For those of you starting to delve into the world of social media, you may be looking for some tools that will make the process of monitoring a little easier – without the large price tag. Whilst there are many high quality paid services, free options are very useful early on particularly if your organisation is unwilling to invest heavily into social media until a return is demonstrated.
This article details 4 tools that I think cut the mustard– and also lists a suite of other free tools which you may find useful. Whilst each tool provides some useful functionality they also have their draw backs. Thus marketers may want to use a combination of these tools to monitor their social media activities.
What does it do? Enables users to create a customised dashboard of the latest topical issues in their industry as well as tracking brand conversations across social sites which range from Twitter / Digg & Delicious to Bloglines, Bing News and Google Blog search.
Good for; Dashboard interface makes it easy to gain a quick snapshot of brand references and conversations occurring about your industry on the web.
Not so good for; This tool doesn’t pick up all conversations containing site links but is a great for identifying topical industry issues “passion points” or keyword searches using “brand names”.
What does it do? Provides a quick snapshot of overall site characteristics from traffic to site ownership information. In particular this site provides a “social popularity overview” – detailing social bookmarks, inbound links from Wikipedia, latest tweets and related blog content on the web.
Good for; A useful quantitative overview of a sites performance across social platforms.
Not so good for; Viewing the content that has been bookmarked and by whom – the site does not provide the ability to drill down on the results.
What does it do? Provides a simple way of measuring your brands social visibility on the web. The site crawls 22 social platforms from Facebook, to Twitter, Google Blogs, Flickr, Delicious and a range of others. Through the collation of results the brand is then allocated a score on the basis of visibility across the social web.
Good for; The site provides a quick benchmarking tool to compare your “brands visibility” across social platforms with competitors. It also provides a quantitative overview of your brand mentions as well as the ability to drill down results to access the results on each platform.
Not so good for: The brand visibility rating somewhat favours social networking video and image sites, and largely ignores social bookmarking / news sites with Delicious the only site considered as part of its visibility measurement portfolio.
What does it do? Samepoint positions itself as a conversation search engine, tracking the social landscape. Samepoint indexes everything from groups, microblogs, social networks, reviews, wikis, documents, videos and more.
Good for; The site provides positive and negative sentiment measures for conversations and mentions across an array of social channels. In addition the site pinpoints the most recent conversations / activity for your brand.
Not so good for; The site has a large index across network platforms such as LinkedIn & Facebook as well as good coverage of FriendFeed and blogs, however the site seems to lack coverage of social bookmarking sites.
Apart from the above, there is an array of other tools available. Check out the video below:
Are there any free tools you have found useful to monitor social media activities? If so share them below