The key to making the most of social media is listening to what your audience is saying about you, your brand, and your products and services, followed by analysing the data. Once you have a handle on all these insights, and a better understanding your audience, then you can improve your overall marketing, social media and content marketing strategies.
Don’t despair if you’re not sure where to even begin when it comes to social media monitoring. There are plenty of free (and some paid) social media monitoring tools on the market these days. Some of these tools are very similar, overlapping in certain areas. Others are quite niche, and deliver results on very specific data or topics. Your best bet is to trial a few and then decide which tool (or combination of tools) best suit your needs.
Social Media Monitoring Tools
Google Alerts is a solid, entry-level, automated means by which to receive notifications when you or your brand is mentioned online. While it doesn’t capture everything (particularly not social media), it’s still a good, automated, entry-level way to get some information about your online mentions. Plus, it’s emailed direct to your inbox.
Get it now: www.google.com/alerts
TweetReach can measure how far your tweets travel. Launched in 2009, it can help you measure the reach of specific Twitter accounts, brand mentions, twitter campaigns and hashtags. It can even provide historical reports, dating back to 2006. It’s a great way to discover who your most influential followers are, and can also help you target the right audience for promotions. There are also similar tools available for both.
Price: Small Package is $99 per month; Medium is $199 per month; Large is $399 per month.
Get it now: https://tweetreach.com
This particular social media tool monitors more than a hundred social media sites, and is completely free. It is incredibly easy to use; all you do is type your search query in and click go. Its data is quite in-depth, measuring influence using four different categories: Strength, Passion, Sentiment, and Reach. It will also give you an overview of the top keywords associated with your search, the top users, the top hashtags and the most popular sources.
Get it now: http://www.socialmention.com
More commonly known (and used as) a scheduling tool, Buffer also has some really powerful analytical features. While the most powerful features of all are only available on their paid plan, a free Buffer account will still provide some general overview information on the relative success of each of your social media posts, including reach, impressions, and click-through.
Price: Free plan available. Upgrade to Awesome from $10 per month.
Get it now: https://bufferapp.com
Addictomatic is quite similar to Twazzup; it provides an overall view of the performance of a brand, person, or a business on social media. It enables you to instantly create a custom page with buzz on any topic. However, it is not just limited to Twitter, like Twazzup. It provides details on a whole range of online platforms, including Twitter, Flickr, Google, YouTube, WordPress, Bing News, Delicious and even Ask.com. It can be really useful if you are tasked with monitoring brand reputation online. Plus, it has a cute little robot as a mascot.
Get it now: http://addictomatic.com
This social media monitoring tool helps you to measure and track your brand’s magnitude via more than 35 social media metrics. It allows you to measure not only your own social media presence, but to compare it to that of your competitors. It also gives you a score for each of your social media platforms, so that you can determine which is working most effectively for your brand. With a free account, you can track and measure up to 12 social media platforms, including WordPress and Tumblr. But if you need to track any of the major platforms (like Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook), then you’ll need a paid account.
Price: Free accounts available; Basic is $3 per month; Plus is $6.35 per month; Max is $8.25 per month.
Get it now: http://www.howsociable.com
Launched in 2004, IceRocket is basically an internet search engine. It differs from Google in one big way though; it specialises in real-time searches, and is particularly focused on blogger activity. There are approximately 200 million blogs that are indexed in their search database, and they have recently added both Facebook and Twitter to their monitored platforms. It is quite a handy little tool, allowing users to pinpoint specific periods of time, which is particularly handy if you’re looking for results related to a specific campaign. It was purchased by media monitoring giant Meltwater a couple of years ago, so it’s quite easy to use.
Get it now: http://www.icerocket.com
Mention is a real-time (is it just me, or is real-time the buzz word when it comes to social media monitoring tools?!) internet listening tool that enables you to create alerts. In this way, it is quite similar to Google Alerts. The difference is, Mention scrapes social media networks, including Facebook and Twitter, not just news articles and blogging platforms. It allows you to listen to what is being said online and then react quickly to customer and client feedback. You can also generate detailed reports that include mentions of your by source and language, over a specific time period. You can even compare your brand with that of your competitors.
Price: There is a free plan (1 user, 1 alert, up to 250 mentions). Starter is €29 per month; Growth is €99 per month; Company is €299 per month.
