Best Free Social Media Monitoring and Management Tools

With the 4 major social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube booming these days, often social media users find themselves at a loss to handle all social channels successfully. So what can you do?

Social Media ToolsIt is also a fact that if one was to handle social media presence online individually, almost the whole day would be spent on promoting a brand. This would divert one’s mind from other important aspects of the business.

Moreover, the problem with dealing in social media is mostly faced by small business entrepreneurs. They blindly jump on the online earning bandwagon but they don’t know how to get optimum benefits out of social media channels.

Therefore, to make it easier for small business entrepreneurs and bloggers, we have made a list of social media tools that will help you to manage multiple social media channels simultaneously.

Free Social Media Tools List

1. HootSuite (hootsuite.com)

The HootSuite tool gives you common dashboards where you can connect multiple social media channels that you are associated with. You don’t have to log into Facebook or Twitter and others everyday. All you have to do is log into HootSuite, post your updates simultaneously.

HootSuite is essentially a free tool but for $5.95 per month, you can get their PRO version that allows you to schedule bulk messages instantly and also develop statistics reports with their multiple easy-to-work-with templates.

HootSuite also works great with those businesses where multiple team members are involved in one social media campaign. You can create one PRO account, add team members, schedule / approve tasks, and monitor the results.

There are two other tools like HootSuite, called Tweet Deck and Market Me Suite. Apart from similar HootSuite features, Tweet Deck and Market Me Suite allow multiple users to log in at the same time, establish organic relationships with clients and capture targeted leads.

2. Ping (ping.fm)

Perhaps the oldest social media aggregator around, Ping is used by Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Flickr users as a one-click publishing application. It has its own unique web interface, email, text and instant messaging system to update social networking accounts simultaneously.

Ping is a part of Seesmic, a popular social networking tool used to update Twitter and Facebook accounts simultaneously.

For people using communication services in the US,Canada and Europe, they can send a SMS text message, and use Ping from their iPhone and iPod Touch devices. Through Ping, you can also connect with other 3rd party developers who connect with Ping through more than 100 web and desktop applications.

Ping is completely FREE.

3. Co Tweet (cotweet.com)

Co Tweet deals with Facebook and Twitter accounts only. It claims to provide a complete package of social media collaboration, a management and analysis solution, beneficial for businesses of any size.

The tool is available in two packages:

  1. Co Tweet Standard – FREE
  2. Co Tweet Enterprise – PAID

Another major difference between the two is that the Standard edition only supports multiple Twitter accounts.

Since the aim of this blog is to give the best financially sustainable information for small business entrepreneurs, I am going to highlight only the benefits of the Standard FREE edition of Co Tweet.

They are:

  • Connectivity with multiple Twitter accounts only.
  • Multiple users can log-in.
  • Click tracking is there but analysis and reporting is limited.
  • You can search, get email notification, create profiles but you CANNOT tag.
  • There is multi-account publishing and scheduling.
  • You can use bit.ly.
  • You have access to an online knowledge base created by Co Tweet.

PS: The cost of the Enterprise account is nowhere mentioned on the website. You have to contact the sales team to receive the pricing details.

4. Syncapse Social TALK (syncapse.com)

Syncapse boasts of an impressive global clientele lists who hire their services for highly customized social media solutions. As I could see on their website, they deal with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube promotions.

The services are available in 30 languages. They basically develop brands, monitor progress regularly and develop customized social media campaigns.

They use Safe Social – a platform that protects brand image and ensures industry FINRA compliance. It also uses advances rights management systems available in the industry which helps clients to assign power across all levels and track progress from one central point.

They have two kinds of solutions:

  • Measurement Solutions – involves social performance management, acute analysis of customer and competition intelligence.
  • Strategic Solutions – involves social marketing framework creation, analysis of social media maturity and custom management.

I think Syncapse is better suited for small businesses that are significantly established and are planning to enlarge their business and consumer base.

Syncapse is NOT a free service tool. You have to contact them to get customized packages.

5. Expion (expion.com)

Established in 2009, Expion has an impressive clientele – Samsung, Barnes & Nobles, Applebee and others. It is primarily a social software company that deals with brands, retailers and agencies. If you fall under this category, you can try out their services.

