This week my local Social Media Club in Lawrence, Kansas is discussing free social media tools, so I wanted to write about one of my favorites: Crowdbooster. It is hard to describe exactly what Crowdbooster is, but I guess the right phrase would be a “social media analytics dashboard”. If that sounds cold and boring, don’t let my phrasing turn you off, it is a cool free tool. My experience in using their service has been entirely with Twitter, but they do offer Facebook coverage as well.
What I love:
Tracks retweets and @ replies for every one of your posts.
The dashboard is very intuitive. It shows you all your tweets and uses retweets and potential impressions to lay them out on a grid. It also tracks replies by showing bigger circles for tweets that resulted in @ messages.
They not only count Twitter style retweets, but also manual “RT” and “via” retweets. I don’t expect this will ever be an issue with my own personal accounts, but it does track retweets well above Twitters 100 display limit. I have confirmed this with a couple of @free contest tweets that have been retweeted over 300 times. It seems to track them all, and tells you every single account that retweeted them.
Recommendations on when to post a tweet.
I am not big on scheduling tweets. This is in part because breaking news can happen at any time. Your tweet can be buried when a breaking news story happens, but also you want to reflect the tone of your audience. If there is a disaster somewhere, it is likely not the best time to be tweeting something promotional.
With all of that said, Crowdbooster offers recommendations on when to tweet and they back it up with a graph that plots the best times based on hour and day. They allow you to schedule a tweet using their dashboard, but you can also just take this information as a recommendation, and tweet near the time they recommend.
Unlikely some tweet timing services, Crowdbooster doesn’t just look at when past tweets have been successful, but also when your followers are tweeting. This second part gives Crowdbooster a leg up on services like Time.ly.
What I like:
The other features are more basic, but still useful.
Crowdboosters shows your follower numbers as a graph with individual increases and decrease by the day. It also shows who retweets you the most.
The influential follower section isn’t that useful as it only shows your followers who themselves have the most followers. It doesn’t take into account how many they are following or how truly engaged or influential they are.
Crowdbooster is still in beta.
While they plan to make the information in the dashboard real-time eventually, there is currently a delay from when you tweet until the results get added. Sometimes the delay is a couple hours, sometimes it can be over a day. Even if this aspect never improves (I am assured by Ricky at Crowdbooster that it will), Crowdbooster is still extremely useful. In a world where people love visualizations, why not get a quick visual impression of how your tweets are doing, and then be able to look at any one tweet in significant detail.
Crowdbooster is invite only, but you can get right in via this link: