Use Social Media Monitoring Tools

In our previous post, Changing What We Measure in Social Media, we discuss why measuring social media requires some new kinds of metrics. In this post, we list several free tools you can use to measure your social media presence.


Using Social Media Monitoring Tools

You can use automated social media monitoring tools to find social media mentions on a variety of social media platforms and track them over time. Some tools are quite expensive, including IBM’s SPSS-based tool[1] and other high-end tools such as Radian6.[2]

All social media monitoring tools have basically the same function: to find out what people are saying online. Some also help you categorize conversations and calculate various metrics.

You first steps should be:

  • Assign someone to manage the tools and listen
  • Establish goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track them
  • Regularly measure and communicate your progress

There are many good free tools, but the most powerful tools can be expensive.

Two free general monitoring services are worth checking out follow.

Social Mention[3]

  • Set up a profile to get email summaries of social media posts based on keywords
  • Daily digest option
  • Install the buzz widget on your site or blog
  • See an example at (bottom right of page)


  • Check top:
    • Videos
    • Posts
    • Blogs
    • Phrases
    • News Stories
    • News Sources

Google Tools

Google provides a lot of free tools to track social mentions. They also have scads of services as part of their AdWords program that you can use if you create an AdWords[6] account. AdWords are those little text ads you see on the right of a Google results page. You can bid on terms to get your ad to show up in search results. However, you don’t need to create an ad campaign to create an account and use Google’s tools to see how popular various keywords are on Google.

Here are some other useful, free Google tools for tracking social mentions.

Google Alerts[7]

  • Set up alerts for keywords
  • Get emails sent once a day or once a week with search results for those keywords
  • Follow popular trends in videos
  • See who’s posting videos
  • Analyze trends in conversations

Google Video Search[8]

  • Follow popular trends in videos
  • See who’s posting videos

Google Trends[9]

  • Analyze trends in conversations

Google Webmaster Tools[10]

Google provides a wealth of interesting tools to find out about your Website, its performance, and who is visiting, including:

  • Search queries
  • Links to your site
  • Keywords
  • Internal links
  • Subscriber stats

Backlink Checkers

A backlink is a link from another site to your site. Backlink checkers show you who’s linking to you. An advanced Google search query[11] can also provide similar information. Simply place the keyword “link:” in front of any site or Webpage to see how many sites link to it.

Here are some free backlink tools:

    • Free for up to 5 requests per hour
    • Shows what sites are linking to your site
    • Often too busy to respond
  • SEOChat[13]
    • Requires you to enter a CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart — those squiggly words you often see on pages) to check a page
  • SEOLogs[14]
    • Not only a backlink checker, but lots of other free tools for Search Engine Optimization

Measuring Online Video

Social media expert Jeremiah Owyang has an excellent list[17] of video measurement and deployment tools that we adapt and excerpt below:


  • Free service that provides viewership-related analytics for those that publish and monitor online video
  • Free account features:
    • Video Deployments 100/month
    • Unlimited Storage
    • Five Custom Video Groupings
    • Basic Cross-Site Analytics
    • Video Transcoding (transforming a video from one format to another)
    • Email & Embed Reports
    • Submit to Social Networking Sites
    • Link Intelligence
    • Update Social Networks


  • Traffic monitoring tool for Flash content; Flash is an animation tool from Adobe — YouTube videos and lots of those moving or interactive elements on Webpages are done in Flash


  • Upload and distribute your videos to multiple video sharing sites like YouTube, MetaCafé, Dailymotion or Facebook
  • Counts the number of times your videos are watched on Dailymotion, Sevenload, iFilm & Co.

Use Social Media Monitoring Tools is the 40th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

See the previous posts What is Social Media?, Social Sites Defined, Why Social Media? How is Social Media Relevant to Business? First Steps Toward a Social Media Strategy, and Decide What Your Business Will Do About Social Computing, pt. 1

Next up: Social Media – Replacing ROI

[1] IBM SPSS Modeler Professional:

[2] Radian6:

[3] Social Mention:

[5] BlogLines:

[6] AdWords:

[7] Google Alerts:

[8] Google Video:

[9] Google Trends:

[10] Google Webmaster Tools:

[11] Google Advanced Search:

[12] iWebTool:

[13] SEOChat:

[14] SEOLogs:

[17] Companies that measure or compare Online Video:

[19] Mochibot:

[20] VideoCounter:

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1 Comment on “Use Social Media Monitoring Tools

  1. Social media is here to stay and you can Google just about any industry and those two words and you will find endless articles about how it is affecting said industry, how it should be used, and what to be careful of. Human Resources is no exception.