Even though millions of users worldwide were using social media sites extensively every day, most marketers decided to stay away from it. They had to apprehensions regarding the use of social media – first they didn’t understand how to join the conversation without sounding ‘desperate’ to sell and secondly, they were frightened away by actually associating their brands with questionable content.
But companies have kept these apprehensions behind and realized that marketing through social mediums is unavoidable since the target audience and competitors are already there. Everyone on the internet seems to be talking about the intersection of social media marketing and SEO. Keyword optimized social content and using the right channels of promotion (known as Social Media Optimization – SMO) provide search engines with better visibility, real-time and social search
With the rise of SMO, it becomes important to use tools for research, marketing, promotion or analytics of your social marketing efforts. Following are the five free tools I use extensively to track my SMO campaigns;
- semrush.com – it has a huge amount of data stored in the database. It has several tools including Google Keywords, AdWords Keywords, Competitors in Google, Competitors in Adwords, AdWords Ads Texts, Potential Ad Buyers and Potential Ad Sellers. All are useful and proper reports can be viewed. I use it to check competitors mainly.
- Page Inlink Analyzer – You need to enter the URL, and then all the inbound links to your website, their Delicious bookmarks and keyword tags will be displayed. Good to analyze all links and keyword tags together for SMO strategy.
- socialmention.com – enter the keyword you want to track and this social media search engine site will display all the mediums on which your keyword has been mentioned. Real-time social search and scoring or social keyword research.
- Google Insights – with Google insights, you can compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties. Extremely useful for checking keyword demand trends
- knowem.com – you can check whether the name of your brand, product or username is being used on over 340 social media networks. It gives you access to all the social media websites you can use to market your company. It can be called a profile building tool
I would like to mention PostRank Analytics as well here. It is a paid service with a minimal charge of $9 per month (a free trial of a month) and is the best to track your social media efforts. You can add custom pages to track, link it with Google Analytics and record various engagement trends.
Another one that I came across recently is howsociable.com. It is a very interesting concept. You can easily gauge the social presence of a brand or a particular keyword. For each social networking site mentioned, you can click through to see specific mentions.
There are various paid tools available as well. If you’re very active on social media then I suggest paid tools will offer you tremendous advantage. And for companies with moderate level of engagement, the tools mentioned above should be good enough.