19 Best Social Listening Tools to Monitor Brand Mentions
In today’s marketplace, social media is a powerful tool for building brand presence, engaging your audience, and getting new leads.
Given that, about 54% of browsers are using social media for product research, it is worth paying attention to what people are saying about your brand online. This is where social listening comes in.
Social listening involves looking out for mentions, conversations, and any posts related to your brand, especially on social media. Social listening tools allow you to effectively follow such conversations and fine-tune your social media marketing strategy to get the most impact.
In short, social listening tools help you stay on top of anything related to you that happens online (which can be a lot!).
In this post, we’ll look at the most popular social listening tools and rank them based on features, value for money, and overall performance. Let’s get started!
What is the Best Social Listening Tool?
Since the advent of social media, the marketplace for social media tools and services has grown exponentially. There is quite an impressive array of options for social media listening, tracking, and marketing available.
Whether you’re new to social media or are an established brand with a big social media following, you’re sure to find a tool that will work for your business. Here are our top picks for the best social listening tools based on performance and features.
Best All-Round Social Media Management and Listening Tool for Small to Large Businesses and Agencies.
Hootsuite is a veteran brand when it comes to social media management and has been in existence since 2008. The platform provides everything you need to create, manage and track your entire social media campaign in one place.
With Hootsuite, you can create and schedule posts for multiple social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. This makes Hootsuite perfect for businesses and brands with multiple large social media followings.
The feature that makes Hootsuite ideal for social listening is its streams feature. Once you sign up for a Hootsuite account, you’ll see all your social media feed in one place which is your dashboard.
The dashboard also helps you monitor mentions of your brand on social media like tweets, tags, user-generated content (UGC) as well as shares. It’s not just tracking conversations either, you can even reply to messages right from your Hootsuite dashboard too.
Other features include
- Map out and plan your marketing campaigns with previews of scheduled posts
- Get in-depth reporting and analytics on post performance, reach, and engagement
- Create and manage all your ad campaigns using the Hootsuite ads tool
- Track how your campaigns are influencing conversions and sales beyond social media with Hootsuite Impact.
- Team and client collaboration tools.
Hootsuite offers three paid pricing plans and a free plan. Paid pricing plans start from $19/month for the Professional plan and gives you access to unlimited scheduled posts, 1 user, and 10 social media accounts.
The Team plan gives you 3 users, 20 social media accounts, analytics reports, and unlimited posts billed at $99/month.
Finally, the Enterprise plan, which is designed for large teams and agencies allows 35 social media accounts, access to all of Hootsuite’s tracking and marketing tools, and more than 5 users for $599/month. All paid plans come with a free 30-day trial.
- Free plan available
- Allows for team and client collaboration
- Supports multiple social media platforms including YouTube.
- Responds to messages and mentions from one place
- Lets you manage paid ads from one centralized dashboard
- Dashboard can be confusing
- Doesn’t allow you to preview posts
Get started with Hootsuite for free today.
Best User-friendly Platform for Small Businesses and Agencies.
Buffer is an established social media management and marketing SaaS platform designed with small business owners in mind. Started in 2010 with just Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as its main platforms, today it also includes options for LinkedIn and Pinterest.
Buffer’s winning feature is its ease-of-use. Most other social listening tools may feel clumsy, cluttered, or simply overwhelming for a complete beginner.
However, the platform’s clean and easy-to-navigate user interface makes it easy for anyone to plan and manage their social media campaigns. Apart from allowing you to create and schedule posts, Buffer also offers tools that let you track and monitor your brand’s growth.
In terms of social listening, Buffer offers engagement tools that allow you to respond to comments, reactions, and questions quickly all from one unified dashboard. You can even create keyboard shortcuts and emojis that let you respond quickly to comments and messages.
Other features include
- In-depth analysis and reporting tools to track how effective your campaigns are
- Instagram story planning feature so you can schedule your Instagram stories ahead of time
- Collaborate with teams to work on content and branding for posts
- Get notifications or reminders via mobile before a post goes live.
- Refine and improve your Shop grid to drive more traffic and sales.
- Third-party app integrations are available including Zapier, IFTTT, Feedly, and more.
Buffer has a free plan and three paid plans. Its free plan gives you three social accounts, 10 posts per account, and one user, but none of the social listening tools for engagement and analysis.
Paid plans start from $15/month billed monthly and allows you to have 8 social channels, 100 posts per channel, and 1 user. You’ll also have access to Instagram commenting, tagging, and comment sentiment. You’ll also be able to use its HotKeys keyboard shortcut feature.
The Premium plan gives 8 social channels, 2 users, and up to 2,000 scheduled posts per account. You also have access to all its engagement tools including Instagram hashtag manager, stories, and Shop grid.
Finally, the Business plan bills at $99/month billed monthly for 25 social channels, 6 users, and 2,000 scheduled posts per account. You’ll also be able to create and manage draft posts, use all engagement and marketing tools plus view full history post reports.
- Free plan available.
- Clean and intuitive user interface.
- Browser extension and third-party app integrations.
- Gridview feature available to preview feed
- HotKeys for keyboard shortcuts to respond to comments
- Free plan offers very limited posts.
Get started with Buffer for free today.
Best Social Media Management Tool with Dedicated Social Listening Features.
If you’re looking for a social media management tool with dedicated social listening features, then Agorapulse is your best bet. Based in France, Agorapulse supports over 31,000 social media managers including renowned brands like Ogilvy and West Virginia University.
In fact, the platform claims to have been voted the #1 social media management platform as compared to competitors like Hootsuite and Sprout Social on review sites like Capterra.
Agorapulse allows you to schedule, publish and track how your content is performing on social media from its simple yet user-friendly interface. The platform currently supports Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube post scheduling and publishing.
One of its most outstanding features is its social listening tool. Unlike other platforms that simply curate any and everything mentioned in relation to the brand, Agorapulse lets you fine-tune your social listening efforts based on specific criteria.
Again, you can directly respond to tweets, and DMs by simply clicking on them from the dashboard. You can use Boolean operators to also get better search results on which particular conversations you want to listen to and even add location and language specifics.
