If you have ever asked yourself, “How can I get value out of my social media marketing activity?” then this review is for you. I’ve been searching for a comprehensive tool that would allow me to manage both Facebook and Twitter from one dashboard. Roost.com offers this functionality. It is a social marketing platform for small businesses.
Roost’s focus appears to be on real estate professionals right now, but I could see it easily working for just about any business. It is entirely geared around helping small businesses and individual professionals manage their social media marketing in less time.
Roost’s campaign creator curates content from your industry and interests. For example, they explain, “If you are a restaurant, you will be prompted to share articles from the food section of important newspapers or wine recommendations from prominent wine magazines.” But if none of those work for you, add your own feeds, your blog or other websites that you like.
You can create your own Google+ style “circles” of employees, fellow business owners or other key contacts to share content and promote each other. This feature is new and in beta, but looks promising. They have built up some impressive momentum: Roost is used by over 30,000 small businesses across 50 verticals.
One of Roost’s most powerful features is available when you create a social campaign. When you click the “Create Campaign” button, it offers a customizable path of best practices to follow. It asks which account you want to post to and when (you can add more than one Facebook account or page, for example). When I tested it, Roost suggested I post nine items over the next five days. That suggestion included two links, three status updates, one quote, two questions and one photo. I loved that it took the guesswork out of what I should do, but that I didn’t have to follow all of their suggestions, either.
What I really liked:
- I liked that Roost summarized my audience for me. I could see (image just below) where my fans/followers are located. Yes, I can do some of that in Facebook, but it is not easy, so I was glad to have Roost do it for me.
- On a busy day, you could pick from a list of links and Web stories that might appeal to your audience from already popular online media destinations. Roost pulls in a feed from each of the Web’s most popular sources and allows you to choose a story, and then post a comment about it (just like when you click the share or like button and comment from the Web).
What I would like to see:
The social media scorecard didn’t recognize the pages that I manage or own when I first selected them at signup. I wasn’t bothered by my low “rising star” score of 22, but even after checking my Facebook pages in the setup, it did not recognize them. I had to go through the authentication process twice.
Social media marketing can be a black hole for many small business owners. Roost can make it possible for you to manage your social media outreach with some consistency and with some hands-on advice. They offer a free “light” version; paid plans start at $24.90/mo.
Learn more about Roost.
TJ: Roost looks like an interesting social media marketing tool. Have you tested StatDash? I found out about their services via a sponsored tweet note on Twitter.
Dr Pamela Ellis
TJ: I’m new to the Roost community and found that it recommended some posting types that I never would have even considered. Surprisingly, my interactions on FB increased! It’s been effective in that regard. The downside is that there are no analytics yet. Until, there are some analytics included, I’m nervous to continue.
Hi Martin, thanks. Will check out Statdash.
Hi Pamela, good feedback to hear. I’m sure Roost will be listening and my guess, being just a casual observer really, is that they have more analytics in the works. That seems like a mandatory item for just about everyone today. I’m sure you could put some connections between Roost and Google Analytics (presuming that’s what you use). Have you asked the tech team there? I had a fairly seamless experience so I didn’t have need to engage on that level. I don’t often tell a company that I’m in to evaluate, or about to evaluate, their application so I find that I get answers just like the next person.
Please keep me posted on your experience because I’m planning to use it more for my own company efforts, too, due to the FB and Twitter capabilities. But, like you, I’m still new to it. I am glad to get your direct feedback on your experience. Thank you for sharing.
Dr Pamela Ellis
TJ: I did talk with their tech team and they mentioned that their analytics would be coming soon. I’ll have to consider how to put them with Google Analytics…great idea! I generally use the analytics that are already embedded with the app. The Twitter program that I used was Time.ly and their analytics were quite helpful. What I wanted in Roost was an app that would be Time.ly with the Facebook addition.
Take care and I’ll keep you posted.
I have been with Roost since March 2011 and am absolutely loving their tool. I love working with the employees at Roost, they are always watching our page and emailing me suggestions as well. I am a happy customer of Roosts and would recommend them to any small business owner or anyone looking for a social media tool to manager facebook and twitter.
Thanks Jennifer. It is always good to hear from customers, especially as a reviewer. In general, I find the sites and services that we review here on my own or that comes recommended by a colleague. Occasionally, we get pitched… Okay, we get pitched a lot. But as I mentioned above, I go in and check things out without a lot of input from the company. I like to see if they find the review and then join the conversation taking place in the comments. Many do.
In one list post I did last year about ecommerce storefronts, several of the companies got slammed for having poor customer service. As you might guess, those offenders never showed up in the conversation, but their customer-focused competitors did and I was told by other vendors that they won new business by being present. Pretty compelling reason to be involved in online communities!
We started using Roost for creating campaigns for our site DealSOCL, a Geolocation based Daily Deal Aggregation site. Hoping for the best on the campaign this weekend.