Tools and Sources – My Favorites

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In this blog post I am going to talk about my two favorite social media listening & monitoring tools and my two favorite sources for social media news & updates. I am going to explain why I like them more compared to their competition.

Awario & Buzzsumo

What I like about Awario and Buzzsumo is that they are very user friendly. Compared to Mentionlytics, Awario & Buzzsumo did not overwhelm me.
I am still a beginner in social media monitoring and listening and learn with each time that I use one of these tools.
But even after a week, I could not make much sense out of Mentionlytics.
But with Awario & Buzzsumo I was comfortable right from the start.

I had a trial with all of them, but their prices vary quite a bit. Awario starts at 49$ a month, Buzzsumo starts at 99$ a month compared to Mentionlytics which starts at 39$ a month.

Awario monitors social media non-stop and sends you updates per email if that is your wish.
And you get analytics, for example about a companies sentiment online. This can also be easily shared with your colleagues.

My favourite, Buzzsumo lets you track cost-per-click, you can find content through their search engine, you can track keywords and it shows you which keywords are the most popular for your chosen industry, it also lets you find influencers and you can watch the competition, monitor mentions of your brand name and lastly it creates reports for you that are easy to export and send to your boss or colleagues.

Mentionlytics is a mix of Awario and Buzzsumo. It is not a bad tool. I was just not comfortable with it and for me, their dashboard lacked some clarity on how to find, use and set up activities.

Sprout Social & Social Media Today

My favourite outlets for social media news & updates are Sprout Social and Social Media Today.

Sprout Social is one of the leading social media management tools and they also have a blog with news and updates about the social media community.
I find their blog very helpful and informative. Especially for a beginner in social media, they offer a lot of helpful advice and tips.

Another page I started following recently is Social Media Today. I like that they have a wide range of topics. You can find marketing, PR, social media, advertising and business-related articles on their website.

I also like Forbes or the Huffington Post, but especially Forbes is a bit too business-like for my taste. Most of their articles are business-related. I can not really say why it is not my favourite news page, but I find the tone that Sprout Social and Social Media Today write in, is more personal and authentic. They reach me more on a personal level.

What are your favourite monitoring & listening tools? And what are your favourite social media news outlets?
Let me know in the comment section.

COM0015 – Blog # 1 – Tools and Sources

My two favourite social media trend measuring and monitoring tools are Social Mention and Facebook Insights. Both of these tools make monitoring much less daunting, less time consuming, and generally easier. This makes me a happy person!

Social Mention is a tool to see who is mentioning my brand, no matter where on the internet this happens. On their website I can search my brand name, my name, my competitors’ names, or any other key word of interest to me, and these mentions are directed right into my inbox. Mentions may happen in the on-line world in places that I may not even thinksocial mention to look, and Social Mention will find them and send the links to me. With one click of the link I can see the mention first-hand. Social mention is a great tool to keep tabs on my reputation, in case people are talking indirectly about me and my brand.

Facebook Insights allows me to track activity on my Facebook business page, which is where I interact the most. It can tell me everything about general activity on my business page, as well as everything about specific posts.facebook I can learn things like number of likes, shares, comments, click throughs, photo views, and overall reach of my posts. I have learned from Facebook Insights the type of posts that my readers like to see from me, and what they don’t.

My two favourite sources for news and updates that are of interest to me, are Facebook and Twitter. Both Facebook and Twitter allow me to target the information that I want to hear about, and weed out the things that don’t interest me, or serve my business. The things that interest me intersect both personally and professionally. Topics such as food, health, nutrition, cooking, and fitness infiltrate my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I have come to prefer certain feeds more than others, and over time my feeds have evolved to include news and updates from those individuals and companies who I feel are most credible, or whose values are most similar to mine.




Images sourced from:

COM0015 – Blog #1: Listening Tools & News Sources

Listening is one of the most important elements to a good social media strategy.  We want to ensure we are listening to what people are saying about our competitors, our industry and about us.  By doing this we can look for opportunities to communicate with our audience.  This can be through answering their questions or concerns.  This can also be by providing them with further information.  There are countless ways for us to be able to have those conversations, but they all start with good listening.

As someone who is new to social media in a professional capacity, my skills and tools are still being developed.  However, I have learned to use and appreciate two particular tools for my listening/monitoring needs.

googleGoogle Alerts

I can use Google Alerts to track information on any number of things that I am interested in following.  I will set up an alert and I will be notified when something is picked up with that information.  This allows me to keep up to date on my competition, my industry and about what is being said about my organization.



I really like the tools offered through Netvibes.  It took me a little getting used to the way it was set up but once I got my Home screen the way that worked for me, I find it very useful.  Netvibes allows me to create a listening dashboard.  It allows me to get information and the latest updates about my organization, my competition and my industry.  One of the things I really like is the way it allows me to track everything all on a single page.  It saves me time from jumping from site to site to get the same information.  I also like that I can track things that interest me personally and things that interest me professionally all in one place.  I can get my updates, weather, email and the news all at once.

