Another platform has emerged to help companies and brands amplify their social media messages through a network of fans and followers. SocialToaster allows companies to recruit fans, customers and friends to opt-in to essentially re-posting the social content of said company, thus giving the brand a network of content advocates.
The fans of the brand sign up to be advocates, then get emails when the company has new social content for them to distribute. It could be a Tweet or a Facebook post, presumably promoting the company’s latest coupon, promotion or event blog content. Of course, companies can get smart with it and just provide great content from anywhere to help their advocates share really smart stuff that may or may not directly benefit the company, too. However, I doubt many companies will use it in such an inherently social way.
The fans have the option to post each individual message or ignore it, so there’s no automatic posting of company messages along the fan’s personal network, though straight posting without approval can be opted into by the fan as well.
Like GaggleAmp, which we provided in September, SocialToaster does not allow the fan to edit the content of the brand’s post. While this would ultimately make the service better, giving the fan the power to personalize the message, SocialToaster’s Todd Burgess told me why they don’t give the fans the option.
“With the message from the brand, the messages get posted 70-80 percent of the time,” he told me. “When you ask the fans to change the message, only 10-20 percent make it. The fans just want to do it and not think about it.”
While I’m sure there are several social media purists out there who might bemoan this near-automation approach, my guess is that most people who would sign up to distribute a company’s messages could care less if they can edit the posts.
Keep in mind, too, this isn’t just a service that a brand could use. Bloggers and other online publishers could us it as well. We’re all trying to drive more traffic and interest to our blogs, right? Why not recruit fans to auto-post our links to their social networks? Some people do it anyway — Social Media Explorer has about 25 fans who auto post new entries in our RSS feed to their Twitter accounts (Thank you, all!) — so why not make it an official fan club type activity?
Ultimately, services like SocialToaster allow brands to better quantify what they’re getting out of their online advocates or fans. By running the advocate’s activity through email and using custom links, SocialToaster can track who shares what and how many more people see your content because of them. You can even rank and reward your fans based on their impact. As I understand it, this is where SocialToaster.com differs from services like GaggleAmp. It tracks by person and makes that information available to you.
I’m not sure I can think of a brand or company out there that would like to provide amplification to their social messages, measure that amplification and find new ways to reward their fans and followers. As such, it’s probably worth taking some time to check out SocialToaster.
Pricing starts at the very attractive level of free for 20 posts in a month. And a post is defined as any custom tracking link created, so the same content placed on Facebook, then Twitter is two posts. Beyond that, you’re looking at $80 per month for up to 250 posts and upward.
Disclosure: SocialToaster is a client of SME contributing author Nichole Kelly. She had no input or impact on this report.