46 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools | In My Opinion

Who does what, where and how? Are you measuring up against your competition? There’s a lot of social media buzz going on. What are they talking about your brand and your company? We have compiled a list of 46 free social media monitoring tools. Some of the tools have free basic plan or free trial period but most of them are totally free. The list is sorted alphabetically. Enjoy! If we missed any great tools please post them to comments.

via 46 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools | DreamGrow Social Media.

In My Opinion

On March 15, 2010 I will be giving a presentation at the AAF – Madison Social Media workshop. My topic is social media tool selection.  I intend to talk about  social media  “sites” as tools.  These are the social sites that a company would use to implement a strategy.  The other tool is really the assessment and monitoring tool a company would select to find their starting point and monitor success, ROI and change. In an effort to collect some  of the assessment tool information in one place I will build on some of the great posts and research already done on the key blogs I follow.

As I try to follow the “free” first rule of thumb, I currently use Google Alerts, Scout Labs, Technorati and Addictomatic.  I also try different ones during a free trial period to make sure I know the difference between tools.

If you use a tool that has done a good job for your – free or paid – please share it in the comment section below.


5 Ways to Make Video a Social Experience | Social Media Examiner

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

Video is very hot and there’s a strong social media connection. Are you using video to promote your business? Do you know the best ways to leverage this growing form of content?

What follows are 5 ways you can tap into the exploding video frontier—and achieve many social media advantages.

via 5 Ways to Make Video a Social Experience | Social Media Examiner.

They highlight the following reasons on this post:

1. Post  videos to your Facebook profile

2. Be active on YouTube

3. Join live-streaming sites

4. Use the video functions on social aggregators

5. Shoot your own video blog

Well I have been working on # 1, 2 and #5 so far with some good success.  I run a Social Media Breakfast – Madison monthly meeting and our next one will be about video and we plan to UStream the meeting for the first time.

I have started to video blog periodically during long drive time between appointments.  I don’t make every post a video.  When I have 1 hour or more of interstate driving, I find that video blogging is safer than trying to make phone calls.  I make a list of a variety of topics, turn the video on,  then just start running down the list with breaks in between so its easier to edit into sections.  I have a sticky permanent tripod for my flip video to hold it in place and away I go.

I will admit that being in Toastmasters since 1979 has helped me immensely speak off the cuff without too many uhms and ahs. You may need to practice, but the worse thing that could happen… you end up transcribing the post to text anyway.

Social Media Case Studies

I would like to suggest one more idea:

#6 Use video to interview your clients or people you would like to be your client and write a blog post about it.

I also started to do video interviews of different companies using social media.  I have a series of 10 questions on social media usage.  I interview various businesses and then post different clips to a variety of blogs that I contribute to.  I always keep in mind that the user may not be able to view the clip and provide a brief summary of the interview, including who/why/what/where. That way I balance video with some text.

My recent interviews have been with Cupcakes A-Go-Go, Midwest Airlines, and Degnan Builders.  Upcoming is Cousins Subs.

How have you been using video at your company?


What Makes a Blog Successful | Thoughts on Blogs 12-18-09

A segment of a social network
Image via Wikipedia

This is my continued effort to follow the Social Media Academy NCP Model (Network Contribute  Participate). I choose to visit various blogs on B2B strategies, marketing, customer focused strategies, business development, engineering, product development and social media. From these collected comments, I create a post of what are the best of the week.  I hope you enjoy.

What makes a successful blog – Real Time Marketer

I believe that the #1 factor for blog success, is the frequency of your posts.  Mashable and TechCrunch, are respectably the #1 and #2 most popular social media blogs.  They average over 20 posts per day.  I understand they both have teams of paid writers to continuously spit out post after post…but I am constantly checking out their sites because I know they have good quality, and I know
that information will be new and constant. It is not realistic and probably not appropriate for you to be writing 20 articles per day, but you do need to consistently be writing new content.  Social Media, more than ever, is truly an out of sight out of mind medium.  If you aren’t continuously contributing content, or posts, or tweets…you do not exist.


In response to the above statement I, Wendy Soucie,  commented:

I also believe consistency is a factor – although if you do nothing to promote the blog it won’t matter how regular you are if no one knows it.  Making sure you understand title and keywords and the role they play to get found are also high on the list.

I have done the following to generate a consistent pattern in my posting for my social media blogs:

1. Sunday is a Twitter weekly update – I generate this automatically but go back in, edit generate a tweet cloud picture and add tags, and review.

2. Monday is a Wisconsin Social Media day where I post to my secondary blog on Wisconsin business and social media issue.  I also  comment on some news activity from the past week or weekend.  I will start posting a monthly case study interview of Wisconsin companies that are using social media, their strategies and success measurements.

