Virtually everyone understands the importance of a strong social media presence. Everyone wants to be heard, to be seen, to talk, to make an impact -- but the truth of the matter is that establishing your presence is only a part of the game.
If you're looking to truly succeed on social media, then you're going to have to become adept at listening. Social listening (also referred to as social media monitoring) can be used to keep track of everything from your brand's presence, to your competition's presence, your customers, and even industry trends. It's essential because not only does it help drive engagement, but it can also provide you with a wealth of information and insights which can be gleaned in order to influence important business decisions.
Fortunately, there are numerous tools on the market which can assist you in your efforts at social media monitoring. If you're interested in learning more about the various monitoring tools you can leverage in order to drive engagement, expand your reach, get more in tune with your customers and scope out the competition, then look no further than these next few lines.
- Free ($0/month)
- Solo ($25/month)
- Startup ($83/month)
- Enterprise ($600+/month)
Mention is an extremely popular social media monitoring tool that is used by numerous companies including Comcast, Microsoft and Alibaba. Their basic plan is free and allows you to monitor keyword-based alerts, boolean alerts and up to 250 brand mentions. It also allows you to publish content directly to your Twitter or Facebook, schedule your posts and integrate the service with Slack. Upgraded plans allow users to track additional mentions (up to 5,000 for non-enterprise clients) and provide users with detailed analytics, insights, reports and more.
- Professional ($29/month)
- Team ($129/month)
- Business ($599/month)
- Enterprise (Contact for pricing)
Hootsuite is one of the more notable names on the list due to its sheer popularity. Hootsuite allows you to conveniently manage all of your social media channels in one simple, easy-to-use interface. In addition to monitoring and analytics, the platform also provides you with the ability to schedule, automate and promote your posts via advertising.
Upgraded plans offer the ability to add additional users and integrate additional social media profiles (up to 35 for the business plan). They also provide you access to everything from custom analytics to exportable reports, social media certifications, increased ad spend limits and 1-on-1 onboarding.
- Pro ($800/month)
- Enterprise M (Contact for pricing)
- Enterprise Q (Contact for pricing)
Brandwatch Analytics is another massively popular tool used by thousands of brands which provides companies with access to live and historical data from social media. Users can search the web for various information such as reviews, comments, articles or conversations. They can then use various rules to segment the data they find into categories that are relevant to business. This data can then be analyzed so users can leverage the insights to influence decision making. The platform also allows you to interact in real-time with your audience thanks to their nifty email alerts. While the price tag is quite hefty, their vast array of features and AI-driven tools make it well worth the while.
- Medium ($89/month)
- Large ($179/month)
- X-Large ($269/month)
- Enterprise ($459/month)
Agorapulse is another extremely popular tool that can be used to help monitor your social media presence. While it is primarily regarded as a social media management tool, it offers a variety of features for social listening as well. For instance, their Facebook Page Barometer tool gives you a snapshot of how well fans are engaging on your Facebook page. They also have a Twitter Report card tool that's great for conducting competitor research.
Their listening feature collects public mentions on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. On Twitter, the platform additionally collects unofficial mentions, so even brand mentions used without hashtags or the "@" symbol can be collected and analyzed. They furthermore allow you to assign members of your team to various conversations.
Upgrades allow for the integration of as many as 60 social media profiles and 20 different users. Users additionally gain access to a myriad of publishing, social CRM and reporting features and tools.
- Starter ($29/month)
- Pro ($89/month)
- Enterprise ($299/month)
Awario is another social media monitoring tool which provides real-time social insights, non-stop monitoring and powerful analytics for businesses. Their keyword tracking feature can notably search and track keywords in any language at any location all across the web. They also have a nifty little social selling feature that businesses can use to help with lead generation. This tool finds posts which ask for recommendations of products similar to yours and also those in which individuals complain about your competitors and then boils them all down in one convenient feed of sales opportunities.
