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Most social media tools just focus on one simple task; for example, scheduling social media content or collecting all of your social media statistics in one place. Social listening tools, even though their application on your social media channels may seem straightforward at first glance, have huge potential to be used for different purposes. With the best social listening tools, you can build your social listening strategy in a way that will cover all your business needs, from product development to closing sales.
All you need is to choose the right social listening tool for your social networks and goals. Note that I said the right one, not the best. One “best” social listening tool doesn’t exist, because the best will always depend on your needs and any existing social network resources.
Here’s a list that compiles 13 very different social listening tools to help you gain a deeper understanding of social monitoring tools and choose the ideal fit for your business and social media platforms.
Social channels monitored: Twitter, YouTube, Blogs & forums, Reddit, News, Web, Facebook, Instagram
Features: Non-stop monitoring, sentiment analysis, social selling, Boolean search, White-label reports, influencer search
Pricing: Starter. $39/mo, Pro. $119/mo, Enterprise. $399/mo
Free trial: 7-day
Awario allows you to monitor mentions of your own brand, as well as your competitors, industry buzzwords, specific campaigns, events, products, etc. Historical data will help you identify trends in your industry.
Besides reputation management, you can use Awario’s social media listening tool to provide immediate customer support, find linkless mentions, monitor backlinks, and so on. Moreover, it offers a sophisticated search mode based on a Boolean data type, which allows you to design intricate queries to satisfy your specific monitoring needs across social conversations. Awario also has a unique social selling module called Awario Leads. It finds people who might be interested in your brand by looking for social posts which ask for recommendations or alternatives to your competitors–a particularly useful way to access new potential customers on social platforms.
Social accounts monitored: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, TikTok, Twitch, Web, Review Sites, Blogs, Newsletters, and Podcasts
Features: Mentions Feed, Discussion Volume Chart, Mention Analytics, Influence Score, Sentiment Analysis, Data Exporting, Hashtag Analytics
Pricing: Individual: $49/mo, Team: $99/mo
Free trial: 14-day
Brand24 lets you monitor what people are saying about you across the Internet, engage with clients and influencers, and get more customer insights than ever before —everything you need to stay ahead of the game in your social media strategy!
The theme of their product is to make it easy for you to access enterprise-grade data in an easy-to-understand user interface, even if you are a beginner to using social listening tools. In doing so, Brand24 provides instant access to brand mentions across social, news, blogs, videos, forums, podcasts, reviews, and more.
Brand24 supports rich functionality, such as automated sentiment analysis, instant alerts, automated reporting, and rich hashtag tracking functionality.
Brand24 has a very attractive price point for its functionality and should certainly be considered when choosing a social listening tool for your marketing strategy.
Platforms monitored: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Reddit, forums, blogs
Features: Competitor Analysis, Report Customizability, Exporting, and Scalability, Follower Analysis, Social Measurement, Influencer Identification, Trend Analysis, Keyword Tracking and Sentiment Analysis
Pricing: Starts at $1,000 per month for 10,000 mentions
Free trial: 14-day
Brandwatch is a tool designed with high-level professional marketing departments in mind and aims to aid big corporations in monitoring social accounts and boosting their existing marketing efforts. It’s one of the most multifaceted and robust listening tools in terms of social data analytics, which leads to it being one of the most expensive ones.
Besides typical social listening features across social media posts and mentions, Brandwatch offers image recognition, demographic data about your audience, trending topics in your niche, API access, and dashboards that can be exported into customizable PowerPoint presentations. Moreover, to make social monitoring even easier, Brandwatch’s social media monitoring tool added AI, which recognizes trending topics relevant to your industry without you looking through endless amounts of data.
The tool also has a separate data visualization platform called Vizia. It lets you visualize the data collected and analyzed by Brandwatch and combines it with insights from a number of several other platforms (including Google Analytics, Buzzsumo, and Hootsuite), making it a truly robust social media monitoring tool.
Platforms monitored: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Reddit, Pinterest
Features: Content discovery, content research, Influencer search, Keyword monitoring, Account API
Pricing: Free with limited 10 searches monthly, Pro: $99/mo, Plus: $179/mo
Free trial: N/A
Acquired by Brandwatch, BuzzSumo is unique because of its emphasis on content and influencer marketing. It uses social listening to determine which content is performing best on social media, gives you recommendations on your own content creation and promotion, and lets you identify content trends.
As for influencer marketing, it searches for key influencers in your topic area and shows you the content and topics they share most often, as well as the domains they share.
It also provides Competitor Analysis which gives insights into your competitors’ marketing strategy and allows you to compare your content performance with rivaling brands. By allowing you to peek into relevant conversations, BuzzSumo allows companies’ social media accounts to act as a vital source of effective marketing.
