Last week I was asked to recommend tools to monitor Social Media for trending topics and mentions.  True to my recent tweet that any question you get asked should form the content of a blog entry……

This really divides into three topics –

  • monitoring for mentions of a brand or product
  • identifying trending topics
  • seeing the latest or most popular news articles.

Monitoring for mentions

Mentions App
Mention AppIn order to monitor for mentions of “concise training”, I have found the Mentions app to be really useful (though it does have bugs in terms of functionality).  I have created an alert that informs me whether the phrase “concise training” is mentioned on blogs, Facebook, Forums, Images, News, Twitter, Videos or the web.  Not only does it tell me when I have been retweeted or mentioned on Twitter, but I have also discovered blogs that I have been mentioned in and even a video site that featured the Concise Online daily tips.  Free to use at a basic level – definitely one to look at.

Social Mention
A similar tool that works really well for ad hoc searches is socialmention.  I often use it to find out what people are saying about a client before a meeting!

Other tools to explore

Twilert – get an email digest when a phrase is included in any tweet in a geographical location.  For example anybody talking about ‘Twitter training’ within 30 miles of Oxford.

Google Alerts – get email digests of mentions of phrases across the web

I have found that none of the tools offer a complete view so it is a good idea to use a number of tools to make sure that everything is covered.

Trending Topics

Trending topics are the content that people are talking about most on the web.  If a phraseTwitter Trends is mentioned frequently on Twitter, Google+ or YouTube it is identified as a trending topic.  Contributing to the conversation of topics that are trending is a good way of getting your content seen by more people as people will follow a trending topic rather than individual people.  However like everything you need to make sensible comments and add value rather than ‘jump on the bandwagon’ or sell.

Trending topics can be seen in Twitter on the home page – or by pressing the search button on the right hand side of HootSuite.  (Be aware, I’m getting slightly different results even when setting the location to the UK on each).

On Google+, trending topics can be seen by looking at ‘What’s Hot’.

On Facebook, there is no immediate way to see what is trending.  I use the NewsWhip app which displays stories that have had the most Facebook shares and tweets.  A good way of finding popular content  that you might want to share or comment on.  You can set location and topics to view.

Topics that are being shared by your LinkedIn network will be shown in your LinkedIn home feed.

Checking the Youtube trending dashboard will show you the most viewed or most shared videos

News Items

The other type of content you might want to think about checking on a regular basis is the latest news stories.  I like the Google Currents app but flipboard is favoured by some. In both these apps, you can set the sources that you want to collate information from, as well as the topics you want to prioritise.

Over to you

What do you use?  How do you keep track of what is going on?