In terms of collaboration, you can label a conversation and even assign it to a teammate to follow up on or respond to. Other features include
- Inbox Assistant tool to help you automatically respond to and label multiple messages from either ads or organic posts in one place.
- Content editing tools like image editor, thumbnail customization, and grid previews.
- Queue content into related categories for campaigns
- Track your content’s performance on each platform complete with in-depth analytics and team performance monitoring.
Agorapulse has three paid pricing plans. The Pro plan bills at $99/month and allows unlimited posts, 2 users, 10 social profiles, bulk scheduling, and ad comments/ monitoring.
The Premium plan bills at $199/month and gives you 25 social profiles and 4 users, hourly Twitter sync of up to 10,000 items, and collision detection to avoid having the same DM being replied to twice.
Finally, the Enterprise plan is their high-end, customizable social media plan that you can customize to suit your business needs and offers priority customer support (30 minutes response time or less). Simply call in to speak to a sales rep with your specifics.
Agorapulse also offers a free plan for individuals who are just trying to find their pulse on social media and that allows you to have 3 social profiles, 1 user, and 40 scheduled posts per month.
- Dedicated social listening feature
- Collision detection feature to prevent multiple collaborators from responding to the same messages.
- Boolean search feature for keyword-specific listening.
- Team and client collaboration tools like assigning and approving posts.
- Pricing is high even on the medium-tier plan.
You’ll get a 20% discount if you choose to subscribe to annual plans. Sign up for Agorapulse for free today.
Best Social Media Monitoring Platform for Small to Medium Businesses.
Most social listening tools tend to come as part of a full-service social media management tool, but Brand24 is different. It stands out because it was designed specifically for social listening. Hence the full emphasis is placed on helping you monitor and track online brand mentions.
Brand24 is your go-to service for online reputation management, media, and competition tracking. Because it’s not designed just for social media management, you can schedule posts but you still get a Mentions Feed, which allows you to track mentions of your brand online.
There is also a discussion volume chart, so you can see how many people are talking about your brand and an influencer score and sentiment analysis. These two features tell you the authority index of those mentioning and discussing your brands.
Other features include
- Custom alerts to notify you of any changes in discussion volume and quality.
- Filter what you track so you can narrow or broaden your listening s much as you like.
- In-depth reports and analytics of your brand’s reputation online
- Integration with Slack
Brand24 has three pricing plans. All plans come with social media monitoring, Facebook and Instagram mentions, newsletter and podcast monitoring, plus Slack integration.
The Plus plan bills at $49 for 5 keywords at 5,000 mentions per month, 5 users, 12 hourly updates plus data analysis. The Premium plan offers 10 keywords at 100,000 mentions per month, 10 users and hourly updates billed at $99.
Finally, the Max plan bills at $199 for 20 keywords at 250,000 mentions monthly and live updates plus 99 users.
- Dedicated features for social listening
- Alerts to track brand-related discussions
- Room for team social listening and collaboration
- Influencer score analysis helps identify potential relationships that can be leveraged to grow brand presence.
- Newsletter and podcast monitoring.
- Mobile app
- Slack integration
- No feature for responding to mentions
Sign up for a free 14-day trial of Brand24 here.
Best Enterprise-Level A.I and Image Recognition-Based Social Listening Platform.
If you’re looking for a social listening tool that does more than just alert you of brand mentions, YouScan is your go-to tool. The platform adds a whole other dimension to social listening by combining A.I with image recognition which is a rare yet powerful feature.
YouScan boasts of an impressive list of clientele including Coca Cola, Samsung, Burger King and even Starbucks. You’ll be able to analyze consumer opinions, find out what your customers are loving or complaining about and create specific action plans to deal with such issues.
One of YouScan’s most outstanding features is its image and logo recognition. The feature finds user generated images including objects, activities, scenes and even detects demographic details on images using A.I.
This provides businesses with quick and valuable visual insights into how consumers are engaging with your brand in the real world. Thus you’ll be able to better understand your buyer personas, find inspiration for your marketing campaigns and also connect with influencers.
Other impressive features include
- Insights wall that displays trends of all your brand engagements and follows on a customizable dashboard.
- Brand mention alerts and notifications including sentiment analysis so you can quickly respond to negative feedback.
- A mention wall that lets you follow all brand mentions whether they are on social media or on popular websites and search engines.
- Control your mention feed by setting up manual or automatic filters to exclude keywords, hashtags or locations.
- Analytics reporting
- Spam filtering
- AINA virtual assistant
YouScan comes with four paid pricing plans. All plans come with an analytical window and other standard features of spam filtering, trend monitoring, categories, Mention wall, smart alerts and Word clouds.
The Standard pricing plan bills at $12,000 per year and allows 100k mentions and 5 rules per topic. You also get integration with Slack and Telegram plus data collection tools including keyword search.
ThePro Plan bills at $18,000 per year and allows up to 1M mentions and 25 rules per topic. You’ll also get custom dashboards, integration with CRM and Helpdesk tools and additional data collection tools like text on image recognition (OCR) and channels.
Finally the Insight plan bills at $36,000 per year and allows up to 10 million mentions with 100 rules per topic. You also get API support, Visual Insights,and webhooks integrations.
If your business has custom needs, the Enterprise plan allows you to customize which specific features you’ll need. Reach out to their sales team for a custom quote.
- A.I powered image and logo recognition.
- Customizable trends dashboard.
- Smart alerts to track mentions and comments.
- Integrations with Slack and Telegram.
- API support
- Not beginner-friendly.
Get started with YouScan by requesting a free demo.
Best Free Twitter Management and Social Listening Tool.
For businesses that actively engage on Twitter, TweetDeck is a handy tool that’ll help you manage multiple Twitter accounts from your desktop or on your browser. Initially, the platform existed as a standalone app and service, but was acquired by Twitter in 2016.
Since then, Twitter scaled it down to a desktop and in-browser app and shifted focus to the main Twitter app. It’s still a useful tool for managing comments, likes, retweets and following trending conversations for multiple accounts. The best part is it's 100% free to use.
