The 11 Best Social Listening Tools to Use in 2022

Katarzyna
August 25, 2022 ・ 15 min read

Social listening tools monitor social media platforms for mentions of brands, specific keywords, phrases, or hashtags. Marketers can use them to track and measure the success of marketing campaigns, identify potential customers or leads, and understand how the competition is faring.

Social listening tools are software that allows users to monitor, track, and analyze social media conversations. This can be incredibly useful for businesses who want to be able to keep an eye on what people are saying about their brand or industry online. Social listening tools can track mentions containing brand names, specific keywords, phrases, or hashtags.

There are a number of different social listening tools available, but not all are created equal. Here are the best social listening tools to try in 2022.

The 11 Best Social Listening Tools of 2022:

  1. Brand24
  2. Brandwatch
  3. Tweetdeck
  4. Awario
  5. Buffer
  6. Sprout Social
  7. Keyhole
  8. Talkwalker
  9. Hootsuite
  10. BuzzSumo
  11. HubSpot

01 Brand24

Free 14-day trial. Individual plan for $49.

Brand24 is one of the market’s most robust and affordable social listening and online media monitoring tools.

The tool covers a wide variety of sources, including all major social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Telegram, Twitch, Reddit, and Quora.

Moreover, the tool lets you keep an eye on all the online conversations, as it monitors blogs, news sites, review sites, podcasts, newsletters, and forums.

Brand24 collects mentions of your brand in real-time. It is a web monitoring tool with a powerful analytics section. The mentions are stored in a user-friendly dashboard.

Brand24 - Social listening tool
Brand24 – Social listening tool

Inside the tool, you will find:

  • Mentions tab with advanced filters
  • Estimated social media reach — telling you how many people could have come in contact with your social media posts
  • Sentiment analysis – offering an overview of how your brand, product, or campaign is perceived on social media
  • The total number of social media likes, shares, and comments
  • The most popular mentions
  • Top public profiles that talk about your brand
  • Trending hashtags and links
  • Most active sites that talk about your brand
  • Reputation and presence score
  • The context of a discussion

Use ​the Brand24 tool and discover the power of social listening!

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 reports them in real-time.

Brand24 mentions that contain keyword “social listening”

02 Brandwatch

Starts at $1,000/month for 10,000 mentions. Detailed pricing is available upon request.

Brandwatch is an enterprise-level social listening tool. It offers a wide range of functionalities but is quite expensive.

Brandwatch is a holistic social media monitoring tool. It covers major social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or Twitch, and blogs, forums, review sites, and news sites.

Brandwatch offers features such as:

  • Geolocation
  • Image recognition
  • Powerful demographic data
  • API access
  • Industry trends

Besides that, Brandwatch also offers a data visualization platform called Vizia. Vizia helps you visualize real-time data, and turn complex information into easily understandable insights.

Brandwatch -  Consumer Intelligence solution
Brandwatch – Consumer Intelligence solution

Read: Brandwatch Alternatives

03 Tweetdeck

Free social media listening tool.

Tweetdeck is a social media listening tool dedicated solely to Twitter. The tool collects and analyses social media mentions only from this platform.

Tweetdeck helps you manage your social media presence, especially if you’re managing 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.

Key features:

  • Tracking of mentions, hashtags, and users
  • Publishing and scheduling posts
  • Sending direct messages

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.

Tweetdeck - Twitter management tool
Tweetdeck – Twitter management tool

04 Awario

Free 7-day trial. The starter plan costs $39/month.

Awario is online monitoring software with analytical and reporting features. The tool monitors Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, YouTube, blogs, forums, and news. Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide Telegram or TikTok monitoring.

Awario serves for most important monitoring goals. It will help you grow brand awareness, find sales opportunities, engage with customers on social media and find influencers.

Awario is one of the most affordable tools. And it is quite basic at the same time. That’s why it is a good choice for small to medium companies looking to track mentions across the Internet.

Key features:

  • Real-time monitoring
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Email alerts
  • White-label reports
Awario - Online monitoring software
Awario – Online monitoring software

Check: Awario Alternative

05 Buffer

Free 14-day trial. Essentials plan for $60/year.

No social listening tools listicle will be complete without Buffer!

Buffer is a social media management platform. The tool lets you 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, and Twitter. It also offers an audience behavior unit to help you create better targeted social media campaigns.

The social media monitoring feature is not available within the core product. To gain access, you need to additionally buy Buffer Reply, which costs $39 per user/month. The monitoring feature only works for Twitter now.

In my opinion, it is disappointing that listening is available only on Twitter. Instead of paying for Buffer Reply, we can use Tweetdeck for free for this purpose. 