Get it now: https://en.mention.com
This is an all-in-one social media analytics and business dashboard. It is a crafty combination of social media, web traffic, sales metrics and other data, which allows you to track both business and social media metrics. It gives digital marketers the complete picture, providing data across more than 50 platforms including social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram), advertising (Facebook advertising, Google Adwords and Bing), e-mail (Mail Chimp and Constant Contact) and branding (Square and Google Analytics). You can have all your vital data sent to your inbox with customized daily and weekly e-mails. Key takeaways, important insights, and comparisons from the prior week to the present are all included. And, the website design is super user friendly.
Get it now: https://sumall.com
Much like SumAll, Cyfe is an all-in-one business dashboard app. Through Cyfe, you can monitor all of your business data in the one place. You can create a custom dashboard, and then track just about anything your little heart desires. Cyfe already has widgets for all the major social media networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and others). But, it also has the ability to track the major email marketing platforms, SEO tools, help desk tools, event booking tools, and even bookkeeping and e-commerce platforms. You can export reports in a whole variety of formats, and it even auto-archives all of your data.
Price: Free for 5 widgets (or platforms); Unlimited for $19 per month.
Get it now: http://www.cyfe.com
If you are a B2B marketer, then this is the social media monitoring tool for you. Oktopost allows you to schedule your content distribution across Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. It allows you to manage and measure the results, providing data on conversions, clicks and engagement, for each post, group or message. And, it even allows you to seamlessly integrate other platforms (like Salesforce and Marketo) to sync lead and conversion data.
Price: Solo is $9 per month; Starter is $49 per month; Marketing is $119 per month; and Business is $249 per month.
Get it now: http://www.oktopost.com
Sprout Social is a social media management tool that was created to help businesses find new customers and grow their social media presence. It is another all round social media platform that enables you to schedule updates, respond to your fans and followers, source relevant content, and help a team work collaboratively online. The reporting and analytics offered by Sprout Social are quite impressive as well, allowing you to capture data from all the major social media platforms to monitor engagement, growth and even influence.
Price: Deluxe is $59 per user, per month; Premium is $99 per user, per month; Team is $500 per month for three users.
Get it now: http://sproutsocial.com
If you’re after more in-depth information about your social media presence and platforms, the NOD3x might just be the tool for you. NOD3x is social discovery tool (rather than simply a ‘monitoring’ tool). As such, it makes analysis easier, more detailed and the data more useful. NOD3x is able to provide information such as influencers in your industry, the people and brands that are engaging within your industry, the keywords that people use most commonly when discussing your industry, the time of day that your audience is online, and where and how people are talking about your content.
Price: Free for just Google+ and YouTube; Google+ Pro is $9 per month; Twitter and Facebook is $80 per month.
Get it now: http://nod3x.com
This social media monitoring tool is very simple. All you have to do is type a URL into the search box, and it will instantly tell you how many times its been shared over a number of different social media platforms. It records all the major platforms, including Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, as well as the big bookmarking websites like Inbound and BizSugar. A very helpful little tool.
Get it now: http://sharetally.co
And last, but by no means least, we come to BuzzSumo. This tool is great for analysing what content performs best for any topic or competitor. It can help you pinpoint the key influencers who are most likely to promote your content, and is incredibly helpful for content curation, research and planning. It is incredibly easy to use as well. All you need to do is type in a topic or a keyword, and it will display the most shared content, as well as who is sharing that content. If you opt for a paid account, then you get access to some great additional features, including average shares by network and content, as well as total shares by date published.
Price: Free accounts are available; Pro is $99 per month; Agency is $299 per month; Enterprise is $499 per month.
Get it now: https://app.buzzsumo.com
Where To Next?
There is a whole range of social media tools on the market these days. We covered quite a number of them in last weeks article, Top 10 Twitter Tools to Turbo-Charge Your Tweets.
Not surprisingly, many of last week’s tools were focused specifically on Twitter, but we also delved into HootSuite and Klout (a scheduling and analytics platform, and an influence measurement tool), both of which would be at home on this list of social media monitoring tools. With so many tools on the market, you’re bound to find exactly the combination you’ve been searching for.
Happy social media monitoring!
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