We all want it, crave it and are desperate to have it. In fact, the majority of us will spend countless hours and resources attempting to create it. Generating buzz about your business is a critical piece of social marketing. But once you have it, you can’t control it and monitoring what is being said about you or your brand can be expensive and time consuming.
We all know what a fun and powerful tool social media can be to build your brand and monetize your time online. But let’s face it; you’re a small business owner who must focus on generating sales, not playing around online. So with the multitude of conversations happening at one time, how can you effectively monitor your online buzz without it feeling like a full time job? While you could part with your hard earned dollars to pay someone to do it, staying on top of your online reputation can be simple and stress free.
Why Should I Care?
The 10 Social monitoring sites I’ve listed below are FREE and will allow you to “hear” what is being said as well as offer valuable insight needed to effectively navigate your social media strategy.
Think about it this way. Wouldn’t you rather have the opportunity to listen and respond to a negative comment from your Uncle Johnny’s nephew who blasted you on Facebook because you wouldn’t show him 200 homes in one day or would you rather hear it second hand and possibly lose the opportunity to gently remind him of the other 199 you have already shown him? Listening to what is being said is equally as important as the information you pass along. Social monitoring tools are also a way for keep up with competing brands, your favorite bloggers or topics important to you and your brand.
10 FREE Tools to Build and Monitor Your Online Buzz
1. How Sociable – Measure your brands reach and visibility on the social web. Each of your social sites are graded and given a number based on your “visibility score.” You are also able to compare yourself against competitors and then download your findings into a CSV file.
2. Kurrently – Kurrently is a real time search engine for Facebook and Twitter. It is a great way to see what is being said right now about you and your brand. I use this tool to research what people are talking about and then respond or retweet that conversation.
3. MonitorThis – I love this tool! With MonitorThis you can sift through 25 search engines based on keywords all at once. Type in the keyword you want to research and within seconds your results are displayed. News articles and social mentions from Google, YouTube, Bing and more can be read with a click of a button!
4. Addictomatic – In a very short time I have become addicted to this social monitoring tool! Addictomatic allows you to create a news feed based on any keyword or topic. For instance, I’ve chosen “real estate” as my keyword. Within seconds my custom news feed has been created pulling the top information from Google, WordPress, YouTube, Flickr and more!
5. Twazzup – Another simple tool that offers real time results based on your keyword or topic.
6. Tinker – Tinker searches both Twitter and Facebook for top news, events, topics and places people are talking about.
7. IceRocket – IceRocket will search blogs, images, Facebook and Twitter to find what is being said about your topic right now.
8. Social Mention – Set up free daily email alerts about mentions of you, your brand, company, a developing news story or updates on industry changes.
9. Google Reader – I couldn’t live without my Google Reader! This free RSS aggregator pulls all of your favorite blogs into one location so they are easy to keep up with. Set up an account, subscribe to a blog and then organize by folder for easy viewing. Setting up RSS feeds to monitor your online buzz gives you a go-to location for all keyword related and relevant terms needed to keep up with you, your brand and your niche.
10. Google Alerts – Last but not least is this handy tool. Google Alerts offer you the ability to create alerts based on relevant keywords. You can schedule an endless amount of alerts for you, your company name, a specific neighborhood or even an industry topic. Once you have selected yoru topic, create your alert and set the frequency with which you want to receive your alerts via email.
Social media marketing should not be treated like the dartboard at happy hour after a few too many beers. It should be a strategic effort that’s managed, monitored and assessed on a regular basis to determine effectiveness. Manage your reputation and make your social media efforts pay off with these FREE and easy to use tools!