How to Track your Buzz: Best Social Media Monitoring Tools
Okay then. Your business has taken the plunge into the Social Media Marketing pool and you’re getting a handle on how to swim with the current. As you streamline your efforts and build your network, how can you be sure that your efforts are proving beneficial in the “buzz building” goals you have for your company?
One of the key benefits of Social Media Marketing, (SMM), is the interactivity it provides between brands and their target market. This is true for any size and type of company, B2B, B2C, or even for non-profit organizations. The ability to ask a direct question or present specific information to your target audience and monitor and answer their responses allows a personal branding that is not seen in any other type of marketing.
That being said, there’s more to a successful Social Media Marketing plan than just putting that info out there for your potential clients and customers to react to. These responses need to be monitored regularly, to ensure that your marketing plan stays on course for the best results as well as to track the changes in your target market’s focus as it happens.
Social Media monitoring happens in real-time. In other words, brands have the ability to check, on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis, the buzz around their industry or brand to stay apprised of the success of their SMM efforts and best gauge new trends. Here are our three favorite FREE social media monitoring tools and how we use them:
What conversations or discussions does your brand want to engage in? Social Mention is a free Social Media monitoring tool that allows brands to “search content from across the universe” about a topic, keyword, or brand of their choice. The site offers a report on the keyword or brand searched that includes a list of highly beneficial information for a brand interested in gauging their SMM reach as well as to decide which discussions they want to join on the topic including:
- Reach, which notes how often a brand or keyword is mentioned across the web.
- Sentiment, which notes the type of mentions as in positive, neutral or negative.
- Top users and sources, which note by whom and where the keyword or brand is mentioned.
Social Mention Alerts
Set up social mention alerts to get daily notices about industry keywords or a specific brand. Alerts can be set up for a timetable, specific keywords, and even sources and sent right to an inbox for tracking.
Social Mention Buzz Widget
This is a great aspect of the service – as noted on their website ”It requires virtually no programming skills. Just copy the HTML, set the search phrase and title, and put it on your site.” In other words, show off how often the brand is mentioned online and track the conversations with a widget on a business home page to entice potential clients.
Why we like it: The comprehensive search capacity and ability to see followers and users of a keyword or brand name online allows businesses to see who’s talking about them or their industry and how often. The web widget allows a brand to promote its existing buzz online for potential lead generation.
Tip: Always set the “Type” of search to “All” to see all web content types covering your keyword for a given amount of time.
The long-standing leader in web content monitoring, Google Alerts is a great tool to utilize the largest database of URLs on the web to monitor their brand buzz online. Because it offers the most potential files, Google is still the go-to place for brands to listen to what people and businesses are saying about their brand or even their competition online.
Why we like it: There is simply no match for Google for content volume. If it’s being said online, it will be found on Google at some point. Brands can listen effectively to the scuttlebutt about their company or their competition assured that they’re not missing a thing.
Tip: Like the Social Mention alerts, be sure to include “All” in the Type of content search option.
Want to know where your target market and other experts in your industry are focusing their efforts? Google Trends offers a customizable report with graphs, geotarget stats that include subregions that are related to a specific keyword. The example report below was done considering the last 12 months of statistics related to the keyword “social media marketing” for the geo-targeted region of the United States.
Brands can see the popularity growth of any specific keyword, industry, or brand for their specific geo-target region as well as for any specific time period. In other words, if a startup national manufacturing company in Toledo, OH wants stats on their industry for the last 6 months in the Ohio region, they can get that information. With it, executives can see what steps have been taken online by others and the trends that are growing in the industry to help them build out a more specific marketing plan.
Remember, Social Media Marketing can offer highly powerful engagement tools to brands that use them, but to make the most of sites and profiles, companies need to listen and monitor the news on their brand, their industry, their target market and the upcoming trends that apply to them.