Marketing From A Woman's Point of View

10 Best Social Media Tools For Brands and Solopreneurs

Tools are meant to make your life easier, so which ones should you have in your bag of tricks to ease your social media monitoring?  When you’re working with social media marketing it’s important to know what’s being said about you and your brand.  It’s also important to keep tabs on what your competition is up to and follow the latest marketing trends.

There are so many social media tools to choose from and brilliant new applications springing up every day but if I had to choose 10 of the best social media tools for brands and solopreneurs these are the ones I’d pick (for now):

1.   Social Mention

With Social Mention you can easily track and measure what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time. Social Mention monitors 100+ social media properties including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google etc.

2.  Tweet Deck

I can’t say enough about how much I love Tweet Deck and all the features built in to make your Twitter experience much easier.  When I first discovered Tweet Deck it was basically just a way to group your followers.  Then they added Facebook, MySpace and most recently LinkedIn to the platform to monitor updates without ever leaving your Deck.  Now that they have added Twitter lists, spam blocker and several other nifty features I am totally infatuated.  As a matter of fact, I may just have to devote an entire post on getting the most out of Tweet Deck.

3.  Google Blog Search

Google Blog Search is a great tool to track other blogs in your niche and keep up on what’s being talked about by your peers.  By using blog search Google will dish up only blogs and sicn out all the other types of sites out there.  Do a search for your site and if it doesn’t turn up then click here to add your site to Google Blog Search.

4.  Board Reader

Board Reader is a search engine for Forums and Boards created to allow users to search the “human to human” discussions that exist on the Internet.  Forums tend to be where people “let it all hang out” and is a good way to get a real idea of what’s being said underground.  It’s also a good way to get answers.  I know when I am looking for technical help I will usually find my answer on a forum where someone else was having the same issue that I was.

5.  BlogPulse

BlogPulse is a blog search engine that also analyzes and reports on daily activity in the blogosphere.  You will find excellent, up-to-the-minute trend graphs tracking blogging volume and activity on key issues, people, news stories, news sources, bloggers and more.  A pretty cool feature is the Trend Search that allows you to create trend charts comparing buzz in the blogosphere on up to three specific topics. The Conversation Tracker follows and captures the discussion, or conversation, that emanates and spreads from individual blogs or individual blog posts.

6.  Backtype

BackType is a real-time, conversational search engine similar to the conversation tracker on BlogPulse.  Backtype indexes and connects online conversations from across the web in real-time, so you can see what people are saying about topics that interest you. Conversational search is a new way of searching the web to surface what reputable people are saying about topics and websites that interest you.

7.  Blinkx

With an index of over 35 million hours of searchable video and more than 650 media partnerships Blinkx is now the world’s largest single index of rich media content on the Web, delivering more content from a broader range of sources than either Google or Yahoo. If you are looking for video content or just want to do a check on what’s being said about you in the video world, Blinkx is your one stop shop.

8.  Google Alerts

Plainly stated, EVERYONE should have Google Alerts set up to notify you every time your brand, your keywords, or your name is mentioned online.   It is the simplest of all notifications and you can have your alerts sent as they happen to your email or via RSS reader.

9.  Twitter Search

I use Twitter Search constantly to find out what is being said in my niche.  I’ve set up searches for women in marketing, social media, and several others.  The nice thing about Twitter Search is that it saves your last search to your sidebar for easy retrieval.  You can do much more than just search for keywords though. You can even search for the emotion behind the tweet by adding “search operators”.  So, if you were looking for movie that wasn’t scary and had positive feedback you would search: “movie -scary :)”  (Without quotations).  Mashable has an excellent article on all the advance search features of Twitter that I highly recommend.

10.  Yahoo Pipes

You can merge RSS feeds from all of the above mentioned tools using Yahoo Pipes to create your own custom monitoring tool.    I took a look at Yahoo Pipes a couple weeks ago and started fidgeting with it and I see incredible potential.  It’s on my list of to-do’s because I know as a Community Manager it’s the ultimate in organizing everything all together.  You have permission to harp on me until I get it done! Or, better yet…if YOU are an expert at Yahoo Pipes, I invite you to send me a guest post with your best tips!

What social media tools are your favorites?  Any experience with the ones I’ve shared here? Would you be interested in sharing a guest post on creative techniques to use a social media tool?  Leave your comments below.

UPDATE:  Just after publishing this post, TechCrunch broke the news of Ex-MySpace Execs launching a new tool called  Gravity today.  Gravity is focused on building out the Interest Graph for the web to help people connect with their passions and discover people and topics that are personally relevant.  TechCrunch describes the launch:

Today the company, now called Gravity, is launching into private beta. At a high level Gravity is an evolution on forums (vBulletin, phpBB, etc.) and groups (Yahoo Groups, Google Groups, etc.) services, which haven’t evolved much over the last decade.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Gravity is available both as a website service at as well as distributed via widgets and an API. They are also offering compelling analytics services for any service that hosts conversations (think broadly – Twitter, FriendFeed, Google Wave, etc.). That service, called Insights, is arguably a startup in itself.

With Social Mention you can easily track and measure what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time. Social Mention monitors 100+ social media properties including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google etc.

Please take the time to read the full article on TechCrunch’s site.  They go into great detail and is definitely worth checking out.  You may just add Gravity to your arsenal as well!

To Your Success,

December 16, 2009   39 Comments