10 Free Social Media Tools Every PR Pro Should Master

AdamVincenzini
Adam Vincenzini Managing Partner, Kamber

Posted on April 8th 2010

I'm always a bit hesitant when it comes to writing posts about social media tools.

However, on this occasion I think the tools / resources I'm about to walk you through MUST be part of a modern communicator's arsenal, if not today, then by the end of 2010.

For some of you, these might seem basic, for others, they might seem a little foreign, but no matter which camp you are in, they should be part of your daily routine...no excuses!!


AllTop

AllTop is an incredible resource. For those who know it, you'll agree that it truly is an online magazine rack for some of the best blogs going around.

The site is broken down by subject and gives you direct access to the topics / authors you are interested in.

PR Value: Not sure about which blogs are prominent in which sector? This is a great place to start.

Social Mention

This is a really compact and easy-to-use monitoring tool.

It may not be the most robust one in existence, but it can give you a pretty decent look at brand / subject mentions across blogs, microblogs, video sharing sites, social networks and much more.

PR Value: Provides a quick reference look at what's recently been said about your subject of interest.

Bing real-time Twitter search

This is a great way of seeing what's hot / trending at any particular time.

The beauty of this service is that it features real-time snippets of the most shared links in relation to the subject you are interested in. And, it all occurs in real-time.

PR Value: It allows you to get the source of popular discussions, allowing you to trace it's development.

Klout

Although it's dangerous to get too caught up in the 'influencer' debate, this tool is probably as close as you'll get to getting an idea of who is driving which conversations.

Not every single social media user has signed up to Klout so you may miss a few people, but chances are you'll get a decent picture of the scene you're interested in.

PR Value: This will allow you to identify some of the key conversation drivers in the areas you are interested in.

BackTweets

This is a really neat and easy-to-use tool.

Simply enter a URL into the search bar and it will provide you with a list with every tweet that has ever contained a link / reference to that website.

PR Value: If you are running a campaign and want to see how much traffic has been driven to the 'target' of your activity, type it in here and you'll get an idea of how much that site address is being shared.



Wordle

If you haven't heard of this one, I guarantee it'll become a favourite pretty quickly.

Wordle creates 'word clouds' based on the content of a blog / any site with an RSS feed (not sure what an RSS feed is, click here)

PR Value: Want to creatively present what a blog is all about? This does it for you in seconds. Especially useful if you want to get a quick overview about what a blogger writes / is passionate about.

Google Trends

Another great tool in gathering intelligence.

Google Trends will display the frequency in which a topic / subject is mentioned in chronological and country-by-country order.

PR Value: Planning on launching an activity? Run a quick search to see which time of year the world is talking about that subject the most.

BlogPulse

As far as blog specific search tools go, this one is right up there...and probably shades Google's Blog search in some areas. Very handy.

PR Value:  See who is writing about your brand or subject of interest in a flash.

Alexa

If you want to get a handle on the DNA of a website or Blog, this is a good place to start.

It will tell you how much traffic a site gets, where that traffic is coming from, whether it is gaining more traction etc

PR Value: Check how a site / blog you're looking after is going. Check on the competition. See where you need to focus more effort. Again, very handy.

SWiX

If you only use one tool a day, try and make it this one.

It is a really (really!) simple way of tracking activity across all of your social networks / platforms.

PR Value: At-a-glance intelligence, lovely.

As I said up top, tools are great if used in the right way.

And, the best tools are the ones which allow you to listen / observe, helping you gain a better understanding of the environment you're operating in.

If you're interested in some more sophisticated tools, drop me an email and I'll point you in the right direction.

And as always, thanks for supporting the COMMS corner.

Link to original post
AdamVincenzini

Adam Vincenzini

Managing Partner, Kamber

I'm the managing partner of Kamber, an Australian-based content marketing and social media agency.

Blogging is a big passion of mine and over the last five years I've contributed posts to The Next Web, PR Daily, Search Engine Journal and SMT.

My personal blog, AdamVincenzini[dot]com was featured in the Ad Age Power 150.

Most of my blogging these days takes place over on the Kamber blog.

See Full Profile >

Comments

Hi- This is a useful post thanks, the Wordle cloud is definitely a handy one. Can I also recommend the HootSuite product Hootlet- allows you to tweet, facebook, linkedin and more across one platform with a dinky little add on to your toolbar- and you can see all tweets mentioning you too.

PS, the SwiX product is not free- or it won't be shortly. Once Beta phase is over you're paying for it!

Regards

Cordelia

GWS Media (Bristol Website Designers/SEP Specialists)


Bookmarked! Good list Adam, though of course you don't need to use them all. It depends on the brand, the campaign, the strategies. Gotta sign up for SWiX while it's still in beta.
Great post Adam.  Ironic I just found Wordle today -- and made good use in using it to do an analysis of an massive amount of answers to open ended questions stemming from a survey.  Very insightful. 
Guys, thanks for all of your comments.
Jason - I wanted to include AllTop as most PR people I know aren't / weren't very familiar with it - and as a starting point to get an idea of who is writing what I think it's worth visiting most days, but I take your point on board.
Nearly everyone else: As for SWiX - again, I think it's a great one for PR pros that don't normally use such tools to try - the aim of this post was to simply highlight that there are some very practical and 'non-threatening' ways to work social media tools into your day. Everyone is at different levels but hopefully there is something in this list for everyone.
The more we help each other locate and understand these tools, the better the industry will be for it going forward.
Adam

Fantastic list that includes some lesser known, newer tools.  Thanks for sharing.

Best regards - Nancy

 

 

Thanks for passing these along. It's a great list and a great way to dive into the world of social media for PR professionals.

An additional list that supplements this one is called "Top 52 Social Media Platforms Every Marketing Executive Should Know" on the 60 Second Marketer website.

It's different from this list because it outlines platforms, not tools. But it may be useful to the readers of Social Media Today who are interested in becoming more familiar with a broad range of social media platforms.

I hope you find the 60 Second Marketer list as helpful as I've found the list in this post.

Enjoy!

Sincerely,

Jamie Turner

The 60 Second Marketer

 

Thanks for the list. Usefull one. I liked most Alltop

All the best

Thanks for the list.  I am always looking for social media tools.  Are there any free social media management tools that you suggest?  Currently I like the following free versions of nutshell mail, bit.ly, hootsuite, rockmelt, postling, socialOomph.

I don't see a free version of SWiX -- "Campaign Manager" and "Analytics" are both free 30-day trial.

Boo.

This is certainly an interesting post, but why is Linkedin touting this as part of "The week's most popular industry news," when this was posted in April of 2010. There is still value in the information offered, but considering the fact that social media is a rapidly evolving world, it would be more useful to be given the head's-up on more timely key findings.

 

 

Great stuff - thanks.

 

I looked at SWIX - but it is not free. It has a free trial but that is all I could find. Did I miss something?b

I also don't see Isis Toolbox! This is a free resource to distribute your content to multiple social network sites.

That's a great list!  BackTweets has been acquired by Twitter so this tool is currently unavailable.  There is another service called Testimonial Monkey which has a free for life Lite version which differs from the majority of review sites in that the user can actively request feedback from their customers. This means that they are able to receive more reviews and enables them to publicly respond to feedback, helping to demonstrate commitment to customer care.

Here's the link...

www.testimonialmonkey.com

Another free social tool - www.hudson-digital.co.uk