So what makes TweetDeck standout? For starters, you can enjoy real-time live streaming of active tweets and conversations related to specific keywords. Again, you can also create as many columns as you like with TweetDeck.
Customize your columns based on either a specific kind of tweet, user, certain hashtags, keywords, or even images. What’s more, you can reply or send DMs, mute or block specific profiles and even schedule Tweets with up to 4 images to be automatically posted later.
TweetDeck simplifies your entire Twitter management and automation without having to download another app. Other impressive features includes
- Set up notification alerts and pop ups from right within your browser.
- Mute specific users or hashtags
- Teams feature for joint management of a Twitter account without having to share account passwords.
- Manage multiple timelines, searches, lists, mentions from a unified dashboard
TweetDeck is absolutely free to use, regardless of how many accounts you choose to manage or users you add to collaborate on an account.
- Free to use.
- Manage multiple accounts at no extra charge.
- Team collaboration feature that eliminates the need to share passwords.
- Real-time live streaming of Tweets and replies.
- Get pop up browser or desktop notifications of brand mentions on Twitter.
- Works for Twitter only
Download TweetDeck for free today.
Best Choice For Social Media-Based Customer Support Businesses.
Sprout Social is one of the leading social media management platforms used by both small businesses and agencies alike. With Sprout Social you get a comprehensive set of social media management tools including tools for social listening as well.
Since the platform includes tools for social media management, you’ll be able to create and schedule posts for all your social media accounts including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube.
In terms of social listening tools, Sprout Social allows you to own a share of voice and distinguish your brand by providing insights into conversations around your brand in a single custom dashboard.
On top of providing analytics to track mentions, you can further specify the criteria to track using Boolean phrases in the Sprout Social Query Builder and to also ensure that mentions displayed are actually about your brand.
You can also take advantage of the unified smartbox which allows you to respond to all messages, retweets, reposts and even lets you repin or like content. The unified smartbox lets you filter your messages too either via hashtags or keywords. Other features include
- Creating and scheduling posts across multiple social media platforms
- Customizable analytics reports
- Competitor tracking
- Visual calendar to give you an overview of your social media campaigns.
Sprout Social has three paid pricing plans. All plans come with a social content calendar, profile, keywords and locations monitoring, tasking and social CRM tools plus analytics reports.
The Standard Plan bills at $99 per month per user and provides review management across Google My Business, Facebook and Tripadvisor as well as paid promotion tools to boost Facebook posts for 5 social profiles.
The Professional plan bills at $149 per user per month for 10 social profiles and gives you; competitive reports for Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, Twitter trend analysis for keywords and hashtags plus response rate time analysis.
Finally, the Advanced Plan bills at $249 per user per month for 10 social user profiles, chatbots and automation tools, message alerts when messaging activity goes up as well as a digital asset and content library.
- Supports all major social media platforms
- Review management tools to manage your online reputation
- Boolean phrase and keyword support
- Chatbot and automation tools available
- Trend analysis for keyword
- Lacks specific social listening features like sentiment analysis and mention reports.
Try Sprout Social with a free 30-day trial today!
Best SEO-Based Social Listening Tool for Businesses.
BuzzSumo is better known as a content analysis and SEO tool but also offers an impressive set of social listening tools.
Its flagship keyword research tool is popular for tracing how frequently a keyword has been used in the online space including Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit and backlinks. It also gives you a keyword’s evergreen score and amount of engagement in terms of shares and likes.
This feature by itself makes it useful for social listening and tracking mentions of your brand or business online. It tells you how many times your brand was mentioned and where e. g.100 times on Facebook or 300 times on Twitter and for what reason.
Another handy feature is its alerts. You can set up alerts to track everything from keyword mentions, backlinks, competitor posts and brand mentions. You can further narrow down which specific parameters you want to receive alerts for based on your goals.
Other features include
- Integrate your keyword research into your workflow with the projects tool.
- Influencer research tools to find influencers in your niche either on Twitter, YouTube or authors on the web.
- Web content analyzer to find trending topics across the web, YouTube or backlinks.
- Keyword research tools to find popular questions being asked in your niche.
BuzzSumo has four paid pricing plans starting from $99/month to $499/month. All plans come with unlimited monthly searches, exports, trending feeds and unlimited projects and items.
The Pro plan starts at $99/month and gives you 5 users, 5 alerts, 1 year of data, 50 exports and 10 trending feeds.
The Plus plan starts at $179/month and gives you access to 10 users, 10 alerts, 1 year of data, 150 exports and 20 trending feeds.
The Large plan starts at $299 per month and gives you 15 users, 30 alerts, 200 exports, 2 years of data and 50 trending feeds.
Finally, the Enterprise plan bills at $499/month for 30 users, 50 alerts, 400 exports, 5 years of tracking data as well as 150 trending feeds.
- Provides both keyword and brand mention tracking.
- Monitor the lifespan of content related to your brand with evergreen ranking.
- Provides blog posts and article engagement scores.
- Find influencers relevant to your niche easily.
- Keyword research tool to help you improve your brand content.
- Chrome extension available.
- Doesn’t offer analytics for Instagram
Get started on BuzzSumo with a 30-day free trial.
Best Free and Paid Analytics Tool for Twitter-Centred Brands and Businesses
Union Metrics which is a full suite of social media management tools that provide insights into what is working with your social media marketing strategy and what isn’t. The platform comes with features for profile analysis, competitive analysis and keyword research.
It also offers a full suite of free tools which you can use to improve your social media campaigns like Twitter Analytics Reporting (previously TweetReach), Twitter Assistant and Instagram Account checkup.
The Twitter analytics reporting feature provides standard reporting that lets you know monitor trends in real-time and also gives your searchable tweet archives and contributor influence.
Apart from analytics, its keyword listening tool lets you create real-time data streams with comprehensive listening across Twitter. It also shows you automated insights and based on your queries.
Its competitive analysis tool helps you track share of voice across the industry while spying on your competitors, even if they are on Facebook. You also see which content performs better on which platform, allowing you to optimize your strategy for results.
Other features include
- Analyze your social accounts across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
- Insight stream for automated content suggestions
- Target relevant conversations using Boolean searches.
