7 Tools for Tracking Social Mentions

Nowadays, it’s not enough to just post (or schedule) social media updates. Setting things on auto-pilot is convenient but it just doesn’t cut it. Being active and engaged on different networks is one step forward but what about tracking your efforts? Here are 7 tools that can help you keep track of your business or a particular campaign you’re starting:

1) Fresh Web Explorer
2) social mention
3) Addict-o-matic
4) Topsy
5) PLANCAST
6) Icerocket
7) Netvibes

Why Track Mentions?
Organic and paid search campaigns can be tracked through various different metrics (rankings, CTR, conversions etc.) The important thing is to find a few that are relevant to your business and to keep track of them consistently so that you can see the progress made.

When it comes to social media marketing, there are many reasons to actively track your mentions. From a PR and reputation management standpoint, you want to better understand the connotation in which your brand is mentioned. How would a business feel or respond if they’ve been nominated by Consumerist’s annual Worst Company in America bracket?

Competitive analysis is another possibility when you track your own and other brand mentions. You can see where competitors are active and where they are getting the most attention from. This will help give you a better idea of where your strong points are and what weak areas you can work on.

Overall, the purpose of tracking social mentions is to gain a deeper understanding of your customers so that you can do a better job of attracting them. Seeing natural mentions, linking, shares and other comments will help you understand customer behavior and what they’re looking for when advocating a brand they love/hate.

Don’t Forget About Social Media!

With Google updates (or lack of updates, in Penguin’s case) getting all the attention this summer, it’s easy to slack on social media internet marketing efforts. This is the perfect time to garner some extra traffic and brand recognition that can help boost your SEO campaign… and just in time to prep for the holiday season. Let’s take a look some recent news to help refresh your outlook on this segment of online marketing:

Facebook Growth
According to a recent report, about 57% of Facebook users are active on mobile devices. Businesses can look forward to more ways to integrate ads and apps directly into users’ Newsfeed.

If you haven’t noticed already, Timeline has rolled out onto user accounts and Pages have followed, even on mobile. While there are still some people who resist, the positive outcome of this is that businesses have been “forced” to become more social by updating more frequently and filling out different sections of their Pages.

And don’t forget about measurement of your success. If you’re looking for more efficient ways to analyze your social media accounts, give Minilytics a try. This free tool gives suggestions about your brand reach, the best time to post and more.

Google Plus Gets More User Friendly?
When Google Plus first launched, Facebook fans argued that this network wasn’t as user friendly as their beloved Facebook. A prime example was that custom/vanity URLs were not available. This isn’t helpful for users or SEO friendly. Recently, this feature has been available to big brands and celebrities (like Taylor Swift). According to Google, this feature is free for now but that could change in the near future. Be on the look out to see if this feature rolls out to your page.

Concerned about your reputation? This post on the YOUmoz user blog shows an example of why you should be. Negative or positive reviews are more likely to be viewed at the top of your page if it’s left by a “verified Google Plus user”, even if it’s written by a disgruntled former employee. The key here isn’t to be afraid but to be aware of how to monitor brand mentions and combat that with positive reviews and other content.

Let us know if you’ve heard any interesting social media news lately and what your next course of action is!

Do You Need Help with Social Media?

Before you hire a social media marketing company, there are a few things to consider.

Social Media Misconceptions

facebook scam

First off, it’s important to understand that using social media doesn’t guarantee success. It’s incredible how many times I’ve heard people say something along these lines, “I’ve heard you can make A LOT of money using Facebook and Twitter, but I don’t know how”. Remember those Google scams from the early 2000s? – “I’ve made thousands with Google by working from home!” Perhaps, scams like these are the reason why people have this idea implanted into their head. And now, these have moved on into the world of Facebook and Twitter. So, if you ever see anything like this ad below, remember to avoid it!

If you don’t have enough time or manpower to put effort into your social media accounts, how can you expect your campaign to succeed?

Areas of Expertise

If your industry requires special attention, it’s important to bring up concerns and questions that you might have. Social media isn’t the same across the board. For example, handling social media for health-related businesses greatly differs from from promoting e-commerce sites or local businesses. Managing a health business’ campaign can be more complicated than just advertising the sales and other promotions of a more traditional business. Ideally, you would hire a firm with experience and success with businesses in your industry.

Do Your Research

Social media is NOT like other aspects of online marketing of SEO, PPC or web design/development. Perhaps, the scary thing about it is the element of the unknown and needing to have time and resources to monitor these social interactions. Why do you think big corporations have entire teams of people dedicated to social media? Before you hire someone to handle your social media campaigns, it’s important to ask yourself what you’re getting yourself into. Perhaps, the saddest story I’ve heard is that of a relatively big business who signed a contract to outsource their social media marketing. Hundreds of dollars later, all they got were a handful of irrelevant and disconnected Facebook updates. Social media is neither an afterthought or a business live saver, so make your decision wisely!

Tools for Measuring Facebook Engagement and Growth

Measuring engagement and ROI can be tricky topics… but even more so when it comes to your Facebook Page. As of now, there is no definitive answer or “right” way to do it. Luckily, there are many tools and strategies that will help give you a better understanding of the social activity on your Facebook Page.

  1. Facebook Insights – I’m not a very big fan but it does the job. Facebook Insights give you an overview of’ ‘Like’ growth since your Page’s creation, fan demographics, and analytics per post. As Mari Smith puts it, impressions are based on the number of times your post is loaded on someone’s Facebook stream. This isn’t very helpful and also doesn’t take into account unique views.
  2. Google Analytics – If you prefer using Analytics, you can embed a tracking code onto a custom tab on your Facebook Page. Again, it might not be too helpful because it can’t be used to track activity on the Wall.
  3. Manually - Depending on how much time you have dedicated to a campaign, tracking engagement manually can be a cost-effective method.

In the end, Facebook measurements can fall short, so it’s important to avoid getting too caught up in numbers. How do you keep track of your Facebook Page growth?

And before I forget, here are some great (free) tools that you can use to track your social media marketing campaigns: