Home > People > Social Contact Management Tools: Gist vs. Rapportive vs. Hver.me (My guest post on oneforty.com)

Social Contact Management Tools: Gist vs. Rapportive vs. Hver.me (My guest post on oneforty.com)

Social business requires new tools to manage and track relationships. Even sophisticated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Social CRM (SCRM) tools lack the ability to easily manage social contact information, status updates or the various social profiles across the social web. CRM and SCRM tools are designed for managing customer relationships,  but what about tools to manage social business contacts, customers or otherwise, or what I call Social Contact Management (SCM) tools?

For example, Mary Smith on LinkedIn, uses the name @HailMary on Twitter, is a writer for Crunchable, and her blog is ProudMary.com. How do I keep track of Mary’s “multiple identities”? Connect and follow her on multiple networks? Track our conversations on multiple networks?  Keep a record of our meetings, phone calls, emails and documents?  Prepare for a meeting with Mary or read the most recent posts authored by Mary on Crunchable? Now consider that Mary is just one of hundreds or thousands of contacts in your networks. Tools to solve these problems are emerging and three worth noting are: Hovr.meRapportive and Gist


Hovr.me pops up when you least expect it – in a good way.  Install the extension in your browser, and go to Twitter or Facebook, Hver.me offers a “hovercard” for each contact.  If I want to connect with Tac on LinkedIn, read his latest blog post, or check out his South By Southwest schedule on Plancast, just click on the respective icon and go directly to @TacAnderson’s profile on those sites. 

Hver.me on Twitter:

Hver.me on Facebook:
If you spend time on Twitter and Facebook, Hver.me is a helpful cheat sheet of shortcuts that won’t take up screen real estate.


Imagine replacing the Gmail ads with everything you want to know about your contacts without leaving your inbox, including a photo.  Install the browser extension, head to your gmail inbox and click on an email, and, yes, be prepared to have a Twilight Zone moment.  

As Rapportive describes, you will “immediately see what people look like, where they’re based, and what they do.” You can connect with contacts on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc…without leaving your inbox,  manage important details in the notes or use the information improve your email content.

If you are a Gmail user, you will wish you had found Rapportive sooner.  When I use Gmail without Rapportive, it’s as if something is missing. I suspect (and hope) that Rapportive will be adding increased functionality in the coming months, but it’s already on the right track.


Gist is the most robust of the social media contact tools. {Disclosure: I have been a vocal Gist evangelist for two years.} Gist allows users to view all contacts in one place, continuously monitor all social networks, connect with others to share information and access the information in Outlook, using Gmail, or with their iPhone or Mobile apps.  A single place to update and manage all contacts from email, mobile and social networks and keep track of their latest work information, news, and status updates. Create a Gist account, grant Gist access to the email accounts, networks, calendars and contacts you want to manage, and Gist will continuously gather all the traditional contact information as well as all social network contact information and content, records of all meetings and correspondence and even social graph data. You can install Gist in Gmail, Outlook, Lotus Notes, Salesforce and more. How does this work?  If I send an email to my friend, with an attachment, set up a meeting on my Outlook calendar and log in a phone call in Salesforce, the information will appear when I click on his or her profile and vcard in Gist’s web interface.

In the web interface, Gist divides up contacts into three tabs: Dashboard,  People and Companies. You can view and update a profile, research people and companies to prep for a meeting,  adjust a contact’s “importance”, post directly to Twitter and Facebook, “optimize” your dashboard, which “automagically” improves your dashboard, export contacts and even set up a Gist vanity profile – mine is http://www.gist.com/lizasperlingIf you are a looking for a more social, less sales oriented version ofSalesforce, you will find Gist indispensable.  Gist’s slogan says it best: Connected people change history.  I couldn’t agree more.

While using Gist, Rapportive and Hover.me all at once may be overkill for some, they actually peacefully coexist without any interference. Alternatively you may be happy with using just one of the tools. 

How do you manage your social contacts? Did I miss your favorite Social Contact Management tool? Please let me know. The landscape is changing quickly, and I am always interested in staying up to date on what you find useful – or not.

 -Liza Sperling

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  1. Ciro Villa
    February 21, 2011 at 5:56 am

    Link to Hover.me is wrong; address is hvr.me (not hover.me)…;-)

  2. Liza Sperling
    February 22, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Ciro, Thanks for the correction!

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