Your social media channels won’t do you much good unless you’re paying attention to them.

In order to use them effectively to build your brand, you have to know how effective they are, in the first place. That’s where social media monitoring comes in. There are a number of ways you can track how effective your content is across all your channels—and most of them are free and easy to use.

Here are some of the best ones:

Hootsuite. Hootsuite is a free social media management site that you can also pay to upgrade. With it you can manage several different networks, like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ (yes, that still exists), WordPress and more—although LinkedIn will soon no longer be a part of the package. Hootsuite is more than a management tool, though, it also provides insights into how effective your content is. Just click on the analytics section.


Sprout Social is similar, but designed as a social media monitoring tool that you can also post content from, whereas Hootsuite was designed as a management tool first that added analytics later.

As the name implies, Buzzlogix is all about capturing the current ‘buzz.’ It’s a good way to keep track of what people are saying about your brand in real time—and it allows you to check in on your competitors, too. That’s always a handy feature, because it allows you to learn from their mistakes or successes. With buzzlogix, you can respond directly when one of your keywords is mentioned, too, which helps you react to any negative reviews in a timely fashion. Like Hootsuite, there’s a free version and a paid version.

Simply Measured is unique in that it allows you to keep track of your brand in a number of ways. You can track earned mentions, which a type of organic interaction, owned content—how effective your own content is—as well as paid activity, which is a good way to check the veracity of your Facebook analytics.

Buffer is another content scheduler like Hootsuite that allows you to manage Facebook fan Pages and groups, LinkedIn profiles and company pages, Twitter profiles, Pinterest accounts, and Google+. You can get analytics on any content you post through Buffer, which will enable you to see what’s working well and what isn’t, or decide the right time of day or night to post content in order to reach the broadest audient possible.

Tracking how effective your content is is an invaluable part of social media marketing. It not only tells you what you’re doing right, it allows you to change tactics if you are not getting the results you expected. It helps you decide the best course of action to take and the best time to take it, no matter what social media channel you use.

Which social media tracker do you use? Let us know in the comments!