- Influencer targeting
Union metrics offers three paid plans, all of which come with detailed reports for Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
The Social Manager plan bills at $49/month and allows you to connect three social profiles, monitor 1 Twitter topic, 5 queries per topic, 2,500 posts per month and single user access.
- Combines more powerful social listening tools with posting tools
- Boolean search query capability
- Smart insights wall
- Free twitter and instagram tools to measure engagement
- Features are more Twitter-based than for overall social listening.
Best Tool for Influencer-Led Marketing Campaigns
Keyhole is a social media tool that works by helping you get more out of your influencer-led marketing campaign alongside providing social listening tools.
The platform’s laser-focus on helping businesses get the most impact using influencers makes it stand out from its competitors. Apart from that, you’ll also get analytics tools that provide insights on trends and conversations in your industry space.
Compared to its competitors, Keyhole’s analytics and online monitoring features are quite advanced. For starters, you’ll have access to hashtag, influencer, keyword, and account trackers on all plans, although the level of access varies based on which tier you choose.
This means you can monitor account and influencer-related activity in real-time and boost your posting. You’ll then be able to use this data to track how your hashtags are performing and optimize the campaign where necessary.
The analytics tools also provide information on engagement rates, reach, total impressions based on the number of posts you have created.
Other impressive features include
- Machine-learning-driven brand monitoring
- Customized engagement recommendations
- Unified dashboard with built-in alerts for @ mentions
- Track any potential red-flags – like fake followers or negative sentiment
- Full access to influencer campaign metrics for transparency
- Social media publishing to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
In terms of pricing, Keyhole offers three paid pricing plans, all of which give you access to hashtag, profile, and influencer analytics reports as well as keyword tracking and social publishing.
The Basic plan bills at $49/month and allows you to track 5 keywords per tracker. You also get 5,000 posts monthly for 3 social profiles, 1 user, reach/impressions plus engagement rate reporting as well as top posts and influencers.
The Plus plan bills at $99/month and gives you access to everything in the Basic plan however you’ll have 2 keyword trackers, 5 social profiles, sentiment analysis, presentation-ready PDF report downloads and exportable downloads.
The Professional Plan bills at $199/month and builds on the Plus plan to include 5+ keyword trackers, 20,000 posts per month, profile analytics and scheduling and posting for 10 social profiles, 3 users and influencer analytics/reporting for 10 influencers.
For large companies that prefer to have a customized plan, custom pricing is available. Simply book a call with their sales teams and let them know the specifics of your plan.
- 5,000 posts per month limit is higher than most premium paid social media scheduling tools.
- Full access to all analytics tools on all plans.
- Influencer Campaign tracking and reporting
- Whitelabeled dashboards and reports
- No free plan
Choosing annual billing for any of their plans will give you between 20-50% discount on the monthly subscription plan. Not sure if Keyhole is right for you? Sign up for a free-trial today.
Best Business Integration-Powered Tool for Small to Medium Businesses.
Cyfe is your all-in-one integrated business dashboard that lets you oversee how all aspects of your business are doing; from sales to social media to support. Its social media analytics and listening features however make it a worthy competitor in this category.
The platform stands out because it allows you to import data from your favorite third-party business apps like Xero, QuickBooks, Google, Salesforce and many others thanks to pre-built widgets. You even have the option to create your own custom widgets for apps that are not yet supported by the platform.
Cyfe offers social listening functionality by letting you create a customized social listening dashboard for your social media. You can add platform-specific widgets to your social media dashboard to compare performance between different channels.
For example, the Facebook widget will show you your overall reach, page views, fans engaged, total clicks and more. You can even generate comparison charts to see trends over time.
Get real-time data and metrics to measure your performance across multiple platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter , YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and even Vimeo.
Cyfe offers four paid pricing plans designed to fit different businesses with different needs. All plans come with unlimited widgets and history.
The Solo plan allows 1 user, 5 dashboards, embedded analytics and bills at $29/month.
The Pro Plan offers 10 dashboards and 5 users plus unlimited data exports for $49/month while the Premier plan offers 20+ dashboards with unlimited users and white label reports for $89/month.
- Provides extensive platform-specific analytics
- Duplicate Twitter feed to monitor mentions, trending hashtags and keywords.
- Custom alerts for specific platforms
- Easy to navigate dashboard
- Lacks some of the more advanced social listening tools like sentiment analysis
Get started on Cyfe with a free trial today!
Best Tool for Simultaneous Social Listening Across Multiple Platforms.
Brandwatch is a social listening tool that helps you follow and analyze multiple-brand related conversations happening in the online space simultaneously. This includes social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and other online platforms.
The tool lets you better understand your market and consumers, keep up with industry trends and manage your online reputation all from one hub.
The platform does this by using different technologies including a proprietary web crawler that searches multiple sites for keywords linked to your brand. It then analyzes these pages for keyword volume and indexes them so you can easily understand the data.
You also get sentiment analysis based on the software’s rule-based process of understanding comment context. For businesses that do influencer marketing, Brandwatch offers an influencer score feature to help you track how well individual influencers perform.
The platform’s visually appealing dashboard will present any relevant marketing information you need in clear and well-defined terms. You’ll be able to see how effective your marketing campaign is, competitor activity and trends. Other impressive features include
- Brand mention alerts based on crisis management
- Live influencer and industry data trend analysis
- Collaboration and sharing tools for teams
Brandwatch operates on a use case basis. Thus they have no defined pricing plan with associated features. If you’d like to use their service you’ll have to book a meeting with their sales during which you can share case specific details and get a custom quote.
- Influencer score tool for tracking influencer campaigns
- Brand mention alerts for crisis and reputation management
- Track multiple brand conversations simultaneously.
- May be too complex for small to medium businesses.
Best Multi Channel and Competitor Analysis Tool for Small to Medium Businesses.
If you’re looking for a thorough social listening tool that will scout the entire internet for all things related to your brand, then BrandMentions is your go-to choice.
The software works just like a search engine, entering a word or term of your choice will show you extensive data of where the keyword has popped up, including social media. What’s more, you’ll even get daily email alerts that you can check while drinking your morning coffee.
