Using social media monitoring tools is inevitable. All digital marketing agencies offering social media marketing services know that.
Social media monitoring is crucial in understanding what your audience is actually saying about you—your brand, products, services, activities, choices of influencers, etc.
The premise is that with the right data comes a more efficient and workable social business intelligence. This improves both the social media marketing strategy and customer satisfaction.
Large agencies can definitely afford any tools they need for their social campaigns. But the same cannot be said for the startup and small agencies.
Knowing your options is necessary, so they can make an informed decision regarding which tools to use.
What is a social media monitoring tool?
Before we go into details, let’s define what this term is about.
Social media monitoring tool refers to any platform — a web-based application or an app — that aids in the process of tracking, gathering, and mining information and data about individuals, groups, companies, or organizations. The tool also guides in the assessment of the reputation of these entities and how they are perceived online, particularly on social channels.
Social media monitoring tools are, therefore, used in gathering business-relevant information.
What is the best social media monitoring tool?
There are several social monitoring tools in the market today, but below are some of the most useful and most affordable.
Whatever budget you work with, there’s a tool or two for you from the list.
Hootsuite is perhaps the most popular social listening tool in use today, and there are good reasons for being so. For one, it is capable of various social media functions for the team.
The tool allows the monitoring of search terms in real-time.
Hootsuite offers a 30-day free trial.
- Social media management in one place
- Post scheduling automatically on different social accounts at once
- Curate content through pre-approved content with tagging and searching capabilities
- Social media results measurement to track performance and share insights
- Utilization of customizable and easy-to-create reports
- Social conversations filter based on keyword, hashtag, and location
Most affordable plan: Professional ($19/m0)
Mention monitors various sources such as news sites, forums, blogs, and pages in addition to social networks. Reports are generated and exported so you get a clearer understanding of the source of the mentions.
The tool tracks the activities of the team including sharing alerts and assigning tasks at the same time.
Mention offers a 14-day free trial.
- Scales and monitors important social conversations
- Previews, organizes and schedules content in a multi-channel editorial calendar
- Offers in-depth brand intelligence through data visualization based on key KPIs
- Analyzes and measures competition on the basis of their share of voice
- Generate automated reports
Most affordable plan: Solo ($29/m0)
Followerwork is a Twitter tool that can find, analyze, and optimize the Twitter campaign.
Through the tool, your team may plan an outreach campaign by searching bios, connecting with fans or influencers, and breaking them down based on location, the number of followers, and other Twitter-related demographics.
Followerwonk offers a free trial.
- Searches bios to connect with other Twitter users
- Compare Twitter users to discover overlaps and target influential users
- Analyze Twitter users by breaking down bios, location, followers, etc. and determine the relationship between them
- Optimize Twitter campaigns by matching activities to gains and losses
Most affordable plan: Target ($29/m0)
Awario is known for its enterprise-level capabilities. For instance, it allows users to set up Boolean queries (and, or queries) and detect duplicate content. It also finds linkless brand mentions that work best for search engine optimization purposes.
The tool offers predictive insights for users who ask for recommendations about products and services like yours.
- Monitors keyword mentions in real-time
- Tracks growth based on the number of mentions and collective reach
- Sorts mentions through positive, negative and neutral sentiments
- Identifies top influencers
- Compares alerts
- Analyzes progress on various metrics
Most affordable plan: Starter ($29/m0)
Iconosquare is a social tool for Instagram. What’s good about the platform is its robust analytics, offering custom feeds and analyzing content.
The tool offers a 14-day free trial.
- Maximizes performance through advanced analytics
- Comes with a customized dashboard with metrics visualization
- Handles multiple social profiles for various brands and companies from one dashboard
- Publishes content automatically using built-in features such as best time to post, geolocation, user tagging, and more
Most affordable plan: ($29/mo)
Sendible is more than just a tool for social listening. It also offers insights on opportunities including collaboration.
Apart from this, the tool allows the team to prioritize responding to comments and messages and monitoring hashtags and keywords.
