I love using HootSuite, Seesmic, or TweetDeck to monitor my social media marketing efforts. Now you can use these to track the success of those efforts.
The best free social media tracking tools you should know about
Measuring social media is one of the areas of online marketing that is still frequently discussed and we still haven’t found that magic number yet! But there are lots of free tools that can help to monitor and track your social media activity to ensure it’s working for you or you’re reaching your targets.
The list presented below is intended as a guide, I don’t recommend you use them all at once, but find the ones that fit best for you and make sure you continually measure and record results, to see how your social media activity is performing overall.
Starting with my favourite free social measurement tool – Facebook Insights. Facebook provide you with a comprehensive analytics suite for pages that allows you to get a full insight into your fans and how they’re interacting on the page. Facebook Insights is split into 2 main sections : users and insights. Users gives you all the basic information you need on your fans, including active users, the number of unlikes on your page, as well as information on traffic sources and referrers. Interactions gives you a deeper analysis into the individual updates you’ve made on your page and how people have interacted. This is great to get a quick overview of the kind of content that works and doesn’t work, so you can find out what your fans really want from your Asus A32-F3 Battery). The information then gets a lot more complex, giving you a matrix of how influential you are and a summary of the kind of person you are on Twitter. As with any measurement tools, use it continuously to measure and compare, but make sure you’re putting your own meaning on the numbers you’re presented back with.
Also highly recommend you try PeerIndex, another, some might say better, alternative.
Social Mention is a useful real-time search engine, with a bit of a twist. As well as functioning as an easy-to-use search engine, this site offers you more, with the option to receive email alerts every time there’s a new piece of content across social media that contains your keyword. You can also use their widget to display on a blog or site to show visitors a summary of your social buzz. Their search engine is a great way to get a comprehensive overview of your presence on social media, split down by content type to see the areas you’re active in or being discussed.
is a service that, at its core, tracks your activity on Twitter. This includes followers, following, rate of follower growth (or decline), your average number of tweets per day and much more. There’s a convenient graph feature that illustrates your climb or fall pace, but it also allows you to compare yourself to other accounts so if you have direct competition in your niche, this could be an interesting way to compare your progress. Twitter Counter also has an embeddable widget for your blog or website sidebar which highlights the number of recent visitors to your site, but also provides a nice and easy way for people to follow you. Twitter Counter’s premium offering provides you with priority support and a wealth of features. (disclosure: Twitter Counter is part of The Next Web incubator)
Backtype is an interesting social media measurement tool, that is helping companies to understand the real business impact of activity through social media. It gives you a comprehensive statistical overview of how people are interacting with your content. To use the site you put your url in, to see information such as comments on your site, tweets, comments on Digg and FriendFeed. But where it gets really clever is with the option to compare your site to others. This allows you see, in numerical terms, how you’re performing among your competitors to give you an idea of how engaged your audience is. Again this is a good idea to benchmark and make sure that you’re constantly improving. There’s lots more to come from this site than what’s currently available and it looks like the site will be introducing paid options soon, but I expect a large portion of information will still be available for free.
This is one of the best forum search engines around. It’s incredibly easy to use, and has a great analytics suite that can be used, if you have a real interest in finding out what people are saying about you in forums, with a view to interacting. The site does have a few faults – the search functionality isn’t that intuitive – but the results available make up for it. You can group search results by time and either view an overall trend in forum mentions, as well as drilling down into individual results to see mentions.
CoComment is a very handy browser extension to keep accurately monitoring reaction to comments on blogs. Unless you choose to specifically subscribe to followup comments, it can be hard to keep track of replies left on comments. That’s where CoComment comes in. By using their browser plugin you can help make sure that you don’t lose conversations you started. If you’re commenting on blogs as a business representative then this is especially useful as it’s important to maintain a conversation that you may well have started on someone else’s blog! It also offers an easy to view summary of comments within a page, and get instant notifications when there’s new followup comments.
Hootsuite is a great tool for monitoring social media, particularly if you have a larger amount of people using the same profiles. It offers much the same functionality as the likes of CoTweet, but has a better analytics