Top Free & Cheap tools to Monitor Social Media Brand Mentions

More than ever, consumers are using social media to spread the word about brands they like and perhaps more importantly, those they don’t. With the introduction of each new media channel, the digital landscape shifts and brand owners need to adjust quickly to stay ahead.

But how do you measure brand mentions on Social Media? How can you really see what people are saying about your company on their Social Platforms?

 

The market for Social Media monitoring tools has grown in recent times at the same phenomenal rate as the social networks themselves. Enterprise-level tools can be eye-wateringly expensive and out of reach for many businesses, but a quick look at the number of free tools shows that you can successfully keep track of brand mentions and relevant keywords without shelling out a lot of money. I’ve compiled a list of ten of the top free tools out there at the moment:

1.Google Reader

As simple as it sounds, Google Reader is a fantastic way to begin your monitoring. You can subscribe to Twitter searches for your brand name, Google searches, RSS feeds, news sites and much more. You can also set up Google Alerts for your brand name to be sent directly to your email any time your brand is mentioned, or just in daily doses.

2.Topsy

Topsy collects results from across the web, Twitter, photo, and video streams. Real-time search for the social web, Topsy aggregates all the content related to your keyword from several social media platforms into a single stream. You can also view analytics surrounding your brand name.

3.Kurrently

Kurrently is a real time search engine for Facebook and Twitter. It allows you to monitor real-time conversations around your selected keyword.

4.Boardreader

Boardreader is a search engine for forums and boards. It searches discussion boards, press releases, articles, sites and more for mentions of your brand.

5.Addictomatic

Addictomatic instantly creates a custom page with the latest buzz on any topic. It searches sites on the web for the latest news, blog posts, videos and images

6.Twilert

A straight forward and simple tool that enables you to keep up with tweets about your brand.  The app will send you an email any time a tweet mentions your brand name or keyword you have chosen.

7.Social Mention

Use this tool to measure and monitor your brand mentions in real-times on different platforms. You can also set up an RSS feed to integrate with  Google Reader, or set up email alerts.

8.Social Pointer

A nice little tool to let you monitor your brand mentions of blogs, media and social platforms  in one place. Sign up free for a Beta account.

9.Shared Count

Want to know how much your URL has been shared? Type it into Shared Count and it will let you know how many times it was shared on social media platforms and provide you with statistics on Facebook likes, tweets, comments and more.

10.Wildfire

Track your competitors, measure your performance and receive alerts for brand mentions. You can even view leader boards for both Facebook and Twitter to see who’s leading for different metrics.

There are many other great free tools out there that can be used to help monitor brand mentions and keywords in Social Media – what else do you use?

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So Real it’s Scary – LG

A  prank, but a very cool execution. LG has hijacked an office elevator, removed the floor, replaced it with a whole bunch of their new IPS monitors which are triggered by sensors to display a virtual floor falling out of the elevator, exposing the shaft and an almost certain fall to death!

What’s great about this example is the simple fact, That the whole experience is centered around the product and it displays the amazing feature (lifelike) of new IPS monitors .

Truly living up to the “Lifelike” factor, as seem by people’s reaction.

James Bond #cokezero007

James bond aka 007 is an iconic figure, every guy at some point of time must have aspired to be wearing that sleek suit, have fancy gadgets and take the role of world savior with the style as – Bond..James Bond.

This fictitious character has been charming cinemas viewers for a long time and the aspect of this fantasy is something few brands have captured in an engaging way.

Here’s an example related to James bond ‘007’ and his latest upcoming movie Skyfall.

Coke Zero – Coca cola is one great content factory, no matter it is an online experience or an offline experience they always manage to come up with something that’s not only highly engaging but also represents the brand.

The example shown below is where consumers using a special vending machine by Coke zero are suddenly presented with the opportunity to act like 007 in just 70 seconds.

What makes this example great:

1)      Coke Zero is targeted towards male audience and the 007 linkage fits perfectly with brand strategy and target audience

2)      The execution starts after the consumer buys the coke zero and is presented with chance to win ticket to new movie by accepting the challenge of finishing the task – it is focused on consumers who are coke evangelists and would be engaging even more with brand while participating in the task.

3)      The video/experience of consumer is authentic and viral; it is proven by more than 7 million views to the video in 2 weeks showcasing the reach achieved .

Crowd-sourcing- Effective way to engage & excite your fans to create value.

As social media continues to become a main stream channel for marketers, brands are constantly trying to come up with ways to involve their fans in a more meaningful way.

As engagement is the key metrics that all brands active on social media aim to achieve, but engagement is something that only come through relevant conversations initiated between brand and its audience.

One common and effective tactic for marketer has been Crowd-sourcing.   It at once sparks conversations, giving the opportunity to the fans/followers to share their opinion.  The beauty of any such campaign is that – those opinions generated matter.

Brands have been keen on utilizing the feedback/suggestions/ideas/thoughts provided by its online community and turning them in reality.  Brands have been using crowd-sourcing campaigns to various activation objectives ranging from:
1) New product development –   Where the crowd is brought into the product decision process.    

Example: Ice cream brand Baskin Robbins is doing just that. It is asking people to create their own original ice cream flavors using Baskin-Robbins’ virtual flavor creator. Submissions will get evaluated by judges and narrowed down to list of 10 new flavors entries. The 10 short-listed options will be put up for voting by public   The flavor to get the most votes will be sold in Baskin-Robbins shops nationwide in 2013.

Baskin-robbins flavor creator

Baskin-Robbins is not the only brand that has used crowd sourcing for new product development, in the past we have seen examples of Vitamin water (Letting fans decide, the flavor, the bottle, the design and the name) or Frito-Lays’s new campaign “Do us a Flavor”  (Also encouraging its fans to come up with new Flavor – with big prizes to win)

2) Feedback/ Process ImprovementWhere Crowd’s suggestions/feedback is used to improve current process/experiences centered on brand’s value.

Example:  Starbucks – “My Starbucks Idea” Starbucks using http://mystarbucksidea.force.com/for improvingMy Starbucks Idea in-store experience.

The “My Starbucks Idea” campaign is a great example in crowdsourcing feedback on both the brand and product level. The campaign encourages people to submit their comments and ideas on everything related to Starbucks.

It also keeps consumers in the loop on what ideas Starbucks is currently implementing.. At the end of the day, the brand is getting a steady stream of feedback and business ideas while deepening the bond with its customers and evangelists.

3) Community Involvement – Where crowd acts as the key contributor to influence which meaningful cause needs to be supported first and how?

Example:  Pepsi – Refresh Everything (www.refresheverything.com)

Pepsi’s “Refresh” campaign directly didn’t relate to its product or brand idea. Pepsi realized early on that the millennial generation is passionate about supporting good causes and wanted to see the brands they buy from do the same.

Therefore the Pepsi Refresh campaign was anchored around using the $20 million dollars budgeted for marketing and allowed fans to submit ideas and vote for funding to carry out local community projects.  The projects ranged from environment to education.

The above examples surely prove one point that when the conversation is taken more from being a broadcast to a one-to-one dialogue.   That’s when you turn table to your target audience and actively engage them to participate.