SMToolbox: Free Twitter Monitoring and Search Tools

Steve Rayson
Steve Rayson MD of Kineo, Director BuzzSumo, Kineo, BuzzSumo, Anders Pink

Posted on February 17th 2014

SMToolbox: Free Twitter Monitoring and Search Tools

smt toolbox

This week in the SMToolbox we review some of the best free Twitter monitoring tools. Whether you are monitoring a brand or a topic area, these tools will ensure you know the trending content, the key influencers, current discussions and the latest industry news. 

Monitoring Brands and Topics on Twitter

If you are active on Twitter, you probably already monitor your own performance and may use a tool such as Twitonomy, which we reviewed last week, to review your account or that of a competitor. However, you are also likely to want to go beyond monitoring individual accounts and look to monitor a particular topic or brand. You might want to know, for example:

  • what discussions are taking place 
  • who are the influencers 
  • what content is being shared 

The benefits of such monitoring are obvious, as you can see trending discussions, surface new content, engage in discussions, identify key influencers and reach out to them.

There are some very sophisticated paid tools that will help you with these tasks. Fortunately for smaller companies or individuals, there are also some great free tools that can help you with your Twitter monitoring and research. Below are some of the best free tools available; these are not free trials, but rather tools that are currently free to use. I have shown examples of the reports and dashboards so you can see what might work best for your purposes.

TweetReach 

TweetReach is a Twitter analytics tool that provides monitoring reports about hashtags, topics, brand names, Twitter accounts or URLs. The reports provide in-depth social metrics on reach, exposure, tweets and contributors. TweetReach is a simple way to monitor a hashtag, brand, or keyword on Twitter.

Below is a sample report for the hashtag #learningawards, which was an awards event held recently. You can see:

  • the total activity, including retweets and replies
  • the top contributors and exposure levels
  • the most retweeted tweets
  • all contributors and tweets

tweetreach summary
tweetreach

TwazzUp

TwazzUp is a real-time Twitter analytics tool that also covers Google news. It will highlight the influencers in your topic area, their tweets, other tweets on the topic and also the most retweeted links. 

Below is a sample report for the topic ‘elearning’. You can see the influencers on the top left, and tweets by influencers on the top right, which you can expand. Lower down on the left, you can see the most retweeted links and Google news alerts. What is particularly nice about the TwazzUp dashboard is that you can rollover almost anything to get more information, such as details on influencers and retweeted links.

twazzup large

Topsy

Topsy is a Twitter search and analytics tool that allows you to search Twitter for topics, influencers and much more.

Below is a sample report for the topic ‘elearning’. You can filter by date and by content types, such as videos and links. Topsy shows you the volume of tweets in the period selected and the sentiment. Topsy also shows you the top tweets and the key influencers for a particular topic.

Topsy See our previous article on six essential Twitter searches for marketers

Summary

Each of these free tools has different strengths depending on your requirements. These are my preferences:

Researching a hashtag – If I am at an event and I want to gauge the Twitter activity I use TweetReach to see the activity, the reach and who the key contributors are.

Searching for Tweets on a specific subject – I use Topsy as my search engine. I filter by time period and frequently by content, for example if I want to see shared videos on a topic. I also see who the influencers are in the time period I am interested in.

Overview of current activity in a topic area – I like to use TwazzUp to see the current tweets, influencers, tweets by influencers and recently shared links. The dashboard layout works very well to provide an overview of current activity. 

These free tools are a great starting point if you want to research a topic area or a brand on Twitter. For those that want to move beyond free tools we will be reviewing paid analytics and monitoring tools in our upcoming articles.

Column logo by Marie Otskua

Steve Rayson

Steve Rayson

MD of Kineo, Director BuzzSumo, Kineo, BuzzSumo, Anders Pink

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

I am currently MD of Kineo, an elearning company and a Director of BuzzSumo, a social search tool that finds the most shared content in any topic area. I also write as a columnist for Social Media Today and Anders Pink. 

Regular G+ user at Steve Rayson

 

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Comments

Hey Steve, It's a great initiative that you guys are doing this at SocialMediaToday, I've always thought the coverage of tools on here has been a little thin. Hopefully Ian at RazorSocial isn't too worried! ;) However - just wanted to check whether you're going to be doing some deeper reviews, or talk about some lesser known tools more in the future? Topsy and TweetReach are fairly popular and almost everyone knows about these, so I found myself skimming over it and not really going through the whole thing.

Hi Avtar, Thanks. I decided to start the column with the better known free tools but I have a list of 50 tools that I am going to work through this year, some are more well known than others. It is difficult to know the level of depth to provide. The next few will be quite detailed and I will see what feedback we get. I was thinking of adding more in-depth video demos, what do you think? Let me know if there are any particular tools you would like reviewed. Ian does a great job over at RazorSocial, I am hoping these weekly tool reviews will be complementary to his work.

Hi Steve,

I agree with Avtar, great initiative. Really like your idea of listing the top 50 tools. May I suggest SocialBro as one of them :).

Best,

Linda

 

 

 

This tool is impressive to monitor your traffic and others aspects related to your profile.

Thanks

Mohammad Kashif Wasi

Thanks for this. I like to keep up with Twitter tools, and TwazzUp is new to me. Looks as if it will be very useful. :-)