Social Media Monitoring Tools

One of the musts of social media is to monitor what is being said about your brand. There are many free and subscription tools out there for you to use. Here’s a short description of the most popular ones for your review. If you’re just starting out, I’d recommend at least using a few of the free monitoring options like Social Mention and Google Alerts. As your brand engagement or social media activities grow, it’s worth exploring the paid options. You should check out user reviews before committing to any of the subscription options. Most have demos or trial accounts so be sure to check them out.

Please note – I copied a lot of the descriptions below from third party sources instead of writing each one myself. I’ve cited the source under each tool.

Free Social Media Monitoring Tools

To start off with, here are some free tools you could try in order to find out what’s being said about your brand in the social world. These tools are great as far as reach, but because most are search engines, they don’t offer the pretty (and useful!) dashboards you get from the paid tools.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is the free, simple and effective way of finding out what’s being said about your brand online. You can choose to have your alerts delivered as they happen, or on a less frequent basis like daily or weekly. Setting up Google Alerts for your brand name as well as names of your key competitors is definitely step one in your social media monitoring efforts. What’s great about Alerts is that they’re quite comprehensive and super fast if you set them to immediate notification. I’ve done random little tests of posting content about our brand and Google Alerts picks it up nearly immediately. The bad thing about this free tool is that there are no trending tools, filters, dashboards or other fun stuff you get from the paid tools.

Yahoo Alerts

Yahoo Alerts is just like Google Alerts except for the Yahoo network. What’s kinda cool about Yahoo Alerts is that you can get them delivered via Messenger and mobile, not just email. Although I’m not sure why you would want to deliver alerts to your mobile…

Social Mention

I love Social Mention. It’s simple, easy to use, and it’s free. It’s a social media search engine that lets you narrow your search by type (blogs, microblogs, events, comments, etc.) or lets you search everything at the same time. The search results will give you direct links to articles as well as a measure of sentiment, most frequent hashtags used and a list of users who are making the most comments about the keyword searched. This tool probably doesn’t pick up everything but it sure does flag a big chunk of content about your brand. For a free tool, it’s pretty good.

Daymix

Daymix is a free social search engine that organises search results by media type: wiki, news, blogs, video. It didn’t have too many search results so I wasn’t thrilled by it, but it’s free so you might as well check it out every now and then.

Whos talkin

Whos talkin is a free search engine for social media. Just enter your brand (or CEO’s name or whatever else you want to monitor) and the tool will return a comprehensive list of search results. If you are after results from a particular source, just click the source on the left side of the page to filter results. The big downside of Whos talking is the limited scope of its search engine.

Friend Feed

Source: Top 10 free tools for monitoring your brand’s reputation

FriendFeed is a free social aggregator. You have the ability to take all of your social accounts, such asYouTube, Delicious, Twitter, blog, and Flickr, and pull them together into a single (Friend) feed. You can conduct searches on your brand throughout all social networks at once using this search engine.

Aside from learning about the latest video or tweet related to your topic, you can analyze comments that people make under them. FriendFeed users tend to favorite and comment on what you share and tracking it will become more important as this service grows in population. You can also receive alerts straight to your desktop with Alert Thingy.

Board Reader

Board Reader is a “community search engine” which crawls blog posts, forums, images, and microblogs. Other social media monitoring tools use feeds from Board Reader to build their dashboards.

Paid Social Media Monitoring Tools

As we have found at my company, the great free social media monitoring tools only get you so far. Once you decide to invest more time into social media, you should probably invest some dollars into monitoring. The major advantage is the customisable dashboards you get with the paid tools which give you a great visual representation of your social brand on the web.

Trackur

Trackur seems to be quite a flexible and affordable social media monitoring tool, not unlike Radian 6. Pricing starts at $18 per month for an individual user to $297 for an agency. Either way, not bad! Here’s what one reviewer had to say about Trakur had to say: “What will make or break this tool in my eyes is the effectiveness and thoroughness of searching the web. I definitely sense the need for a tool that can do a good job of the aforementioned. One thing that stands out to me initially is the tool is very user friendly. It is simple and easy to use. You can quickly find the information your are looking for and can utilize a “saving” mechanism to come back to searches you have done in the past. Furthermore, you can subscribe to your searches via email alerts and RSS feeds, which is handy.”

Update: There’s a free version of Trackur as well. I totally missed it when I had a look since it was on the bottom of the pricing page. Worth checking out. I’ve signed up for a trial and will let you know how it goes.

Reputation Defender

Source: Top 10 Reputation Tracking Tools Worth Paying For

Reputation Defender offers four different services, including MyChild (starting at $14.95 per month), MyReputation ($14.95), MyPrivacy ($9.95) and MyEdge ($99). MyChild scours the Internet for all references to your child or teen by name, screen name or social network profile and reports back to you. MyReputation allows you to review everything that is available to you online, and MyPrivacy allows you to remove your personal information from people search databases, such as Pipl and Peek You.

Finally, MyEdge is a solution for owning your Google results. All of these services scale in size depending on your need and how much money you want to spend.

