Problem– you want to get buzz and backlinks for your startup or small business; you’re hearing about all these sweet social media monitoring platforms, but you don’t want to pay and Google Alerts isn’t social enough (it doesn’t pick up Tweets, Digg, Youtube, etc). What to do? Try building your own!
As a bootstrapper, I always felt like good enough shouldn’t be the enemy of perfect, so here’s my quick and dirty way to setup a social media monitoring system using several free services: SocialMention, FeedRinse, Google Reader, and AideRSS.
A few caveats:
- If I were setting up full scale monitoring for a real campaign, I would have monitored many more keywords and phrases, which would require a lot more tweaking of the keywords and filters.
- Right now, Social Mention seems to get some crazy results. And I have not tested to see if their results are truly complete. So beware, your effectiveness with this method is only as good as their ability to capture everything (and not bring you too much junk). That’s a big if. Now, if Social Mention doesn’t work out for you, then you could cobble together your own set of RSS search feeds directly from Google Alerts, Google Blog Search, Technorati, Topix, Twitter, etc. but that would take more time.
- AideRSS is great in terms of identifying the most influential blog posts, but it’s helpless with Twitter, Youtube, and the rest of social media. If someone says something on Twitter, it always has a PostRank of 1 regardless of how many followers that person has or their blog’s PageRank. So you can’t turn off your brain entirely… I just find AideRSS saves me time and helps me avoid missing the most important posts.
Here are some other free services to check out: Addict-o-Matic, Dataopedia, Perspctv, and HowSociable. For those folks who are using the full-service offerings like Radian6, Visible Technologies, MightyBrand, Attentio, Buzzding, Buzzlogic, Buzzmetrics, Buzznumbers, Buzzgain, Collective Intellect, Techrigy, Cymphony, eCairn, Filtrbox, Vibemetrix, Scout Labs, or Trackur, I’d love to hear some feedback about the cool things they do beyond this sort of super-basic monitoring, especially if you’re using them to find and engage SEO link-building opportunities. What are the killer extra features for you?
Lastly, thanks for the folks at Greenling, Austin’s best organic produce delivery service, for being my guinea pig.
Update: Here are some new posts outlining other people’s strategies to monitor social media for free: