SOCIAL MEDIA / NOV. 29, 2014
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5 Social Media Marketing Tools for a Business on a Budget

Running a business goes well beyond creating an effective product or service. You need to keep your company’s name in the public eye, and understand its perception of the product and brand your company is creating. For newer companies, there is not a great deal of money available to help any endeavor not directly tied to producing or selling the product.

Thankfully, there are tools available designed to help busy business owners keep track of the public perception of their company for either free, or at a very low cost.

Complaint Search

There are dozens of complaint boards on the Internet, specializing in nearly every locale and industry. It is impossible to keep your thumb on every site and still run your business. That is where Complain Search, from Go Fish Digital, comes in.

This free tool monitors numerous complaint sites constantly, and immediately informs you if there is a negative post. With this information, you will be able to quickly reply to any allegations that may crop up. Mistakes happen, a well respected company will jump on every chance to solve the problem.

Google Alerts

This was one of the first web alert systems that saw large use by the general public. While it is typically used by people to monitor their own personal web mentions, it can be utilized by companies to see when they are mentioned online. Every day, you will receive an email report stating what has happened online with regards to the keywords you provide it.

This service is free, and is backed by the Internet search engine giant, Google.

Social Report

This service monitors the activity of dozens of social media networks, like Facebook and Twitter. Instead of forcing you to visit a website and interpret a dozen graphs, this service will send you an easy to understand email every morning. That way, you can get started with the information you need to properly position your marketing team and strategy for the day ahead.

This service starts at $10 per month for a basic account, with advanced features going for $40 per month.

Rival IQ

Like Social Report, this service monitors social media sites for you. However, it expands upon this by actively monitoring your competition. This will give you insight as to what is going on in the market, enabling you to more readily handle any surprises that may come your way.

This service is a bit more costly, at $100 per month. However, the piece of mind gained in knowing you will have up to date information on the competition is worth any tax deductible cost.


Visualize this as a more stripped down and cheaper version of Rival IQ. The free plan will enable you to monitor a select number of competitors and social media sites, while the paid plan (at $20 per month) has no restrictions on the number of sites and companies monitored.

This is a perfect test service to use, to see if active monitoring is right for your company. You can obtain a great deal of information for free, and if it helps you then you can progress to the paid plan without any severe financial burden.

All of the social monitoring in the world will not be of use if your company does not produce a good or service worthy of mentioning. Go forth and create the product that people will wish to discuss, and see the word of mouth help expand your business. A good product will result in good reviews, which these services will pick up on.

Image source: iStock

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