The platform also prioritizes important conversations based on the number of individuals involved in the discussion, offers the ability to conduct boolean searches, provides white-label reports and helps keep your workspace organized with handy folders. Upgrades offer additional topics that can be monitored, additional mentions and stored mentions as well as the ability to add multiple users and more.
- FREE ($0/month)
IFTT, which stands for "If this, then that", is an extremely popular free tool that is used to create chains of basic conditional statements, also known as applets. However, did you know that this tool can also be used for social media monitoring? The key to this lies in its versatility and ability to integrate numerous platforms and services. Users can create a "trigger" action that sends an email every time their brand name or competitor's brand name is mentioned on a social media platform. This tool is highly customizable and most importantly -- completely free. As a result, the possibilities are practically endless.
- Free ($0/month)
It's easy to forget that social media doesn't just encompass the major platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube. It's importnt to remember that forums and messaging boards are also vitally important segments in this space that need your attention. This is where Boardreader can help. The tool is extremely straightforward and simple to use and mirrors that of your average search engine. All you do is type in a keyword that you're interested in monitoring (i.e. your brand name), and the platform will auto-populate all of the instances where this word has been mentioned within the last two years. Users can browse through search results to conduct research or engage with conversations as well. The platform additionally creates charts in various formats so users can see trends and compare terms against one another.
- Contact for pricing
VisioneerIT's social media management tool provides businesses with a way to manage multiple social media profiles all in one convenient location. Users can use their Social Marketing tool to generate leads, schedule posts, monitor social media and communicate with their followers in real-time. The tool integrates with Facebook, Instagram Google My Business, Twitter and LinkedIn. Engaging with your followers on platforms such as Twitter is as simple as the click of a button. Furthermore, it's mobile-friendly. You can use it on any device at any time meaning that you never miss out on a valuable moment to engage with your audience again.
- Free ($0/month)
Google Alerts is a "content change detection and notification service" that is offered by none other than Google itself. The platform is extremely straightforward and easy to use. All you have to do is type in a keyword that you're interested in monitoring and Google will send you an email alert for it based on your preferences. Users can customize how often they receive the emails, the sources from which mentions are being pulled, the language, region as well as how many results to include. The service will send an email whenever it identifies a new result that matches the selected search term. It's a simple, efficient and free way to manage and research everything from your brand's presence to your competitor's presence and various trends all over the web.
- Pro ($99/month)
- Plus ($179/month)
- Large ($299/month)
- Enterprise ($499+/month)
Buzzsumo is another wildly popular heavy hitter on the list that is used by a multitude of companies of all sizes. Users can enter a keyword or topic such as "content marketing" and gain access to numerous search results paired with engagement data about each. Queries can also be customized and filtered based on date (i.e. Past 24hrs, Past 2 years), country, language, domain, content type and even word count and publisher size and type (i.e. Only B2B publishers). Their Content Analyzer can help you analyze your domain and the domains of your competitors for insights. They also have a Facebook Analyzer tool, a Question Analyzer tool, a Trending Now feature, a Topic Explorer and a Backlinks tool that can help you identify who is linking to your competitors, as well as backlink opportunities for your own site.
Their monitoring tool allows you to track mentions, the impact of your content and your competition's content, as well as who is linking to you. Users gain access to real-time alerts, numerous filtering options to cut through the noise, exportable reports and more.
Practically everyone is obsessed with the idea of establishing a presence and being heard on social media platforms. However, the true key to success lies in your ability to listen to social media. Social media monitoring is an effective way to drive engagement, spread awareness, scope out your competition, understand industry trends and get more in-tune with your customer base. Use this article as a nifty guide when it comes to choosing the best social media monitoring tool for your business. In virtually no time at all you'll be able to start leveraging the insights gained to get you on the path to better engagement, a wider reach and a new level of competitiveness for 2019.
Have you used any of the social media monitoring tools on our list? Have any recommendations for our readers that aren't included? Let us know in the comments below!