Two years into Web 2.0, most PR pros know that social media has changed the way they do their jobs. What remains elusive, however, is how to keep up with the various Web 2.0 tactics without feeling overloaded.
Marketers are now being inundated with new technology that is critical to their work. Several new sites incorporate social media tools under one banner, making it faster and easier to coordinate a variety of different media.
For instance, Sway's new platform, Shoutlet, is a one-stop site that integrates e-mail, RSS, podcasts, and text messaging. It also lets users turn Web content into sharable widgets for distribution, a key feature for PR pros launching a campaign.
"It allows marketers or PR professionals to create, distribute, and track social media campaigns," says Jason Weaver, Sway's CEO and chief marketing strategist.
The platform enables users to send HTML newsletters, with social bookmarking, streaming video, and podcasts already em-bedded into the release.
"The advantage with Shoutlet is we have partnerships with about 200 social communities, so we can distribute a lot of stuff pretty quickly," adds Weaver.
Another platform, Collactive, also helps marketers execute online campaigns by simplifying the process.
The company primarily targets nonprofit and advocacy groups, allowing them to mobilize their supporters through linking various social media. For example, the new technology lets groups send messages that include YouTube videos or news articles linked directly to online popularity sites like Digg, which can increase the material's visibility.
"We take real people and provide them with tools to easily allow them to streamline and participate in social media," says Eran Reshef, Collactive's CEO, adding that Collactive lets people use social media without having to understand the technology behind it.
Marc Sirkin, chief marketing officer at the International Rescue Committee, used the technology to promote a Los Angles Times editorial about Iraqi refugees with supporters.
"Within a few hours of launching the campaign and including the link in our monthly e-mail," he says, "we saw it appear on the LATimes.com top five most e-mailed articles."