SMToolbox: Free Tools to Track Social Media Activity and Mentions

Steve Rayson
Steve Rayson Director, BuzzSumo, Anders Pink

Posted on August 17th 2014

SMToolbox: Free Tools to Track Social Media Activity and Mentions

Tracking activity across social media is an increasingly important task whether you are a big brand or an individual. It is a critical activity for brand monitoring, but it is also becoming a key research tool for tracking trends and discovering content. We have previously covered some great paid tools such as Brandwatch and Bottlenose but this week we are looking at tools which are free or have free trials which will help you track activity and mentions across social media. A number of these tools have alert functionality to alert you in real time of keyword mentions.


Topsy is still the best free Twitter search tool for mentions in my view. It has a powerful range of search options, for example see my previous post on 6 essential Topsy searches for content marketers. You can search by time period by links, photos and videos.


Unlike a number of the tools belowTopsy doesn't currently provide alerts to automatically notify you of mentions. 


Twazzup is similar to Topsy and is a good way of getting a quick overview of Twitter activity for a keyword or brand. It doesn't have the depth of analysis that Topsy provides but it provides a good one page summary, including the top 6 most tweeted links relating to the keyword. 


Like Topsy it does not currently provide alerts which you can get from the tools below.


Mention tracks mentions beyond social media and provides you with real time alerts. Mention tracks social networks, news sites, forums, blogs and web pages in 42 languages to make sure you're not missing anything. 


There is a free plan with Mention which provides you with up to 250 mentions a month. This is not enough for most monitoring but can be useful for a very specific keyword. The paid plans start at $29 a month for 3 alerts and 3,000 mentions.


Twilert enables you to track mentions for keywords and brand names in real time or to receive regular email alerts from hourly to daily.

The tool allows you to specify your keywords and to filter in a number of ways such as by location. 


Twilert costs from $19 a month but there is a 30-day free trial period. The tool does provide regular alerts but they are quite basic and currently do not provide analysis tools to help you get behind the data as provided by Keyhole below.


Keyhole allows you to track mentions and activity for specified keywords and brand names. Just enter your keyword and Keyhole will:

  • Track the activity in real-time including volume data such as number of users and total reach
  • Show you the most retweeted top posts and top sites
  • Identify the most influential users by retweets or Klout scores


Keyhole is a paid product starting at $49 a month, but there is a three-day free trial.

Steve Rayson

Steve Rayson

Director, BuzzSumo, Anders Pink

Passionate about growing businesses, social media, learning and technology. Addicted to espressos.

Director of BuzzSumo, a content marketing tool that finds the most shared content for any topic, provides insights into the content that works and the influencers that amplify content. It also provides content alerts every time a keyword or brand is mentioned, when new content is published by a domain or when content links to a domain.

I also write as a columnist for Social Media Today and Anders Pink. Regular G+ user at Steve Rayson


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