Key features:

  • Publishing and scheduling posts
  • Analyzing social media performance
  • Tracking of keywords, phrases, or hashtags on Twitter
  • Email notifications
Buffer - Social media management platform
Buffer – Social media management platform

06 Sprout Social

Free 30-day trial. The standard plan costs $89 per user/month.

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, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, and YouTube.

It offers social media automation to help you manage your online presence and get the 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.

Key features:

  • Monitoring of keywords and hashtags
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Measure the share of voice
  • Competitive Analysis
Sprout Social - Social media management tool
Sprout Social – Social media management tool

Check: Sprout Social Alternatives

07 Keyhole

Free trial and detailed pricing are available upon request.

Keyhole is another social listening tool that offers both monitoring features and social media management.

Keyhole lets you track the performance of your accounts through various social media channels (such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and TikTok) and provides the data necessary for making informed decisions.

The tool also offers social media analytics, letting you take a closer look at sentiment, 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.

Key features:

  • Monitoring of keywords and hashtags
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Brand comparisons
  • Notifications
Keyhole - Social media listening platform
Keyhole – Social media listening platform

08 Talkwalker

The basic plan costs 9.6k/year. Detailed pricing is available upon request.

Social intelligence is one of the core components of Talkwalker. With this tool, you can tap into online customer discussions across social media, forums, news sites, and blogs.

What is interesting, despite real-time monitoring, Talkwalker allows access to up to 5 years of historical data.

With Talkwalker you will be able to find influencers, topics, and content ideas that match your business. Furthermore, this tool will help you track the performance of your digital marketing campaigns.

Key features:

  • Consumer sentiment
  • Campaigns tracking
  • Finding trending topics
  • Share of voice
Talkwalker - Consumer intelligence platform
Talkwalker – Consumer intelligence platform

Read: Talkwalker Alternatives

09 Hootsuite

Free 30-day trial. The professional plan costs $49 per month.

Hootsuite advertises as a social media monitoring tool that lets you zero in on trends, topics, and social media profiles. That way, you can easily see what is going on when it comes to your industry niche.

Hootsuite cooperates with another social media 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
Hootsuite - Social media marketing tool
Hootsuite – Social media marketing tool

10 BuzzSumo

Free 30-day trial. The pro plan is available for $99/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.

Key features:

  • Tracking of topics, brands, and keywords
  • Search backlinks
  • Alerts and notifications
BuzzSumo - Content marketing platform
BuzzSumo – Content marketing platform

11 HubSpot

HubSpot is an all-in-one marketing 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.

HubSpot lets you write and share new posts and respond to comments straight from the tool, create marketing campaigns, build landing pages, set up marketing automation, and many more.

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.

With HubSpot, you can create keyword monitoring streams. 

Key features:

  • Monitor Twitter mentions
  • Publishing and scheduling posts
  • Create marketing campaigns
HubSpot - all-in-one marketing platform
HubSpot – all-in-one marketing platform

There you have it, the best social listening tools worth using for marketing and PR purposes.

Use ​the Brand24 tool and discover the power of social listening!

In case you would like to extend your knowledge, we got you covered:

How do social listening tools work?

You have a selection of the finest social listening tools. But how do the tools actually work?

Let me explain!

This example is based on Brand24. Many tools work on the same principle, so this social listening guide is universal.

Step 1: 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
  • The first and last names of any employees active on branded social media channels
  • The name of your product or service
  • Your branded hashtags
  • Your campaign hashtags

Step 2: Once you set up a project, the tool starts collecting all publicly available mentions. Also, from that moment on, you can delve into 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, you can measure social media reach, the volume of mentions, sentiment analysis, etc.
Mention Tab - Brand24
Mention Tab – Brand24
  • 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.
Analysis Tab - Brand24
Analysis Tab – Brand24
  • 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.
Summary Tab - Brand24
Summary Tab – Brand24

What is the most important while developing a social listening tool?

Developing a successful social listening tool comes with several challenges. The essential characteristic is data completeness. You don’t want to miss any public mentions. The primary reason why users switch social listening tools is missing key mentions. Apart from completeness, it is vital to collect mentions close to real-time. Naturally, the more time has passed since a potentially negative mention of a specific brand, the more likely it is to damage the overall reputation.

Moreover, modern Social Listening users expect excellent usability and affordability. Listening tools are not exclusive to Fortune500 companies anymore. The past few years saw a dynamic rise in interest from small and medium business owners.

Michał Sadowski, CEO at Brand24

Brand24 is a social listening tool that monitors online mentions.

What features should every social listening tool have?

That’s the most important question. To give you a comprehensive answer, I asked an expert with over 10 years of experience in the social listening industry.

