One of the most fun, and yet challenging aspects of entrepreneurship in this day and age is social media. If Twitter is any indication, there are millions of social media "experts" out there, just waiting to sell you their services.
So, let's first establish the fact that I'm not claiming to be one of those experts. Truth be told, I just really enjoy tinkering around with all of the services and apps that go along with it. It's also a really great way for an introvert to get out there and network.
The problem is, it quickly becomes overwhelming trying to keep up with the workflow. You need to write a post, link it to content on other sites like YouTube or Flickr, and then promote the post on sites like Twitter and Facebook. There are a few different ways to manage this, and today's pick is one of them.
I just read a post over at Erin Blaskie's blog. If you haven't checked it out before, it's a great site. She has a really good review of Arkli, which is my pick today. Her post does a great job of describing the service, so let me just give you a summary.
Arkli handles your social media "campaigns" from start to finish. Link up your blog, your social media sites, your analytics, and even your email marketing service. Right from within Arkli, you can write a post...even upload videos that will then be added to your YouTube account. Then, while still in the same interface, you can schedule the post, and subsequent updates to your Facebook and Twitter accounts in order to promote the post.
It's fairly new to me. In fact, I'm writing this post from within Arkli to test it out. So far, I really like the unified interface. Although I enjoy using Hootsuite to schedule future tweets, it's incredibly useful having everything together in one place.
Pricing seems very reasonable (at least for those of us with small networks). I'm trying out the free account, which lets me link 3 social network accounts, my blog, and my Google Analytics account. If I end up with more than 1,000 followers in these accounts, I'd have to step up to one of the paid plans, which start at $19/month. Still, for what you get, that's a steal.
update: Thanks to Mike at Arkli (@arkliapp) for clarifying something here. The blog is considered one of the social network accounts. So, the free account lets me connect with my blog, Facebook, and Twitter. That makes sense, and is still a lot for a free account.
If you are trying to juggle this process in your own small business, I would recommend you give Arkli a shot. With any account, you can get a 14 day free trial. I think you'll know within the first week if it's worth the money.
If you end up trying it out, or if you already use it, let me know what you think.