Guest Post by: Dhiren (Market Sentinel)

Free tools keep appearing in the social media monitoring space. Over a week ago we discovered a social media monitoring tool made with Yahoo Pipes, an extremely powerful (but not at all user-friendly) web application for building, well, other web applications. 

Still, the tool works well for monitoring conversations on-the-fly and can be customised (check out the tweaked tool I created for friends in the charity sector). Yahoo Pipes may not have the robust archiving and benchmarking features of social media monitoring tools like our own LiveBuzz, but it IS free.

Free tools are ideal for community and marketing managers with small budgets and limited resources. This especially goes for small, non-profit organisations which are often digitally less enabled than blue-chips.

In addition to something fiddly like Yahoo Pipes, a plethora of free tools are now available for both influence analysis and social media monitoring. Whilst we could never compile a complete list, we have favourites old and new:

  1. – A keyword based social media monitoring tool
  2. Socialmention – A keyword based social media monitoring tool that provides sentiment analysis and data downloads
  3. Klout – A free influence engine for Twitter
  4. Twittergrader – A second influence engine that provides influence scores out of 100
  5. Google Realtime – Google’s real-time updates engine
  6. Google Discussions – Ideal for analysing discussions within open forums
  7. Google Alerts – Receive updates in your inbox about any topic
  8. Google Blog Search – Possibly the best free blog search engine
  9. Blogpulse – Nielsen’s blog search engine
  10. BoardTracker – Very useful for tracking conversations within forums
  11. HowSociable – Brand visibility across social networks
  12. Surchur – A hybrid tool that monitors search engines and most social media
  13. Twitter Search – Search Twitter directly and conduct advanced searches
  14. Boardreader – Scans forums and message boards for specific keywords
  15. Trendestics – Trends analysis tool for Twitter
  16. wikiAlarm – Delivers a notification when a Wikipedia entry has been edited
  17. FriendFeed Search – Search through life-streams
  18. BackTweets – Track link sharing through Twitter
  19. Twitterfall – Watch a river of news on your screen
  20. Omgili – A third keyword based social media monitoring
  21. Quarkbase – Understand profiles and the accounts of people on social networks
  22. Topsy – A very fast alternative to Social Mention or Samepoint, which mines through social bookmarking sites reasonably well

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