Social media is both highly competitive and highly rewarding for companies in most industries, which is why it’s never been more important.

If you’re competing against a host of competitions within the social media marketplace – benchmarking is fundamental. By recording the activity of your competitors (and of course your own) you are ensuring that you’re not being left behind, over-stepping the mark or even taking the right approach.

Here are five free and easy to use tools that will help you to monitor the social media activity within your industry.

1. Topsy

Topsy is a social search engine that allows you to quickly and easily look at mentions of a specific keyword or phrase across different social media platforms. You can also type in URL’s and brand names to look at who has been mentioning the different companies within your industry.

I would recommend recording Topsy data for you and your key competitors and then using it to benchmark and review your output in comparison to the other companies.


2. Crowdbooster

Crowdbooster is a really useful tool that allows you to tweet as normal, schedule tweets and also offer lots of great data. Crowdbooster features a number of aesthetically pleasing graphs based on follower-count, mentions and a number of other key metrics.

The thing that I love about Crowdbooster is that it has integrated lots of great features into one dashboard – and it’s done it very well.

3. Tweetstats

Tweetstats is a really nice tool that provides great data and turns it into eye-catching graphs. Tweetstats reports on things like who you tweet the most, the most common times you tweet, retweeting statistics and much more.

This is a great tool for getting basic insight quickly and it’s great for benchmarking against competitors.

4. Tweetreach

Tweetreach provides data on your tweets that have generated the most impressions, whilst also providing an explanation of why. If you have been talking to someone particularly influential on Twitter recently, Tweetreach will flag it up and show you the amount of impressions that you achieved from this.

This tool is really useful for finding the people that get you the most impressions, which can be through general conversations or retweeting.

5. Klout

I don’t really use Klout very much and I don’t really understand their scoring system, but it does provide an actionable number based on your authority – which is ideal for benchmarking!

If you monitor your klout score and the score of your competitors on a regular basis, you will be able to adapt your activity (based on what is working for them) to increase your score and improve the results you’re generating.