Apart from being able to pull up any and everything that has been said about your brand online, you also get other advanced social listening features like sentiment analysis and industry trend analysis.
One impressive feature of BrandMentions is its competitor spying feature. The feature helps you identify missed opportunities for your competitor, track which influencers they are using and even identify their winning points and fails.
These insights will give your business the competitive advantage when creating products or running marketing campaigns. Other features include
- Real-time notifications including links to online articles and posts where your brand was mentioned.
- Sentiment analysis
- Quickly respond to customer feedback online
- Permanently monitor the web and social media for direct mentions of any business and track trending topics
BrandMentions has three paid pricing plans suited to businesses of different sizes. All plans come with keyword trackers, historical mentions and data, shareable dashboards, sentiment analysis, filters and analytics plus a minimum of 2 users.
The Growing Business Plan starts at $99/month and gives you access to just 2 users, 3 projects and 15 tracked keywords.
The Company Plan bills at $299/month and gives you 10 users, 50 tracked keywords, 10 projects, whitelabel reports and Instagram Influencer reporting.
The Enterprise/Agency Plan bills at $499/month and provides unlimited projects, 150 tracked keywords, 20 users, unlimited shareable dashboards and a dedicated account manager.
- Instagram influencer monitoring feature
- Shareable dashboards
- Historical data and mentions available
- Multilingual search support
- Real-time alerts
- No direct way to respond to negative social media/ online comments from within the tool.
Get started with a free-trial of BrandMentions today!
Best Enterprise-Level Consumer Intelligence Social Listening Platform for Market Research.
Synthesio combines the power of social listening and sentiment analysis with multilingual support. The platform has a unique product called the social media intelligence suite which gathers social media data from 195 countries in 80 languages.
Apart from gathering extensive data, it also offers sentiment analysis on up to 20 of these languages which makes it different from its competitors. The platform then provides businesses with actionable insights based on what it gathers from online monitoring.
Synthesio comes with cutting-edge social listening dashboards that are loaded with rich yet concise data linked to related social mentions of your chosen keywords. These mentions are displayed with in-depth data that tell you who said what, how they said it and where.
Another impressive feature is you can integrate your own data sources with your Synthesio dashboard specifically paywall data from LexisNexis. You can also turn on logo recognition and consumer reviews on your dashboard.
Other things you can track on your dashboard include social media likes, comments, shares from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Other impressive features include
- Media value and engagement rate widgets that help with business intelligence
- Pre-filled data set exports via API or any in-house tool of choice.
- Integration with other SaaS business intelligence tools
- Online consumer behaviour profiler based on Facebook's ad technology
- Mergeable social listening metrics based on performance data from other tools
Synthesio doesn’t have fixed pricing plans like some of its competitors. But you can request a demo of their service and speak to a sales rep who will create a custom plan with a quote for you.
- Native consumer survey tool.
- Online consumer behaviour analysis.
- Social media analytics dashboard.
- Unique use-case focused dashboards.
- No built-in keyword search tool or tracker.
15. Digimind Social
Best A.I Powered Market Intelligence and Social Media Listening Tool for Medium to Large Businesses.
Digimind Social is a unique social listening tool that sets itself apart by using A.I powered social media listening. The platform’s software provides live analytics and data that helps businesses to follow conversations, engage customers and get actionable insights.
You’ll be able to see all conversations revolving around your brand, neatly organized into clear categories and each labeled with either a positive, negative or neutral sentiment score. The tool also helps see how well your content is performing compared to several other social accounts.
The platform also allows you to integrate its streams with your Hootsuite dashboard. This is very useful since you’ll have the power of Hootsuite’s social media publishing, tracking and listening features alongside those from Digimind. Simply install the Digimind app for Hootsuite.
Other features include
- Google search-based brand image analysis
- Custom sources based on your preference.
- Real-time updates
- Geolocalization of data
- Automatic sentiment analysis and reporting
- Personalized tags
- Automatic translation from multiple language sources
Digimind Social offers custom pricing on a case by case basis. You can request a demo of the software’s features and then get a custom quote by reaching out to their sales team.
- Automatic language translation
- Integration with Hootsuite
- Mobile app available on both iOS and Android
- Extensive monitoring and tracking tools
- No Boolean search feature
Best Consumer Segmentation-Based Tool for Large Businesses.
Meltwater is another A.I driven social listening and consumer insights platform that allows you to collect a wide range of data based on online conversations about your brand or business. It also has features that allow you to engage with your brand’s followers online.
A large chunk of Meltwater’s insights come from its social media monitoring. The platform also has native engagement software that improves analytics reporting and drives more focused engagement.
Apart from social media, it also scans online posts in forums, blogs and news sites daily to find relevant mentions and then does a sentiment analysis. You can even set up filters to eliminate irrelevant content.
Apart from going through social media and online content, you can also create custom searches, monitor your content’s performance online and even discover potential influencers that fit your brand.
These features also include keyword research and dashboard customization.
Other impressive features include
- Multiple dashboards to monitor and analyze online mentions
- Sentiment analysis and labeling of positive negative and neutral posts.
- Search result filtering
- Consumer segmentation reports based on behavioral data and demographics.
- Three keywords per search
Meltwater offers custom pricing based on your unique business needs. Simply request a free demo and custom quote by reaching out to their sales team.
- Multiple, customizable dashboard support
- Consumer segmentation reporting
- Built-in engagement feature
- A.I powered software
- Features may be overwhelming for non-tech users.
Best for Both Social and Non-Social Listening for Large Businesses.
For those looking for an all-round social listening tool, NetBase provides both online insights as well as insights based on non-social data like focus group reviews, ratings, and reviews. The tool was recently named by Forrester as a leader in their social listening platforms report.
The software’s A.I algorithm is able to identify emotions, attributes, hashtags, people and brands just from social posts. It is capable of processing millions of data bits at a time from social media.
Another impressive feature is NetBase’s multilingual capabilities. The platform can track conversations in 199 languages in over 99 countries including emojis too. The same tracking feature also helps you compare performance of native, earned and partnered content.
