We all know social media can be remarkably effective for promoting products and services of all shapes and sizes, but if you’re engaged with your customers on a ton of different platforms with little organization, you could find yourself wandering from account to account with no insight into what working/not working for your brand- a surefire recipe for frustration. After all, what’s the point of social media if you don’t know how it’s affecting your bottom line?
A simple solution to this dilemma is a social media monitoring tool. Since Facebook and Twitter (and countless other networks) have become embedded in our collective consciousness, we’ve seen a considerable increase in free monitoring tools for people looking to get their social media strategies in order. Here’s a few to explore. Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments.
Probably the best free social monitoring tool available at the moment (although opinions may differ). It’s a multi-tasker’s dream, as you can monitor and publish between Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and a number of other platforms. What’s more, it’s a heck of a time-saver. Paid plans provide a comprehensive set of analytics and much more- but the free version is a great tool to start with.
If your brand/organization/etc is more Twitter and Facebook focused, TweetDeck is a powerful, free tool with a variety of customization, filtering, and monitoring options. However, it doesn’t pack the analytical punch that Hootsuite does. If you’re stressed about which one to choose, here’s a blogger’s quick review/comparison of the two tools from a few months ago.
The image-based social network Pinterest has exploded in popularity over the last couple years, and as their community has grown, so has the need for effective monitoring and analytics. If you’re an avid Pinner, this is a good way to get started with measuring your success.
Although one could argue that the free version of ViralHeat contains a lot of the basic bells and whistles of Hootsuite, ViralHeat has recently upgraded their offerings, which enables users to consolidate all their social streams into one place. This streamlining minimizes a lot the hopping back and forth one encounters on other social monitoring apps- a formidable time saver. Also, there’s some excellent sentiment analysis tools in the mix that are worth exploring.
If you want an additional pair of eyes scanning the web for your company’s name along with a monitoring service, or if you don’t need the full-blown action of a Hootsuite or Viralheat, Google Alerts is always a safe and effective option!
Curious about other free monitoring tools? Read this article from Business 2 Community that covers 20 different free tools.