Social media listening tools help you find actionable insights across social media channels. The tools help you find out what people are saying about your brand, product, or service. The knowledge will help you develop a robust social media strategy and improve your overall business intelligence.
Social media is a goldmine of customer insights that will give you a competitive advantage over your rivals.
There are, however, a few problems with retrieving the information you need from social listening. The amount of data you need to analyse is astounding. You have to channel out the noise to find the real gold that will help you grow your business.
To relieve some of the pain of getting insights from social media, we prepared list of social listening tools and tips on how to use them.
Here’s what’s ahead of us today:
Top 10 social listening tools
That’s where social listening tools come to the rescue!
We’ve selected the best social listening and social media monitoring tools to spoil you for choice. Whether you’re looking for a robust and affordable social monitoring tool or a solution for enterprises, we got you covered!
Most of them will collect social media mentions of your brand across various platforms. Some focus specifically on one channel, for example, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
Without further ado, take a look at the 10 best social listening tools:
I bet you didn’t expect that, did you?
Brand24 is one of the most robust and affordable social listening and social media monitoring tools on the market.
The tool covers a wide variety of sources, including all major social networks such Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitch. Moreover, the tool lets you keep an eye on all the conversations happening online, as it monitors blogs and news sites, review sites, forums. The tool also offers newsletter monitoring.
Brand24 collects mentions of your brand in real-time.
It is a web monitoring tool with robust analytics section. The mentions are stored in a user-friendly dashboard.
Inside the tool you will find metrics such as:
- estimated social media reach — to tell you how many people could have come in contact with your social media posts
- sentiment analysis – to see how your brand, product, or campaign is perceived on social media
- monitor the performance of your hashtags to help you assess the results of your marketing campaigns
- the total number of social media likes, shares, and comments
- the most popular mentions
- top public profiles talking about your brand
Social media sentiment analysis is powered by machine learning algorithms, making it capable of delivering accurate results.
Another strong suit of Brand24 is the notification system. Every time there is a new mention in the dashboard, you can receive an in-app notification, a mail, or integrate your account with a dedicated Slack channel.
Brand24 collects publicly available mentions and report them in real time.
Brandwatch is an enterprise-level social listening tool. It offers a wide range of functionalities, but the tool is quite expensive.
Brandwatch is a holistic social media monitoring tool, which means it not only covers major social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or Twitch, but also blogs, forums, review sites and news sites.
Brandwatch offers features such as:
- image recognition
- powerful demographic data
- API access
- industry trends
Besides that, Brandwatch also offers a data visualisation platform called Vizia. Vizia helps you visualise the real-time data, and turn complex information into easily understandable insights.
Price: But for all the insights and knowledge, you have to pay. Brandwatch doesn’t offer a free trial period, and the monthly subscription starts at $800 per month.
Tweetdeck is a social listening tool dedicated solely to Twitter. The tool collects and analyses social media mentions only from this social media platform.
Tweetdeck helps you manage your social media presence, especially if you have to manage many different social media profiles.
Tweetdeck shows you all the tweets and Twitter feed aggregated in one dashboard. You can get an instant overview of your news feed, private messages, and trending topics.
Tweetdeck is a great tool, but it doesn’t offer any advanced analytics, for example, social media reach or Twitter sentiment analysis. And this tool only works on Twitter.
Price: Tweetdeck is a free social listening tool.
Tweetreach is another social listening tool that will help you manage your Twitter presence and answer one very important question — how far did your tweets travel?
This social listening tool will help you discover important data about your social media account:
- what is the best time to tweet?
- what type of content gets the most engagement?
- which hashtags should you be using?
- who are your industry influencers?
Twitter assistant will also help you identify ways to improve your Twitter presence.
Unfortunately, Tweetreach only works on Twitter.
Price: Tweetreach is a free social listening tool.
No social listening tools listicle will be complete without Buffer!
Buffer will help you manage your social media presence across different platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks.
Buffer is a social media management platform. With the help of the tool, you can easily schedule social media posts and engage with your audience. It also offers one inbox for all your social media messages.
Buffer works with major social media networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. It also offers an audience behaviour unit that will help you create better targeted social media campaigns.
Price: Buffer starts of $35 per month and offers a 14-day free trial.
Sprout Social is another social media management tool with a social listening twist. The tool collects mentions of your brand across major social media platforms. It offers social media automation that will help you manage your online presence and get the social listening insights you need to boost your business.