NetBase also has an image and logo recognition capability. This means you’ll be able to trace your brand in images shared by users across image-centred platforms like Pinterest. It is also helpful in preventing logo misuse or creative property theft.
- Analyze social conversation and discover emerging industry trends.
- Track conversation volumes based on keywords
- Influencer identification and analysis.
- Tracking and monitoring campaign messaging
NetBase offers custom pricing based on your business needs. You’ll have to reach out to their sales team for a free demo and tailored custom solutions.
- Conversation volume tracking
- Wide range of multilingual and geolocation support
- Influencer identification
- Image and logo recognition capabilities
- Non-social data reporting
- No unified inbox to respond directly to social media feedback.
Best Comprehensive Tool for Social Media Management and Social Listening.
Mention is a search-engine styled social listening tool that lets you comb the web and social for information related to your brand and specific keywords for insights. It also lets you compare your content to other top rated content in your space so you can keep your content competitive.
The platform is one of the few social listening tools that combines web crawling technology with social media publishing functionality. This makes Mention a comprehensive tool for both social media management and listening.
It also has a competitive analysis tool that lets you pitch your brand against two or more competitors so you can see strategies you can either innovate on or loopholes you can exploit. You also get access to sentiment analysis for any brand mentions online.
Other features include
- Keyword-based audience insights
- Multi-channel editorial calendar
- Analyze your competitor’s share of voice vs yours.
- Crawls multiple web and social media sources for specific keywords.
- Custom alerts based on keywords.
- Filter your trends by source, language and date.
Mention offers four paid pricing plans. All plans come with alerts, web and social media monitoring, tags and shares plus email alerts when volume of brand mentions increases.
The Solo plan bills at $29/month gives you 2 basic alerts, 5,000 mentions, 5 social accounts, 1 user and automatic tagging.
The Pro Plan bills at $99/month and gives you 5 basic alerts, 10,000 mentions, unlimited users, 10 social accounts, sentiment analysis and basic reporting.
The Pro Plus plan bills at $199/month and gives you 7 standard alerts, 20,000 mentions, 15 social accounts, sentiment analysis and advanced reporting.
Finally, the Company plan is billed at $450+/month billed annually and is designed for large agencies. The plan gives you 10+ alerts, unlimited social accounts, mentions, API support, custom reporting, Facebook mentions plus historical data.
- Offers both social media scheduling and advanced social listening features like sentiment analysis.
- Web crawling technology to search for brand mentions across the web.
- Multiple social profiles across all plans
- User-friendly interface
- Sentiment analysis and reporting are available only on higher plans.
Mention has a FREE plan that gives you access to 3 social accounts, 1 user, 1 basic alert and 1,000 mentions. Get started with Mention for free today.
Best Lead Generation Focused Tool for Small to Medium Brands.
Crawling over 13 billion web pages daily in addition to APIs and all social media platforms including Google+, Awario is your social listening powerhouse. The platform helps you monitor your online presence 24/7 no matter where your brand is mentioned.
It comes with growth tracking features including tracking mentions for keywords in multiple languages (over 20 languages) no matter the location across the web.
An impressive feature of Awario is its social selling feature, Awario Leads.
This feature helps you generate a list of potential sales leads by putting together posts that ask for product recommendations that are or posts that complain about your competitors similar to yours giving you a feed of real-time sales opportunities.
You also get in-depth analytics and reporting tools complete with reports and everything is well-organized in handy folders on your Awario dashboard. All shares and retweets are kept under the original post and you can group different mentions into separate folders.
Other features are
- Boolean search
- Email alerts
- Sentiment analysis with shareable report links
- White-label reporting
Awario has three pricing plans, all of which bill monthly. All plans offer topics to monitor, stored mentions per topic, Boolean search and a certain number of team members.
The Starter Plan which is designed for individuals and startups bills at $29/month and gives you 3 topics, 30,000 new mentions monthly, 5,000 stored mentions per topic and 1 team member.
The Pro Plan bills at $89/month and gives you three team members, 15 topics to monitor, 150, 000 mentions per month, 15,000 stored mentions per topic and shareable reports.
The Enterprise plan bills at $299/month and is designed for large businesses and agencies. It gives you 10 team members, 50 topics to monitor, 500,000 new mentions/month, 50,000 stored mentions per topic, white-label reports and an account manager.
- Multilingual keyword tracking
- Built-in sales lead generation feature
- Boolean search
- Native smart folder management system for similar content
- Negative keyword filters to streamline reports
- No social media specific mention tracking feature.
Awario offers up to two months free if you choose annual billing but you can still pay monthly. Get started with a free-trial on Awario today!
What is Social Listening?
Social listening involves anything a company or brand does to track or follow conversations about it online. This could include brand mentions, trending hashtags in its industry, keyword specific trends directly linked to a brand and much more.
The first place most businesses look to listen to what customers, influencers and even competitors are saying about them online is social media. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram provide lots of insight into how your consumers see your brand.
Social listening also helps you track what is working in your marketing campaign and what isn’t. You’ll be able to tell which content is going viral and increasing brand awareness, and which ones aren’t.
You can also do reputation management via social listening, especially if a customer had a bad experience with your product or service. Social listening will help you stay on top of such events and switch up the narrative before damage is done to your business reputation.
Social listening is a proactive way to gather data about your brand online to draw conclusions and gain insights to better shape your marketing campaigns. It helps you better understand how customers feel about your brand and how much brand awareness you’ve built.
Based on these insights, you’ll be able to better determine your customers needs and include their opinions/sentiments in the decision-making process. You can also increase the overall customer experience because of this sense of inclusivity in creating products or services.
It’s important to note also that social listening goes beyond social media conversations. Social media may make up a large part of data for social listening but it’s not supposed to be the only source. Blog posts, reddit posts and articles can all contribute to data sources for social listening.
Social Listening Versus Social Media Monitoring
A common mistake a lot of business owners make is to confuse social listening with social media monitoring. While the two terms are very similar, they are not the same. Both achieve different outcomes and together can help you improve your overall marketing strategy.
Social listening involves following or tracking all conversations in the digital space as well as interactions on social media to get a feel of what consumers think of your brand. It’s also a way of finding customer feedback about your product or service.
