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Thursday, 20 October 2011

How To Track Your Business & Search Multiple Social Sites All At Once


Social networks such as Twitter and Facebook are where recommendations are made and informed decisions take shape. The trends in social media can determine whether a company’s new marketing campaign or price structure succeeds or fails.


It may be safe to say for many companies today that there is no growth without success in social media. If social media holds the key to so much much in today’s business climate, then every company needs to find an efficient way to track current trends on a broad range of social media sites. Thankfully there are several options available for social media searches.


Social Mention 
For the best analytical data, Social Mention is tough to beat, providing lists of related keywords, hash tags, and social media sources for its list of results. At the top left corner there are several metrics provided that will help you determine where your brand is positioned on social media. The “Strength” number indicates the likelihood that your brand is being discussed. The “Passion” and “Sentiment” numbers indicate the nature of the comments and how engaged users are in their discussions. Lastly, the “Reach” calculation will tell you how much influence these users have.

The interface is clean and easy to customize once you start working with it, especially if you want to limit your search to a particular social media site. If you want to work on the go, you can set up e-mail notifications for particular terms and download spreadsheets for your search results.



Who’s Talkin?
For a clean and simple social media search, Who’s Talkin’ is another great choice for social media searches that covers a wide range of sources, including: wordpress.com, YouTube, flickr , Tumblr, social networks, forums, and more. If you want to refine your results to only Twitter results, you can easily click on the options in the left sidebar.



48ers
For real time social searches, 48ers functions a bit like Who’s Talkin’, providing results from Twitter, Facebook, Google Buzz, Delicious, Digg, and other social media sites in a clean, easy to use interface.



Bing Social
Bing provides an extremely user-friendly social media search that provides a variety of categories for your results, including shared links and public updates. However, Bing’s results are influenced heavily by Twitter and Facebook, and therefore you’ll miss out on networks such as Digg, Delicious and YouTube.

On the plus side, Bing’s more refined search may be more effective for the typical marketer since Twitter and Facebook are the two most commonly used social media tools. In addition, Bing provides lists of trending social media topics.
Google also provides social media results, but you need to dig into the lower left column in order to find it under more options. It also seems that Google will limit your results to people in your own networks, which is good for personal information but not quite as helpful for studying general marketing trends.


Broad Social Media Searches
If Bing represents the narrow end of social media search, there are several other real time search tools that you can use such as Addict-o-matic. Addict-o-matic covers a wide range of sources and arranges them into a three-column page with boxes containing results from a wide variety of sources, including Google, Bing, Twitter, YouTube, and several news sites. When entering your search queries into Addict-o-matic, you can further refine your search by selecting particular sites and sources for your searches.



SamePoint
Though it suffers from a cluttered interface, SamePoint provides the added bonus in its search results of columns for particular sources such as Twitter or LinkedIn. All results are real time, and the navigation of the list is clean and easy to sort through.



Review Your Options
There are many excellent search engines that specialize in a particular social media site that you may want to compare to the broader search tools. Internet marketing specialist Kristi Hines created her own list of 25 search tools that present both narrow and wide search options.

In comparing these various tools, many of them led to similar real time results, and therefore the mark of the best search tool is the one that provides the information you need in a format that you find clear, easy to use.
This guest post is written by Lior Levin, a marketing consultant who works for an international company that specializes in targeted cancer therapies, and who also works for the MA in political science department at the Tel Aviv University.



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