*Editor’s note: August 10, 2012 – SocialAdr has given me a unique SocialAdr coupon code which you can use to get 20% off your subscription. You’ll find the discount code at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!
Social signals are becoming an increasingly important part of search engine algorithms for organic search rankings. Social signals include social bookmarks, Twitter tweets, Facebook likes, Google +1’s, Pinterest pins, social news votes (such as Digg & Reddit), Youtube video links, blog comments, and more. But as a busy business owner, how do you get those social signals?
Introducing Synnd and SocialAdr
Synnd and SocialAdr are the top two providers that have emerged. Both of them have free as well as paid subscription options, and work under the same principle: Build a network of real users producing social signals for each other, and the result will be a natural, organic, steady stream of inbound social signals for all participants. But which service is better – Synnd or SocialAdr? I have personally used and extensively tested each one, and my in-depth analysis is below.
Synnd is ugly but simple, whereas SocialAdr is pretty and simple.
The Synnd Dashboard. Not very pretty, but it’s intuitive.
The Synnd campaign setup window. It looks intimidating, but you only need to fill in “Campaign Name,” “Content URL,” “Tags,” “Keywords,” and “Campaigns to Run.”
At the Enterprise plan level in Synnd, you don’t need to fill in a Title or Description; Synnd employees will take care of that for you. Unfortunately, Synnd clearly employs overseas workers with poor English, so the resulting descriptions of your bookmarks are often in broken English. From an SEO perspective, this doesn’t matter too much, but it can be a little embarrassing to show your clients if you’re an agency.
The SocialAdr dashboard. Clean and simple.
The SocialAdr campaign Setup screen. Pretty self-explanatory.
You need to fill in every field for the bookmark to work, which can be a little tedious, but it does afford you the opportunity to tweak the working exactly the way you want it. Alternatively, you can click the little magic wand icon to the right of the “Address (URL)” field, which will automatically populate each field with information from the URL’s META description, title, and keyword tags. If those tags don’t exist, then the field will not populate and you’ll need to fill it in yourself.
Number of Sites Supported
SocialAdr claims that it supports 27 social sites, and that claim proves true to the test. In my testing of several bookmarks, I was able to get links from each one. Synnd doesn’t claim a number of supported sites, but in my extensive testing across several bookmarks I was able to get links from 21 sites. So, here’s the score:
SocialAdr: 27 social sites supported Synnd: 21 social sites supported
Quality of Sites Supported
I gathered up all the supported sites for both services and pulled in their Google PageRank. Next, I calculated the average PageRank across all the supported sites in an effort to see which service provides higher quality sites, on average.
A look at the list of sites supported by Synnd and their average Google PageRank.
A look at the sites supported by SocialAdr and their average Google PageRank.
Note: There are only 6 sites that have overlapping support by both Synnd and SocialAdr:
It’s also interesting to note that SocialAdr currently supports Pinterest and StumbleUpon, which are excellent links that are disappointingly missing from Synnd.
Synnd average site PageRank: 3.631 SocialAdr average site PageRank: 4.75
Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ Integration
Both services offer integration with Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, which are the most important of all the social signals. However, as of the time of this writing, Synnd’s support for Google+ has been down for nearly three months. There’s been no indication from Synnd that it will resume support for Google+ in the near future.
Facebook Likes (Synnd): Synnd appears to have no problem getting users to “Like” your content on Facebook. In my testing, I was able to easily hit my maximum defined limits for Facebook Likes for each URL I gave.
Facebook Likes (SocialAdr): In my testing, I was unable to get more than one or two Facebook Likes for each URL I tested. Sometimes, I got none at all.
Twitter Tweets (Synnd): Synnd seems to have a hard time getting Twitter Tweets for your content. When you do get Tweets, they are often embarrassingly-bad English, as they were written by Synnd’s overseas account managers that clearly lack a strong command of the English language. However, I was able to get more Tweets from Synnd than I was from SocialAdr.
Twitter Tweets (SocialAdr): SocialAdr doesn’t yield as many tweets as Synnd, but the tweets seem to be of higher quality; the grammar is correct is and the accounts doing the tweeting are generally more legitimate.
Google+1’s (Synnd): Synnd does not currently support Google+, though it has in the past and has stated that it plans to restore support for it.
Google+1’s (SocialAdr): Across several bookmarks and hundreds of submissions, I was only able to get two Google+1’s to my bookmarks. SocialAdr does support it, but don’t expect to get many +1’s.
In an effort to score of the quality of the tweets I received from each service, I took 10 random twitter users from which I received Tweets, from each service. As you’ll see in the screenshot below, both services send out your tweets through very spammy-looking accounts. But relative to each other, SocialAdr twitter accounts have fewer tweets per account, they are following more people, and have about the same number of followers (if you throw out the one outlier with 4,546 followers from Synnd). Overall, the slight edge goes to SocialAdr in terms of Tweet quality.
Winner: Slight edge to SocialAdr. SocialAdr wins in terms of quality, whereas Synnd wins in terms of quantity. However, Synnd doesn’t support Google+, whereas SocialAdr does.
