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10/07/2012 by
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The Guide To 88 Social Media & Monitoring Tools

#8 might be your lucky number today. SocialMedia8 was willing to share 88 of the 888 social media and social monitoring tools they have mapped. I hope they will offer you powerful analytics and actionable insights.

The part that you will need to add during your selection process is the brand and business objectives you are trying to achieve, since that will lead you to the best tool matchmaking.

Based on the current run rate, we could have shared all 600 social media and monitoring tools with you. Probably even more. But we liked to offer you a range of quality tools and not to go for quantity.

Below tools are a mix of social monitoring tools, other handy social tools like social CMS tools, conversational management tools, fan engagement tools and other freaky or niche tools that cover a part of the social media space.

In a selection process SocialMedia8 started buzz monitoring in 2006 with BuzzLogic. Over the years we tested several tools for several purposes.

Since then, they tried, tested, mapped and ranked hundreds of social media and social monitoring tools in several markets. And that ranking process included: free tools, cheap tools, advanced tools and expensive high engagement tools.

Several tools were horrible and seemed a waste of their time. Next several tools were rated mediocre. But some tools were rated very smart.

A few good men were ranked as: outstanding tools. But be aware, some tools might be great in a few markets, but unable to understand languages in other markets. So besides your objectives, your specific market(s) might be a share determining factor as well.

The few good men that came out of our 2 years lasting research are gathered in the visual above. We’ll describe them shortly for you below.

To evaluate all tools equally and fair, SocialMedia8 developed a clear and straightforward approach. All tested tools were used by 2 the exact same social media analysts.

They both used the exact same balance score card that also included 8 fixed selection criteria, like i.e.: interface, campaign set-up, customization, dashboard, price, service etc.

Here is our guide to the Top Social Media Monitoring companies, selected from a CMO point of view. If you have used other great tools, please share them in the comments below.

Brandwatch. Our overall score 7.6
Sysomos. Our overall score 7.5
Amplify. Our Overall score 7.4
Nielsen Buzz Metrics. Our overall score 7.1
Visible Technologies. Our overall score 7.0
Seer. Our overall score 6.5
WaveMetrix. Our overall score 6.5
Radian6. Our overall score 6.4
Kantar Cymfony. Our overall score 6.25
Simplify360. Our overall score 6.25
Whitevector. Our overall score 6.1
Onalytica. Our overall score 6.1
Attentio. Our overall score 5.7

CMOs, please be that some social monitoring tools could be great in several of your local markets, but useless in some of your other local markets – mainly due to the fact that tools do not always master that local language.

Below you will find another list with all kinds of free and paid social media tools. But we expect a shake-out soon. And we already did our homework pretty accurately, so above selected tools should bring you satisfaction.

The below online and social video metrics tools were selected on the 8 above mentioned criteria. And please be aware that these tools are not depending on languages and will work great across all your markets.

Since branded content, viral and social videos are still booming, here is our guide to the Top Video Metrics and Monitoring companies.

ViralTracker. Our overall score 7.9
Visible Measures. Our overall score 7.1
TubeMogul. Our overall score 6.4

Some seeding, outreach and distribution networks will have their own measurement tools. Here we decided to focus at the independent 3rd party measurement and metrics tools.

Why? We thought it might be more relevant and trusted if your audit is being performed by a 3rd party. One that can tell you in an objective way, if you indeed got what you paid for.

Why are we so keen on video metrics? Because we have learned that social video content is king, distribution is queen, but metrics is the emperor.

If you tend to use only the selfish one-way video pre-rolls, you do not need the tools like above. You could stick to the online ad serving systems.

Well, the rising number of social media and monitoring tools has dazzled you probably too? Therefore a list with some Blog monitoring tools, PR clipping tools, Twitter tools and more handy tools that could fuel your social media analytics, KPIs and ROI.

Be aware, below tools we did not rate or rank.

Shall we start with some good old blog monitoring tools and companies?

How about good old Technorati, the real-time search for user-generated media (including weblogs) by tag or keyword. Also provides popularity indexes.

Cision has some smart solutions for brands. Cision is a global provider of PR software and services including media monitoring, media list building, press release distribution, and media analysis.

BlogDash is the blogger outreach platform searches indexed bloggers and filters by Scribnia rating, Google Page Rank and Klout Score. Provides other metrics and influencer bio and contact information and allows list building.

Alianzo is a blog catalog-like blogging community tool that lists and organizes blogs, Twitter and Facebook accounts by an impact/influence algorithm. Focused on European and Latin American (Spanish) speaking sites.

