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.
That being said, let’s take a look at some of the best free monitoring tools:
Hootsuite is one of the best free social media listening tools available and covers multiple social networks, including Twitter, 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.
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.
Klout is probably one of the most controversial social media monitoring tools. There are those who hate it and claim that its scoring system is completely inaccurate and that trying to interact with them is an impossible mission (a curious thing as they provide interaction-measurement services).
On the other hand, some people find it useful, as it measures influence through engagement on Twitter. It is a good means of keeping an eye on what people think about your brand, and to see what influences them the most.
Using the Klout score you can adjust your posts according to your target audience’s interests and increase your engagement rate.
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 what people are saying about you.
Putting in a term will returns 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.
This free tool allows you to analyze your Facebook page. It gives you a good roundup of stats, while there’s some benchmarking and competitors options in the pipeline.
The tool from Meltwater gives you a page rank of their own creation called ‘Likerank’. You can also get info on engagement, likes over time, and your ranking against similar pages. It’s a very good tool to get a quick top-line analysis of your Facebook page
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 into 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 you to quickly react and respond to urgent issues.
14) Simply Measured
Simply Measured makes it easy to analyze your paid, owned and earned activity. The main suite is a paid tool, but it can still be used to create free individual reports for Facebook and Instagram.
They provide insights such a lot of insight around Facebook pages and competitors, while the Instagram tool will analyze an account to see where its strengths and weaknesses are.
15) Google Alerts
With Google Alerts you can monitor the web for interesting new content, mentions of your brand or even yourself, your competitors, industry leaders and so on. As they’re extremely easy to set up, this is social media montioring for beginners.
By creating a Google Alert, you will receive email notifications every time Google finds new results on a topic that interests you across blogs, forums and news sites.
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.