Brands Eye

Source: Top 10 Reputation Tracking Tools Worth Paying For

Brands Eye offers reputation management packages for bloggers ($1 per month), small businesses ($95) and enterprises ($350). The tool tracks every online mention of your brand, giving you a score that accurately reflects the state of your reputation over time. Part of the differentiation is that you can actually tag mentions of your brand and rank them in terms of a number of pre-determined criteria.

Like many of the other services, you are paying for keywords that you can track. The frequency of how many times you receive updates grows depending on how big your package is.

Radian 6

Radian 6 is one of the best known social media monitoring tools. According to their website, Radian 6 scans over 100,000 million websites for buzz about your brand. The tool includes a handy dashboard which can be easily shared. It also includes workflow and segmentation tools. Pricing starts at $500 per month for US customers, which makes it a great mid-range paid monitoring tool to try.

Dow Jones Insights

According to the Dow Jones Insights website, their tool puts all results of social media monitoring into one convenient dashboard. It also allows you to benchmark your brand against your competitors. What’s funny is that it’s quite hard to find reviews on this tool. Also, their site isn’t that great. I’ve had great personal recommendations for Dow Jones Insights, however, so if I end up trying it out myself, I’ll update this post to reflect my impression of the tool.

UPDATE: After meeting with the DJ people I’ve realised that their tool is not really a technology but rather a consulting service. They get data from various sources (for example, Board Reader), some of it is automated and the rest – including sentiment – is essentially categorised by analysts. Human involvement seems to be their differentiator. It also seems to be the reason for their hefty price tag of over $5000 per month, plus extra for benchmarking reports. Because the tool isn’t as automated as the others, the dashboards aren’t as pretty or flexible as on the automated tools. Dow Jones does bring a lot of experience and reputation to the table (remember using Factiva in college?) so I imagine they would be a valuable partner to have… for a price.

Nielsen Buzz Metrics

Nielsen Buzz Metrics offers brand and buzz monitoring through it’s suite of products. According to their website, “Nielsen My BuzzMetrics customizable dashboard provides easy access to key brand health metrics and consumer commentary. Nielsen ThreatTracker analyst alerts keep you abreast—in real-time—of fast-moving reputation threats. Nielsen BuzzMetrics Brand Tracking provides an audit of your brand’s online health today and Nielsen BuzzMetrics Audit gives you a picture of your brand’s online health over a specific time period. Nielsen BuzzMetrics Scorecardshows you how your brand stacks up against your competition.” To be perfectly honest, it’s not clear to me what their competitive advantage is.

Dialogix

Dialogix is a social media monitoring tool that focuses on Australian, NZ and UK websites. As with other tools, Dialogix monitors news media, social media and measures sentiment. What’s cool about this one is that it lets you focus in on key influencers for your brand. Dialogix pricing starts at $149 per month for localised Australian results (which may be enough for some brands) and increases up to $1495 per month for international monitoring. It does give you a free trial so you might as well have a look and see if you like it compared to others.

Cymfony

Cymfony offers the Maestro Platform, which is built on a Natural Language Processing engine that automatically identifies, classifies, qualifies and benchmarks important people, places, companies and topics for you. While other tools may focus on keyword analysis, Cymfony claims to work on a more detailed grammatical analysis of text in order to eliminate irrelevant results. They provide some more added value by writing market intelligence studies.

Sentiment Metrics

Source: Top 10 Reputation Tracking Tools Worth Paying For

Sentiment Metrics has a reputation management tool that, just like the other services mentioned, helps you monitor what is being said about you, your brand and your products across blogs, forums and news sites. The reports you’ll receive by using this software focus on sentiment (it’s in the name), which tells you if the mention is positive, negative or neutral.

The reports have nice visual graphs and you can break them down by gender, age groups and location. One of the big differentiators and benefits of using this service is that you get email alerts sent to you whenever you have bad press.

Visible Technologies

Visible Technologies offers the TruCast suite of products, which is a comprehensive solution used by enterprises who want to track, analyze and participate in social media communities all in one space. The differentiating feature of TruCast is TruVoice, their tool that lets you comment on blogs, forums, etc directly from within the tool. TrueCast also includes a crisis management tool to identify potential issues in social media, monitor how they develop and address them using SEO principles (that is, promote positive information about the brand or topic).

Cision

Source: Top 10 Reputation Tracking Tools Worth Paying For

Cision offers the Cision Social Media service, which claims to monitor over 100 million blogs, tens of thousands of online forums, and over 450 leading rich media sites. One of the main benefits, just like Nielsen Buzzmetrics, is that these companies have been monitoring and measuring traditional media sites for decades, so they can provide a more comprehensive solution across the board.

Cision’s product is unique in that it offers 24/7 buzz reporting. Their service is powered by Radian6, which is mentioned above. They also have a Dashboard and daily reports, just like the other services, where they tell you what’s going on with your brand twice a day through email.

