Published by Jon Samsel on 2013-07-23
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Comprehensive social media (brand) monitoring & performance optimization can be a daunting task. Tools and technology change like the wind -- and new players come and go so quickly. To be effective, smart marketers should have a wide array of tools at their disposal -- tools that are not always exclusive to 'social media' tools per se.
For example, SlideShare is a hidden marketing jewel. Not only is it a wonderful social content sharing platform where savvy marketers can syndicate branded content, but it provides lots of free social statistics to justify your time & effort. Here's a link to a recent blog post, 8 Simple Reasons to Promote Your Brand On SlideShare, that explains some of the marketing benefits of using SlideShare.
Google is another wonderful source of free social data. From Google Analytics, Google Alerts, Google News, Google Trends, Google Adwords Keyword Tool, and Google Reader (links to each can be found in the list below).
Web analytics and common brand metrics don't really help you understand how you're doing against your business objectives. They're just numbers. A better indicator of web marketing success might be the use of key performance indicators (KPI's). These are specialized metrics that tell brands how they're performing against their business objectives and goals. Here is a link to a great article on the value of KPI's.
I have purposely not included the [thousands] of Twitter monitoring/mash-up tools even though they could technically be included in this list. The reason -- there are too many, and they are too specialized around a single social network. If you are looking for a list of known Twitter tools, try conducting a search on Bing or Google and I am sure you will find plenty.
That said, here's a list of 171 indispensable social media tools for your enjoyment! This list includes performance analytics tools, social search tools, news clipping services, demographic profiling services, brand optimization tools, social monitoring tools, and similar services. If I have left anything out (which I'm sure I have) please let me know and I will add it to my list).
Actionly - Monitoring & insights for Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Youtube, Google Buzz, blogs, and news.
AlchemyAPI - Content analysis and meta-data annotation tools.
Alterian - Campaign management, web content management, email, and social media monitoring.
AMI Software - Internet monitoring, intelligence development & evidence based horizon scanning.