Social media monitoring on the other hand involves responding to likes, comments and mentions especially on social media. It is a way of engaging customers and influencers who have already initiated a conversation about your brand.
Social media monitoring is like watching and waiting for something to be said so you can jump in and engage, while social listening is more of following everything related to your brand happening anywhere online. You may or may not have to engage, for example a viral hashtag.
Social monitoring can be considered a subset of social listening, but not vice versa.
The ultimate goal of each process is different. Social media monitoring can be an extension of your company’s customer support via social media.
How Businesses Use Social Listening to Improve Business Results
Social listening can be an invaluable tool for businesses to improve their reputation and customer experience. If your business is in the B2C space (direct-to-customer), social listening can be a game changer for you.
But how exactly can you use social listening to improve your business outcomes and results? We explore a few ways you can use social listening to get actionable insights and results for your business.
1. Customer Support Extension
The most popular way that businesses use social listening is as an extension of their customer service. Many brands, both big name and small brands have a presence on social media which serves as both a communication and engagement channel for the company.
Companies are likely to announce new product releases, flash sales, company news and share customer testimonials via social media. Likewise, social media allows for customers to directly communicate with the brand by either commenting on posts, sharing or tagging the brand.
This makes social media one of the go-to options for customers to either praise a business or complain about a business. For example, it’s not unusual to see customers enquire about their orders from popular clothing brands on social media via comments.
Apart from commenting, some companies use social media as direct customer support platforms. Customers can report issues or inquire about a service and get a response from a trained customer support rep. Shopify is a good example of a brand that has mastered this.
2. Competitor Analysis
If you’re looking to run a killer marketing campaign, you need to know more than just what’s working for your audience. A good marketing campaign also considers what is working for competitor brands.
Usually your competitors are in the same niche as you and chances are their product or offer is in direct competition with yours. Thus knowing what is working for them may help you come up with a more innovative way to market your products and dominate the market.
It’s also helpful because you can also pinpoint your competitors weaknesses and loopholes. Perhaps there are some market segments they have overlooked and aren’t targeting. It could even be complaints about their product or service.
Social listening tools allow you to collect all this information simply by following conversations linked to your competitor’s brand or product from a truly authentic source, their customers. It’s not limited to gathering data only either, but analyzing data trends as well.
Armed with this information, you can build your marketing messages to emphasize your product or offer strengths while playing on your competitor’s weaknesses.
3. Customer Feedback and Experience
Another critical way that social listening tools can help improve your business outcome is to help you keep tabs on the kinds of conversations and trends your brand is associated with. Whether it’s on Facebook or Twitter, your followers are bound to mention your brand.
Social listening tools will help you keep track of any mention of your brand and associated keywords both on social media and in online blog posts. This makes it simple to track when a customer shares a testimonial or some unique user-generated content.
Some social listening tools have features like the sentiment analysis and discussion trackers. Such features help you follow if your brand is being mentioned in a positive or negative light.
If it's bad information that’s going viral, you’ll be able to get in front of it and do damage control to protect your brand reputation. Conversely, if the information is good you’ll be able to collect ideas that could help your marketing team.
You could also get insights from these conversations to help with future product upgrades or new product releases. Your customers will tell you what they feel is missing or would be a great add-on to your existing service or offer.
4. Industry Trends and Analytics
For every industry, there will be news and trends which are dictated by a combination of factors like market demand as well as competitor innovations. Thus it’s important to stay in the know about industry trends and shifts so you can keep your offer competitive.
Social listening tools provide features that help you monitor trends and follow any related conversations. You’ll be able to follow any trend that has gone viral in your niche and either jump into the conversation or create relevant content for your social profiles.
Another way many businesses use social listening tools to increase brand visibility, is by infusing viral trends with content shared across their social profiles.
Since social listening tools show how much volume or traction a trend gets, you can position your brand to benefit from that free attention by simply infusing trending topics into your marketing.
5. Influencer Research and Tracking
It’s one thing to track conversations but sometimes the conversation itself doesn’t have as much impact as who is saying it. Social listening tools help businesses not only follow what is being said but who is saying it.
Most listening tools allow businesses to see which influencers are starting conversations about their business. You’ll be able to see specifics like the number of mentions the influencer gets and other influencers who are in any particular influencers space.
This information is useful for influencer-driven marketing campaigns, collaborations and also getting user-generated content that’s more brand-specific. Business can vet which influencers can have the most impact based on audience size and quality of engagement.
Also if an authority in another space is engaging with your brand, for example a celebrity or artiste patronizes your product and starts talking about it, social listening tools will help you pick up such conversations.
Businesses can then piggyback on the celebrity’s experience to either start conversations about ambassador deals or simply get more sponsored content in front of the audience.
What are Social Listening Tools?
Social listening tools are tools designed to help you track, collate and analyze data from multiple online sources about conversations and keywords linked to your company or brand. These tools are designed to give you a bird’s eye view of what customers are saying about your business.
Most social listening tools offer a basic set of features, usually designed to help you keep tabs on trends, sentiments and influencer mentions of your brand. A basic feature of most social listening tools is a mentions tool/wall to track mentions of your brand online.
It’s also not uncommon to find features that aggregate brand-specific keyword trends and volumes across multiple platforms including search engines and social media, for example, Brand24.
There are also features that track total conversations or engagements across multiple platforms, discussion volume, influencer mentions and competitive analysis.
Depending on how advanced your social listening tool is you may also have access to sentiment analysis, which tells you whether conversations surrounding your company generally are positive or negative.
For businesses that focus more on social media than a general online presence, it may be more helpful to find social media management tools that also offer social listening and tracking features.
Such tools will allow you to schedule and create content for your social media pages, track how the content is performing while also allowing you to follow conversations and mentions of your brand. Hootsuite and Agorapulse both offer impressive tools in this regard.
Different social listening tools offer different features, so it helps always keep in mind your business goals prior to signing up for a social listening service.
What Features Should You Look For in Social Listening Tools?