Sendible offers a free trial.
- Plans and published the content from the dashboard
- Allows collaboration and approval of social posts
- Provides dynamic insights based on the available social data
- Monitors mention for improving engagement levels
- Creates meaningful reports in minutes
- Allows the team to work using mobile devices
Most affordable plan: For solopreneurs ($29/m0)
Brand24 is a social tool for businesses of different sizes. Aside from social channels, it can also track mentions on forums, blogs, and other such platforms.
The users can analyze the social media reach, sentiments, and interactions, among others.
Signing up with Brand24 is free.
- Protects online reputation through automated sentiment analysis and instant notifications
- Improves customer satisfaction through customer engagement tracking
- Measures marketing efforts through automated reports and KPI tracking
- Tracks hashtags with a complete assessment of their reach and volume
Most affordable plan: Plus ($49/m0)
From the name itself, this tool tracks the extent of the reach of a single tweet. In this way, you can measure the actual impact as well as the implications of a single discussion.
Aside from this, the tool helps in finding the most influential followers that you can work with to promote your content.
- Works in real-time to deliver timely insight
- Offers built on full-fidelity and commercial access to social data
- Measures earned and organic conversation
- Performs detailed competitive analysis
- Assesses content performance
- Provides report-ready and sharable analytics
Most affordable plan: Social Manager ($49/mo)
Agorapulse is the perfect social media monitoring tool for a growing business.
It monitors while also providing capabilities for scheduling posts and updates. Conversations monitoring can be assigned to different teams as well.
Agorapulse offers a free trial.
- Offers flexible scheduling options (schedule, reschedule, queue, and bulk upload)
- Provides social inbox for finding, filtering, and managing comments and mentions
- Provides unlimited and downloadable one-click reports to determine ROI on engagement
- Equips team members for real-time collaboration
- Tracks followers through built-in CRM
Most affordable plan: Medium ($89/mo)
Buzzsumo primarily works as a content research tool. Nevertheless, it is also ideal in analyzing and monitoring Facebook pages.
It displays metrics for every post or update, making you aware of what content types work best on your page, the time of day you should post, and how long each post should be.
- Monitors competitors, mentions, and updates
- Sends alerts to ensure updates on important events
- Creates alerts for topics, brands, and keywords
- Track links and other link building opportunities
Most affordable plan: Pro ($99/mo)
Strategizing for social media monitoring
Using social media tools is just one part of the social media monitoring strategy.
It is not enough that you analyze the data—what you’ll do with the data matters more. For instance, you may
Discover what makes social content more engaging
Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions help in identifying patterns in deployment, content, and promotion.
Deployment refers to the publication date, time, and frequency while content elements include keywords, hashtags, media types, colors, etc. Promotion is about interactions and engagement.
Get real-time notifications on the competition
Determining how your competitors are using social media also helps your strategy. As such, you can also monitor messages and updates that put your business at a greater advantage.
Listening to your competitors’ audience can also provide you with guidance on how to address their need to win them over.
Understand the rationale behind the patterns
Patterns emerge depending on the major sentiment of the users. They can be praise, critique, or request.
More than understanding the patterns, however, you also need to go deep into why these patterns are emerging. What are the root causes? Is the product recall? A recent scandal? A CSR activity? There is always a reason for this.
Tips for more effective social media monitoring
Other tips for more effective social monitoring include:
- Monitor only the relevant keywords, or those keywords that are derivations of the brand, products, features, key people.
- Boost product innovations based on customer feedback.
- Hire an agency or company to implement social listening exclusively.
- Never delay the responses because the users are expecting them.
- Do not ignore any questions or reviews.
- In order to stay competitive, you need to conduct social listening to determine what your target audience and community are saying about you. The engagement levels are the key. You may use a tool in monitoring the sentiment, but social media monitoring takes more than such.
Instead, it is about obtaining actionable insights to steer the direction that the social campaign must pursue.