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10 APIs for Social Media Marketing Campaigns

API is probably a word that you’ve heard before, but unless you’re a developer or work directly with web technology, then you probably don’t know very much about it. API stands for application programming interface. What is that? Put simply it is a way for developers to access services and resources from other pieces of software. Its becoming a pretty common practice that if you are building a web application, then you are building an API on top of it. Below I have listed the Top 10 social APIs that could potentially help out your Social Media Marketing Campaigns or even enhance you current site.

Facebook Open Graph

No brainer here – Facebook is chock full of useful information that you can utilize to your benefit. Recently they have also started a project dubbed “Operation Developer Love” to help enhance their documentation and coordination with developers. Since this has started I have seen a significant increase in bug fixes and their documentation has been given a vast upgrade.

Potential Uses:
– Site registration
– Personalization
– Commenting system

Twitter

The reason so many applications were built around Twitter in the beginning was due to the simplicity of their API. As the company has expanded into building their own clients for various devices, many developers have stopped using their API. That shouldn’t deter you though because there is a wealth of conversation out there just waiting to be tapped.

Potential Uses:
– Listen to the conversation around your brand and aggregate the data
– Create tools that increase the reach of your campaign
– Display conversation relevant to your campaign

Twilio

By far my favorite one at the moment. Basically if you can dream up a campaign that involves calling or SMS, then this is your go to tool. Twilio also has amazing documentation for using their API and I think it makes a huge difference in developer utilization. If I can set something up in 10 minutes and have a working example versus spending 2 hours pouring through documentation, you can bet that I will be much more likely to continue using your product.

Potential Uses:
– Allow users to vote on polls with their phones
– Develop a custom message or sound to be played upon calling your Twilio number
– Live interaction at events that can then be parsed and redisplayed

Flickr

Although Facebook has made vast strides in hosting photos, Flickr continues to own the market for displaying high quality photos and sharing them with the world. They also provide a great API that allows you to parse the millions of photos across their entire site.

Potential Uses:
– Photo uploading
– Find photos tagged of a certain subject and redisplay them

Rapleaf

If you want to enhance your email campaign or find out more about the people who are already a part of your email list, then Rapleaf is for you. With their service, it’s as simple as pinging them with the email address you have and they return stats like gender, age bracket, location, and other various information if available.

Potential Uses:
– Personalize email campaigns
– Learn more about your audience for future acquisitions

awe.sm

Need better analytics on how users are sharing links from your campaign to increase your performance? Then integrate the link tracker provided by awe.sm. They provide a robust tracking system that allows you to learn what’s working and what’s not across various social mediums, and it’s integrated into Google Analytics.

Potential Uses:
– Follow links as they are shared through Facebook and Twitter
– Adjust your campaign to be on the platform that is providing the best results

Foursquare

In the past couple years with the rise of smart phones and GPS technology, location data came out of nowhere and it is definitely here to stay. Several platforms for “checking in” have evolved from this technology, but right now Foursquare is the clear winner.

Potential Uses:
– Display public check ins on your site
– Allow users to check in on your site to your location
– Aggregate data from similar locations to identify/build your target audience

Ning

Sometimes Facebook or Twitter will just not cut it for engaging with the community you are trying to build. Ning allows you to create your own social network based on any subject matter. In doing this they have a created an entirely new ecosystem of personalized social networks. You can then use their API to tap into the data created by your curated network.

Soundcloud

Soundcloud has emerged as the go-to platform for hosting audio. They have created a massive community of audio fanatics and are continuing to grow rapidly with their emerging platform and new round of funding.

Potential Uses:
– Custom audio players
– Audio uploading/hosting

Apigee

It’s not exactly an API in itself, more of a tool to assist you with API development. They have very easy-to-use test consoles for pinging the Twitter, Facebook, Paypal, and Salesforce APIs with the hope to add more in the future. They also provide an analytics system for your API if you plan on creating one of your own.