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Who hasn’t been trying to monitor their online performance and hit a road block because you can’t access the proper tools? Maybe you’re up to your eyeballs in meaningless figures and graphs? All you need is a little context, some simple analysis, a general overview – but you don’t want to pay through the nose for it. So when subscriptions don’t fit into your budget, free services are essential to keeping a watchful eye over your influence – or for understanding the reasons behind the lack of it.

Here’s my rundown of free social media monitoring tools to put you back in the driving seat, and on the road to social stardom!

Addictomatic

Face it, monitoring your social channels is addictive. Like Twazzup, Addictomatic gives a clear cut overview of a brand but it expands from Twitter to include Flickr, Google, Bing, YouTube, Delicious and even WordPress too. Awesome for brand reputation.

BackTweets

Want to know how many people are gossiping about you? Scroll through this tweet archive of shortened links, URLs, @handles and #hashtags.

Buffer

Similar to Hootsuite and TweetDeck, you can schedule posts across Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts, and more recently Google+. Enjoy analytics of your updates as well.

Commun.it

Manage Twitter communities with ease. Schedule tweets, target influencers or prospects and watch your influence grow!

Cyfe

Monitor practically everything across easy to use dashboards. Best for your website it also supports social widgets for up to 5 platforms for free, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WordPress and Google Analytics.

Facebook Insights

Trying to understand your followers? Analyse demographics, growth and engagement with this built-in feature.

Google Analytics

Measure social platforms through your existing Analytics so they are in tune with your goals. Watch over your social community alongside your website conversions. Simple and convenient!

Hootsuite

Really useful for managing and monitoring your profiles on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, Foursquare and Google+. Particularly for scheduling posts but with added useful insights.

HowSociable

Think you need to update your strategy? Look after up to 12 profiles and get an overall score so you can quickly see which platforms are working best for you. Easy, fast and effective.

IceRocket

Want more from your blog as well as social profiles? Cool, visit IceRocket for interactive graphs that let you know the best time of day to be active and discover the latest blogosphere trends along the way.

IFTTT

Struggling to reply to everyone that follows you? Get IFTTT, “If This Then That”, and automate your responses based on trigger keywords. Oh, and you can do it across 71 platforms! Easy peasy.

Klout

Measure interactions easily by linking your Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google+ profiles for a combined score. View how your audience are reacting to posts and revise your strategy per platform for better engagement.

Kred

Like Klout, Kred measures influence. With a dual score it will show your personal influence and your potential influence based on other people’s tendency to share.

Mention

Want to know when someone mentions your brand straight away? Download this app to receive alerts every time your company is mentioned in real time.

Netvibes

Want to control everything from one clean and simple dashboard? Monitor your brand reputation as well as watching over clients, customers and those pesky competitors.

Plugg.io

Look after Twitter and Facebook quickly and easily, especially with multiple accounts. Even get suggestions of who to follow.

Reachli 

Visual content works best in social. Just look at the rise of Instagram and Pinterest. Reachli will measure videos and images according to their effectiveness.

Social Bakers

Get a top line analysis of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube and keep an eye on growth, engagement, and influencers – and take a sneak peek at how competitors are doing!

Social Blade

A YouTube community where you can monitor your stats and check out your progress, including daily views, tracking subscribers and comparing other channels.

Social Mention

Analyse data in depth according to passion, reach, sentiment and strength, with information from

blogs, bookmarks, comments, images, news, video, audio and of course social networks.

SocialPointer

Listen and respond to customers in real time with conversations across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Delicious, Digg, StumbleUpon, Google as well as blogs and news sites.

Tagboard

Created your own hashtag but not sure how it’s performing? Tagboard will pull the conversations using your hashtag together. Or search other tags for comparison.

Twazzup

Enter the name you want to track and learn the 10 top keywords related to your search query. Get real-time updates of top influencers, RTs, photos and links as well.

Tweepi

Feeling the need for a spring clean? Get rid of unfollowers and inactive users with ease, or follow more interesting tweeps.

TweetBeep

Separate your Twitter updates from your Google Alerts. Just set up your keywords.

TweetDeck

Running several accounts? Then schedule tweets, monitor interactions and track hashtags with ease. A bit like Hootsuite.

TweetReach

Want to know how far your tweets travel? No problem! The aptly named TweetReach looks at discussions to show which followers are your top influencers so you can target the content you promote properly.

Twitonomy

Get shed loads of analytics about your tweets, RTs, replies, mentions, hashtags and more! Export to Excel and share the insights with your team.

So there you have it. In the same way that social is evolving, so are the tools that we use to monitor them. And there are others springing up all of the time! The more that I search, the more that I find, but if you know of an awesome free service that should take pride of place in this collection then leave me a comment or tweet @SJSharkey1 or @iftweeter and tell us about your experiences.

© tadamichi – Fotolia.com

P.S. If you love helpful lists, check out 30 examples of UK social media policies and guidance by @KatyHowell

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