Brand managers need to be fully aware of their company’s reputation and public sentiment if they are to design an effective marketing strategy. As there are hundreds or maybe even thousands of conversation sources online (think Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, personal blogs, news sites, forums, etc…), it’s neither possible nor feasible to collect all this data manually.
Don’t worry, there are many social media search tools available that you can use to tap into all the gossip about your business. Never heard of them? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back! Read on...
Social Mention is one of the best free social media search tools that I have come across. It doesn’t just return results from over 100 different websites, it also provides in-depth analysis too. Social Mention features an interesting combination of user-friendly metrics including Strength, Passion, Sentiment, and Reach.
- Strength is the likelihood that the search query is being discussed by people.
- Passion is the frequency of mentions by the same authors.
- Sentiment is the ratio of positive mentions to negative ones.
- Reach is the number of unique authors / total number of mentions.
Together these metrics make up a powerful combination. One look at them can let you know where your brand stands.
Social Mention searches can be saved in RSS feeds and email notifications can be set up as well.
How it works:
At http://www.socialmention.com enter your search-query in the search bar and hit “Search”. For an example, let’s use Modern Family.
Here’s how our results look:
You can see how much detail is returned in just a single click. Along with the metrics described above, you can also see what the top keywords are, the top hashtags, the top users, and even the top sources.
If you want more specific results, all you need to do is click on “Advanced Search” next to the search button and describe your parameters.
If you want to set up any specific alerts, or you want to integrate social mention in your search bar, just click on Alerts or install the Search Plugin at the bottom of the page.
A serious marketer will want to examine their data over months, maybe even years to evaluate their performance, and see if they’re on the right track. As the results of Social Mention can easily be exported to external files, monitoring and analyzing data over time becomes very easy.
To export your files look at the right of the page, and click on any of the CSV Data files that you want to download.
Twazzup is a social media search tool specifically designed for searching on Twitter. It’s one of the most interesting Twitter search engines, and it’s very user-friendly. All you need to do is enter your keyword and hit search.
You’ll be impressed by how detailed the results are. Besides showing you real-time search results and number of tweets per hour, Twazzup has a lot more to offer. From top influencers to latest users, top keywords, and even Google news alerts.
Here’s how it works:
Sign into Twazzup using your Twitter account, and enter your keyword in the search field.
I entered “Coffee Planet”.
See how detailed the results are. Along with Top Influencers, we can also see Latest Users, and Most Active Users.
You can perform searches based on specific keywords by simply clicking on a keyword listed at the top. If a particular Tweet interests you, simply hover over it to get a preview.
Hopefully you can see how powerful Twazzup can be for showing you how people see your brand. Moreover, on Twazzup you can see who’s most recently talking about your brand, and by using that information you can work on a campaign to engage with your fans, and maybe even turn them into influencers. Existing Influencers can be given incentive to promote the brand further. There is a lot of untapped potential for brands waiting to be realized on Twazzup.
If you want to search blogs then you won’t find a better social media search tool than IceRocket. Along with the blog search, you can also use it to search Twitter and Facebook. It lets you search all 3 platforms at once too.
Ice Rocket’s Facebook search could certainly use some improvement (they could possibly be restricted by what data Facebook allows you to access via their API), but their Twitter search offers some pretty good options. Blog search, being their speciality, works awesome.
Overall, IceRocket is cool because it offers fast search, clean organization, and easy usability. It’s free, and you can use it without going through the hassle of registration.
Here’s how it works:
IceRocket has a very simple interface; just head over to http://www.icerocket.com and type your search query in the search bar. Select what platform you want to search on by clicking the light blue, pink, or yellow tab for blogs, Twitter or Facebook. If you want to search all platforms at once then use the dark blue tab.
Let’s check them all out one by one.
I entered “SocialAdr” into the search bar, selected blogs, and hit enter. Here’s what the results looked like:
If you want more customized results then click on “Advanced Search” on the left sidebar and define your parameters. You can also search for results in different languages by selecting your desired language from the “Languages” menu on the left.
IceRocket also offers an RSS builder, so you can add the search results to your RSS feed if you want regular updates. Just click on “Results RSS” under “Subscribe” tab to see the RSS results.
Then, on the RSS results page, click “Subscribe Now”.
You can also see the trend of your search query by clicking on the “Results Trend” option under the Analysis tab on the left of your search result page. This feature is pretty cool as it can help you see how well your keyword is doing over time.
On the Trend Tool Page, along with the graph you’ll also have other stats like “Posts per day”, “Total posts” and “Average %”.
