5 Free Social Listening Tools To Help You Save Your Marketing & Your Wallet
Here are my Spring plans now that the pandemic in the United States is slowly winding down (NOTICE: BE RESPONSIBLE AND WEAR A MASK AND SOCIALLY DISTANCED WHERE ADVISED):
- Lose all that COVID-19 belly chub and get back to running
- Reunite with all of my friends and hit the town
- Hug and kiss my family once again
- Hit up all the newly opened restaurants and bars
- Go to the movie theaters to see a new movie once a week
- Snag the latest PS5 gaming console
- Aaaaaaaaaand I’m broke!
And although this year is definitely looking better than last from a public health and safety perspective, we’ve all been a little penny pinched by the recovering-but-not-quite-there economy.
Marketing and insights professionals are also taking it easy on the company coffers as brands and businesses keep shifting their marketing/advertising budgets around to accommodate the change in specific priorities in 2021. That doesn’t mean that companies are completely writing off marketing - brands are expecting a big comeback in 2022, and are shoring up their marketing divisions in big ways. Shlubs like myself are going to be back spending our money sooner than later, and the preparations are already being made to head that lucrative wave off. But until such time arrives, we’ve all got to cope with the tightened belts (or in my case, bigger pants) and this means limited resources. But we don’t have time for all that nonsense! Social Listeners gotta social listen! Social Media Managers have to manage all that social media! President Joe Biden’s got to drive super super fast in a big car and go VROOOM!!!
So with all of that said, what’s the best way to keep the data analyzed, the consumers engaged, and the wheels on this big machine turning? Why free social listening tools, of course! We’ve got a few lined up for you cool cats and kittens (wait, wrong blog!) to help shore up your team’s marketing efforts and make sure you keep that lip on the swear jar tightly closed so no unnecessary expenses get made! So let’s just dive right in and get you some free metrics:
Followerwonk is a very useful free tool for Marketers who want to focus their social listening efforts on the social media platform: Twitter. Yes, everyone’s favorite tweet-heavy place is the subject of a number of specific social media listening tools that offer free and paid services. What’s different about Followerwonk, and what allows it to stand out from the crowd, is FW’s ability to find, analyze, and optimize specific metrics, such as Twitter profiles, posts, and dynamic relationships between accounts and said accounts’ competitors. As a “Try it for FREE” platform, Followerwonk has cultivated a devoted following, and it’s not surprising that those that utilize the site often reuse it over and over above paid platforms.
The Followerwonk platform
Great for those that wish to take advantage of the extensive network of data that Twitter holds, and easy to approach from marketing and insights pros from all levels of experience, Followerwonk makes social listening on a micro level a piece of cake, as well as a comprehensive tool all around. There are two other pricing models that allow paid subscriptions for more features like multiple user accounts on the platform, as well as additional analysis and optimization options, but it’s still a free-to-use tool for those who need to save their green in order to make their brand or agency some green.
2. Google Analytics
Google Analytics should be one of the first search results on google for the query: “Free Social Listening Tool, Google”, but alas, it’s not. Which is a shame, because this free-to-use social listening platform is a great example of available services online that don’t require a subscription or a premium price. Essentially, Google Analytics is a very straightforward, but extremely dependable site. Built to help brands improve engagement through unique AI-based software, GA builds upon an established system of reams and reams of data, always updating in real-time in order to provide an accurate, accessible full picture of the current state of the market and general sentiment levels of your consumers. Companies like Panasonic, Sephora, and Minted, have all taken advantage of Google Analytics, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t either!
The Google Analytics platform
When you’re able to effectively monitor the health of your campaign, see what people are saying about you and your competition online, and provide pinpoint data that can help you avoid brand crises, then you’re dealing with a high-end product; thankfully Google Analytics is a free tool and you’d be doing yourself a huge disservice by not checking it out and trying it for yourself… AGAIN, for FREE!
Keyhole, while an excellent social listening platform, and a reliable tool for marketers who wish to focus more heavily on influencer tracking and social media analytics, it’s important to note upfront that it’s a free-by-trial option, with an available demo that can be acquired upon request with limited features. With all of that said however, Keyhole impresses with a wide, wide variety of services ranging from easy-to-use dashboards and visual graphics, to complimentary how-to videos and customer support. What’s so great about Keyhole, compared to other subscription-based social listening tools, is that it doubles as an in-house internal communications hub that can allow for idea and solutions sharing service. That’s a whole lot crammed into such a neat little digital package.
The Keyhole platform
As the winner of three G2 industry awards (Fastest Implementation Winter 2020, Higher Performer Winter 2020, & User Love Us award), Keyhole has something for everyone when it comes to social intelligence services. We could go on and on about the various other notable elements of KH, like how its optimized for almost every social media platform on the market, or how its paid subscription option is a low low $79.99 /mo, which is way cheaper than the other game in town, but there’s no point. Just check it out for yourself and see how Keyhole is a great platform to try for free and then adopt for very little if you decide that’s the right choice to make!
4. Social Mention
Social Mention relies on a suite of services to bolster its impressive social listening capabilities, with such useful features like: Competitor Spying, Brand Monitoring, Reputation Management, Media Monitoring, Business Intelligence, and more! Truly the crowning jewel for SM though, would be its Brand Mentions Wiki, an encyclopedia of sorts that allows marketing and insights professionals to access a large bank of knowledge related to influencers, public relations, marketing niches, social media, online reputation, and crisis management. When you’ve seen the rest, you owe it to yourself to try the best, and Social Mention is among the most complete platforms around.
The Social Mention platform
If you’re feeling especially spicy, you can climb off the free trial and consider signing yourselves up for one of the fairly paid subscription services that range from as low as $99/mo, to as much as $499/mo. These other paid subscription models allow for customizable reports, real-time alerts, and 10-unlimited projects to be curated at any one given time among team members.
And now we’ve come full circle, another free-to-use platform that is mostly focused on data metrics derived from social media - specifically Twitter (with included coverage for Instagram as well). Tweetreach offers marketing and insights professionals accurate snapshots of social media insights that combine both social listening methods, as well as ALL social activity that’s recorded in real time. Imagine having access to monitored queries regarding competitors, profiles, hashtags, topics, anything that is relevant to your market research. And you can even optimize your analyzed content across other social media platforms as well, including Facebook. Using Tweetreach you could find yourself measuring the overall engagement with netizens online, while simultaneously running a full-text keyword search for SEO purposes. The sky is the limit when it comes to what Tweetreach has to offer!
The Tweetreach platform
Outside the FREE version, there’s also paid options as well, which range from $49/mo - 199/mo. You are your own best judge for what you need to complete your projects, so make sure to review your available choices here for more information. Happy Social Listening you thrifty marketers, you!
Social Listening And You
The important takeaway from all of this is that you should know your options and understand the importance of social listening as it relates to your market research efforts in general! The old adage of "if it's free, let it be", speaks more to that dusty-looking microwave on your neighbors stoop that has a piece of paper taped to it that reads "FREE - IN WORKING CONDITION", and less to the vital tools you need, like social listening platforms like Digimind.
Though not technically free, Digimind offers marketing and insights professionals customized pricing based on your needs and budget. To learn more about how Digimind can also help you and your team, contact one of our trained specialists for a free consultation!
Written by Micah Levin
With a background in creative writing, advertising, and psychology, Micah is a copywriter in name and a Digiminder at heart. When he's not developing content for agencies, you can find him crafting novels, cooking and running around in Brooklyn, NY.