Three Free Social Monitoring Tools Worth Exploration

social media toolsWe live in a world where the entire globe can have access to your name, IP address, photo and all of your public information with a simple search.

Now social media takes it one step further. I not only can find your past exploits online, but I can hear the conversations that the entire globe is having about you, right now, with a simple click (and maybe some typing too).

Twazzup, Addict-o-matic and SocialMention are three free platforms that allow you to measure your social media mettle—or more simply put, see all of the buzz or conversations surrounding your brand online, at any time.  Never heard of these platforms?  No worries, I’ve got your back!

Platform Overviews

Twazzup, as stated by ReadWriteWeb , is a bridge between Twitter and a search engine.  Sticking with the “stay with what you know” mantra, Twazzup mostly plays in the Twitter sandbox, but plays very well there.  From logging Tweets per hour to giving mug shots of the top influencers of any search, Twazzup gives you a full-circle view of how your brand is performing in the Twitter space.

Addict-o-matic, with the least D.A.R.E.-friendly tagline, “Inhale the Web,” is exactly the first thing you should think of when you say the words “social search.”  Addict-o-matic lets you see how your brand is being presented on a number of different social platforms all in one page.  With all search engines, aggregation sites like Digg, Flickr and YouTube for media-phile searchers, Addict-o-matic literally takes the platform we just reviewed, ItsTrending.com, and puts a more comprehensive spin on it.

addictomatic

Even Addict-o-Matic's robot looks like he's got drugs on him.

SocialMention, with its simplistic and very professional design, would seem to be the most mature of the three platforms at first glance.  All jokes aside, while the other two platforms are either very straightforward (Twazzup), or comparing their data to narcotics (Addict-o-Matic), SocialMention sticks to words that have been made popular by today’s social media thought leadersMeasuring things like “sentiment,” “passion” and “reach”—then having the ability to quantify such usually subjective terms—makes SocialMention the platform that your boss would approve of you using daily.

socialmention

Do not ask whose measurement this is...

Enough with the intros and wit; let’s figure out what’s the best platform. We’ll start with features:

Twazzup

Twazzup pigeonholes itself out of the gate by being Twitter-centered.  But the Twitter features it does have are nothing to sneeze at.  Looking for influencers?  Perhaps your topic is the Gulf oil spill.  Guess what? The top 10 or so people you need to talk to are right there

What are the links leading to your keyword search? No problem, there’s a clear list.  What’s the latest news on the subject?  It’s right at the top of the page.  Pop-up previews of links are an added bonus that will make you smile because your life just got a little bit easier.

On the other hand, I’m a bit confused with two things.  The Highlighted Tweet seems to be arbitrary.  Unfortunately, for those of us who are slow, clicking on the heading doesn’t give us any insight on why that tweet is so important, but I’m sure it’ll give a boost to the tweeter.  If you could only figure out how to get there…

twazzup

Craig Ferguson? As you can see, Twazzup is not always 100% accurate with searches…

Addict-o-Matic

Addict-o-Matic, with its “more is more” approach, has features that continue that line of thought.  Not only can you create your own page and create a shrine for your selected keywords, you can also add tons of popular (and not so popular) social sites to give you as much or as little data overload as you require.

In terms of raw features, they keep it pretty simple; either add more info or take info away.  No cool previews, but you can move any content box around to position the most important info on top.

While the ability to see what’s being posted across many social sites is awesome, there seems to be one specific 500-million pound gorilla that’s been excluded from Addict-o-Matic, even though said gorilla has spent most of the year adding social widgets to over 100,000 sites.  Maybe they should call ItsTrending.com and have a meeting.  This is a big exclusion for me.

addictomatic

For a site with a drug theme, I expected brighter colors.

SocialMention

SocialMention gives you tons of features to play with, but unfortunately if you’re a beginner, you’ll need to see their FAQ to catch up before you get started really appreciating what they’ve done for you.  Instead of choosing one social network, or even grouping the info by network, SocialMention chooses to give you a streaming timeline including content from places like Twitter, StumbleUpon and Google Blogs.  They also let you know how many mentions and how many different people are mentioning you.

The most important feature, if I may be honest, is one that I call the “tattletale” feature.  Clicking on the word “negative” under the sentiment area sends you to a list of the so-called “negative” posts waiting for you to jump in the conversation at any time.  They’re not very specific on how they determine why it’s negative, but check them all out and be safe instead of sorry.

While I love the feature above, I am disappointed that I can’t click on the unique authors or retweets section. It would be a huge bonus to be able to see a list of those authors.  As a marketer, if I had a list of who was talking about me, it would be as easy as pie to connect and grow those relationships from there.  SocialMention makes you dig through their timeline for that data—good for them, bad for me.  You can export the top users, but the data still required some extra effort to turn into a hit list.

sociamention

This page just LOOKS like work, doesn't it?

Who’s More Ninja?

All that is cool, but who should you use?  How should you decide?  And more importantly, what are the ninja features that nobody else is thinking about to put you ahead of the curve?

