As Too Good Strategy’s Marketing Intern, I have to do a lot of research on clients, target audiences and competitors.  I really like doing this type of research and digging to find facts, but sometimes it is hard to decide where to start.  There are many advanced social monitoring tools on the market, but often our clients aren’t using these tools because of the associated expense. Some of my favorite FREE tools to use are Wildfire, Social Mention, BackTweets and Meltwater.  Here are some of my tips on how you can use these sites to gain some interesting insights.

Wildfire is a social media monitor that allows you to compare multiple organizations at one time.

Wildfire

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Wildfire

The visual graphs are helpful because you can mouse over and see exactly what the trends are.  As an example, I compared Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.  As you can see, Google has a significantly stronger Twitter following.  You can similarly compare Facebook likes and Facebook check-ins.

Social Mention is one of my absolute favorite tools.  I’ve worked with it both in my classes at UT Austin and in my research at Too Good Strategy.

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Social Mention

The great thing about Social Mention is that you can type in any word or combination of words and it basically shows you everything that is being said about that topic.  The table on the results page shows a really concise summary of the current standings.  Continuing with the same example, I searched for “Bing.”  A word of caution: make sure that the examples of the mentions on the page actually match what you are looking for.  You can ensure this by putting quotes around your search if it is more than one word.

BackTweets is my go-to for rediscovering past tweets all in one place.  It’s basically a Twitter archive that you can search without having to go to each individual Twitter’s account.

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BackTweets

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Meltwater

Meltwater is essentially a blend of Wildfire and BackTweets.  It allows you to see graphs and charts about your presence on social media.  My favorite feature is the blog search.  You can specifically target blogs and see how frequently people are talking about an organization.

It’s very important for me to mention that I have highlighted my favorite free tools.  There is much more out there and a lot of it costs some serious cash.  If you’re interested in checking out some of the other paid (and free) options out there, check out Dreamgrow’s list of social media monitoring tools and Social Media Today’s list of resources.

Happy researching!

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