There’s no doubt about it – social media has become the inseparable tool in any serious marketing strategy; big or small, every business can use social media to build a strong community and expand its target market. But if you want to make the most out of your social media engagement, you should monitor its performance so that you can change what doesn’t work and concentrate on what does. Luckily, there are many free and low cost tools that can help you with that, and below are some of the best that you can check out.
Klout uses 400 different variables to determine your Klout score, i.e. your social influence, based on your social media activity. You can use it to find the top influencers, the people that others listen and respond to, in addition to measuring your own influence score. The average Klout score is 40, so if you (or someone you’re looking into) are a lot above or under that number, it can give a strong indication on how well your social campaigns are going.
HootSuite is extremely useful for those who have accounts on multiple social media and are very active on them. It allows you to monitor them all from one place, and to create custom reports that you can share with your clients and associates. You can also use it to schedule messages that you can send out when most of your audience is online, and is one of the favorites for many social media professionals.
3. Social Mention
Social Mention monitors over one hundred social websites. It allows you to monitor user generated content and to track what others are saying about your brand by aggregating the content into a single stream. It provides a relatively simple and accurate real-time monitoring of the mentions of your company, your products or any industry related topic.
4. Twitter Counter
This is the number one tool for tracking the Twitter stats for anyone seriously interested in monitoring their Twitter analytics. The free version only gives you a portion of all kinds of Twitter stats that the tool is able to provide you, but for most small businesses the free version is all you need. The reports are easy to read and understand, and you can also use it to add different widgets and Twitter buttons to your blog.
SocialBro analyses your Twitter community allowing you to see where they’re from, what languages they speak, when they’re active the most – the sort of information that will help you understand them better.
Partially overlapping with SocialBro, this tool also provides info about your Twitter community, but with additional insights like how your tweets are being shared and what is their reach. The two tools can work well together if you’re after a more in depth analysis of the behavior of your Twitter followers.
7. Facebook Insights
You’re probably using this one already, but it’s worth mentioning – there’s no better tool to monitor your Facebook activity and growth than the one provided by Facebook itself: the analytic data provided by Facebook Insights can help you reach the right audience and better understand the existing one.
Now owned by the SeoMoz, this tool is priceless for defining the influencers in your niche. You can search users by keywords and compare the number of their followers and their influence, so that you know exactly who you want to make connections with. Don’t skip this one!
9. Social Seek
Social Seek helps you find all the information from the news, tweets, videos and photos and shows them in one place. You can easily make your own SocialSeek, or use the existing ones, and be pretty sure that the topic you’re researching is covered well.
Finally, Topsy is the social search engine that ranks search results based upon their importance and influence. It allows you to search people and topics by keywords, and then “decides” which posts and profiles deserve to be ranked. Topsy can be successfully used for finding the industry influencers (similar to FollowerWonk), and for monitoring trends in social media, which can be an invaluable advantage when you dig in a bit deeper.
There are thousands of other tools out there, and there’s a lot of overlapping among them. The ten listed here are the most popular in their own fields, however you can’t know which one is right for monitoring your marketing efforts until you try out at least a few of them. But they do make your social media life a lot easier, so take your time discovering them.
This guest post was written by Andrew Handley who is a social media manager at http://www.midislandcollision.com/. Social media monitoring tools enable him to run a scalable social media campaign and inform clients of progress.