March 31, 2011
By: Abbi Whitaker
The internet is flooded with free PR and marketing tools. Looking for a tool to monitor Twitter? There are hundreds. Blogs, where do we start? I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at different tools on the Web to narrow down which can benefit a PR person on a small budget. Let’s face it – not everyone can afford $1500 per month for social media monitoring and $13,000 per year for news monitoring. But the good news is tools exist that can do a decent job, and most of them are free! Read on.
LOVE this. Social mention aggregates Twitter, YouTube, blogs, Facebook, Flickr and others into one easy to read platform that highlights recent mentions, top influencers, sentiment and top keywords. You can easily export this into a graph and give clients a quick snapshot of what is being said and who is saying it. If you cannot afford a big time monitoring tool, Social Mention is a must.
Sure– we would all love to have Bacons, Meltwater or Cison as our news monitoring service, but those giants come with a hefty price tag. Enter Trackur. Trackur monitors social media, but I’ve found it does a good job at monitoring news and blogs as well. The free service offers one search, but doesn’t come with Facebook or forum monitoring.
If you want to shell out $18 a month you can purchase their basis service which offers metrics, sentiment tagging and saved searches.
A well done newsletter can go far. A nicely done e-mail pitch with links, video and images can also grab a journalist’s attention. Mail Chimp’s “Forever Free” plan allows you to send up to 12,000 e-mails per month without entering your credit card number.
You can customize the template so that it fits in with your client’s brand and monitor who opens your e-mail. We use Mail Chimp to send out pitches all the time and journalists have actually commented on how much they like the format. And we all know they don’t throw around compliments.
I like to know what’s going on via Twitter. If someone is tweeting about one of our clients we like to respond quickly. That’s why we love Twilert. This free web app allows us to receive daily alerts letting us know whose tweeting about the brands we monitoring or the keywords that drive the conversation around those brands. We can then quickly RT, @ or just ignore those Tweets.
Lordy there are a lot of blogs out there. And many of them don’t really have a lot of followers. Heck, some of them don’t have any followers. We want to find the good ones. That’s why we use Post Rank to help us “Discover the Best Blogs – Ever.”
Type in a topic such as beer and it brings up the blogs that received the most traffic over the past week. It’s not perfect, but it helps us narrow down the focus and keeps our eye on the top industry influencers.