North Social eases task of Facebook app integration

North Social provides a suite of 20 apps that allow clients to create, manage, and measure custom Facebook pages.

Specifications
North Social provides a suite of 20 apps that allow clients to create, manage, and measure custom Facebook pages. Functionality includes integration of photos, videos, audio files, sweepstakes, links, list management, form creation, and more. North Social's Ngage platform also lets client schedule and monitor posts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and measure revenue generated from social media efforts, interactions, clicks, and followers.

A new mobile app called Thumbprize.com will launch on December 17. It will allow native content management for promotions across all social networks optimized for mobile devices, tablets, and desktops. Existing North Social users will have access to the mobile app in January.

Cost
Pricing starts 99 cents per day for all the apps. Monthly cost for large global brands can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars depending on scale of use.  

Ownership
Vocus.

User
Rachel Gross, PR and social media manager for Sanuk, has been using North Social for about two years.

How do you use it?
North Social apps are really easy to use to create various tabs, such as ones for sweepstakes, galleries, shops, and more. An app for an Instragram tab was recently added.
 
You sign up, find North Social on Facebook, add it to your page, and authorize a login. Once you've added North Social, you press a plus button on your Facebook page to add different tabs. You just click on the tool you want and you have the option to rename the tab by typing whatever you want to name it into a field. It's so easy.
 
Then it gives you an option to upload an image. Sizing information is provided. You can add whatever graphics, photos, and text you want through an upload button. Click save and you are done. There's a preview option to make sure a tab is the way you want it.
 
You do need someone who can create great graphics for you because it's a very visual tool.
Once you have a tab online you don't have to do anything else with it. However, you can easily change any tab. For example, we recently changed our shop tab to “Fall Favorites” to showcase some of our products for that season. It was as easy as uploading the product photos and descriptions.
 
You can also click a plus button in any of your tabs that gives you the option to find more apps. If you click ‘add now,' it automatically updates your tab.
 
North Social has amazing customer service. There's always someone to help us. If there's a problem, I typically send an email. You can call too, but I think we've only needed to call once when we just couldn't figure something out and they walked us through it. I believe you can  also chat to them live.
 

How does it serve your business needs?
I started using North Social before Facebook launched timeline. Some companies had welcome pages that looked really sharp and I wanted one but I didn't have someone who could create it from scratch. We were a much smaller company then than we are now. Once I found North Social, it made us look bigger than we actually were. And it was so easy.  

Then we started planning a summer sweepstakes. Rather than hire someone to run it, all I really needed to do was add North Social's sweepstakes app and fill in the required fields. All the sweepstakes entry data was collected and we just picked a winner.

We didn't need all the bells and whistles an agency wanted to give us. We just needed an application we could plug in and run the sweepstakes. It's a great tool for companies that just need an easy, do-it-yourself tool.
 
North Social is going to help us run a huge holiday giveaway called “The 12 Days of Sanukness.” The sweepstakes will start over every day during the 12 days. Each day we will pick a winner, but the fresh packages will get progressively bigger. The graphics will change every day, so it's 40 or 50 images in total.
 
We will create the graphics, send them to North Social, and they'll load them and reset the sweepstakes. I was thinking I was going to have to spend all this money to run this giveaway, but North Social has a plug-and-play tool I can use for about $1,500. Now I can spend that money on other things.
 
Overall, North Social allows us to have a more dynamic, special, and engaged relationship with our fans without adding staff or blowing our budget. It adds robustness on our fan page that we would not be able to get anywhere else – at least not for this price point.
 
How does it integrate with your existing infrastructure from and IT standpoint?
It's Web-based.
 
What are the main benefits?
Ease of use and the price point.  
 
It takes you out of the weeds as regards figuring out how to set things up such as sweepstakes and lets you think creatively about how to engage your Facebook audience.

Once you can easily run a sweepstakes, you start to think about all the different types of ones you can run. There are also many great premium apps, such as photo contests and a trivia app.

 
What are the main drawbacks?
None that I can think of.
 
What would you like to see improved / added?
I really like some of the new apps.
 
They're also adding a mobile solution, which is great because right now North Social tabs are visible on a mobile browser but not on the Facebook application. It's an extra cost, but it's worth it because it can be frustrating when our fans can't easily enter a sweepstakes through the Facebook app on their phones.
 
Competitors
Wildfire's Social Media Marketing Suite
: provides mobile and desktop content management of social network pages; message management and dissemination across multiple social networks; promotion execution across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube; ad management and execution; and real-time analytics in one platform.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud: a comprehensive suite of tools for social marketing that includes monitoring, content creation and management, engagement, advertising, automation and analytics.

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