Here is a very cool tool.
If your social media expert is too busy to help you out or, if your client is too poor to pay for buzzmetrics or radian6 dazzle them with a quick run on Social Mention.
It is a very simple tool that allows you to type in a brand name and search in real time across a range of social media for where it has been mentioned.
This is what they say about themselves:
Social Mention is a social media search platform that aggregates user generated content from across the universe into a single stream of information.
It allows you to easily track what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web's social media landscape in real-time. Social Mention monitors 80+ social media properties directly including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google etc.
Social Mention currently provides a point-in-time social media search and analysis service, daily social media alerts, and a third-party API.
Of course, being free the tool does have some limitations. The first time I used it, it worked pretty quickly but since has seemed a little slow. Also, currently you can only search 'universally' not by region.
This said, I still think it useful for showing clients the volume of chatter that is occurring about their brand and also to track trends on specific subjects.