Sprout Social helps you manage your presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Besides social listening, Sprout Social also offers social media management and publishing services.
Price: The social listening tool starts at $99 per month.
Keyhole is another social listening tool that offers both social listening features and social media management.
Keyhole lets you track the performance of your accounts through various social media channels and provides the data necessary for making informed decisions.
The social listening tool also offers social media analytics, letting you take a closer look at sentiment analysis, keyword clouds, and geographical data of your mentions.
One of the strong features of Keyhole is hashtag tracking. You can track the performance of your hashtags across different social media channels. The data can be used to measure the results of your social media campaigns.
Price: Keyhole’s social listening plan starts at $199 per month and offers a free trial.
Hootsuite advertises as a social media monitoring tool and it lets you zero in on trends, topics, and social media profiles. That way, you can easily see what is going when it comes to your industry niche.
Hootsuite cooperates with another social listening tool — Brandwatch. Once you subscribe to Hootsuite, you’ll be able to access audience insights that will help you make more informed decisions.
Hootsuite insights platform allows you to:
- use a powerful set of filters (date, demographics, location)
- identify industry leaders
- discover how your brand is perceived online
- get instant notifications once a keyword is used online
Price Hootsuite starts at $19 per month
BuzzSumo is a tool dedicated to improving your social media content. The tool will discover top-performing content, find influencers to promote your social media channels and monitor your predefined keywords.
We’re interested in the last component.
You can create alerts and get notifications once a keyword that matters is used online.
But BuzzSumo is mainly a social media intelligence app. One of its strongest features is the assessment of shared content. That way, you can see what type of content performs best.
Price: BuzzSumo starts at $99 per month and offers a 30-day free trial.
HubSpot is a go-to platform when it comes to social media management. The main aim of the HubSpot interface is to find the optimal way to grow your business using social media.
Part of the growth hacking is social listening.
HubSpot lets you write and share new posts, respond to comments straight from the social listening tool. One of the strongest features of HubSpot is the ability to nurture leads. If your main aim is to grow your client base through social media, HubSpot offers some interesting solutions.
Price: The social listening tool starts at $50 per month.
What is social listening?
Social media listening is a process that consists of two steps — social monitoring and social analysing.
In the first step, you collect all the social media conversations that contain your predefined keyword. That is the passive element of social listening, and it is called social monitoring. You track mentions and react when something happens, for example, you see a spike in negative mentions or you want to monitor the results of a hashtag marketing campaign.
Social listening starts during the second phase of the project.
In the second step, you will analyse the social mentions and draw actionable conclusions. Social listening has an impact on many different aspects of your business, starting, of course, with social and ending with product development.
Social media monitoring is more about hard numbers. While conducting the process, you will take a look at
- the number of brand mentions
- estimated social media reach of your hashtags
- mentions about your competitors
- social media interactions.
Social listening takes all the data collected during the first phase of the process and indicates what you need to do to boost your social presence.
As I said before, social listening is about the actions you take in response to the data you collected.
Try social listening! Start your free trial here (no credit card required)
Take sentiment analysis, for example. By measuring the social sentiment, you will know how people feel about your brand which will help you make more informed decision when it comes to product development or customer service.
Social listening can have a profound impact on many different aspects of your brand positioning. Businesses that apply social listening usually thrive in the online world.
Let’s take a closer look at all the aspects of your brand’s presence that could be improved by social listening.
Why is social listening important?
Social listening gives you direct access to many useful insights you might miss otherwise. If you don’t listen to what people say about your brand, they are basically talking behind your back.
You can apply the knowledge to many different aspects of your brand development.
Build relationships with customers
Relationship marketing offers many benefits for your company. Once you establish a relationship with your clients, there is a chance they will stay with you longer and buy more. It is cheaper to keep your current customers satisfied than to attract new ones.
How do you build relationships with your clients and minimise churn?
By building engagement, increasing brand awareness, and working on reputation management.
Once you track your brand mentions, you will be able to interact with your audience wherever they are. You will discover the pain points of your clients, discover what type of content they interact with, and will build positive brand reputation.
Manage social media crises
Managing your brand’s online presence will also pinpoint social media crises in the making.
There are many strategies you can implement to social media crisis management but the most important one is that you have to act fast, before it all hits the fan.
That is where social sentiment analysis comes in handy. Most social listening tools collect mentions in real-time, so you will be aware of a brewing crisis as soon as possible.
