It’s official – social media marketing has arrived for good. Moreover it’s becoming a supplemental service offering among web developers, SEO specialists like us and ecommerce experts and advisers. It’s not easy to post unique and quality content on one profile let alone handling multiple accounts. Here is an overview of the best free tools to monitor and manage social media and digital marketing.
1. HootSuite – This tool comes in both Free and Pro versions. The free version gives an option to monitor and update up to five profiles. It’s an open sheet real time news roll that can open up Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and two more social feeds at the same time. The Publisher tool helps to review, post and schedule messages with an option for choosing the relevant account for the information. The Pro-version gives more flexibility to add accounts and use additional features such as analytics and bulk message scheduling.
- Best Feature: Easy to navigate dashboard and built-in link shrinking.
- Key Service: Real time updates monitoring and scheduling.
2. Crowdbooster – With a free of charge account Crowdbooster monitors one Twitter and one Facebook Page or upgrade to 30 accounts with a Business Plan. It doesn’t give real time tuning into corresponding profiles but instead evaluates the impressions by graphically showing how many people retweeted or answered a tweet as well as how many people were reached. It also indicates the Follower Growth, Influential Followers and Top Retweeters. These are extremely valuable analytics that can help to extend the outreach.
- Best Feature – Time recommendations on tweetting to get the best impressions.
- Key Service: Scheduling and Analytics.
3. Buffer – Besides scheduling posts for Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook this tool is also a bookmark and as such can be installed into your browser. This helps to generate quality content right on the spot. Another goody includes an old-time retweeter that gives an option to add tweets to the Buffer right from inside Twitter.com. For $10/month the Pro account gives you the freedom to monitor up to 6 social accounts with free mobile apps and advanced scheduling.
- Best Feature: Tweet suggestions like: “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude” – Zig Ziglar.
- Key Service: Bookmarking and scheduling.
4. PageLever – PageLever provides comprehensive Facebook Analytics that outline profiles of people that come and leave your fan base as well as determines what content attracts your audience and keeps them engaged. “Daily Overview” is also a pretty cool feature to help put together pieces to boost KPI. PageLever uses the EdgeRank algorithm to identify which posts perform best so the fan page can reach a bigger audience. This service is free for 14 days which is enough to understand whether this tool is right for your business. We would recommend it for bigger businesses or ones with multiple accounts.
- Best Feature: Instantaneous data transfer into ready for presentation reports.
- Key Service: Facebook Analytics and Insights.
5. Nutshell Mail – Is an emailing service that delivers digest-type updates so that marketers can organize, monitor and interact with their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and Ning accounts. By far it’s one of the best Facebook Page managing tools for keeping track of Likes, Posts, Comments and Insights.
- Best Feature: Tweet, Reply, Retweet and DM right from your inbox.
- Key Service: Social Media Monitoring right from your email box.
6. Honorable Mentions:
Besides social media monitoring and management tools there are quite a few very neat services that deserve mentioning:
- socialmention.com – very much like Google Alert but for social media only.
- tweetdeck.com – real time monitoring of Twitter.
- socialbro.com – a tool to manage and analyze Twitter community.
- catchfree.com – social media comparison overview all in one.
Each tool serves specific needs but all of them definitely speed up and simplify the process of managing different social media accounts. At the same time it’s fair to say that Social Media Monitoring services are growing just as fast as the digital marketing industry itself making it challenging to stay attuned to new tools, features and apps. New challenges call for networking and we would love to hear what other professionals are using to monitor and manage their social media accounts. Please feel free to share your experience in comments and via Twitter and Facebook.
Yuliya Karnaukh is an Online Marketing Specialist at Astound Commerce. She has spent twelve years engagingly studying the fascinating art of marketing and is happy to share her thoughts with anyone who’s willing to spare their time and mind reading her articles. Astound Commerce is a preferred Demandware ecommerce solutions provider for top-brand online retailers.