Bookmarks Both services support serviceable data exporting (to Excel CSV) for social bookmarks.
Synnd allows you to export an Excel CSV that gives you the username of the twitter account for each tweet, along with the message that was tweeted.
SocialAdr does not support exporting of tweets to CSV, but it does provide usernames and links to each Tweet received, along with the number of followers that each Twitter account has. If you want to report this information to your clients, you can do an old-fashioned copy/paste from the website straight into Excel. It’ll require some cleanup, but it does work. However, I’d like to see SocialAdr add support for exporting tweet data to Excel.
Synnd does support exporting data of Facebook likes to Excel, but the data is basically useless. All you get is the time that the “Like” occurred. No username, link, or other verification is included.
SocialAdr doesn’t support exporting data of Facebook likes to Excel, and the only info it gives you is the SocialAdr username of the user that “liked” your content, along with the day and time that it was “liked.”
Synnd does not support Google+ currently.
SocialAdr doesn’t provide a way to export data, but it does give you the SocialAdr username of the user that +1’d your URL, along with the time that it was +1’d.
Winner: Tie. Neither service has great export features.
Agency (Reseller) Compatibility
Both Synnd and SocialAdr offer support for agencies (resellers) of their product. Synnd’s reseller support is built into its framework, so you don’t need to do anything special to separate client campaigns. Simply title each campaign with a distinguishable client name and Synnd’s built-in search filter works adequately to locate and report on different client campaigns.
SocialAdr requires a special “reseller” account if you want to have the ability to separate client campaigns. When you sign up for a reseller account, you’ll get access to a new tab along the top called “Resellers.” On this tab, you can select an account to control. When you set up new clients, you’ll set them up as new accounts within your Reseller account. It’s actually pretty easy and intuitive, and provides a good way to put each client campaign into a separate silo.
A look at the SocialAdr Resellers dashboard.
Price (and bang for your buck)
Synnd charges $297/month for its Enterprise account (which is the way to go if you’re an agency). That gets you 30,000 credits. Synnd subtracts the following point amounts for each type of promotion:
Bookmark submission: 8 credits
Twitter Tweet: 8 credits
Facebook Like: 20 credits
SocialAdr charges $297/month for its Reseller account, which gets you 20,000 credits. SocialAdr subtracts the following point amounts for each type of promotion:
Bookmark submission: 1 credit
Twitter Tweet: Varies depending on how many Twitter followers the account has. In my testing, the average was about 7.4 credits per tweet.
Facebook Like: Varies depending on how many friends the Facebook user has. In my testing, the average was 2.8 credits per Like.
So, let’s say we have a client with a campaign that requires 100 social bookmarks, 20 tweets, and 20 Facebook Likes per month. Here’s how that would break down in terms of credits and dollars for each service:
100 social bookmarks = 800 credits
20 Twitter tweets = 160 credits
20 Facebook Likes = 400 credits
Total Credits = 1360.
Each Synnd credit is worth about $0.01, so the total amount you’d spend per client per month is about 1360 X $0.01 = $13.60.
100 social bookmarks = 100 credits
20 Twitter tweets = 148 credits
20 Facebook likes = 56 credits
Total Credits = 304.
Each SocialAdr credit is worth about $0.01485, so the total amount you’d spend per client per month is about 304 X $0.01485 = $4.51.
Winner: SocialAdr, which clearly provides a better value, coming in at approximately 66.83% cheaper than Synnd.
Clearly, SocialAdr is the superior service.
User Interface: Winner – SocialAdr Number of Sites Supported: Winner – SocialAdr Quality of Sites Supported: Winner – SocialAdr Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ Integration: Winner – SocialAdr Data Exporting: Winner – Tie Agency (Reseller) Compatibility: Winner – Tie Price (and bang for your buck): Winner – SocialAdr Overall: Winner – SocialAdr
I hope you find my analysis helpful in making your decision on choosing a social signal service provider! If you decide to try out SocialAdr, I’d really appreciate if you’d make your purchase through my affiliate link! You’ll save 20% off your subscription, too 😉
In his 9+ years as a digital marketer, Sam has worked with countless small businesses and enterprise Fortune 500 companies and organizations including NASDAQ OMX, eBay, Duncan Hines, Drew Barrymore, Washington, DC based law firm Price Benowitz LLP and human rights organization Amnesty International.
He is a recurring speaker at the Search Marketing Expo conference series and a TEDx Talker. Today he works directly with high-end clients across all verticals to maximize on and off-site SEO ROI through content marketing and link building.
In his 9+ years as a digital marketer, Sam has worked with countless small businesses and enterprise Fortune 500 companies and organizations including NASDAQ OMX, eBay, Duncan Hines, Drew Barrymore, Washington, DC based law firm Price Benowitz LLP and human rights organization Amnesty International. He is a recurring speaker at the Search Marketing Expo conference series and a TEDx Talker. Today he works directly with high-end clients across all verticals to maximize on and off-site SEO ROI through content marketing and link building.