My favorite social media search tools

Social search

Whether you’re conducting an investigation or gathering intelligence, it’s becoming harder and harder to ignore social media. Companies and individuals are getting on board to promote their brand, share knowledge, or stay connected. And all those posts and the links they contain may provide pieces of information that make a huge impact.

Unfortunately, social media search tools can be lacking. There’s no Google for social that indexes anything and everything. No one-stop-shopping, despite what the vendors tell you about their new, one-of-a-kind, better-than-ever products. Then there’s the “you get what you pay for” side of search, and premium products don’t often fit client budgets.

What many researchers do, however, is collect some free tools, which – individually – won’t get the job done. Together, though, they’ll help you piece together some answers. Depending on the type of work you do and your needs, these tools will vary.

For me, I often go to Google or directly to individual social sites. But when I need to search more broadly, yet weed out the non-social results from general search engines, I use these specialized tools:

IceRocket.com – Search blogs and Twitter (advanced search for just blogs). Also Track search trends.

Social Searcher – Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, Flickr, Dailymotion, and Vimeo. Free plan offers 100 Real-time searches/day and 2 email alerts.

Social Mention – Search & sentiment analysis. Monitors 100+ social media properties directly including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google, etc.

Addictomatic.com – For news, blog posts, videos, and images. Creates a dashboard-style results page:

addictomatic

What are your favorite tools for social search?

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