Often times, we associate any free service as sub-par – like a free haircut gone wrong, or making the mistake of hiring a free wedding photographer. We’ve all had our bad experiences, but I am here to tell you that there are a multitude of free social media measuring tools that are guaranteed to fit your budget (or lack thereof), while giving you grade A, useful information.
Let’s begin with what you want out of a social media measuring tool – to make the distributed nature of social media less overwhelming to track and monitor conversations, right? Here are some reasons marketers track their business’ social media effectiveness:
- Find out who is talking about your company
- Identify social actions generating the most traffic
- Monitor and protect your brand
- Discover who is sharing your content
- Engage with your audience
There have been some great platforms created that enable brands to track the reach and effectiveness of their social media efforts for free (besides the almighty Google Analytics). Listed here are the top 5:
1. Wildfire’s Social Media Monitor
Recently acquired by Google, Wildfire is the total package for social-promotion and advertising software. Although the majority of its tools require payment, it still has some great free features to take advantage of. One of the coolest free tools Wildfire offers is a way to help you understand your Twitter and Facebook presence versus that of your competitors. Scout the leaderboards by easily comparing the number of likes, check-ins, followers, and Tweets for each page.
People and brands everywhere are using Followerwonk for social analytics on Twitter. Recently acquired by SEOmoz, Followerwonk is now fully integrated and available to SEOmoz Pro members by simply linking the accounts. Don’t have a SEOmoz Pro account? There are still features that can be worth your while, such as searching twitter bios, comparing users, analyzing your followers and who you follow, and overlaying your social graph. My favorite is seeing a mapped location of Delphic Sage’s followers (see below).
What’s a great way to measure influence? Check out your Klout score! Your Klout score will be a number from 1-100, calculated from more than 400 signals, in seven different networks, on a daily basis. Its primary data source is none other than Wikipedia since it’s curated and maintained by millions of people worldwide. Once you’re signed-up, Klout will let you see a map of your social media activity over the past 90 days. This is the perfect measuring tool to learn how many people you influence, how you influence them, and the influence of your network across all of your social media platforms.
This social conversations network brings scattered blurbs all into one place. Engagio is essentially an inbox with analytics for all your social media conversations including blog comments, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube and more. Some visible benefits are: Track conversations more efficiently, facilitate deeper connections with people, no more lost conversations, and discover where your top contacts are commenting and meet them across multiple touch points.
5. Emoto 2012
Sure you can have all the analytics in the world, but can you grasp the emotions of your audience? This idea was sparked by U.K.-based digital art festival FutureEverything and MIT’s SENSEable City Lab, to be used to interpret the global response during the 2012 London Olympics. This new tool has been said to be the future measuring sentiment of social media. You can check out the ebb and flow of emotions over time where the intensity of a Tweet stream is represented by varying colors, shapes and thicker lines. As marketers, we value the public perception of our brand and the effectiveness of our advertising. So to have Emoto 2012 mold a clear view of audience thoughts is really cutting-edge. Keep an eye out for this one folks.
There are many other social media measuring tools out there, do you have any favorites? Tell us what you like to use in our comments section.