Biz360

Biz360 Community is a DIY social media monitoring tool which is priced per user, per topic. For example, 5 topics will cost you $399 for one user license. There are other pricing options available as well for additional topics and multiple user licenses. From user reviews it seems that its Topic Velocity feature seems to be a useful tool. Topic Velocity provides users with information on rate of change of sentiment about a particular topic. It also lets you view this change over time so you can look for and perhaps predict trends more easily. Check out the list of features for more information.

BuzzLogic

BuzzLogic is another tool I found good reviews for and therefore included in this post. However, it turns out that the social media monitoring tool is no longer available as a standalone product. Instead, monitoring comes as part of BuzzLogic’s advertising platform. The only way to get this tool, then, is with a media buy through BuzzLogic. The write-up from Mashable is below for your interest.

Source: Top 10 Reputation Tracking Tools Worth Paying For

Buzzlogic offers the BuzzLogic Insights application, where you can discover, engage and assess influencers in your industry. You get a collaborative dashboard, which provides you with insight into whose blogging about you and allows you to share this data within your company. There are also watch lists for tracking specific bloggers, blogger profile lists, and social maps (see who links to who).

They divide their services into two major buckets: marketers and PR people. Marketers gain product feedback, understand brand perception and receive monthly readership statistics. PR people are able to build relationships with influential bloggers, discover new influencers and track products that matter to them.

Are there other tools that you know of that aren’t in this post but are worthwhile checking out? Please comment to let me know and I’ll update the content to include them. Thanks!

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Magda Walczak

Always hungry. Nuts for dogs. Love to travel. I write about marketing, food, web, travel and whatever else strikes my fancy.

13 thoughts on “Social Media Monitoring Tools”

  1. Thanks for the review Magda – I should just clarify that Dialogix pricing starts at $149 a month, which is a lot cheaper than Radian6 and most other competitors of its Calibre – not sure why you thought we were expensive. All the same, I appreciate the write-up.

    Matt Granfield
    Dialogix Director

  2. Thanks for the feedback Matt! I’ll update the post to reflect your pricing better. I guess the reason I thought you were more expensive is because of the Silver option, which seems like what you’d need to get the most out of your tool.

  3. Hi Magda,

    Thanks for including Trackur in your list. Not sure if you saw, but we launched Trackur Free–yes, a completely free version–making us even better value. 🙂

    Andy Beal
    Trackur.com

  4. Thanks Andy! I’ll update the post to reflect that. Sorry that I missed it in the first place.

  5. Hi Magda,

    This is Wei-Chong from Brandtology. Please allow me to introduce you to our service offering.

    We are one of the largest Business and Brand Online Intelligence service providers that combines technology, processes and trained professionals to deliver accurate and relevant intelligence to global organizations.

    We have more than 100 Social Media Specialists in 10 locations around the world who are able to verify and enhance our automated machine analysis in more than 9 different languages. This ensures very high accuracy and relevancy of the analysis reports provided to our clients who do not have to waste a moment sieving through irrelevant data.

    If you would like to find out more about what we do and how we do it, do drop me a mail at weichong.khor[at]brandtology[dot]com. Thanks!

    Wei-Chong Khor
    Social Media Consultant
    Brandtology

  6. Hi Magda – Great article. Wanted to give you a heads up that BuzzLogic no longer offers its monitoring software as a standalone – our underlying technology now powers an advertising platform that targets ads across blogs and other social media sites based on criteria like author expertise, influence and social activity around content. Brands and advertisers can access some similar features to our original Insights application through a media buy with us. More info here: http://www.buzzlogic.com/2009/08/06/media-conversations-going-forward/

    Anyway, just wanted to clarify – thanks again for the shout out!

    Best,
    Valerie Combs
    BuzzLogic

  7. Hi, Magda!

    I’m new to your blog, so I wanted to say thanks for creating this very comprehensive list of solutions. If you aren’t familiar with Biz360, I’d love an opportunity to introduce it to you – a DIY, easy to use solution with a variety of price levels to suit various budget needs.

    Cheers!

    Maria Ogneva
    @themaria @biz360

  8. Thanks Valerie!

    I was wondering why I couldn’t find more information on your monitoring solution on your website. 🙂 I read several good reviews of your software so I basically assumed that it was available if you were contacted directly. Thank you for the update. I’ll adjust the BuzzLogic section to reflect your comments.

    Magda

  9. Hey Bill,

    Sorry I’ve taken so long to get back to you. My comment notification seems to be broken… :(.

    I’ve used the free measuring tools but not the paid ones. Oddly enough, Google Alerts seems to be the most reliable. The annoying part with any of these is that you never know 100% that you’ve seen everything said about your brand. It also depends on what you’re using social media for. For example, if the main goal you have is to find complaints and address them, chances are that people will tell you about those in multiple places. That means you’d probably find a majority of that feedback with the free tools.

    After doing the research for this blog post, I got a bit overwhelmed with the options. There’s a lot more out there then I realised. Since this is a big part of what I do in my daily work, I’ve decided to trial as many as possible. I’d like to especially trial the Nielsen and Dow Jones solutions because they don’t provide enough information on their sites but they come highly recommended by industry colleagues. I’ll make sure to update this post as I trial the different tools.

    Magda

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