It’s no secret there are a massive number of paid social media monitoring services out there. They offer great social media analytics tracking, reputation management, the ability to view top influencers and countless metrics and data sets.
But many small businesses, start-ups and non-profits don’t have the luxury of a large social media marketing budget.
Reputation management is critical at all levels, and allows a brand to understand who is talking about you and where that chatter is talking place. At the least, Google Alerts should be used to monitor the brand’s mentions across the web. Moving past that, there are a few options in between Google Alerts and paid services.
Here are five, completely free social media tools that will allow brands, of any size and budget, to better plan, track and analyze their social media channels.
Addict-o-matic provides a snapshot of a brand’s impact across the social web. While it’s far from comprehensive, it provides initial insights for seeing who’s mentioning your brand on Twitter, Youtube, Flickr, and up to 25 other news sites and search engines. It then processes and aggregated all that information, and displays it as a single webpage.
Social mention takes Google Alerts to the next level. The site monitors your brand’s mentions from all across the social web, including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Flickr. You can get the data through their website, an RSS feed or even sent directly to your email.
3. Ice Rocket
With Ice Rocket, it allows brands to track mentions and targeted keywords through blogs, images, the Web, social media sites and relevant news. It also has a feature to create graphs of trending topics/keywords for a visual representation. Additional services includes a blog tracker and RSS feed builders.
Topsy in it’s most basic form is a real-time social search engine. The search is broken down into four areas: Web, photos, tweets and experts. This can come in handy when you want to see how far your reach and audience is. There’s also a trending feature, which analyzes the current trending topics.
Unlike the other four services, Backtweets is exclusively for Twitter. Simply put, it measures the reach of a single Twitter message. It’s a way to analyze what influencers are seeing it as well as who is mentioning and retweeting it.
There is also a pro version, which provides comprehensive Twitter graphs, reach statistics, Google analytics integration and influencer lists.
6. Honorable Mention Wordle
Wordle creates a word cloud that visualizes any website, blog, or even a Twitter stream. The bold and biggest words are the most used words on the blog. There are various uses for it, including even visually comparing your blog to a competitor’s blog.
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