By now you’ve read it a thousand times, on nearly every online marketing blog, Twitter stream, Facebook page, what have you. Social media is an extremely useful medium for brand monitoring and engagement.
But what does that really mean and how do you do it?
Getting your ear to the ground with a few great (not to mention, free) tools is the first step. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of some of the best free applications for social media monitoring out there.
Free Tools You've Probably Been Hearing A Lot About:
Google Alerts (www.google.com/alerts)
Social Mention (www.socialmention.com)
Twitter Search (www.twitter.com)
The 5 Free Tools You’re Probably Not Using:
TweetScan allows you to set up RSS alerts specifically for conversations happening within Twitter. Only a username, email and password are required. Note: You can also search right from the Tweetscan homepage without setting up an account. Email alerts are also available for $20/year.
You can archive your own Twitter feed going back to the last 1,000 posts. This means you can export followers into a database and compare it to later numbers. You can even archive past conversations.
Twingly is quite simply a blog search engine. This is terrific if you’re looking for user-generated content that may get buried in rankings if you’re searching for a popular topic like the Emmys, for instance.
Twingly now features a microblog search, which includes Twitter feeds, of course. The site also allows users to subscribe to blog channels, which are broken out by topic. My top channel picks would be SEO, Social Media News and of course, Robots.
How Sociable? (www.howsociable.com)
How Sociable takes a tally of how visible your brand or keyword topic is across the social web and issues a “visibility score.”
Users can sign up for a monthly score alert so they can monitor their brand’s social media visibility month by month.
TweetBeep is basically a Google Alert for Twitter. Users can monitor hashtags, keywords and @mentions and @replies, all from the comfort of your email inbox.
TweetBeep is available in a free package or a premium upgrade, which allows members to track hundreds of keywords a month.
Tweet Volume (www.tweetvolume.com)
TweetVolume, much like Tweetscan, is a great way to monitor keywords on Twitter. The tool allows users to monitor and compare keywords or phrases right next to one another.
With TweetVolume, users also have the ability to specify a time frame to search for. For instance, you can find out how many tweets were sent out about your brand around a new product launch.
Did we miss a free tool you think should have made our list? Let us know in the comments below.
Image by happyshooter on Flickr, licensed by Creative Commons.
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