You can not only get the trend for one search query, but you can also add up to four more terms and compare the trends of different keywords. This can be very useful for comparing the performance of different brands, or even comparing your brand against your competitors. I compared HootSuite and Sprout Social. Here’s what I got:
You can compare more brands too if you want. Pretty cool huh!
For searching on Twitter simply enter your search query in the search bar, and select the pink “Twitter” tab.
As you can see in the screenshot, I searched “Hootsuite”. The results are pretty comprehensive. Along with different Tweets, you can see number of Tweets per hour. You can filter the results for hashtags, links, or text by clicking on their respective hyperlinks on the results toolbar.
As you shift to hashtags, links, or text, the number of Tweets/hour will also change to display results according to the category you select.
Enter your search query, select the Facebook tab. The Facebook Search is pretty standard. It’ll display all the search results on one page.
For searching all platforms, enter your search query and select the search all tabs and hit enter. All the results will be displayed on a single page divided by colored headers for different platforms.
TagBoard is one of my favorite social media search tools in its category: Hashtags.
TagBoard allows you to search on different networks and simplifies the task of using and understanding hashtags. You can learn about the background behind different hashtags, and use them for boosting your brand. Moreover, you can measure how well your own hashtags are doing by seeing how they are being used by different people.
TagBoard is not just used for searching hashtags, it also helps you analyze the hashtags. Along with the search results of any hashtag, you can see stats like posts per minute, sentiments and trends. If you want to search for hashtags, you aren’t gonna find a better tool than TagBoard.
Here’s how it works:
Searching on Tagboard is a piece of cake. Just open https://tagboard.com and enter your hashtag. In this example, I used “socialmedia”:
Check out how badass the results are:
You can see the definition of the hashtag, trend, sentiments, posts/minute, and #tags from so many different platforms. The best part is that you can reply directly from Tagboard to any of the posts, if you’re logged into your social media accounts.
TagBoard is a tool that every marketer needs to have. It truly has the potential to take your campaigns to the next level!
Social Searcher is another awesome social media search tool, because it provides not just kickass results from different social media channels, but it has some pretty powerful analytic tools as well.
You don’t need to even signup to use Social Searcher. You can start searching information on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ without even having to log in. The search results from all three platforms are displayed side-by-side in a neat single page layout.
With every search you’ll be given a detailed analytics report. The report will cover many key areas such as popular hashtags, posts per day, hour or week, posts by different social network channels, sentiments, keywords, links, and more. And believe it or not, but this is just the free version!
The premium features of Social Searcher are even better. You’ll be able to set up email notifications, export analytical data, save social mention history, and benefit from advanced analytics and API integration. That’s a pretty powerful combo as you can then keep tabs on how people view your brand, and how well your campaigns are converting. You can discover the areas that are affecting your conversions negatively, and then remedy the problem areas.
Here’s how it works:
Open http://www.social-searcher.com, and enter your keyword in the search bar.
Press “Search”...and prepare to be overwhelmed :)
If you want to save all this data, then click on the “Export” button next to the “Email alerts” button. A CSV file will be downloaded containing detailed results.
I think its pretty self-explanatory that you need to click on the “Email alerts” button to get email notifications.
Now comes my favorite part, the analytics. To truly experience them, you’ll have to check it out yourself, but here’s a sneak peak:
The general tab shows you different hashtags, posts on different social media sites, posts per week day, and posts per hour. Pretty easy to see how things are going. Impressed yet? Wait...there’s more. Just keep on shifting through each of the tabs mentioned below by clicking on their respective titles.
You don’t just have the traditional positive, negative, and neutral sentiments. You also get to see the sentiment ratio on different social media channels in a user-friendly format too.
Wanna see your active followers and popular users? Simply click on the Users tab.
For me, graphs are always easier to read and interpret than long, boring lists, but you may disagree. Luckily, Social Searcher gives you both.
With social media it's important to keep tabs on what kind of data is popular with subscribers. After all, that’s what companies need to know to help drive their marketing campaigns. Social Searcher pools it up quite nicely in clearly-defined graphs.
Social Searcher certainly didn’t forget keywords. Click on the “Keywords” tab and see what’s hot on the different social media channels.
The popular posts show you what your subscribers like. Companies can often understand the mindset of their subscribers by seeing what posts they are engaging with most frequently. Social Searcher combines all the popular posts in one tab.
All the perks of Social Searcher mentioned above are the ones offered for free without even having to register. How cool is that?
Hopefully this list of social media search tools has given you some insight into what tools are available, how powerful they can be, and how they can help you understand and improve your marketing campaigns. Good luck!
Memuna Umber from DoSocial
Memuna is an MBA student who loves learning about online marketing, social media, and conversion optimization. She brings a lot of business and marketing expertise to the DoSocial team.