Social media monitoring tools have been around for years and yet I think they are still underutilized, even though there are so many of them to choose from.
The main reason is probably the fact that many business owners think it’s for big brands only, and they don’t consider themselves to have an online presence requiring the use of such tools.
Sure, there are businesses that are hardly ever talked about online, but a vast majority could take their marketing to the next level with the use of a social media monitoring tool.
As I’ve mentioned, there are quite a few names to choose from.
Even though they can all be labelled as social media monitoring tools, they somehow vary a lot from each other.
There are tools that are totally free and those that you need to pay big bucks for.
Then, some of them are dedicated, standalone social media monitoring tools, whereas many of them are all-in-one solutions that combine monitoring, scheduling, publishing, content creation, etc.
I decided to make it a little bit easier for you folks and picked the 12 best social media monitoring tools for small and medium businesses that offer a great bang for your buck!
Whether you want to collect mentions of your brand, keep an eye out on your competitors or evaluate the results of your marketing campaign, it’s all there for you in a single dashboard.
Brand24 crawls both social and traditional web so results from forums, blogs or news sites are there for you as well.
You can quickly get to the mentions that matter to you the most with a range of filters related to sentiment, influence, location, etc.
One of my personal favourite features that saves a lot of time is the Slack integration that helps me keep track of all the most important mentions in a Slack channel while collaborating with my teammates at the same time.
Before you upgrade to one of the paid plans ranging from $49 to $399, you can test it for free for two weeks.
Keyhole helps you in many different areas, from brand monitoring, market research, event monitoring, influencer marketing, to collecting historical data from Twitter and Instagram.
It’s delivered within 1 business day and, as far as I know, is only included in the enterprise plan. However, it’s optional for plans below that and can be purchased on a per-project basis.
Apart from the core product, you can also make use of free hashtag and account trackers that that will help you monitor posts containing your hashtags, keywords and post by your competitors and yourself.
When I first got into the digital marketing, it thought Hootsuite was just a scheduling app, but there’s so, so much more to it than that!
In fact, it’s a robust tool offering a range of features beginning from scheduling, content curation, analytics, monitoring, etc.
You can either start a 30-day free trial or schedule a demo before you choose from 4 different plans depending on your needs and budget (Professional, Team, Business, Enterprise).
4. Sprout Social
Sprout Social categorizes its services by three different segments – business type, need and network.
Whether you’re a small business, agency, or an enterprise, you should find it useful.
It’s got quite a few features ranging from analytics, engagement, publishing, and listening.
Sprout offers three different pricing plans – Premium, Corporate and Enterprise that cost $99, $149 and $249 respectively.
Tweetdeck is a free tool that helps you set up streams of mentions.
It’s fully customisable, so you can set up a column that will help you track either a hashtag, keyword or a user.
On top of that, you can also monitor the activity of the people you follow or add a list column.
What I find particularly cool about it is the ability to schedule tweets. I used it quite often for content promotion on Twitter and found it highly useful for the Twitter chat I used to run in the past.
The only downside I can think if is it only monitors Twitter and no other social media platforms.
6. Buffer Reply
Buffer is yet another robust tool with a range of features at your disposal.
Famous for its transparency and company culture, it offers 5 different plans, one of which is free.
Social media monitoring is not available within the core product, but you’ll have access to it with the Bussines plan offered by Buffer Reply product. The monitoring feature only works for Twitter now.
Once again, we’re talking about a primarily social media management tool.
Supporting Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and Youtube, Agora Pulse helps you publish, engage, listen, report and collaborate on your digital marketing projects.
It caters to small businesses as well as agencies and large teams.
Once you’ve done with the 14-day free trial, you can pick one of the plans ranging from €49 to €249.
8. Social Mention
Social Mention is a free social media search engine that aggregates user-generated content from across the web.
Following the information from their website, the tool monitors 100+ social media properties.
You don’t need to set up an account to start monitoring a topic or your brand, which is pretty cool, but you also won’t be able to save your results for the future.
Still, considering it’s a free tool it provides valuable information for those just starting with social media monitoring.
Talkwalker is a bit of both worlds – you can go for its pricier version or settle for one of the free products – Talkwalker Alerts or Talkwalker’s Free Social Search.
While Alerts seem to be a Google Alerts alternative, social search is all about tracking your brand, company, or hashtag across the web.
The main product consists of social listening and analytics suite, influencer marketing platform and AI engine.
As far as the plans are concerned, the Basic one aimed at smaller brands or owned media-focused organisations costs $9,600 yearly. The prices of the two remaining plans, Corporate and Enterprise are discussed on request.
Falcon is another product that took the all-in-one approach.
It helps you manage your content in one calendar, monitor the social web for insights, use one inbox for all your interactions, track your performance across channels, create automated ad campaigns and see all your audience data in one place.
It has a pretty standard division of their plans, so we’ve got Starter, Pro and Premium. There’s no free trial and all pricing details are available upon requested demo.
11. Zoho Social
Zoho Social is yet another robust tool that helps you in a number of different areas from creating, scheduling and publishing content to monitoring brand mentions and keeping all your social conversations in one place.
You can engage people mentioning your brand directly from the dashboard, but what makes it stand out from the rest is the Facebook Lead Ads integration that helps you capture and monitor leads in real time.
Test the tool for 15 days for free before you choose one of the available plans.
Standard and Professional are available for Individuals & Businesses that are available for both monthly and yearly subscriptions, whereas Agency and Agency plus aimed at Agencies are available only on yearly subscriptions.
Based in Paris, France, Mention has recently been acquired by Mynewsdesk, an online newsroom and PR platform provider.
However, both tools continue to provide separate services and Mention helps people monitor their products, industries, competitors, etc. anywhere online.
You can take it for a spin with a free trial and then choose one of the three available plans, $29 a month being the most affordable.
There’s also Mention for Enterprise and Agencies that you need to request demos to get all the details.
Which social media monitoring tool should I use?
That’s a question only you can answer.
You’re the one who knows your needs and budget the best.
With a majority of tools offering free trials, your best bet would be to spend some playing with the ones that seem the most interesting to you to pick the one that aligns with your requirements the most.
Hopefully, this list will make your search easier and less time-consuming!