Here are the thoughts of Mikołaj Winkiel, Chief Evangelist at Brand24:

  • User-friendly UX – The most important differentiator of the social listening tool is UX. Why? The tool should be accessible to every user (also non-experienced ones). Furthermore, it should present the social mentions and analytics in a clear and user-friendly way. Marketing teams do not have time to spend hours looking for data. Thanks to features available at your fingertips, it will be easier to find valuable results.
  • Advanced Filters – Social listening tools gather thousands of mentions each day. From a technical point of view, it is essential if the tool allows easy filtering of data. Thanks to advanced filters, such as Boolean Search, we can find the information we care about most effortlessly and quickly.
  • Notifications – The tool should allow you to set up notifications that will come to you immediately as soon as the monitoring catches content of interest. Setting up storm alerts can be extremely helpful in detecting PR crises at an early stage.
  • Summary tab – The necessary feature is the Summary tab (quantitative analysis). Seriously, I can’t imagine working with a tool that does not present a social listening data summary. No matter whether it will be a pdf report or a tab with the most important numbers, that will immediately tell us whether the monitored topic is popular or not.
  • Context of the discussion – An additional feature worth implementing in a tool is the context of the discussion. It is a summary of the most important topics that appear in the monitoring project. It really makes the job easier.

Use ​the Brand24 tool and discover the power of social listening!

How to choose a social listening tool?

With so many options available, it can be challenging to pick the right one. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a social listening tool:

  1. First, think about what you want to use the tool for. What are your goals? Do you want to track brand mentions? Conduct sentiment analysis? Increase brand awareness? Once you know what you need the tool to do, you can narrow down your options. Also, check the sources the tool monitors.
  2. Second, take a look at the features each tool offers. Some tools will have more robust features than others. Make sure the tool you choose has everything you need.
  3. Third, consider your budget. Yeah, that crucial factor. Tools can range from free (e.g. Tweetdeck) to hundreds of dollars per month (e.g. Brandwatch). Figure out how much you’re willing to spend before starting your search. Luckily, there are plenty of affordable options on the market. I am sure you will find a tool that meets your needs without breaking the bank.
  4. Finally, read reviews from other users. See what people are saying about the different tools on the market. To get an unbiased opinion before making your choice, check software review sites like G2 and Capterra.

With these 4 factors in mind, you should be able to find the perfect tool for your needs.

How to choose a social listening tool?

Why do companies use social listening tools?

Our customers mainly use social listening tools to monitor conversations about their brands and competitors. Thanks to that, they don’t have to track it manually and can react quicker to new conversations/comments. On the other hand, they can analyze statistics from their social media, and create or modify their current social media activity and measure it.

Mateusz Zdziński, Customer Success Manager at Brand24

Set up Brand24 and start social listening.

Benefits of social media listening tools

As marketers, we always look for ways to stay ahead of the competitors and boost marketing strategy. Social listening tools can support you in many ways – they do a lot more than just monitor what people are saying about your brand online.

With the proper social listening tool, you will be able to:

  • Track brand mentions and stay up-to-date on the latest conversations happening across social media. By listening to the conversations, you can gain valuable insights into what people are saying about your brand, your industry, and your competitors.
  • Conduct sentiment analysis to identify any negative sentiment and take action to address it. It will help you to recognize potential PR crises early and take steps to mitigate the damage.
  • Measure the key social media metrics such as reach, the share of voice, presence score, reputation score, and sentiment.
  • Find trending hashtags that match your business niche. Also, you will be able to track hashtags to discover their social media engagement and reach, the volume of mentions, sentiment, etc.
  • Improve influencer marketing by finding influencers that match your business niche.
  • Better understand the target audience, their needs, potential issues, and interests, and tailor your content accordingly.
  • Conduct competitor comparisons to discover their volume of mentions, sentiment, and sources of mentions.
Benefits of social media listening tools

Use ​the Brand24 tool and discover the power of social listening!

Final thoughts

While choosing social media listening tool, pay attention to those 5 factors:

  • Number of monitored sources,
  • Features such as advanced data filters, notifications, a summary tab, the context of the discussion, and a user-friendly dashboard,
  • Price to number of keywords you can monitor,
  • Opinions posted on software review websites,
  • Customer service solution.

There are lots of social listening tools out there, but not each will meet your expectations.

All-in-one tools such as Hubspot or Buffer focus on many areas. As a result, the social listening features might not be perfected.

The question is, do they develop their products and expand the number of monitored sources?

If you care about accurate monitoring data, I recommend focusing on dedicated social listening tools such as Brand24.

Take a look at the opinion recently posted on G2:

I reviewed and tried several different brand and media reach & monitoring services, and Brand24 was the best. They offer the most complete toolkit for setting up your monitoring, especially tracking #hashtag mentions, which not many services do. As a marketing agency, I especially valued the AVE to show my clients the dollar value of our social media and podcasting work. The reports were both detailed and visual, and can be customized. My clients loved them.

Rob S., Founder and President of marketing agency

So, ready to try the social listening tool? Start a free trial!