There are a large variety of social listening tools designed to suit different kinds of brands, business users and business sizes. But there are a handful of features that cut across all social listening tools and are necessary if you want to make the best of the tool .
As always, keep your business needs, team experience with technology, budget and ultimate business goals in mind as you choose your social listening tool.
A key component of social listening is to gain valuable insights into what your customers are saying and how they feel about your brand. A good social listening tool should provide you with enough in-depth analytics and reports to help you improve your marketing campaigns.
Some tools may give you a real-time report of ongoing conversations in your industry that mention your brand, complete with graphs to help you see trend lines. While other tools give you the option to export the data to yourself.
Ultimately, you need to be able to access that data whenever you need it and in an easy-to-understand format.
2. Sentiment Analysis
Sometimes your customers will absolutely be in love with your brand and what it is offering. Other times they may not be as happy because of a bad experience.
Either way, using the right social listening tools will help you stay in touch with how your customers are feeling at any point in time. The sentiment analysis feature helps you know if conversations about your brand are generally positive, negative or neutral.
Some platforms may even take this a step further and tell you the exact brand mentions/comments or conversations, which platforms they are coming from e. g. Facebook or Twitter, who is saying it and the volume of related conversations that are generated from it.
This is important in helping you manage your online reputation and brand health. Being able to see these trends means you can respond quickly where need be, especially if it’s a crisis or something damaging to your reputation.
3. Keyword Filters/Tracker
The next most important feature you need to look out for in a social listening tool is a keyword research feature. Some tools have their keyword feature work as keyword trackers meaning the feature simply tracks all relevant content linked to your keyword online.
Benefits of following the right keywords
Other platforms may expand on the keyword feature, making it possible for you to track topics instead of just keywords, e. g. Awario. Either way, a good social listening tool helps you follow specific conversations linked to keywords or topics that directly affect your brand.
You’ll be able to further narrow down these conversations using filters so that you can cut through ‘noise’ or generic information and get better insights.
Some tools may even take this a step further and help you find better and more targeted keywords that can improve the data you gather from social listening.
By knowing which keywords are the most used in conversations by your customers can give you insights into what language will resonate better with your consumers. This can then be incorporated into future marketing campaigns.
Time is of the essence when you’re trying to stay on the beat of brand conversations online. You’ll want to be able to track the start and endpoints of trends, be they positive trends or negative ones.
A good social listening tool often comes with a built-in alert feature that will notify you of brand mentions, trending hashtags, DMs, and more either via its native dashboard, email, or even SMS.
Awario’s mentions and alerts dashboard
This feature is especially important if you intend to use your social listening tools as an extension of your customer support. Hence, your customers are likely to send you messages and requests via social media and need quick responses.
Not all tools give you the functionality of a unified inbox or even the ability to respond directly to messages on social media or the web, but still offer the alert feature, for example Awario and BrandMentions both offer alerts without necessarily linking to your social inbox.
Having the alert feature will at least prompt you to go online and respond to your customers quickly, which improves their user experience and ultimately adds to a positive sentiment about your brand.
Alerts also help you spot trends in advance so you can craft your content to take advantage of the added visibility from using that trend in your marketing.
5. Competitor Analysis.
Another important but somewhat overlooked feature of a good social listening tool is competitor analysis. Marketplace trends, products and services are often dictated by what service providers and brands in that space have available.
As long as you’re not the only brand in your niche, it's worth keeping tabs on what the competition is doing and saying. This can be done by directly following their channels and online data as well as listening to what both your customers and theirs are saying.
Knowing what your competitor is doing right can give you ideas to better market your product while drawing inspiration from their marketing campaign.
You’ll also be armed with information that you can use to build your share of voice in the industry, because you’ll know how to appeal to a larger audience.
Conversely, if customers are complaining about your competitor’s product or service, you can exploit some of those drawbacks in your messaging to gain a larger market share. Again you can include some feature upgrades based on this data to your product to appeal to dissatisfied customers.
Social Listening Tools FAQs
Social listening is important for businesses for a number of reasons. First and most important being it helps you know what exactly your customers and consumers are saying about your product or offer.
It’s also a great way to track your content performance and find which pieces of content perform best with your audience. These insights can eventually become valuable when drawing up a marketing campaign.
Social listening is also great for managing your online reputation. You’ll be able to tell when your brand is getting lots of positive attention which you can harness and also do timely damage control if you’re getting some bad publicity.
Finally, social listening is great for competitor spying and analysis.
The best social listening tool is the one that works for your business goals and needs. Thus for businesses that are looking to do social listening alongside social media management, Mention and Agorapulse are both good options.
For large brands and businesses looking for more advanced social listening features, Brand24 and Digimind Social Intelligence.
Using social listening tools may be as simple as responding to likes, comments and DMs from a unified inbox or dashboard.
It can also be a little more detailed, involving adding brand-specific keywords into your platform and using the keyword tracking functionality to view all data and conversations linked to a keyword or even conducting Boolean searches to find keywords.
Ultimately, how you use a social listening tool depends on how simple or complex the platform is and the kind of data you want to track.
Social listening provides lots of data related to consumer feedback on a product or service, the overall consumer sentiment in relation to your brand as well as competitor analysis.
This data can be used to improve the customer experience in the long-term, make informed decisions about new product releases and updates and even innovate on competitor strategies and weaknesses.
Social listening also helps you identify which kind of content performs best with your audience and gets the most engagement.
In case you’re looking into influencer-led marketing, a good social listening tool can help you choose the right influencers to work with as well as track the success of influencer campaigns.
Ready to Monitor Your Social Media Channels for Mentions of Your Brand Competitors and Product?
Social listening tools when used right can be a great resource for gaining actionable insights into your brand’s health and reputation. They can help you stay on top of conversations about your brand and tell how consumers feel about your brand at any point in time.
Since not all social listening tools work the same, it pays to keep your business goals and targets in mind when choosing a social listening tool. For businesses that focus mainly on social media, Hootsuite is a good starting tool.
For medium to large brands with a big following and consumers spread across multiple channels, Mention offers great value for money.
And finally, for large businesses and teams, Brand24 offers a full suite of comprehensive social listening tools and analytics reporting.
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