I've been telling anyone who listens about Nimble, a social relationship management tool which rounds up and make sense of your scattered contact information, and organizes it ways you can use for research, social media monitoring, and business notes.Nimble is easy to learn (many of its functions echo Gmail) and priced at a reasonable $15 per month for a single business user. It offers a free 14-day trial; unlike LinkedIn Premium and other free offers, it doesn't require a credit card up front. How refreshing. A scaled-down, free version is available for individual use.
All Your Contacts In One Place, One Format
Nimble works by importing all your contacts from Outlook, Google and major social networks while organizing them on one screen. It takes some of the best tools from these tools and lets you assemble your contacts in ways familiar to Gmail users, including assigning tags and marking selected ones as important. Nimble strives to keep it simple and it works. Six menu tabs give you overviews of pages you can customize to your heart’s delight:
- The Today function is fed with information Nimble collects about your contacts, including their birthdays (presumably from Facebook), job changes (LinkedIn), and “engagement opportunities” it gleans from your own social media activity. It prompts you to select important contacts with whom to stay in touch, and even schedule how often.
- The Contacts function stores information all these people have offered up on various social networks and you've noted in your own imported notes. So you’ll have someone’s LinkedIn photo with their email address, phone, lead status and type, and when you were last in contact via social media or email.
- The Signals tab lists people who've mentioned or contacted you and runs feeds from the networks you use—a huge time-saver. You can set up a posting schedule to specific networks here, and request notification whenever you’re mentioned.
- The Message tab looks like an email list of your latest contacts. You can message or post from here as well.
- The Activities tab is like a souped-up calendar combining the best of Outlook and Google Calendar.
- Then there’s a Deals tab where you can summarize potential business opportunities.
Nimble allows for keyword searching, so you can easily identify specific resources across your networks. It also lets you introduce contacts from different networks to one another.
Setting Up Nimble
When you register with Nimble, you are prompted to select a Nimble domain. Use your business name. After about 30 seconds, a menu of networks appears: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Google+, and FourSquare. Click on a brick and you will be presented with a request to allow Nimble to access the source. Later, you can choose to import contacts from other software, including Office 365, Outlook, Facebook pages, vCards, and CSV files. You can even import information from your Google Calendar and sync it with Nimble. Nimble then assembles your Nimble Today page. Watch the short video and go to your Today screen where you will see contacts with whom you've been in touch today—not your Twitter followers, but anyone you tweeted to individually, or engaged on Facebook, and so on. Each menu tab includes a brief video overview I recommend you watch. It’s all pretty self-explanatory—as I've mentioned, the functions will look familiar—and a detailed FAQ fills in any blanks. Aside from the first-rate CRM features, what I like best is being able to open up a contact just before a meeting and in one place, see what that person's recent social stream in real-time. Nothing like going to a meeting armed with that icebreaker tweet the person you’re meeting with just sent!