A couple of weeks ago, SEOmoz posted a great article over on Marketing Pilgrim about 5 free social media tools that can help your company to keep track of online brand awareness. You should definitely check the article out for specifics on how those guys like to use the information they gather. Below, we’ve summarized the 5 tools they listed and added our own notes and a couple of our favorites, as well.

Topsy.com: By searching for your brand name and filtering out retweets and via mentions, you can get raw counts of both social web mentions and Twitter mentions for your brand. If you track these on a regular basis and pay attention when you try out different marketing tactics, you can get an idea of how effective those efforts are. We’d add one caveat—there’s some significant overlap between the two numbers, with tweets often showing up in social web mentions. Just something to be aware of.

Google Analytics: This one should be a no-brainer for any website. The platform will give you all-important information about where your website’s traffic is coming from—either from keyword searches or direct type-ins and bookmarks. From these you can infer how well your site is performing on SERPs as well as how many people know your brand well enough already to simply type your URL into their address bar.

Facebook Insights: If you’ve never checked out the Insights for your brand’s Facebook page, you’re missing out. Get both raw numbers and timeline graphs of the number of Likes for your page, post views and page interactions. Use the info to figure out what types of posts work best for you and when to post. You can also see valuable demographic info on folks who Like your page. Set up Facebook Insights for your domain by simply adding a META tag to your root page.

Twitter: If you’re on Twitter, then we’re sure you know you can easily view the number of people who follow you on your user page. Keep track of this number week by week to see how it grows and what marketing tactics affect it most. Rumors persist about an upcoming native Twitter analytics product, but it has yet to go public.

LinkedIn Analytics: Admins for your company’s LinkedIn profile can see how many page views it’s getting, plus the number of unique visitors and followers. Since this is a business networking site, this will mainly give you an idea of how many people are interested in working with your company. This is especially relevant for B2B companies.

SocialMention.com: Search for your brand on this site to get a general idea of whether your brand is viewed in a positive or negative light. Careful, though—the algorithm determines whether a social mention is positive or negative by looking at the words nearest it in the text. For example, one brand we worked with had some mentions tagged “negative” because the brand was mentioned with the phrase “Angry Birds”—clearly not someone angry with the company. So take these numbers with a grain of salt.

Google Alerts: We at Marketplace Earth love this one. You can get notifications every time Google indexes anything that contains your brand’s name. Set it up to  send your alerts daily, weekly or even continuously. Choose what type of results you’d like to see—everything, news, blogs, realtime, video, discussions. We recommend everything. Don’t be out of the loop when your company’s buzzing!

TweetDeck: This desktop Twitter client allows you to sort tweets in multiple columns and is a great tool for monitoring Twitter mentions of your brand. Create a search column for @ mentions (e.g. “@mpearth”) if you have a company Twitter account (which you should) and a simple search for your name (e.g. “marketplace earth” and/or “marketplaceearth”). Once you see those mentions, be sure to respond to them and keep up the conversation to increase brand awareness.