There is good news and bad news when it comes to businesses powering the social web to communicate with customers and improve the brand’s exposure.
Good News: Almost 86% of professionals have adopted the use of social media platforms within their businesses.
Bad News: 84% of individuals who’ve engaged in social media have never monitored their social media programs. 40% of those respondents weren’t even sure it was possible to monitor social media ROI.
With an entrepeneur at every block of each city, there is no surprise of the many different social media monitoring tools available to the public. The best part is that most of the tools are free of charge! Following is a list of the top free social media monitoring tools the market has to offer:
Social Media Search & Analysis:
- Social Mention-Free; A full-featured search tool, allowing the tracking of mentions, sentiment, and activity across Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and blogs throughout the web.
- Talkwalker Alerts-Free; An easy and free alert service that delivers email updates with the latest mentions on the Web directly to your email box. Google Alerts offers the same service.
Social Media Management Dashboards:
- HootSuite-Free for up to 5 profiles. Great for managing, monitoring and publishing to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, WordPress, and Google+ Pages, Hootsuite acts as a community dashboard . Hootsuite apps allow you to add more networks and functionality.
- SproutSocial-Free trial, then $39-$99/month. This is a Chicago based company combining monitoring, publishing, and reporting in an easy to use dashboard.
Social Media Search Tools for Startups:
- Google Analytics-Free; The programs measures traffic from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other social sites. Allows looking up the stats to get insight on how social media is driving traffic to your site.
- Clicky-Free, up to 3,000 daily pages views. Real-time analytics show you who’s on your site and where they are. I like Clicky’s display of visitors by location and actions. The social insights tell you who came from where
- Monitter-A real-time, live Twitter monitor that allows you to enter up to three keywords and monitor what is being said.
- BoardTracker-You can set up keywords to track, choose your preferences, and have the results e-mailed to you. It allows you to run searches on topics that are being discussed in forums or discussion boards.
- Klout-This program measures the influence on topics from across different social media platforms. It allows you to track the impact of your links, recommendations, and options across a variety of social media platforms.
- Addictomatic-Allows the user to create a personalized tracking page and pulls content from all over the Internet including Google, Yahoo, Technorati, YouTube, etc.
Whether using a low-cost or free tool to get started, it’s absolutely critical to track social media efforts and integrate the results back to the goals of your business.