Platforms monitored: Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Youtube
Features: Automatic scheduling, social media monitoring, performance reporting, basic task management, Social Analytics, Sentiment Analysis, Campaign Optimization
Pricing: Pro:$49/mo, Team:$179/mo, Business: $739/mo
Free trial: 30-day
Hootsuite is another one of the oldies-but-goodies tools. Hootsuite combines social media management tools and monitoring. With Hootsuite, you can set up unlimited social streams to monitor a number of topics. You can search both by keywords and locations, including review sites. Hootsuite also allows integration with other monitoring tools such as the aforementioned Brandwatch or review monitoring tools Reputology and ReviewTrackers.
The Hootsuite signals feature shows you the best performing content containing your keywords. This will help you identify the hottest topics in your industry or the influencer who mentioned your brand, in order to update your social media profiles appropriately.
Platforms monitored: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube
Features: Hashtags & Keyword Trackers, Account Trackers, Focus on specific influencers and filter out engagement generated by their activity, Get data from the past and backfill your account to analyze trends, API Acces, Competitor Tracking
Pricing: Basic: $49/mo, Plus: $99/mo, Pro: $199/mo
Free trial: 7-day
Keyhole is an Enterprise-level tool which combines two types of analytics. It monitors and analyzes your mentions while gathering all of your social media statistics across platforms into one place. As a result, you are able to see the full picture in one place: how many people are talking about you, how they engage with the content you share, how your social media following is (hopefully) growing, and how, correspondingly, you can improve customer experiences.
With Keyhole, you don’t interact with social mentions but rather discover trends, insights, and analysis of your preferred hashtags, keywords, or accounts. Keyhole offers a bunch of ways to present analyzed data such as keywords clouds, white-label reports, mention maps, historical reports, and an online dashboard that can be embedded on your website or shared to develop actionable insights.
Platforms monitored: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Vkontakte, News, Websites, Forums, Blogs
Features: mentions, Audience Targeting, Brand Tracking, API, Influencer Tracking, Keyword Tracking,
Sentiment Analysis, Social Media Monitoring, Social listening
Pricing: Free, Solo: €29/mo, Pro: €99/mo
Free trial: 7-day
Mention is one of the classical social media monitoring tools from way back when that allowed companies and brands to keep an eye on online conversations and overall social presence. It specifically concentrates on immediate results; i.e. after putting in your keywords and setting up an alert, you get mentions from the last 24 hours. Historical data is available on request under the Custom Plan only.
Mention allows integration by API for users who want to customize the tool according to their needs. It gives you access to Mention’s crawler and allows you to integrate features and collected data into already existing products.
As for data visualization, Mention offers a separate dashboard where you can present data in different ways, including line charts, pie charts, and bar graphs. It compiles and sends out automated reports which update you on what’s happening with your alerts regularly.
Platforms monitored: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn
Features: Social Analytics, Follower Analysis, Social Audience Insights, Employee Advocacy, Data Portability, Content Discovery, Sentiment Analysis
Pricing: Starter: $49/mo, Marketing Plan: $119, Business: $249
Free trial: 30-day
Oktopost specializes in social media management for B2B companies. What this actually means is that Oktopost is capable of tracking conversions back to social media engagement and online conversations, and enriching lead generation data with social engagement and profile data.
Oktopost’s integrations with marketing automation and CRM platforms make it easier to track how social media efforts impact the contacts already being tracked in your CRM.
Platforms monitored: Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, Foursquare, Flickr, Slideshare, Tumblr, WordPress, Zendesk, Livechat, Bazaar Voice, Survey Monkey, Clarabridge, Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo, Renren, and VK.
Features: Mentions, AB Testing, API, Benchmarking, Social Media Monitoring, Social Media Integration, Social Advertising, Sentiment Analysis, Reporting/Analytics
Pricing: Sprinklr provides custom pricing
No free trial.
Sprinklr is one of the leading tools for marketing, which offers various solutions for Enterprise-level customers. The solution that deals with social media (Sprinklr Social Cloud) includes:
- Publishing and Engagement features
- Display, which is used to visualize social media analytics data,
- Core platform, which stores your social media content,
- and a Social Listening feature.
It’s designed for big teams and constant monitoring, which is made possible with a mobile app, custom alerts, and automated report exports. For enhanced reputation management, Sprinklr uses machine learning to identify unusual and potentially harmful trends and alerts you in real time.
It analyzes social data and presents it in several ways which you are able to customize. The historical data going up to two years back is available on demand, allowing you to develop your social media campaigns with plenty of insight into your industry and the social media conversations happening in your field.