To help you protect your brand reputation, we offer three types of notifications:
- Slack integration, where chosen mentions are sent in real time to a dedicated Slack channel
- in-app notifications (work both for Android and iOS)
- email Storm Alerts
We have discussed the benefits of monitoring negative sentiment, but there are benefits to monitoring the positive buzz around your brand. A carefully chosen social media listening tool will help you find deeper insights other businesses are unaware of.
Positive sentiment will indicate your strong suits. That’s an incredible piece of insight you can apply across many different departments.
If you share the results of your analysis with the performance marketing department, they will know which features to underline in their apps.
For product development, it will indicate the path in which the tool, service, or product should develop.
Monitor your competitors
Social listening is all about gaining knowledge you can apply within your organisation. You should listen to all relevant conversations, including those concerning your competitors. Web monitoring is an indispensable part of competitor analysis.
You can start a separate social listening project to track your competitors’ actions.
You will discover their strong and weak points that will help you determine your unique value proposition.
Social listening will also help you discover when your competitors launch marketing campaigns and what the results are, including estimated social media reach and sentiment.
Discover social media influencers
Influencers can do wonders to your company. They will endorse your business and present it to brand new audiences you wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise. They will provide a dedicated content their audience likes to interact with.
The key to a successful influencer marketing campaign is to choose the right influencer — a person whose values are in line with your branding.
Social listening will help you with that. By analysing online mentions, a social listening tool will determine who is already talking about your product or who is a prominent figure within your business niche.
To give you all the information necessary to make informed decisions, including calculation on the share of voice or the influence.
Social listening tips
At this point, social listening might seem a bit intimidating. There are lot of information to process and implement within your company.
To make the process a bit easier, I prepared a list of social listening and monitoring tips!
Apply social listening and monitoring across a variety of sources
You should track your brand mentions across a wide range of social sources.
You might have an official fan page on Facebook and Instagram, but that does not mean people are not talking about you on Twitch, YouTube, or TikTok, not to mention blogs, forums, and other free social media platforms.
Platforms like that emerge now and then, with the help of web monitoring you will know right away of every new social posts.
Your job is to find as many relevant mentions as possible, so don’t limit yourself to the platforms you know.
Never underestimate your competitors
You can learn a lot from your competitors. A thorough social listening project focused on competitors research can unveil a lot of useful insights.
You will know what type of messages your competitors are using, on which channels they target their audience, and what the sentiment around their brand is. Then include the data in your marketing strategy.
Use social listening reports
Social listening will provide information you can use across your organisation. To make full use of the data, you should distribute it across many different departments.
Social listening data can improve your product, customer service, content creation, and more. The data can answer specific questions and save you a ton of money on customer research.
Social listening is a process that requires your active participation. It is much more about gaining insights than collecting metrics.
Don’t be afraid to test the changes once you establish a pattern over time. Social listening can vae a profound and positive impact on your brand, if only you’d give it a chance.
How do social listening tools work?
You have a selection of the finest social listening tools. But how do the tools work in the first place?
Let me explain!
This example is based on Brand24. Many social listening tools work on the same principle, so this social listening guide is universal.
First, you need to choose the relevant keywords you want to track. You probably want to monitor keywords such as:
- the name of your company
- first and last name of any employees active on branded social media channels
- the name of your product or service
- your branded hashtags
- your campaign hashtags
Once you set up a project, a social listening tool starts collecting all publicly available mentions.
From that moment on, you can delve into social listening analytics.
For day-to-day activities, check out the Mentions tab. The tab aggregates social media content and displays it together with basic analytics and filters. You will get a general overview of what is happening around your brand, for example, the volume of mentions, sentiment analysis, and a range of filters.
If you want some in-depth analytics, take a look at the Analysis tab. You will find the most popular mentions, mentions by category, trending hashtags, top public profiles, and keyword cloud.
If you need to compare two time periods, for example, to see the results of a social media marketing campaign, take a look at the Summary tab.
How to choose a social listening tool?
Before you choose a social listening tool that meets your needs, you should answer one question — what do you want to achieve? Best social media monitoring tools will help you achieve your business goals and stay one step ahead of your competitors.
There are social listening tools that will track multiple social media platforms, offer insightful analytics, and robust social media sentiment analysis. They will track online conversations in real-time and find relevant content right away.
There are also social listening and monitoring tools that will offer many social media management features and a bonus in the form of social listening. The analytics of social listening might be a bit less actionable, but you will be able to schedule social media posts right from the tool.
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