Social Media Monitoring Tools Worth Checking Out

Recently while doing some research, I’ve come across some great, free social media monitoring tools to help you measure your presence online. 

Use these tools to scope out the early reaction to your (or a competitor’s) newly launched product.  Determine which demographics are talking positively or negatively about your brand.  Learn which blogs or tweets are getting the most attention.  See how the buzz is changing over time, relative to your competitors.

Here is a handful of free social media monitoring tools I think are worth taking a look at, ranked by approximate usefulness: 

Techrigy’s SM2 Freemium Edition.  If you try just one of these tools, choose SM2.  Search up to 5 keywords about your company or competitors.  SM2 will show you where your keywords appear in blog posts, Twitter mentions, comments, message boards, and more.  Plus, it charts the keywords’ daily volume, the sentiment surrounding the keywords, and demographics of the authors.  You can also view a map overlay and drill down to comments from specific regions.  SM2 performs many of the same functions as the paid social monitoring tools, which can cost hundreds of dollars per month. 

Social Mention.  Social Mention offers some unique measuring tools to capture a summary of all the buzz.  Metrics include Strength, Sentiment, Passion, and Reach.  And while these words might seem too touchy-feely, Social Mention explains exactly how they’re calculated.  I promise, they’re useful—especially if you compare them to your competitors’ numbers.  Additionally, Social Mention shows you the top words, users, and sources associated with your keywords. 

Blog Pulse.  So you monitor all the important blogs about your company, but what happens when a tiny little blogger writes something that everyone starts linking to?  With Blog Pulse, you can see if a blog containing one of your keywords is receiving a lot of in-links.  Nobody is too small on the internet. 

Google Trends.  If you can’t figure out what caused that huge spike or dip in “mentions” for a certain week, Google Trends is your answer.  At the peaks and valleys of the time series chart, Google displays links to news stories from that time period (usually about your company) that can help explain those fluctuations. 

User Name Check.  Some companies and celebrities, especially on Twitter, have had problems with “brand hijackings”—someone using a company’s name for his or her user name and pretending to publish content on behalf of the company.  User Name Check searches for your name across dozens of social media sites, showing where your name has been taken and where you should probably stake a claim.

If you’re looking for a deeper, more powerful analysis of your online presence, take a look at Josh’s post about paid social media monitoring tools (and a few free ones not included here). 

Do you have suggestions of other useful social media monitoring tools?

Paul is a senior digital analyst, where he works with clients such as Stanley Black & Decker, the University of Virginia, Lenovo, and the Wildlife Conservation Society. He believes in using data to prove the value of creativity, cut out digital clutter, and resolve disputes.

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