6 Firefox Add-ons for B2B Social Media Management

There are lots of reasons B2B communicators use Firefox when surfing the web, which include things like stability, security and support of open source software, but the best reason is the customization available with add-ons. There are over 1100 add-ons that are categorized as Social and Communications and we are going to look a few of them that people use to help manage their social media tasks. Note that if you haven’t installed add-ons before, they do not get installed without restarting Firefox. Generally all the open tabs will reload on a restart, but sometimes they don’t.

Yoono runs in left hand sidebar of your browser and lets you interact with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and various chat platforms without giving up large amounts of screen real estate. You can view your social profiles combined or separate, and you can also post status updates, post photos and share links to your networks. You can easily choose which networks to post to with every post. It incorporates bit.ly link shortening, but it seems to share links without including the title of the post. Make sure you test each aspect of any tool before you start fully implementing it.

Amplify allows you to share links and selections from pages by bringing up a sharing toolbar. These links post to your selected networks, as well as aggregate on a profile page at Amplify.com with your comments. This combines the ability to share links on multiple networks with one click and they all point back to a single post on Amplify, which includes comments and a social network.

Buzz It
So you have heard about Buzz and you want an easy way to use it. Buzz It creates a bookmarklet in your Firefox toolbar. When you are on a page you want to share in Buzz, click the bookmarklet and it will open a GMail message that lets you send the link and comments to buzz. This is one of many ways to share things on Buzz.

Feedly is one of the best Firefox social media add-ons because it brings a familiar web magazine layout to RSS readers. Using your Google profile, it presents all your feeds in an easily digestible format that doesn’t focus on the number of posts you haven’t read (like Google Reader does). There’s lots going on in this tool including details about how your content is shared, displaying content of the same type, like video, grouped together regardless of its source, a small toolbar that helps you share across networks, and discovery tools for finding additional relevant content. Load up this tool and dig in to learn more about your social graph and to overcome your fears of RSS.

I heard of Tweecious thanks to Kipp’s recent post about Delicious and social bookmarking. This has got to be one of the slickest tools I have seen, from both an interface side and from a functionality side. When you click setup, it says here’s your Twitter account and here’s your Delicious account, and gives you the opportunity to change them. The only question is do you want to grab links from previous tweets or just go forward. That’s it. It runs in the background and grabs any links you post to Twitter and saves them as Delicious bookmarks. If you are saving links as reference for future review, it is a good idea to save them in multiple places.

If there is one theme running through this list, it is the ability to more easily manage multiple networks. So one of the things to watch out for is creating duplicate content on aggregation networks, like FriendFeed. One great use for this is to create a feed of shared links. Tweecious can grab your links from your corporate Twitter account, but not conversations, and create a list of links in Delicious. Now you can use the Delicious feed that was automatically created.

Pixel Pipe Media Uploader
And finally, this list is not complete without a tool to upload media to your various networks. Pixel Pipe Media Uploader can upload photos, video and audio to more than 110 networks. If you are pushing content out to multiple networks at once this is an easy way to do it, however, add networks carefully, because every upload goes to every network. It would be great if there were an easy way to exclude some, but there are situations that warrant an all-in approach to content distribution. But make sure you visit these networks on a regular basis to respond to comments and interact with the community.

Have you used any of these tools, or are there others you would recommend to manage social media activities for your B2B company?

5 Reasons Google Buzz Will Have Limited Impact on B2B Companies

Yesterday Google began rolling out their new service called Buzz which allows people to post updates and share content with their contacts from within Gmail. Kipp and I thought it would be interesting if he wrote about the positive impact and I wrote about why the impact would be limited for B2B organizations. So let’s proceed, as I pull my curmudgeon hat tightly down on my head.

1. Limited Use of Gmail
The main web interface for using Google Buzz is Gmail, which is not widely used for corporate email. Most large companies use Microsoft Outlook to manage email, so people will not have the opportunity to share from within their email. They can use buzz at buzz.google.com, however, it they are not using Gmail, they likely have a very small Google network.

2. Lack of Content Strategy
By all of sudden opening up the ability of sharing content with their networks, people need to understand what types of information they should be sharing. This takes training, practice and feedback for people to understand an appropriate content strategy that benefits their B2B company. Buzz also lets people have conversations across their networks, and this too takes some training and practice to post relevant comments that start conversations and that continue them.

3. Limited Access to Content
The average employee does not have access to the kinds of content that would benefit their company and worth sharing with their networks. Much of this information may be on the company website or blog, but generally, employees are not familiar with all the content on their corporate sites.

4. Lack of Google Reader Adoption
Another way to push content to your network through Buzz is by sharing posts in Google Reader. While this feedreader is feed and very functional, the adoption of RSS feeds as a way to bring in lots of information is still very limited. People that you follow in Google Reader are also part of your network, but again, not a lot of people a following other individual’s shared posts.

5. Limited Use of Google Friend Connect
The other way Google is using all of its platforms to create this social network is to leverage your membership and relationships on websites that use Google Friend Connect. While many sites used this single sign-on method, it seems that Facebook Connect became more common as a means to take your social network with you across the web. Facebook did better at this because Google didn’t have a social network. With connections building in Buzz, Google Friend Connect becomes more relevant, but it may be too late.

Here is the official video from Google about Buzz:
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Let us know your opinion by taking our poll after reading both posts:
Kipp’s post about the positive impact of Google Buzz

Do you see Buzz as a tool your B2B company can use?