Twazzup

Ninja Tactic: Get in with the cool kids quickly

Twazzup lets you see who is talking about your niche quickly and painlessly.  If you were being ninja, you would quickly make a list of the cool kids and find a way to add value to them ASAP.

These people are not only already talking about this niche, but they are sharing the most content about it with their networks.  This is how you can create something that we call an “influence circle.”  If you want to get content shared faster and farther than your account can accomplish, you need to have a relationship with the people in your industry who do just that.  Especially valuable for new Twitter users with fewer relationships.

influencers

Addict-o-Matic

Ninja Tactic: Outcast platform awareness

Addict-o-Matic lets you get all of the latest info on a subject from tons of platforms, but you can get Facebook, Twitter and YouTube info from about a million different tools.  Addict-o-Matic allows you to customize an interface and keep track of a number of sites that, to be honest, nobody else is thinking about.  While SocialMention blends these platforms in a live stream, Addict-o-Matic makes it very easy to see the latest buzz from sites like Truveo, Blinkx and Twingly, which aren’t being harvested daily by most marketers/content sharers.

Use this tip to stand out in the content crowd by posting the most unique and diverse content in your niche.  Right now, many marketers are reposting popular content, but to build your own reputation, you need to find/create content that comes from you, or is found by you.

fringe social networks

I hadn't heard of 30% of these sites before today… I promise.

SocialMention

Ninja Tactic: Sentiment timeline

SocialMention has a feature that should make any data-driven marketer smile.  They let you export the results of your search to a .csv file.  Why is this important?  It’s important because most companies are not properly measuring their social sentiment at all, and those that do measure are seeing snapshots over periods of a month, at most.

A serious marketer will want data to examine change over months and possibly years to evaluate where the brand has come from, and if they’re progressing towards a predetermined goal.  SocialMention allows you to use their algorithms to track easy-to-understand numbers over time, and export them into your own internal system.  Once you control the data, you can manipulate it in any way that you see fit to benefit your brand, giving SocialMention another notch in the “most mature platform” belt.

positive sentiment

Good to know that people aren’t letting the tropical storm get them down…

And the Winner Is…

SocialMention, for being the closest to a complete solution of the three.

Twazzup comes in second, but only for its focus on Twitter.  If they could find a way to integrate other platforms, or partner with other niche-specific platforms for a robust solution, they could vault to the top.  But at this point, you need about seven different solutions to use in conjunction with Twazzup to be completely covered.

Addict-o-matic, while awesome in name, falls short in this specific horse race.  Other than its fringe social network additions, there’s not much difference between Popurls.com or Alltop.com except the search bar.  Just like Twazzup, you’ll need more tools to round out your kit, and Addict-o-Matic is more of a role player than a starter.

See a feature, benefit or shortcoming that I missed? Know of an upcoming improvement that will rearrange these rankings?  Is there a completely different platform that should be in the race?  Let me know in the box below.

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About the Author, Elijah Young

Elijah R. Young is the lead strategist and owner of Social Talk Live. He's also a business strategist who helps existing and new companies promote and grow their business. Other posts by »




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  • http://dinodogan.com/ Dino Dogan

    “Even Addict-o-Matic’s robot looks like he’s got drugs on him.” lol…that made me crack up…its great to see @smexaminer and Elijah add some irreverence to these posts that admittedly sometimes can get little….aaaahh…dry? :-)

    Interesting tools, thnx for the heads up, will have to check them out :-)

  • http://www2.astate.edu/a/business/sbtdc/ Hlawrenc

    Thanks Elijah, have used Addict-o-Matic and Social Mention learned a new one—Twaazup! Have to check it out. We often suggest to our small business clients just getting their toes wet with social media marketing that they use Social Mention to monitor but also because on the left hand side it also has information that they may find helpful on keywords they may not have thought of and which networks seem to be more active than others if they are trying to determine which ones seem to be more appropriate for their business.

    Again, great article, thanks

  • CliqueInbound

    Would love to know more about the influencer algorithm of Twazzup – Of the top ten recommended influencers for the Search “My State”, four are DJ’s, two are dancers, one is a local TV station, two are local companies I have never heard of and one is for a Justin Bieber wannabe. What’s that all about? Just sayin.

  • AngieVanDenzen

    Thanks Elijah! I’ve been using Social Mention, but am always on the lookout for new things, and it’s nice to see that we’re using still one of the stronger platforms. I don’t really trust the sentiment measurement – there are too many factors influencing sentiment, like sarcasm.I’ve used also a site called Trackur, http://www.trackur.com – they have a similar structure to Social Mention, but allow you to track your own sentiment, mark facourites, save search terms and export to CSV (and for a reasonable monthly fee can do much more)!Keep up the good work!Angie VanDenzenSocial Media Coordinator at Circus Communications

  • http://be.net/williamroth William Roth

    I have a problem with Twazzup and Addict-o-matic due to the fact that I cant customize my search. I represent a brand that shares acronyms. Using these to sites skews my results too much to be worthwhile. SocialMention on the other hand seems to been working eough that it’s worth testing it’s use further. Thanks for the article!

