Social media monitoring is a powerful business tool indie retailers can use to improve their ROI. The process involves listening to and analyzing what your customers are saying, and then engaging with customers and demonstrating your appreciation. Studies have shown that listening tools, when used strategically, can be useful resources for accessing and acting upon social media information. Many social media listening platforms are at your disposal free of charge. Below is a brief introduction to ten free social listening tools.
BackTweets: Tracks how many people are talking about you, who is talking and what they are saying. You can search through a tweet archive for URLs sent via Twitter.
Buffer: This app manages manages your articles, pictures and videos on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, with the ability to set unique tweeting or updating schedules. It includes detailed analytics for your posts.
Google Alerts: Get email updates of the latest relevant Google results based on your interests.
HootSuite: A social media dashboard that enables you to execute campaigns across multiple social networks. HootSuite offers audience identification tools, the ability to streamline workflow and custom reports.
IceRocket: This Internet search engine taps the Web, blogs, Twitter and Facebook in real-time, and delivers results in one page.
Netvibes: Tracks clients, customers, competitors and your reputation across media sources; analyzes live results with third party reporting tools and monitor media.
Plugg.io: Use this platform to manage and tweet from multiple accounts, get friend suggestions and automate syndication via blogs and news sources.
Social Mention: This real-time social media search and analysis platform aggregates user-generated content from Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google, and more into a single stream.
TweetBeep: Get Twitter alerts by email based on your keywords.
TweetDeck: Allows you to tweet and track mentions, people and keywords.
To succeed in today’s uber-connected world, retailers need to build a community around their company, brand and products. Listening to what your customers, competitors, critics and supporters are saying about you, and engaging in positive interaction is key to social media ROI. Positive interaction involves not just consuming, but also sharing and giving back, information.