BackType offers cursory influencers from an aggregation of data from various social outposts for company pre-determined topics. This company was acquired by Twitter so it must do something pretty smart.

eCairn is a blogger and influencer outreach tool that has some robust collaboration and monitoring features. Community mapping and pre-populated community data sets are available at a Pro price.

Empire Avenue is a social networking game structure that allows businesses to connect with individuals on what it calls “value relationships.” Fun, consumer-facing approach allows you to “buy stock” in social profiles.

SocialMedia8 has created its own blog outreach and social video distribution platform. It reaches and engages 800+ million passionate people worldwide.

And you might have heard of networks like eBuzzing, Unruly Media and GoViral?

If sharing is caring, social bookmarking might help you to amplify your content across search engines and many social channels. Like Digg, del.icio.us, Stumbleupon, Reddit, Tumblr or other social bookmarking tools under the ShareThis icon.

To detect buzz around a topic or person fast and free Addict-o-matic could be a handy tool for you.

Infinigraph is a pricy market research tool focused on defining strength of user connections to brands, affinities and social activities. Uses an algorithm to rank social connections (fans) based in influence and potential impact. Feature set includes an aggregation, curation and distribution model which helps brands find and share content with audiences.

mBLAST provides media monitoring and analytics services for influencer management, helping you to discover voices and your brand’s presence in social media, articles and blogs. mBLAST lets you search for influential voices and sources, no matter where they are on the Web.

Social Snap is a social media measurement software with a built in influencer identification and prioritization component.

Since Twitter could be one of the most important social platforms for the future, here are some Twitter engagement tools, followed by other Twitter tools.

Be awesome on Twitter with Buffer. With buffer you can spread your Tweets and this might give you more clicks, more retweets and higher reach than non-buffered Tweets.

Are you still counting down the 88 tools? Here are a few more for Twitter.

InboxQ might take your Twitter relevance to a new level. You can set up terms included by anyone asking questions on Twitter. Then jump in and answer them from within InboxQ.

Twylah is an App that your Twitter content and turns it into a branded page for your followers to browse through. Sort of mash-up of social skinning, customized branded page and personalisation.

Listorious is a Twitter list indexing site that will let you search across 2 million top twitter users as well as a directory search.

TweetBeep might be handy for you or your webcare team on Twitter. You can set up search terms related to your brand or niche and every day the App will send you a set of alerts relating to it. Let’s say a sort of Google Alerts for Twitter.

Commun.it is a tool that analyses the people you follow on Twitter and buckets them according to influencers, top members and many more interesting details. Very handy for influencer identification and outreach purposes, if you have a connecting story.

Trends are always a very good start to understand and to develop a vision fast.

Twitter Trends is a free tool and can lead you into conversations that are very relevant during the moment and can gain you quick insight. You can filter by country in the advanced search.

Topsy is a realtime search engine powered by the social web. Unlike traditional web search engines, Topsy indexes and ranks search results based upon the most influential conversations millions of people are having every day about each specific term, topic, page or domain queried.

The Topsy comprehensive search engine allows you to scan back further through tweets. So back to the future with Topsy.

Twitfeel is a nice tool that gives you the sentiment around the keyword that you are searching for. Very handy, but a warning from our social media analyst: Twitfeel is not yet filtering by country, and that is being perceived as a roadblock for CMO’s in local markets.

Twazzup is a dashboard program that monitors Twitter. Twazzup will tell you every time your keywords are mentioned in a tweet. It will also categorize your results by link popularity, contributors, tagging clouds and users.

Twazzup’s unique features like avatar mouse-overs that give more details about that user’s relevant tweets, make Twazzup a surprisingly powerful and valuable social media monitoring tool. And if our social analyst gives your tool two thumbs up, consider yourself a very lucky tool provider…

Here are a few more tools that will help you to get started with sentiment and behavioural analysis on Twitter, so you’ll be able to maximize your Twitter benefits.

TwitterGrader is a free tool that allows you to check the power of your Twitter profile. It looks at a variety of factors including the number of followers, power of those followers, and the level to which you are engaging the community. It takes just a few seconds to generate your free report.

Twitscoop is a real-time visualization tool which enables users to “mine the thought stream” provided by Twitter. Its algorithm cuts every English non-spam tweet into pieces (“tags”), and ranks them by how frequently they are used versus normal usage. It detects growing trends in real time, identifies breaking news, and monitors specific keywords. It also creates custom graphs that display the activity for any given word on Twitter.

TweetPsych uses two linguistic analysis algorithms to build a psychological profile of a person based on the content of their tweets. The service analyzes your last 1000 tweets and works best on users who have posted more than 1000 updates. It also works best on accounts that are operated by a single user and use Twitter in a conversational manner, rather than as a content distribution platform.

