This is a guest post by Jessica Malnik, a PR/marketing assistant, social media specialist, videographer and avid blogger. Visit her blog for social media, technology, public relations and marketing ramblings.
Twitter may only allow 140 characters or less in a tweet. But, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t track and analyze those results.
Social media analysis and reporting can be a daunting and downright expensive task. Tools like Radian 6 are phenomenal for companies with a large marketing budget. But for small businesses or companies just starting out on Twitter, there are several free tools that can still provide a great deal of data and analysis.
For starters, every company should be using a social media monitoring platform to manage their Twitter account. Twitter.com is a great resource for personal tweeters. However, free or low-cost social media platforms, such as Tweetdeck, Hootsuite,Seesmic or Cotweet, allow for more customization, list building and the ability to delegate tasks to other team members.
Klout may be the most notorious influence measuring tool out there. I admit it’s not perfect, but there is still a lot we can gather from it. The actual Klout score is pretty much worthless after you surpass 35. But, you can gather an awful lot from the actual Klout score analysis. For instance, it tells you your overall reach as well as your top influencers and influencees.
Backtweets is a great free tool to figure out how far your tweets are traveling. It lets you see who is interacting with your tweets.
Topsy isn’t just for Twitter analytics. It’s a real-time social search engine. This is a great way to learn more about trending topics. One of the best features is their advanced search options, which lets you pinpoint all the way down to a specific URL, phrase, or time of day.
2. Advanced Twitter Search
Of all the tools on this list, this may be the most underrated. This is the official Twitter search engine. It allows users to aggregate search terms via words, people, places and dates. Most interestingly, it allows lets you search tweets based on whether it’s a positive or negative attitude.
Tweet stats will analyze any users’ tweets over a given period of time. It breaks down the information into easy to digest bar graphs. It includes everything from number of RTs and mentions and tweet count to overall reach and tweet density.
1. Tweet Grader