Out of the Box

Prior to taking this course, my experience with social media was limited to Facebook. I have a Twitter account and have tweeted a grand total of 11 times in four years. I also have a Pinterest and Instagram account but, again, haven’t posted much of anything. So, almost every social media application was interesting or unexpected to me, the newbie.

And because I am not heavily active on social media for personal or business reasons, I had very little idea about the social media monitoring and listening applications. I had never taken the time to actually learn about them because, really, why would I? But eventually I did. And I was impressed.

The metrics and statistics, analytics and trends are all really fascinating. Listening and monitoring tools can tell you everything from where your traffic is coming from, to how long people spend on your site, to what they are saying about you and your site. These kinds of tools are priceless in that they are key to helping you continue to develop your site or blog in the best way possible. Nothing else can do that.

You need to know exactly what you want to monitor; what you want to focus on. Each monitoring tool has its own strengths and weaknesses. So you need to decide what to focus, do your homework, and then choose the tool that will work best for you.

Some of the tools that I stumbled across that made a good immediate impression were:


The dashboard is organized, streamlined, and easy to set up. It consolidates multiple social media networks in one place, which is helpful if more than one person is taking care of social media in your organization.


This is very similar to Hootsuite, and very good for beginners. This dashboard is a snapshot of activity related to your Twitter account. It’s practical, easy to use, and free.

Google Alerts:

This is a great way to monitor web pages, publications, and blogs for any search term that you specify. The alerts are sent to your email.


Which social media listening applications do you like the best?

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