Selina Jane Eckersall has posted a great list of social media monitoring tools over at the Canadian Marketing Blog. This is a great resource, and she's recommended five easy to use tools that are readily available to anyone with an email address. Thanks Selina Jane!
Here are four more free tools to compliment her list:
Google Alerts should be a main-stay in any social media monitoring program. The free service allows you to define keywords to monitor. When Google's spiders index content containing those keywords, be it in news, blogs, etc., Google Alerts will send you an email or update an RSS feed with a snippet and link to the source. Thanks to Google Alerts, I've often been able to give clients a valuable heads-up about relevant news, brand mentions or industry developments
Listening by Michael Banabila via Flickr2. Addict-O-Matic
Addict-O-Matic provides an easy to customize "dashboard", scanning multiple popular social media channels for keywords that you define. Similar dashboards can be configured using tools like NetVibes or even Google Reader, but Addict-O-Matic removes a lot of the leg work.
3. Google Analytics
This one may seem pretty evident, but you'd be surprised how rarely people track inbound traffic to identify social media activity. Visitor referrals from Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites are easy to identify and track with Google Analytics . Similarly, spikes in search engine referrals for branded keywords can often be a good indication of increased social media activity around your brand.
WikiAlarm allow you to monitor user-defined, brand-relevant Wikipedia pages for changes in content. This is really useful for catching brand sabotage early, or even tracking content updates related to your competitors.
Have I omitted any free tools that you feel should have made the list? Let me know in the comments.