Basic information

  • URL
  • Cost: Varies: includes both free and fee-based versions with different features.
  • Open source: No

How to use this tool for use/reuse assessment

BuzzSumo can be used to monitor the recurrence of alphanumeric strings, such as digital collection or digital object names, for which the practitioner creates alerts; backlinks to a digital library website; and links to digital library domain names. BuzzSumo also creates reports that can help the practitioners assess the impact of their own social media campaigns on reuse, as well as to collect demographic information about who is using and reusing the digital collections and objects. This allows practitioners to see when others are mentioning or embedding their digital collections and digital objects.

BuzzSumo’s backlink analysis tool can help users improve their search engine optimization (SEO, or how well their website ranks in search results). According to BuzzSumo’s documentation, the tools can be used to find websites that link to your digital library content, report on the content with the most links and social engagement, and monitor links from social media and search engines. By understanding which sites link most frequently to your repository, you can directly share new content with them to build more links, therefore improving your site’s SEO. These insights can be used for both reporting and developing future outreach strategies to promote your digital library content. Users can set alerts for backlinks to their content, as well as other kinds of “brand” related engagement. 

BuzzSumo’s alerting features are flexible enough to fit most workflows, with the option to receive alerts via email, Slack, or RSS. The ability to receive alerts via RSS allows users to set up additional automation options outside of BuzzSumo, for example through services like IFTTT and Zapier. For example, social media engagement data from BuzzSumo can be plugged into IFTTT or Zapier and then fed automatically into Google Sheets for integration with other data sources, like Google Analytics. 

Ethical guidelines

Practitioners should follow the practices laid out in the “Ethical considerations and guidelines for the assessment of use and reuse of digital content.” The Guidelines are meant both to inform practitioners in their decision-making, and to model for users what they can expect from those who steward digital collections.

Additional guidelines for responsible practice

BuzzSumo searches publicly available social media data, as well as other public content from across the web. While this means that BuzzSumo complies with the privacy policies of social media companies and the European internet privacy regulation GDPR, users whose use/reuse is being indexed may be unaware of how and to what extent their data may be shared.


   Alert Services

  • BuzzSumo offers a 30 day free trial for new users, making it easy for individuals to test without necessarily having to go through a university procurement process.

  • Unlike other alert services like Google Alerts and Google Scholar, BuzzSumo searches social media, forums, and reviews.

  • BuzzSumo includes tools to generate reports for reach, influencers, sentiment, and more; other alert services like Google Scholar require users to perform their own aggregation and analysis.

  • BuzzSumo allows you to export mentions to CSV, Excel, or PDF file.

  • BuzzSumo alerts can be sent via email, Slack, or RSS feed.

  • BuzzSumo’s alerts are reportedly faster than Google Alerts and far more customizable, offering the ability to set minimum engagement thresholds to trigger alerts and filter by domain authority (e.g. New York Times versus

  • BuzzSumo has dedicated tech support.


  • Unlike PlumX or Altmetric, BuzzSumo does not require the use of permanent identifiers to track digital library content.

  • BuzzSumo indexes a wide variety of websites oriented towards a non-scholarly audience, including Tumblr and Instagram. This makes BuzzSumo an excellent source of discovery of non-scholarly reuse of digital library content.

  • BuzzSumo offers the ability to set alerts using complex, customizable searches for keywords and domains.

  • BuzzSumo tracks social media metrics for an institution or digital library’s social media account, offering complementary insights to show engagement beyond sharing links to digital library content.


   Alert Services

  • Functionality varies depending on which plan the institution pays for; for example, the less expensive plans limit the number of users and reports. Cost may be prohibitive for digital libraries with fewer financial resources.

  • The number of alerts that can be setup is small compared to other products.

  • BuzzSumo is targeted at brands and agencies, so the interface and available reports may be at odds with the assessment priorities of GLAMR institutions.


  • Functionality varies depending on which plan the institution pays for; for example, Facebook engagement is not included with all plans.

  • BuzzSumo is targeted at brands and agencies, so the interface and available reports may be at odds with the assessment priorities of GLAMR institutions.

Additional resources

Louise L. (2020, October 26). How To Use BuzzSumo: 15 Things You Can Do In 30 DaysBuzzSumo.  

Louise L. (2021,  November 20). How BuzzSumo Alerts Compare to Google Alerts for PR Monitoring. BuzzSumo.

Cite this page

D-CRAFT. (2023). BuzzSumo . Digital Content Reuse Assessment Framework Toolkit (D-CRAFT) ; Council on Library & Information Resources.

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