3. Tuesday is a Tip and Technique day that I offer on one of the social media tools I use or train on.

4.  Wednesdays are a participation and contribute day where I search for topics and comment on other peoples blogs.  I either visit blogs I follow or use Google Alerts on keywords and phrases to find new conversations in the social ecosystem.  I collect these comments – pick a theme and post this as a collection later on in the week.

5. Wednesday and Thursday are opinion post days.  I add one to my personal blog and I add another to a column on social media I have on Madison Social Media Examiner.com (this one at least monthly)

6. Friday is thoughts on blogs day – so I take my comment compilation and post that.

7. Weekends I work on the start of articles for the next week or future.

8. Sundays I look at the posts for the week and consider some for repost on places I guest blog  such as Customer Think, Social Media Today, Social Media Academy, or End Result Marketing.

I don’t always make all my deadlines, but I am hitting my minimum target of three posts a week.


Social Competition – Social Media Today

Axel Schultze had an interesting post on social competition.

“The discussions whether Social Media is a fad or why corporate executives don’t see the opportunity are pretty much history. With the inception of reporting tools, methods to measure success and models and frameworks to articulate strategies – social media entered the board rooms. And pretty quickly social media became a competitive weapon.

Competition for mind share, competition for group or community members, competition for influence. And it is also competition for better solutions co-created with the users who establish a sense of ownership and help promote the products they at least influenced. It is a competition for the more engaged support community where user support user and augment to company support team. It is competition for the smarter sales teams which may quickly develop larger and more influential social networks, with better customer relationships in those networks.”

Here are my thoughts for the class based on some of my experiences with business over the past 6 months.  Many of the SMB that I call on are waiting to see case studies, ROI, and have “prove it to me stances”. The are very reactive in their thinking. Conversations about social competition might me the best Ah ha moments to move these organizations into action. For many, they are programed to react not lead.

Teaching people to lead by engaging in social media where listening to customers sets the trends for what they do is an important aspect of this potential class.

If SMBs have this perspective, white papers and ebooks developed thru such a leadership class would be incredibly effective. I know the past classes offered did this but were they promoted enough?  I think this should be a core result of each class.  A recent research survey on what info c-level executives find the most value: WhitePapers and ebooks.

Another piece of information from the various presentations I have given is the concern by company execs about how much email will be in their mailbox if they engage in any social media efforts.  Somehow they don’t equate social media personal connections with valid email from customers or potential customers.  This needs to change if execs are to understand the much bigger picture of their customer mindset.

In such a class,  I would also like to see significant time spent on benchmarking competitive intelligence, market info and strategies to manage the information that you do collect in a logical way.


Social Media 401: Vince Muzik Case Study – Social Media University Global

Lee Aase speaks and teaches others about social media at Social Media University Global. I love visiting his blog because I can learn something new and because I find Lee very encouraging to me personally (he is willing to share knowledge of value).  He answers my comment posts (he is listening), he provides real examples (shares his experiences), he tries things himself and reports (shows us what works for him and Mayo Clinic). In this recent post, he is encouraging of using video to contribute to the blog experience. He highlighted a friend, Vince Muzik,  who is doing a social media documentary on the No 1 football recruit Seantrel Henderson.

In response to his post I added:
I wish some of my video projects were about someone as exciting as the number one recruit.  They are me video blogging right now.  Although my friends (via their comments) are visibly entertained by not so much my content – but how I am doing it.

I just don’t think I am that interesting.  However, I am going to start interviewing people who are using social media in a business setting. Capture what they think worked and what didn’t as an alternative. My first one is going to start in January and will be on a startup called Cupcakes A-GoGo. They are using Facebook and Twitter along with traditional print advertising to get the word out. They were great fun (tasty too) to interview.

Its likely not something that a national publications would latch on to my stream but its all I have right now. SMUG still a good deal to make me use the tools and practice.

And since Lee is very engaged, he responded to my comment:

Don’t sell yourself short, Wendy. The whole idea of social media is that you don’t need to appeal to a mass audience. Your goal should be to provide relevant, helpful information and connect with a community. You’re doing some great things with your blog, tying some other platforms together. And it all comes down to using the tools to accomplish your goals. Vince is doing some interesting things,
and I just told his story because I’ve known him for a long time and he’s been stopping by for some tips and inspiration. I would welcome others doing posts here in the 400 series about how they’re using social media practically, whether others would think it’s “glamorous” or not.


What happens in a day in the social media ecosystem?

What happens in one day in the social media ecosystem.

  • Over 475,000 new users create profiles on Twitter in a day.
  • Excess of 4 Million tweets are sent each day on Twitter.
  • Almost 900,000 blog posts are uploaded by bloggers each day.

What numbers are you most interested in?

You just have to love social media and programmers. They develop cool applications like this by Gary P Hayes:

What part of the social ecosystem did you contribute to today?