I recently did five in-depth reviews of what I felt were the top lightweight social network posting automation solutions:
- Post Toaster (review, website)
- Social Poster (review, website)
- Social Marker (review, website)
- Only Wire (review, website)
- Socializer (review, website)
And, at the end of the day, here is the summary of what I found:
The asterisks are important, like the fine print in a credit card agreement:
I gave PostToaster a bad workflow review even though I liked the fact that they tried something new. I think their effort there could end up being much more effective than their competitors. You will notice that they got the highest overall grade.
Some Summary Thoughts
The reviews are long, so a readers digest summary….
All these sites (except OnlyWire) use variations on the direct-submit-URL trick, which has real limitations in terms of utility and stability.
OnlyWire stores your passwords and logins and executes the login/post cycle on their server. Which is nice but means that any social service could stop them cold in 10 seconds by blocking their IP.
All of the sites shared these serious flaws:
- No real workflow to help you do your daily linkbuilding rounds.
- No tracking of what you’d done in the past.
- No real error reporting.
Onlywire had the worst error problem because it reported success when it failed – the others just assumed you’d understand what was going on.
All of the sites looked good. Maybe I just weeded out all the cheesy sites, but I thought that some pretty impressive web and UI design was in evidence.
And, finally, only one site, Post Toaster, had a clear and reasonable monetization model. Which surprised me.
My impression of these tools, before actually sitting down to review them, was that they would be easy to use. And they are, if you want to post up one or two articles to a few sites a couple of times a week. But if you have two blogs and two different online ‘identities’ for them and you want your stuff up on 25+ sites then be prepared for a long slog. I’m not sure they save much time for serious users.
We Sphunn each of these reviews and got a LOT of traffic from them. Not so many sphinns, but a lot of people. And they stayed on our blog 7+ minutes each (avg), reading 3.2 of these long articles. Fascinating.
Finally, only one tool owner, Pierre, the author of EkStreme Socializer found the Sphinn article and commented immediately. And he’s made some site improvements in response to our review, which is admirable. And these reviews were pretty direct so I’m kind of wondering where the rest of the site owners are in terms of reputation management.
If anyone would suggest additional sites, I’d be happy to do some more reviews, but I am moving on to looking at some of the semi-automated tools on the market.
Man I wish I read this a few hours ago! I just jumped through a bunch of hoops with socialmarker and it didn’t work at all for me. I’d like to try the ones that got good grades (sort of good grades) or maybe even better services.
Did you notice that Post Toaster’ site now redirects to a job interview video on youtube? wtf?
Thanks for doing the reviews. I was using Only Wire but then I saw that they used my account to get links back to them. I didn’t read the TOS. My fault there but I can’t believe they would actually use user’s account to get links.
Social Poster was working well for me until Digg changed their submission screen. I’ll have to try the three other sites.