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The time is gone when we had to tell you why social media is an important aspect of digital marketing and advertising. We all know that by now. Now, it is more about being able to make the most of the social media platforms that we have been handed. The key to this lies in ‘listening’ to what your audience is saying about you, about your competitors, and even your industry in general. Once you have this data, you can reach social business intelligence, and get to know your consumers better, which all leads to improving your marketing strategy.

But a very practical issue in this is the fact that social media is a wide, wide expanse, and you cannot be expected to sieve through everything, looking for relevant posts or tweets. This is where Social Media Monitoring Tools come into play. If you are new to this part of digital marketing, get used to the concept with some free Social Media Monitoring Tools. Once you have a grasp of which tools offer what, and what you want to accomplish with them, you could go for the paid versions for better features and targeting.

But first, get used to the world of Social Media Monitoring with these free tools:

Hootsuite

One of the best free social media listening tools, Hootsuite can cover multiple social networks, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress, etc., all from one account. Well known for social media management functions, like weekly reports and team management facility, Hootsuite is very useful for times when there’s more than one person in charge of the social accounts.

Social Mention

This free monitoring tool is one of the more popular ones. Social Mention is capable of monitoring over a hundred social media sites and analyzes data in more depth than most tools. Social Mention measures influence with 4 categories: Sentiment, Strength, Passion, and Reach; and displays top keywords, hashtags, and sites as well.

HowSociable

This is a handy little tool for when you want to measure your social media presence against your competitor’s. With a free HowSociable account, you can keep track of 12 social sites like WordPress and Tumblr. But for more sites, you would need to buy a pro account. This tool breaks down the scores for different social media platforms, and allows you to see which platforms are working best for you, and which platforms require some work.

IceRocket

With IceRocket, you can monitor blogs, Facebook, and Twitter, in 20 languages. You can choose the period of time that you want insights and see the information in graph form. IceRocket can help keep an eye on blog activities that mention your brand, and also find for you, the latest trend terms, based on your search.

Mention

With Mention, you can monitor millions of sources, in 42 different languages. With this tool, you can stay updated about all brand mentions across social networks, webpages, blogs, forums, or news sites.

This tool also offers great features for team management, report generation, etc. and has a 14-day free trial period.

After you read this far and realize that there is still a part 2 to go, it should be pretty clear that the social listening tool market is a crowded one. That is why you should try out the different free tools available. This way, you should be able to analyze your own needs and choosing the right tool for your business should become easier.

Watch out for part 2.

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