10 Free Social Media Tools Every PR Pro Should Master In 2010

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By Adam Vincenzini

(Note: Part 2 of this series is available here)

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 on 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 if 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.

Adam

20 Comments

  • Reply April 8, 2010

    Rick Spence

    Thanks for the great tools, and the even better ideas.
    This is probably too obvious to mention, but searching keyword topics on Twitter is an incredible way to find out what people are thinking, doing and talking about, at this very moment! Very useful.

  • Reply April 9, 2010

    cmom

    Very comprehensive and well selected. Professionaly used is the best tool not only to PR but for any Marketing Pro.

    Regards,
    @_cmom_

  • Reply April 9, 2010

    Prateek Shah

    Great post! Very useful! Love it 🙂

    @prateekshah

  • Reply April 9, 2010

    Tad Chef

    Sorry, but the Bing Twitter search results are awful. Use Topsy instead. It’s also an alternative to Backtweets.

  • Reply April 9, 2010

    Adam Vincenzini

    I find Bing the easiest to use – this is after testing OneRiot, Scoopler, Wowd, Twazzup and Topsy – but each to their own eh?
    Adam

  • Reply April 9, 2010

    James Hickman

    Brilliant post Adam, Really useful.

  • Reply April 9, 2010

    JDFlaten

    Excellent compilation – I found more than a few in here that I had never heard of (and I like to think I’m on top of these things!)… Would like to share another one that is our client, too: http://www.mediafunnel.com As a PR firm, we are finding this social media publishing service absolutely essential the more we use it. We can schedule posts to Twitter and Facebook; organize group contributors and add editorial review where necessary, set up alerts/monitoring, and much more. Thank you!

  • Reply April 10, 2010

    Elissa Freeman

    I’ll say one thing, Mr. Vincenzini, everytime I read one of your compilation posts…I sound that much smarter when in a SM meeting, LOL!

  • Reply April 10, 2010

    Yael Santo

    Great list! I definitely hadn’t heard of half of these tools, but I can see a number of them becoming very handy. Thanks!

  • Reply April 10, 2010

    Adam Vincenzini

    Elissa, how could you possibly sound any smarter?!?!?
    Ad 🙂

  • Reply April 12, 2010

    Gina Cuclis

    I learned several new tools here that I’ll have to check out. Thank you. I agree about the Twitter keyword search.

  • Reply April 16, 2010

    Prisqua

    This my first time here and I find this a very interesting post, half of the sites you mention here I had never heard of and resulting in another few tabs opened for me to check out. Thanks for the info.

  • Reply April 17, 2010

    Jason Rudland @ GMIG

    Great post. I would only add Twitterfall.com to the list – it’s a great place to ‘listen’ to what people are saying about you, your products or your competitors! For more information check out my social media for business blog.

  • Reply April 19, 2010

    Nakeva

    Great list and short review showing immediate value. Some were new and others I simply never thought of as a source. Thanks!

  • Reply April 19, 2010

    Carri Bugbee

    You should add Twitalyzer to the list — it’s the most robust analytics tool available for Twitter and you can their FireFox plugin to see the influence ratings of tweeters in your stream.

    @CarriBugbee

  • Reply April 19, 2010

    Phil Simon

    Great resources. I didn’t know about Wordle and a few of the other ones.

  • Reply April 19, 2010

    Todd Lohenry

    Adam! How can you include Wordle but not Google Reader?

  • Reply July 18, 2010

    Al

    I am surprised that Google Alerts and Reader are not on this list.

  • Reply September 17, 2010

    Ben Cotton

    You mention some great tools there Adam. For those looking to work in the PR industry, I'd strongly recommend learning how some of these social media tools work and the type of data they produce.

  • Reply September 25, 2010

    Penny

    Great thanks!

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