10. Sprout Social
Platforms monitored: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tiktok, YouTube, WhatsApp, Google’s Business Messages
Features: Smart Inbox, Comment Moderation, Collaborative Content Calendar, Sprout Queue, Asset Library, Group, Profile & Post-Level Reporting, Query Builder, Amplification, Social Selling,
Pricing: Standard: $89 per user/mo (billed annually) or $99 month-to-month, Pro: $149 per user/mo or $169 mo to mo
Free trial: 30-day
Sprout Social offers both social media management and monitoring in one tool. It allows you to schedule your posts, engage with mentions right from the platform, and monitor keywords and hashtags. Sprout Social gathers all the social data in one place and analyzes it in order to give you valuable marketing insights.
Sprout Social divides the social listening process into two separate features for monitoring and engagement. All your tagged social mentions are available in the Smart Box, and Discovery Feature lets you monitor a specific word or hashtag on social feeds like Twitter and Instagram.
Platforms monitored: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, VK
Features: Team communications, channel management, content analysis, automated alerts, and data intelligence, Influencer Identification, Sentiment Analysis, Sentiment Scoring
Pricing: Starts at $9,600 / year
Free trial: 14-day
Talkwalker is another Enterprise-level solution that fits big brands and agencies best. Just as with Brandwatch, it focuses more on analyzing social data rather than interacting with mentions one-by-one.
The tool offers various ways of working with data, including a Demographics dashboard which provides users with target audience by age, occupation, languages etc. The themes feature visualizes popular topics relevant to the keywords you monitor in a tag cloud and spreads the insights that have been gathered across a centralized dashboard.
Platforms monitored: Twitter.
Features: Scheduling Tweets, Collections, Search, Column filters, Wildcard, Advanced search, List management, Embedded Tweets, Mute keywords, Mute accounts
Tweetdeck is the official Twitter platform for managing your accounts. It’s a social media dashboard which typically shows you Tweets from people you follow, trending Tweets, and your account’s direct messages. Apart from gathering everything in one dashboard, Tweetdeck also lets you schedule your Tweets.
You can also set up separate fields for monitoring keywords and hashtags of your choice. In this case, you get access to Twitter’s search functionality, and you can customize the monitoring by using language and location filters, negative keywords, and date ranges. You can interact with the mentions on behalf of any of the Twitter accounts you connected to the app. It is not robust in the way that other social media managers and listening tools are because it focuses on a single platform, but it may be a good addition to other social media management and social listening tools.
13. Zoho Social
Platforms monitored: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google My Business, YouTube, Pinterest, Mobile
Features: Publishing Calendar, Content Queues, Listening dashboard, Define your workflow, Team discussions, Stats and Analytics, Custom reports, Schedule reports
Pricing: Standard: $10/mo, Pro: $30/mo, Premium: $40/mo
Free trial: 15-day
Zoho is primarily a management platform which offers social listening features to locate relevant content. It’s best for teams who don’t have the need or resources to engage in a long-term social listening strategy.
Zoho gathers all your tagged mentions from various social media platforms and online sources in one place and enables you to interact with them right from the platform in real time. It saves your interactions with users and displays them when needed to stay on top of your online presence. As for untagged mentions, you can monitor your brand and other keywords.
The dashboard is customizable, so every member of your social media team is able to personalize their screen while monitoring social media mentions in real time.
Which of These Best Social Listening Tools Will YOU Use?
Social media is one of the best sources to look into to get to know your social media audience, your competitors, and your industry. With a social monitoring tool, you get access to a huge pool of opinions and views which are voluntarily shared on the Internet. If information is power, social media mentions are one of the biggest power sources in the world.
However, with great power comes great responsibility, and in this case, the responsibility falls on the social listening tools you choose to make sure you are maximizing your social media performance.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a marketing agency, or a part of the social media department of a huge corporation, there’s a social listening tool for you. Think about what you have and what you need, and choose accordingly.
Hero photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash
Best Social Listening Tools FAQs
These are some of the best social listening tools:
6. Sprout Social
Social listening tools are software that helps in monitoring and analyzing your brand’s activity – specifically conversations online. They can also be applied to your competitors, specific topics, or anything related to your brand. The items that are tracked by social listening tools are your brand’s mentions, campaigns, influencer score, and even engagement.
Here are some social listening strategies:
1. Keep an eye on your real-time brand mentions across all your social media channels.
2. Gather all customer feedback.
3. Gather all mentions, insight, and conversations.
4. Keep track of all online conversations and sentiments.
These are tips on developing social listening tools:
1. Choose relevant keywords.
2. Know where is the right place to listen.
3. Narrow and filter your search.
4. Closely listen and learn from your competitors.
Check these tips on how to create a social listening strategy:
1. Identify your goals.
2. Choose the social media channel to focus on.
3. Utilize a social listening tool.
4. Track and analyze!