If you’ve ever had the displeasure of trying to manage multiple social accounts, then you know that there aren’t really great solutions for doing so. Yes, there are tools such as Hootsuite or TweetDeck, but the biggest problem that we social addicts (oh, and managers) face is the speed at which social moves. It’s incredibly easy to lose track of a conversation, and that’s where FanMix is doing things differently.
FanMix is a browser-based project from the TechStars alumni company called SocialEngine. It handles your social networking interactions in a format that’s almost identical to your email inbox, so that you can easily track, respond to and create conversations across all of your networks. Here’s my Inbox screen, to give you an idea:
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As you continue to use FanMix, it gets smarter and enables you to better use Priority Inbox. Of course you can Star and mark messages as Important, as well. Presently it works with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, but I’d imagine that the FanMix team has plans to include other networks as APIs become more widely available.
Conversations are threaded, and can even combine content. So if you send a message on Twitter that is pushed to your Facebook Page or Profile, and you get replies in both places, FanMix will give you the ability to reply via either or both networks with a single entry.
Of course FanMix also enables you to manage any Facebook account to which you’ve been assigned as an Admin, and it should interface just fine with Facebook’s new limited admin privileges. For me, as I tend to carry on multiple conversations each day across 2 networks with 6 accounts, FanMix has been an absolute dream come true. Rather than having to sign in and use a separate account on Facebook, FanMix allows me to simply reply and carry on conversations with whichever account initiated the contact.
It would only make sense, as FanMix uses an email-type interface, to be able to manage your accounts directly from your email. As of today, if you’re a Chrome user, you can do just that. A shiny, new Chrome extension is available, which brings your FanMix directly into your Gmail, so it’s even one less tab that you’ll have to manage.
FanMix is a free tool, at least for now. But SocialEngine has over 9,000 customers and pulled in $1.4 million in revenue last year, so it’s not hard to imagine that it might be a “gateway drug” of sorts, to the larger SocialEngine product. It was built as a tool for SocialEngine customers, but the public has been enjoying it as well.
CEO Alex Benzer tells me that the company is definitely planning a premium level, for a May roll-out. The company is presently collecting feedback for what users want, but they’re planning the following:
- Community-focused insights and analytics
- Muti-user/Profile capabilities
- Delegation and team tools
- Promo tools that show conversation reach
- Automated posting and following
- Integration with SocialEngine, Jive, Lithium and other community platforms
Regardless of future plans, if it’s a gateway drug, I’m already addicted. My life has been made simpler by FanMix, and I’d happily pay a few bucks each month to use it if need be. If you’re losing conversations, or just want a better way to manage them, you owe it to yourself to give FanMix a try.