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Thanks for noticing that Dino…my personality usually comes out in my writing.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Me and you both…sometimes these things just leave you scratching your head, huh?

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Thanks for reading, you’ve got a point about the left hand side of social mention. Books can be written about some of these third-party platforms..maybe i should get started :-)

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Angie, as a lifetime member of the sarcasm club, I get your concerns about the sentiment measurement. I’ll have to look into Trackur, you know how much i love to play with new toys!

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    William,

    That was one of my issues as well. You better be super original or you’re gonna be lumped in with any other acronym out there in the online game. Also, some of these features were more apples-to-oranges than I expected on the way in. Maybe in the future we’ll find some better competition for SocialMention.

  • Gemma

    Really interesting post, thank you!

    Are there anyway to narrow down the results from these tools (particularly social mention) so they only provide results from a specific geographic location?

  • http://www.socialcubix.com/ Facebook Apps

    Nice and Lengthy read :) Great post!

    Interesting tools! Social Mention looks more unique and appropriate as far as my business is concerned! And that robot is seriously HIGH on drugs :-)

    Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/aaronlintz Aaron Lintz

    Specular article! This was extremely helpful for anyone.

  • http://conniebensen.com Connie Bensen

    Hi Elijah,
    Great article.
    Have you seen the free version of Alterian SM2? http://alteriansm2.com
    It offers the ability to view the conversations across many social networks in one place and see the analytics around them.
    It also offers sentiment & tone.

    Let me know if you have questions,
    Connie Bensen
    Director of Community Strategy, Alterian
    @cbensen

  • http://www.xcellimark.com/ Brittany Shelley

    I enjoyed the article – it made me take another look at Social Mention and pass it on to our marketing analyst. Maybe he can make some sense of the .csv files and tie it into our ROI.

  • http://www.actionly.com/blog/ SamAbs77

    Good Article. Check out Actionly- social media monitoring platform. Tracks for FREE across various social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Flickr, Youtube, News and Google Buzz. Also lets you export reports in csv and has a Social Media dashboard.
    Thanks.
    Sam
    http://www.actionly.com

  • http://www.actionly.com/blog/ SamAbs77

    Hi Brittany,
    Check out Actionly- social media monitoring platform. Tracks for FREE across various social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Flickr, Youtube, News and Google Buzz. Also lets you export reports in csv and has a Social Media dashboard.
    Thanks.
    Sam
    http://www.actionly.com

  • http://www.xcellimark.com/ Brittany Shelley

    Thanks SamAbs77! I will check it out.

  • http://www.kristofcreative.com Kristof

    Hi Elijah — It’s nice to read such a comprehensive review. Have you tried http://search.tweetreports.com ?. It’s also free. I grabbed a free account and love using the bookmarking option..

  • harly00

    If you simply don’t have time to track everything that specifically relates to your company–or your competition–you can still track news that relates to your industry. Moreover and Yahoo are just a couple of resources that offer RSS feeds for aggregated industry news.

    http://www.megri.net

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    thanks for taking a moment out to read it. I appreciate that :-)

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    I’ll have to take a test drive Connie. I hadn’t looked at Alterian yet…can we say, sequel??

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    I haven’t…there’s so many tools out there with awesome features, it’s so easy to miss a few gems. I’ll definitely check it out though. Thanks Kristof!

  • http://blog.fatema.in/ Freya

    Very detailed and well written post Elijah; thank you, I found it very informative and I’m off now to give Social Mention another look-over. Had seen it a long time back but didn’t see much value. Of course I hadn’t read the FAQ’s :D
    Loved the light moments, made me smile in the middle of some serious thought :)
    Cheers
    Freya
    Twitter- @Freya3377

  • http://www.inkatechnology.co.uk Inkatechnology

    Wow this list has really helped me. Thanks Elijah Young.
    I was wondering what the best way to track when my URL has been linked into a blog post/news article is. Can anyone recommend somewhere that will provide an RSS feed for this?

  • http://mycustomfanpagedesign.com Joe Bryan

    Great Info Thanks For Sharing

  • http://msileanespeaks.com/ Ileane

    Hi Elijah, I saw this on your Amplify page.
    I use social mentions to monitor my brand and I think it does a much better job than Google alerts of fetching data. I agree that Addict-o-matic is the lesser of the three and you’ve convinced me to experiment with Twazzup. So far so good. Thanks for the tips!

  • http://www.socialmarketingideas.blogspot.com s4socialmedia

    Very informative piece of writing. I have not used any of these tools yet; however, would love to try them now…

  • bubfather

    We use http://www.fbreach.com for fast, free and general measurements statistics of your sites url(s) on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Insights and Social etc…All in one easy website.

  • Leslie

    Great list! I’ve found SocialMention very useful, although I’ve had mixed results with their sentiment analysis. Looking forward to trying out your other recommendations!

    I’ve put together a list of helpful free tools for social media monitoring in a new blog post here: http://www.inkhouse.net/?p=591

    Thanks for more informative and well written content! This is exactly why SocialMediaExaminer is one of the first RSS feeds I review every day!

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