging helps automate some (we wouldn’t recommend all) communications and lighten the labor load here. Of course, the people who need the automation most can’t afford tools that perform the function, but for those that can, it makes life easier.

Another of Shoutlet’s new features is a beautifully done content creation place called “Canvas.” It makes a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor look like a bike next to a Harley. It makes creating a Facebook tab or landing page for a coupon uber easy. You have to upload your base creative, of course, but the tool makes it easier for a non-designer/developer to churn out good looking stuff.

Shoutlet’s customer relationship management functionally is a bit more robust than others in the space, too. You can develop a series of communications and target those messages to only reach 25-year-old men in Wyoming that have two or more kids and the messages will segment on the social networks provided the network identifies those data sets.

Like a few of its SMMS brethren, Shoutlet can help a company manage hundreds of accounts under the brand umbrella and make customized content to them reasonable. They’re a very attractive tool for agencies and firms providing marketing services to companies because of the multiple account management feature.

Honestly, I’ve always found Shoutlet to be far more intuitive and well designed, from a user-experience standpoint, than most other SMMS platforms. This makes it a favorite among community manager types who tend to be the actual end user.

Shoutlet will run you about $20K per year to use (roughly $1,700 per month) but there are some small business partnerships the company has with resellers that can reduce that amount. The best bet is to do a product demo and have them route you that way if you’re interested. The lower price does come with a few features removed, but the core SMMS functionality is there.

If you’re looking for a social media management system, Shoutlet is certainly deserving of a look-see. It’s reasonably priced, easy to use and pretty powerful.

Disclosure: Shoutlet is a regular advertiser on Social Media Explorer. This post was not, however, inspired by their advertising on SME, but rather the new features they’ve launched.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog and signature Explore events. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://www.sogenius.com/ Tony Bennett

    Shoutlet looks pretty legit. In all actuality, I’m still about a year away from creating a social media spending budget unless I’m able to monetize my site in prior.

    If you don’t mind, I’m wondering if you can clarify one of your statements for a noob. Fairly certain I understand what you’re saying “the people who need automation the most can’t afford the tools that perform it” but it’d be great if you could break it down a little more.

    Or are you basically talking about people like me?

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Good question, Tony. What I was referring to was that the people who seem to need automation the most are small business folks, individuals running consultancies, mom-and-pop shops that have to mind the store, do the inventory, etc., as well as run the marketing. They need more time to run the business and, thus, automation really helps them.

      Unfortunately, most of these tools … Shoutlet included … are software as a service focused on a price point well in excess of a few hundred dollars per month, which most small businesses can’t afford.

      Hope that clarifies it.

      • http://www.sogenius.com/ Tony Bennett

        It sure did, thanks for the quick reply.

  • http://www.socialdon.com/ Facebook Statistics

    One of the beauties of marketing automation is that companies can use it in myriad ways to meet their specific needs. But in general, companies employ it to do some combination of creating, executing, managing and measuring online marketing programs. Where and how wisely is your money being spent? With marketing automation, you can run a variety of reports that measure numerous metrics. Need to know what a lead’s first touch point was? Compare different campaigns to one another? Marketing automation platforms can help you access this information.

  • http://www.socialdon.com/ Facebook Statistics

    One of the beauties of marketing automation is that companies can use it in myriad ways to meet their specific needs. But in general, companies employ it to do some combination of creating, executing, managing and measuring online marketing programs. Where and how wisely is your money being spent? With marketing automation, you can run a variety of reports that measure numerous metrics. Need to know what a lead’s first touch point was? Compare different campaigns to one another? Marketing automation platforms can help you access this information.

  • http://twitter.com/MattatSMF Matt Pierce

    Looks like a great tool for Facebook and Twitter. If used right, it looks like it could help a lot with your social media!

     - Socialmediafrontiers.com

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