By: Abdulhadi Hafez
It seems like everyday they come out with a new “social media monitoring tool”, everyone is trying to get a piece of the pie. No wonder why we’re all getting confused. But do I need to monitor my social media in the first place? Duh! How else are you going to know what people are saying about your brand (called sentiment monitoring) and how well you’re doing in terms of views, likes, and traffic (referred to as analytics tracking) and what the trending topics are.
Ok, so let’s get to the good part. Which social media monitoring tool should you use? The good news is that there are some really good free tools out there, the bad news is that there many of them, so figuring out which one to use could be daunting. For example, Socialbrite came up with 20 free, awesome social media monitoring tools that you could have a look at.
Just to confuse you even more, Tripwire Magazine prepared a list of 30 Useful Social Media Monitoring Tools that you could also review. One of our favorite ones mentioned in both lists is HootSuite, which allows you to monitor up to 5 social media networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, Blog) for free. It’s good if you’ve just starting out and have got 5 or less channels to monitor.
However, as great as some of those free tools are, it wont do the full job for your company if you’ve got many channels to monitor and are highly involved in social media conversations and engagement all over the Web. This is when you have to start paying a little bit of cash to get the full job done. You could be paying anywhere from $100-$500 per month to use one those bad boys.
For example, Radian6, one of the most robust tools out there, could cost you well around $500 a month to use, but boy is it powerful! It helps capture more than hundreds of millions of posts each day, including the full Twitter firehose, Facebook, blogs, news sites, discussion boards, video and image sharing sites.
Although we’re trying to narrow down the list of potential tools down for you, it still wouldn’t be fair to mention just two of them. There are plenty of other tools that deserve to be analyzed as well. The good news is that Oneforty surveyed 150 social media professionals to find out how they used social media monitoring tools, and worked with KissMetrics to put their responses into infographic form.
It still doesn’t quite boil it down to the best tool to use, but it does narrow down the list a bit more based on the opinions of 150 social media experts. Feel free to click on the infographic to view the enlarged view. Enjoy!