Book Update

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

8 More Free Social Media Monitoring Tools You Shouldn’t Leave Home Without

Posted: 02 Dec 2008 07:57 AM PST

It's been a little more than a year since I put together my list of 26 free social media monitoring tools you should be using to monitor your brand's reputation.
In that time, new social networks have gained increased importance, and new tools have come onto the scene. The original list still remains important, but consider these additional 8 social media tools to be your 2008 update.
If you know of any free tools that should be added to the list, please share them in the comments section for others to see.

1. Twitter

Now that Twitter is entering "mainstream" it's vital for businesses to pay attention to what is being said about them on the micro-blogging service.  Use Twitter's official search engine to monitor your brand and subscribe to the RSS feed that accompanies the results. If you're not a fan of RSS feeds, TweetBeep offers a similar service with alerts sent via email.

2. Blog Comments

There's a new blog comment tracker in town and it goes by the name of BackType. Monitoring blog posts is not always enough. A blogger might post a positive article about your company, but your detractors subsequently rip your reputation to shreds in the post's comments. I like BackType for reputation monitoring because it lets you search comments that mention your brand, but it also lets you search comments left by a particular person. If "Billy252″ is constantly criticizing your company, BackType will alert you whenever he leaves a new comment.

3. Forums & Message Boards

BoardTracker is still my favorite message board monitoring tool but BoardReader is another one to add to your list of social media monitoring tools. BoardReader lets you monitor forum posts, topics, and actual forum names (good for knowing when a new forum starts specifically to discuss your company).

4. Web Page Changes

What if you want to monitor a page that doesn't offer an RSS feed for changes made? If you're a Windows user  I still like Copernic for this task, but for the rest of us there's WatchThatPage.com. Tell WatchThatPage to keep an eye on any web page and you'll receive an alert if any change is made to that page. No more worrying about what's being added to that RipOff Report page–OK, you can worry a little.

5. Trends

Google Trends is the most popular trend analysis site out there, and you can also get trending charts with paid social media monitoring tools too. For those seeking an alternative, Trendrr will scratch that itch. You can track and compare the trends of any keyword–your company, CEO, etc–and even compare them to other keywords. Trendrr's pretty charts definitely qualify as social media "eye candy."

6. Social Media Snapshot

Want to take a quick glance at the social media mentions for your brand? While Social Mention isn't a tool I'd rely on for day-to-day social media monitoring, it's great at providing a quick snapshot of conversations surrounding your brand. Enter your keyword one time and switch between blogs, twitter, bookmarks, comments, events, images, and more.

7. Brand-Jacking

I typically recommend that, when a new social network launches, companies go ahead and register their company username–even if they have no plans to actively use it. The web is littered with stories about companies that had their brand "hijacked." With Username Check, you can quickly see if anyone is using your brand as a username on any of the major (and many minor) social networks.

8. Facebook Buzz

Now that Facebook has become the hottest social network, it's time to pay attention to the conversations that happen there. With Facebook Lexicon (you need to login to see it) you can search any keyword and instantly see how often it is discussed on Facebook users' "walls." Take a sneak peek at the new Lexicon and you'll also see demographic and sentiment data for popular keywords.
Now it's your turn. What free tools do you find useful?

Hulu's Users Want Longer Ads

Posted: 02 Dec 2008 07:47 AM PST

By Joe Hall
If you are a frequent user of Hulu, like I am, then you are aware of the 30 second ads that are placed intermittently through our favorite programs. However, Hulu has been experimenting with ad placement for quite some time now and has recently released their findings that 88% of those polled would rather watch a two minute ad before the program begins with no other ads following, then the typical 30 second bits through out the program.
It appears that Hulu's creative ad placements and options are paying off. According to a report last month that states that Hulu will soon surpass YouTube in ad revenue.
Hulu also states that the high opt-in rate for longer ads is a sign of possible increase in ad engagement. Giving the user more choices only increases their wiliness to engage, right?
In my honest opinion, I don't think ad engagement will be affected with longer ads. In fact it might decrease. Here's the way I see things:
Yes, I would opt in for the two minute ads at the beginning. That will give me just enough time to make a quick trip to the bathroom, read email, check Twitter, pick my nose, grab a beer, order pizza, or do anything other than watch a commercial. And now that I have made this decision, I have just done everything needed to sit back and watch 30 Rock commercial free! Thanks for the choice Hulu!
Find out more about Joe Hall.
Pilgrim's Partners: SpeakToMe Expert Services is guaranteeing a $50 CPM to websites using the SpeakToMe widget. This offer is limited to the first 15k unique viewers of the widget on your website ($750 limit per website to the guarantee). Learn more at the SpeakToMe website, or email Ted Murphy at ted@speak-tome.com and mention Marketing Pilgrim.

Sylvia Hubbard
Author, Blogger and Founder of Motown Writers Network
NOW AVAILABLE: Secrets, Lies and Family Ties

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