I have thousands of connections on Twitter, almost a thousand connections on Facebook, hundreds on LinkedIn, hundreds of blog subscribers, thousands of contacts in my address book and hundreds that blog that I follow in my reader. I get dizzy just thinking about the number of connections I have. Many overlap connection points – I have contacts that I’m connected to on LinkedIn that I also am friends with on Facebook, I have others that subscribe to my blog and are in my address book, and others that I tweet with and email from time to time. It’s confusing to track all of these connections. In fact, there are many people that I email and have no idea we’re actually connected on social media sites. This is where many get social media overload. But your contacts are gold…when you know how to manage them.
This is why I love Gist. It’s been in Beta for about a year and as a result it is 100% free…not to mention one of the most useful tools I have in my social media arsenal. In a nutshell, Gist helps you build stronger relationships with your connections by providing critical information about all of them. Let me give you an example. Let’s say you’re connected with John Doe on Facebook and LinkedIn. By simply inputting John’s email (which he uses for both social media sites), it will pull John’s phone number, address, his social media account names, website, rss feeds, shared connections, the last time you connected with him, etc. You can also sync with your emails so that your latest correspondence is stored with the contact! Essentially it’s a social CRM service.
Here’s a video overview by The Social Networker to give you more in-depth info (please note that the video was created when Gist was released so some of the content has evolved, but it’s a great overview):
1. All of your contacts and all of their details in one place. Enough said.
2. It has a built in Google search feature. This allows you to get the latest news on your contacts and their companies.
3. You can tag your contacts. For example, tag them with ‘prospect’ and you can sort your contacts by tag.
4. You can read your contact’s tweets, facebook status updates and blog posts without leaving Gist. You can also customize what you want to see and what you don’t. Don’t want to see Twitter updates? Uncheck the Twitter box. This feature has virtually replaced my need for my reader since I’m connected to most of the people whose blogs I follow.
5. You can easily share your contact’s rss content by email, facebook or twitter. You can also favorite items that you really enjoyed.
6. If you sync Gist with Google Calendar, you can hone in on the updates from the contacts you plan to meet with.
PS – The iPhone app is available for download. An updated version has been released to fix some bugs. It’s obviously not as easy to navigate as the desktop application, but it’s still a really useful application.