FREE Social Media Programs for Associations

At the recently held CSAE (Canadian Society of Association Executives) conference in Winnipeg in September 2013, speaker Mike Kujawski facilitated the session “Social Media Monitoring for Associations and the Importance of Listening” and proceeded to share a number of FREE programs an organization can implement to determine the effectiveness of their social media effort.

The following are a list of FREE programs available to satisfy different objectives:
1. Search Tools:
A. Google Trends: http://www.google.com/trends/. Use key words to determine nest blog ideas. Time line features helps you see when people search the most for a particular item. For example, if your organization offer vaccinations, you can search the key times people seek out information on where they can go. Determine your marketing/social campaign accordingly.
B. Google Alerts: http://www.google.ca/alerts. This program is your eyes and ears on the web. Just enter key words you wish to monitor and when they appear online – you get an email sent directly to you. Search your association name, a hot topic, or a vocal board member.
C. Meltwater Ice Rocket: http://www.icerocket.com. Search blogs, twitter, facebook and the web under one platform.  Very comprehensive and nice to have every platform searched with one click
2. Social Search Tools:
A. Topsy.com: http://topsy.com/ A single platform that allows you to search a topic over a wide variety of platforms.
B. Social Mention.com http://socialmention.com/. Provides real-time social media search and analysis.
3. Blog Search Tools:
A. Google Blog Search: http://www.google.ca/blogsearch a specialized service of Google which is used to search blogs. Tip: within SEARCH mode, click  SEARCH TOOLS for more drill down options.
B. Twingly Search: http://www.twingly.com. Twingly is a data mining program that focuses on blogs. Currently they index approximately 55 million blogs
4. Twitter: For those still unsure of its purpose, Twitter is a real time conversation database. It’s an open platform which can easily be filtered to fit your needs. It also helps with Google indexing.
A. Hootsuite.com. https://hootsuite.com/Hootsuite can help you send out messages across multiple platforms at the same time. You can also monitor subjects competitors, etc. all under one screen.
B. Mentionmapp.com. http://mentionmapp.com Gives a map of mention. Each user shown is connected to the people and hashtags they have mentioned in the most recent tweets.
5. Other
A. If This Than That: https://ifttt.com If This Than That is a service that lets you create powerful connections with a simple statement. For example. IF in1touch is tagged on facebook THAN send an email. Be sure to check out this savvy program
All of these programs are FREE. Although each have a paid component that allows for additional features, the basic FREE offerings are often more than enough for any organization.

in1touch is an online membership management software application that provides many benefits to associations, regulatory and certifying boards, including; event registration, online payments and invoices, self-service member interface, e-mail marketing, and many others. in1touch is a very configurable program, assists with growing revenues, membership numbers, and overall satisfaction from members. Whether planning an event, collecting online payments, or simply tracking member information, in1touch can be customized to fit unique requirements.

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