TweetEffect can help you to find out which of your Twitter updates made people follow or leave you. The site lists all the Twitter updates that had an effect on your follower numbers. Updates that made people leave are displayed in red, others in black.

Twittercounter is a great Twitter service that offers updated statistics of your followers, the users you’re following, and daily tweets. You can also compare absolute growth of multiple twitter accounts or contrast them with your competitors’ expansion, enabling you to track, measure, and redesign your strategy. I like it.

Twitturly tracks the URLs flying around the Twitterverse and provides a quick, real-time view of what people are talking about on Twitter. Each time someone tweets a URL to their followers, Twitturly takes note of it and applies it as a vote for that URL. The more votes a URL has in the last 24 hours, the higher it ranks on Twitturly’s Top 100. Nice for social distribution purposes.


Tweettronics
is a tool to analyze, discover, track, and engage with Twitter conversations about your products, brands, and topics.


Twitalyzer
is a free tool to evaluate the activity of any Twitter user and report on dozens of useful measures of success in social media. This powerful tool can help you measure the influence, popularity, velocity, and generosity of your Twitter account.

Monitter is a simple Twitter monitor that let you “monitter” the Twitter world for a set of keywords and watch what people are talking about in real time. Nice tool for the beginning Twitter users.

Spy is an easy-to-use tool that visualizes the conversations on Twitter, Friendfeed, Flickr, blogs, and other social networks and enables you to listen in on the interactions you’re interested in.

TwiBuzz is a tool that tells you how often people are using Twitter to tweet your favourite keywords in real time. It plots the current and historical tweet rate in tweets per minute (TPM) for your search terms. TwiBuzz tracks a predefined list of terms, but you’ll find that it’s easy to add to that list.

Klout allows you to track the impact of your opinions, links, and recommendations across your social graph. It collects data about the content you create, how people interact with that content, and the size and composition of your network. From there, it analyzes the data to find indicators of influence and helps you interpret the data. It’s progressing but misses out on some crucial data. So not my two thumbs-up standard for social influence yet.

Off course the blue monster Facebook might have your extra attention? Below some cool tools to benchmark and analyze your Facebook performance.

AllFacebook.com is a leading blog on Facebook marketing. They also offer a reasonable Facebook analytics tool called Facebook Stats.


Facebook Insights
is the analytics tool from Facebook. It will offer you actionable insights to help you grow your fan base.

With Wildfire you can easily see the growth of your Facebook fan base and you can benchmark your fan growth with 2 competitors.

EdgeRankChecker is a handy tool for the several brand stakeholders that handle your Facebook page.

Buddy Media, now owned by Salesforce is the social powerhouse that offers several great solutions. Their Facebook CMS with several handy sapplets is great for Facebook community management and managing social interactions.

Buddy Media’s Brighter Option (now Buy Buddy) also offers smart Facebook advertising solutions.

Vitrue is another Facebook marketing platform that will help you to go from reach to relationships.

We feel that respect and friends must be earned. But we do understand that size matters. And that a large base of fans and followers will make the CMO look cool on the golf course. So Facebook ads will be growing massively.

AdSage, is like the Google Adwords Editor for Facebook. With this free tool you can create better Facebook Ads and save lots of time and money. I tried AdSage and Facebook’s Power Editor, and AdSage is much smarter.

Good old Hootsuite is a conversational management tool that will offer you a dashboard to manage your Facebook page and other social pages. You can plan and schedule Facebook updates when you might be away for a day.

With HootSuite you can also create slick social reports, but that tool is part of their paid version.

We do hope that this article was very useful to you.

And we need to stress a few things in our round-up: Get your objectives straight before you start selecting tools. Give a clear brief with your objectives and benchmark the answers and use reviews from your peers.

Be aware that some tools can be used across all your markets, since they will not encounter any language problems, like i.e. ViralTracker.

But at social media monitoring tools you will have to check if the tool speaks the languages of your local markets very well, or hardly at all.

And probably most important: you might have been disappointed about some of the tools you have used before? You might need specialists that will turn actionable insights from the tools into great commercial or creative ideas.

What About You?
Since we do believe in the wisdom of crowds and in learning from peer discussions, we hope to read your thoughts or your best tolls in the comments below.

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About the Author
Igor Beuker was CMO at 3 listed companies, chairman at the IAB, jury member at Webby, AMMA and Esprix awards, founder of 3 digital agencies (sold to WPP) and global chief social officer at Mindshare. Now he is ‘freejack’ consultant and a sought after keynote speaker.


 

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