I have heard good things from other people taking the social media courses about Hootsuite and Klout and I would like to learn more about them.  As I am feeling more comfortable with my current tools, I feel ready to learn about other tools that are out there and available.  Any other suggestions of tools you use and think I should check out?

In addition to listening through these social media listening/monitoring tools, I also listen to sources for news and updates about what is going on in the world around me.  The two tools I use most for those resources are Metro News and Twitter.

MetroNewsMetro News

I really enjoy Metro News for a few reasons.  I like that their mobile web page is so easy to use and flip through, this makes it convenient because I can keep up to date anywhere/anytime.  Metro News also allows me to look specifically at local, national or international news.  It also allows me to look at different cities, which is helpful as my organization has properties in different parts of the country.  I like that Metro News provides me access to a wide range of topics that would be of interest or would affect our residents/prospects.  I also like that their stories are short and to the point.  If I find something that interests me I can research it further when I have more time.


I use Twitter for both a listening/monitoring tool as well as a news and updates source.  I like Twitter because there are so many people using it and again it gives me a lot of information in one place.  There are journalists, politicians, industry leaders, our competition and our residents/prospects all using it which makes it a great resource.

As a listening/monitoring tool I can watch for opportunities to listen and participate in conversations.  I can watch for those reaching out to us or our competitors and use it as an opportunity to engage with them.  I can also watch for people looking for an apartment and make some suggestions based on what they are looking for at that time.

As a news/updates source I can watch for things that are trending that would affect our residents/prospects or our industry.  I also use it to get my local news through #ottnews, as this is often where things will break as they are happening, sometimes before they are even picked up by bigger news channels.  We can then keep our residents informed by sharing the news we find.

Being able to communicate with our residents and prospective residents is one of the main reasons we are on social media.  By using listening/monitoring tools mixed with news/updates sources we can ensure we are aware of our residents/prospects needs and that we are able to provide them with content they will find useful and relevant.

What tools & sources do you use?

COMM0015 – Blog Post #1: Tools and Sources

In the first course of the program, I was introduced to many social media monitoring tools.  Now, at the onset of the fifth and final course, I have certainly had many opportunities to practice using each of them in different contexts – for school, personal use, and professionally.  Two social media trend listening tools that I find myself using over and over across each of these domains are HootSuite and NetVibes.

HootSuite dashboard

Photo Courtesy of

HootSuite: At work, we use this platform to send and schedule Tweets, track streams based on lists and keywords, and monitor messages, re-tweets, and favourite Tweets. We use this tool to post and track our Facebook activities, as well as those of our stakeholders.  Personally, I also use it to manage several WordPress blogs, including this one.  It’s a favourite because it easily combines listening and engagement with one simple, easy to coordinate tool.

NetVibes: I started using NetVibes for a volunteer project I was working on. It soon became a staple.  This tool allows you to engage via Twitter, Facebook, and more, as well as monitor news and blogs.  The user can customize multiple dashboards with innumerable widgets, which can be tailored to the exact needs of each individual.

These tools are preferred over others because they are free (the right price for work), easy to teach to a number of people with varying levels of skill (in a large team), and intuitive.  I’ve tried using Yahoo Pipes, and more expensive Sysomos software, and haven’t gotten nearly as much out of them as I can with the free, simple tools I’ve mentioned.

The following video is a tutorial by Tim Sparke, courtesy of YouTube, which can help you to get started on NetVibes.

The two best sources of news of personal interest are CBC and Twitter.  CBC is a trusted source for national news coverage, the site is updated regularly, and they tend to engage with readers. Twitter is a recent addition to my repertoire.  While I still don’t actively post on Twitter, I do tend to follow certain reporters and news outlets, for work as well as personal interest. This is by far the best tool for real-time updates of news anywhere in the World.  As a former media monitoring communications advisor, I can say that having trusted sources for news updates is crucial.

What are your favourites?

COM0015 – Post #1 – Tools and Sources

My two favorite social media trend tools are photos and image sharing and blogs. When images/photos are posted on a social network people tend to at least glance, so it automatically catches their attention before they see exactly what it is, a great visual tool. With photos it is easy to measure the number of people who viewed the image which will over time create a pattern of what to stay with and what not to. My other favorite tool is blogging. Blogging is another great way to get more viewers and members, the more an organization post blogs, it will capture viewers interest and will at least something every once in a while which will lead to more viewers.

I think the two best sources of news and updates are Facebook and YouTube. Facebook is an amazing social media source; there are millions of users from all the world on Facebook including people and business’. The organization I am a part of an organization called ‘Friends For Autism’ that has a page for updates and facts on Autism and then a group used for a parent support online chat that parents of children with Autism can go and talk to other families. Facebook has many advantages when measuring the data from the page and group by viewing the insights and the increase/decrease on the number of members. YouTube is used for everything and anything these days.  ‘Friends For Autism’ will be having a channel soon on YouTube to post about individuals with Autism, who they are and what they can do, and also share related research videos on Autism. This will have a great impact for us since it will get us more members and provide a great opportunity for more awareness and acceptance of Autism.

April Kuhlmann