When I set out to write this article, I intended to compare and contrast the features of Syndr versus the features of Onlywire in order to determine which is better for a marketer. As it turns out, however, Syndr isn’t so much a stand-alone product. It requires an account with a different service, either Sendible or Onlywire. So, instead, I’ll tell you what Onlywire gives you, and then what Syndr adds to the mix, and whether or not it’s worth using them both.
First of all, if you want to explore yourself, the Onlywire site is here.
Onlywire is a social media syndication tool through and through. It includes analytics, but what doesn’t these days? You’ll probably end up using native analytics on the platforms you prefer rather than their built-in analytics.
First of all, Onlywire boasts the ability to syndicate across 50 social media profiles with a single click. The big ones are included of course – what would a tool be without Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, or LinkedIn? – as well as a lot of small sites. StumbleUpon, Tumblr, Delicious, WordPress, and so forth are included as well. Then you have a list of sites you’ve never heard of or used, like Plurk, Diigo, Skyrock and Xing.
This is perhaps the biggest problem with any social media syndication site. They all advertise how many social networks they can hook into, but what’s the point? How many of your users, realistically, use anything other than Facebook and Twitter? Heck, some industries don’t even look at Google+, let alone something like Kippt. Many of these smaller “social networks” are really thin social bookmarking resources with little in the way of social to them. They end up looking more like directory sites than anything valuable.
Onlywire does include automation beyond the one-click posting. They also allow you to completely automate posting. They will check RSS, ATOM or your WordPress site on an hourly basis and will post anything new they find. There are, of course, customization options to keep that from being a foolish action.
As I mentioned, Onlywire has analytics, but they’re not exactly superlative. They’re pretty much par for the course, and the only benefit they bring to the table is the aggregate data across all 50 of their social networks. If, for whatever reason, you’re actually posting to all of the social sites they list, then the analytics would be useful. If you’re not, though, who really cares? Just use Twitter and Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, some UTM tracking code and you’re good to go.
Onlywire also has social monitoring, which can replace some other tools you might be using. It’s basic monitoring for the sites you use through the service, though, so you’re not getting the net-wide brand mention searches some other monitoring tools offer. Still, it’s one centralized place from which you can post in response to posts made on any of the social networks you use. You’ll quickly find that 99% of your social engagement comes from Facebook, Twitter, and a few other big networks.
Onlywire has one major issue with Reddit, which doesn’t have a marketing API. The service just throws your posts into the general subreddit, where they don’t get much exposure or do much good. The lack of API is also why they don’t do Instagram, which is notorious for keeping marketers out.
Onlywire has two levels of service, a “pro” and an enterprise version. They allow you to sign up for free, but you’re limited in access to just about everything. The pro plan gives you more access and costs $5 per month. The enterprise plan is completely unlimited, but the pricing scales depending on what you want to do, based on submissions per month. The cheapest is $99 per month, for 5,000 monthly submissions.
So where does Syndr come into this? Well, you need Onlywire in order to use it. They boast the ability to post to 50+ social networks, which is fine; that’s a feature of the program they require you to have to use their service. They offer complete control over that posting, which, well, of course you have. Why would anyone use a service that posted on sites they didn’t want it to?
The share history report is perhaps the most interesting aspect of Syndr. It keeps track of all of your posts and which social networks they’ve been posted to, along with the message and share history. This helps you particularly when you’re trying to share posts more than once, and you want to make sure it’s been long enough between shares.
If you dig a little deeper, it looks like Syndr isn’t just a syndication tool; it’s a share booster. They have a lot of talk about share points, which you earn or buy, and spend to get shares for your posts. This, to me, is a big red flag.
So Syndr boasts a bunch of features that are already in the software you need in order to use it, and the only major feature they add to the mix is a form of social signal boosting very similar to a traffic exchange.
Their pricing, I guess, is alright. They have a subscription service and a one-time one-use option as well. That one-use option is $5 each time, or you can use the free account, the $15 monthly account, or the $40 monthly account.
The free account gives you an activity feed, automatic syndication, the ability to select networks, and a whole lot of other features that come directly from Onlywire. The only unique features are the ability to set the number of shares you want. They limit you to 5 submissions per month, and the share ratio for earning shares is 3:1.
The $15 tier also gives you automatic posting ability – again an Onlywire feature – a drip feed for shares, and an increased limit up to 30 submissions per month. They also throw in an article spinner. You know, in case you didn’t realize this is a firmly black hat tool.
The top tier ups your limit to 90 submissions per month, but that’s really the only benefit you get from spending an extra $25 monthly.
So, which service works better? Obviously, Onlywire is the only way to go. Syndr is just an overlay with some black hat features worked in, features that are incredibly easy to spot on the big social networks and completely meaningless on the smaller networks. Avoid it.