7 of the Best Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Social media has come a long way since its inception. It has morphed from being a tool used solely to connect people to one that has become an invaluable marketing and communications tool for organizations. For businesses, the key to making social media work is to listen actively to what the public has to say about your business, competitors and industry. With accurate social media data, a business can make smart decisions and tailor its marketing strategy appropriately.
If you are just getting started with social media monitoring, you are probably wondering which tool to use. There are dozens of free social media monitoring tools.
The tools listed below are either completely free or have the option of a free plan. I have categorized them in terms of the number of social networks you can monitor.
1 Multiple Networks
Let’s begin by taking a look at some free social media monitoring tools that allow you to monitor multiple networks.
Hootsuite is one of the most popular social media monitoring tool. It allows you to monitor several social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Foursquare and many more. Some of its lauded features are its weekly reports and the team management utility. Hootsuite also has one of the most intuitive dashboards with an easy learning curve.
1.2 Social Mention
Social Mention is another popular social media monitoring tool that covers over a hundred social media sites. Despite being a free tool, its analysis is surprisingly in-depth and covers four categories:
In addition, it also shows you the top hash tags, keywords and sites.
Addictomatic is a great social media monitoring tool if you want to get a bird’s eye view of your brand. You can use it to monitor multiple networks including YouTube, Twitter, Bing News, Ask, Google+, Delicious and many more.
HowSociable provides you with insights into you and your competitors social media strategy. With a free account, you can monitor 12 social networks such as Tumblr and WordPress. A pro account allows to monitor the bigger networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. One of its most powerful features is a report that allows you to see which social media network is working best for you.
If your business operates using multiple languages, then IceRocket is the platform for you. This tool can monitor both Facebook and Twitter in 20 languages. They also have over 200 million blogs in their database which is a plus if you want to keep an eye on blog activity and what’s trending in the blogosphere.
The next batch of free social media monitoring tools I want to examine are solely to monitor Twitter. Twitter deserves special mention on its own because of the enormous marketing power of the tweet. Twitter has allowed businesses and individuals to tell and define their own story without having to rely on traditional media. Nothing is more evident of this that the recent US election where the current US president used Twitter to great effect. The following are a couple of free Twitter monitoring tools you may want to make use of.
If you want to know how far your tweets travel, you need TweetReach. This free tool shows you the impact and consequences of social media discussions. It is a great method to identify your most influential follows. This lets you know whom you should be aiming your content at.
Klout measures your influence through Twitter engagement. It is an excellent free tool to see what people are saying about your brand and what moves them most. The Klout Score helps you tweak your content based on your target audience’s interests to improve engagement.
In addition to TweetReach and Klout, other free social media monitoring tools for Twitter include; Twazzup, TweetDeck and Twitonomy.
3 Other free methods
It would be remiss of me if I failed to mention one of the most obvious ways to monitor social media and that’s Google Alerts. Google Alerts is a quick and easy way to monitor the Internet for new content, mentions of your brand or your competition and so forth. Creating a Google Alert takes less than five minutes and you soon start receiving email notifications any time Google finds results on your topic.
I’m sure that after reading about the tools above, your realize that there are dozens of social media monitoring tools. These free tools are great for beginners in social media marketing. However, once your business grows, you may want to switch to enterprise level social media marketing tools.