Their special software aggregates all social media platforms in a centralized structure and allows the client to successfully manage their social media image efficiently. The software works in six steps:

  1. Publishing
  2. Content Planning
  3. Moderation
  4. Analysis
  5. Workflow Management
  6. Governance

Expion is not a free service tool. You can either email them with business details and request a quote or take their live demo.

Here is a recap of what the above 5 social media tools can do for your business:

  1. Manage all social media accounts at one place – HootSuite, Tweet Deck, Market Me Suite.
  2. Update social media accounts – Ping
  3. Build brand on Twitter and Facebook – Co Tweet
  4. Get a complete social media makeover – Synapse Social TALK and Expion

These free social media tools are essential for your online business. They offer customized features which makes it possible for anyone to control their social media exposure and identity from one point of control.

What social media tools do you use? Share with us below.

Future of Social Media for Marketing

The world is going places. The use of social media is becoming a thing we play around with on daily basis. So many individuals are fully into it and social media is now being used for several purposes.

Social Media for MarketingInitially, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and others were only set up for communicating with friends and associates. But these days, things are going in very different direction.

We now have people making use of social media sites for entirely different purposes such as online marketing. The last three or four years has seen the emergence of this popular trend and it has been predicted that by 2015, social media marketing will be one of the foremost ways of earning money online. Social media will become the mainstay of online marketing.

The social media marketing possibilities…

Certain facts are making the use of social media possible for marketing purposes. These facts make social media sites to be far above several other means of communications, as discussed below.

An all comer thing: Social media is one of the greatest hubs that bring people together all over the world. This makes it possible to have social media marketing in the groove as time goes on.

There is rarely any one in the world that does not have access to an account on any of the social media sites that we have around us today. Practically everyone is registered.

There are even some individuals who have accounts in each and every one of the social media sites that are available.

Anyone can get registered. You can also post general messages to everyone without having anyone in particular in mind. You can join any group that is based on discussing issues that you have interest in.

Free to register: The free state of the social media sites is also making it a bright idea to bring about social media marketing to replace and overshadow the present marketing methods.

You do not need to pay a dime to get registered on any of them.
You simply fill in your details and you are ready to go. You will also be able to post any message you want to get posted – or to read any message you want without cost.

Easy to set up: One other factor that is working to the benefit of social media for marketing is the fact that you do not need to be a techie to set up an account on any of the social media sites.

In most cases, only very little info is requested from you whenever you want to set up your account. There are times that only your name – telephone number or email address is required for set up. After you have done this, start messaging…

Your identity is secured: No one will ever mandate it for you to reveal any personal info other than your email address or your telephone number.

You can be sure that every other info will never be asked for. You will then be able to use the social media sites for any purpose including marketing purposes without exposing your identity indiscriminately.

This will protect any one making a purchase from any of the social media sites. This will help to protect you from identity theft. The administrators of the social media sites will never even reveal your telephone number or your email address to any one. With this in mind, you can be sure that your desire to try social media marketing will never suffer any setback whatsoever.

Instant message delivery: One other thing that can make it possible for social media to overtake every other means of online marketing is the speed at which the message posted on any of the social media sites are delivered.

In fact, the messages are delivered instantly. This means that you can be sure of a prompt response from the recipient of your messages.

Most people even access their social media sites on their mobile phones. They can therefore access the info you have for them at any point in time; irrespective of wherever they may be on planet earth.

Limitations of Other Online Marketing Means

One of the factors that will work in favor of social media marketing is the fact that other online marketing means have several limitations that have been overcome on the social media sites.

Not for free: Most of the other online marketing means will surely cost you some amount of money. The charges can either be open or hidden.

If you build a website by yourself, you will have to pay for web hosting and possibly for website building. These challenges have been overcome in social media sites and this makes it possible to make more money through social media marketing in comparison with other online marketing methods.

Traffic challenges: If you have to make use of a free website or you have to build your own website by yourself for the publicity of your products and services, you will also have to pay for traffic or work relentlessly to get traffic to your site. You will never have to bother about this on any of the social media sites. The traffic is almost always coming. You don’t need to empty your life savings in search of traffic.

Conclusion

I expect that you too will agree that social media holds the future of online marketing. Any wise person will quickly sign up with any of the sites and establish his or her business future.

Through social media marketing, you have nothing to lose and practically everything to gain. It is surely the long awaited solution to all sorts of challenges that had been faced by several webmasters all over the world.