Interview: Michelle Goodall on Planning ‘Moral Marketing’ Campaigns
By Gemma JoyceFeb 18
Published February 1st 2019
The key to making the most of social media is listening to what your audience has to say about you, your competitors, and the market in general. Once you have the data you can undertake analysis, and finally, reach social business intelligence; using all these insights to know your customers better and improve your marketing strategy.
If you are a social media rookie, this list of the top free social media monitoring tools might come in handy. When looking for a tool, it’s a good idea to try a couple of them and choose the one that suits your needs best.
However, bear in mind that these tools are not an alternative to Enterprise-level tools, such as Brandwatch, which brought social media monitoring to a new level, offering a much higher variety of services, functionality, and in-depth analysis. It all depends on your needs.
Hootsuite is one of the best free social media listening tools available and covers multiple social networks, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, Foursquare and Google+. It is well known for its social media management functions.
The weekly reports and the excellent team management facility (delegating tasks, sending private messages) can be very useful when there’s more than one person handling the social media accounts.
You can also monitor specific search terms in real time. This can be really handy for tracking mentions of our brand, products, or relevant keywords you’re interested in.
Hootsuite also lets you use RSS feeds to post to your personal or organization’s social networks.
TweetReach is a great monitoring tool for your business if you’re interested in checking how far your Tweets travel. TweetReach measures the actual impact and implications of social media discussions.
It is a good way of finding out who are your most influential followers, implicitly guiding you towards the right people you should be targeting when aiming to share and promote online content.
IFTTT isn’t specifically made for social media monitoring, but it can be easily turned towards it. IFTTT essentially lets you connect up different services so that when something happens on one, it triggers an action in another (or the same if you like).
For example, you could have IFTTT send you an email every time your brand is mentioned. Or you can get an SMS whenever a term specified by a Twitter search query gets posted.
In other words, thanks its customisability and range of integrated apps, it can be a nifty way to keep an eye on social media activity.
There’s whole range of other great social media and marketing uses so be sure to have a dig around. You can use pre-existing ‘applets’ or create your own entirely. Get creative!
Buzzsumo is a great tool for content research, but it also has an excellent way to analyze and monitor your Facebook pages. Along with metrics around each individual post, more interestingly is the ability to see what content performs best.
Buzzsumo will tell you what day is the best to post, how long your posts should be, what types of content works best, and monthly stats over time.
Twazzup is great for social media beginners looking for a Twitter monitoring tool. You just enter the name you want to track and you instantly get real-time updates, meaning the most active top influencers, most retweeted photos and links, and most importantly, the top 10 keywords related to your search.
Sometimes we forget that social media doesn’t just include the big players. Forums and messaging boards count too. Boardreader allows you to search for specific terms on a range of different forums to see when people talk about you and what they’re saying.
Putting in a term will return a list of all of these posts up to the previous two years, you can generate charts to look for trends, and compare terms against each other. It’s a great way to find conversations about your brand.
HowSociable is a handy tool for measuring your and your competitors’ social media presence.
A free account allows you to track 12 social sites, including Tumblr and WordPress. However, if you’re interested in 24 more, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. a pro account is required.
HowSociable’s approach to social monitoring is a bit different as it breaks down scores for different social media platforms, allowing you to see which social media platforms work best for you and which ones need further development.
TweetDeck covers the basic needs of any Twitter user, so is a good option for beginners. It’s a great tool for scheduling tweets and monitoring your interactions and messages, as well as tracking hashtags and managing multiple accounts. There is a web app, chrome ap, or mac app. The Windows app ceased functioning in April 2016.
Mention monitors million of sources in 42 languages, helping you stay on top of all your brand mentions on social networks, news sites, forums, blogs or any web page.
The app lets you keep track of your team’s actions, share alerts and assign tasks. Generating reports and exporting mentions can help you get a snapshot of your mentions by source or language over a selected period of time. They offer a 14-day free trial.
Twitonomy offers a range of metrics for free, with premium features enabled for $19/month. Simply sign in with your Twitter account for robust monitoring and metrics about your account. You can add your competitor’s Twitter handles to gain insights about their activity too.
Twitonomy shows you details of your Twitter lists, followers and followings, your most popular Tweets, engagement statistics and much more.
You can track conversations on Twitter based on hashtags, users, or lists. The details are displayed in graphs and easily digestible stats.
Focusing specifically on Twitter, Followerwonk is the right tool to find, analyze and optimize your online presence for social growth.
The tool is perfect for planning outreach campaigns by allowing you to search Twitter bios, connect with influencers or fans and break them out by location, authority, number of followers and more.
Interestingly, with Followerwonk you can compare your social graph to competitors, friends or industry leaders and measure how well you are doing.
Targeted at small-medium businesses, SumAll is a cross-platform social media monitoring tool that will help you understand the correlation between your social channels.
The user interface does take a bit of time to get familiar with, but there are an extensive amount of metrics you can analyze.
The daily email updates can give you a quick overview of top-level stats for your account compared to the previous week, allowing customer service to quickly react and respond to urgent issues.
Social Mention is a straightforward search engine for finding mentions of your brand (or any other term). Looking a bit like Google did way back when, it’s simple and clear and quick.
You can specify what kinds of platforms you want to search, while you’ll also get details on sentiment, top keywords, and top users. There’s even data on how often your brand is mentioned, while you can export all the info in a spreadsheet.
It should be clear if you’ve got this far that the social listening tool space is a crowded one.
We’ve developed our own social media monitoring technology with larger, more sophisticated organisations in mind, but we hope this list for getting started is a useful foundation.
If you are interested in seeing what more advanced tools like Brandwatch can offer, the please do get in touch by booking a demo.