So we’ve looked at the reasons why you need to monitor your social media activity and now it’s time to think about the tools you need to do the job. There are many free and paid-for social media monitoring tools available on the web ranging from the basic through to more indepth tools which go into a lot more detail. In order to gain a fuller understanding of the conversations you are interested in, you may need to consider using more than one at a time to ensure you’ve got all bases (e.g. blogs, forums and Twitter) covered. Here we look at some of the most popular free monitoring tools:
Blogs – two of the monitoring tools you might want to consider are Technorati and BlogPulse. Technorati indexes blog posts in real time and they are quickly available to be analysed. It also monitors authority and influence and list influential blogs. BlogPulse is free and allows users to search for blog and specific websites.
Forums – Broadreader and BroadTracker and two of the most popular tools and both help where the conversations you’ve indicated you’re interested in are taking place.
Twitter – Hootsuite remains the most popular tool for trawling Twitter and users can measure, converse and analyse Tweets using it.
Facebook – FacePinch allows for searching real time Facebook status updates and helps users identify brand advocates and identifies live trends.
In addition to the above there are a host of paid for and cross platform services that range in functionality and price. However, our advice as B2B PR specialists is if you’re just starting out on your monitoring, it makes sense to master the basics with the free tools and then consider the paid for sources once you understand exactly what your monitoring requirements are.