Social media is a versatile growth strategy for businesses across an array of industries — it can be used to share content, improve brand awareness, boost conversions, offer service and support, run campaigns, share valuable information, promote customer loyalty, and more.
Within the world of social media, there are a number of tools available to help you achieve the outcomes just mentioned and more. In this guide, we'll talk about some of those tools by answering the following questions: 1) What are the best social listening tools? and 2) what are the best social media tracking tools?
First, let's talk about the main differences between these two categories of social media tools. The two terms are often used interchangeably — especially since many social media tools these days have both listening and tracking capabilities — however, there are some notable differences.
Social Listening vs. Social Media Tracking
At a high level, social media listening tells you why your audience is saying certain things about or related to your brand on social. Meanwhile, social media tracking tells you how they're saying it.
What is social listening?
Social listening is a great way to keep tabs on what customers and prospects have to say about your business, product/ service, content, support, and more.
It entails monitoring your brand's social media profiles for customer feedback, direct mentions of your brand, and any conversations with relevant keywords, topics, competitors, or industries. This is followed by an analysis of that information. Any resulting conclusions will help you determine the best ways to improve your social media strategy, brand awareness, and social presence.
What is social media tracking?
Social media tracking is often referred to as social media monitoring. It entails identifying and responding to mentions of your brand on social media via comments, direct messages, and more.
You might think about social media tracking as the first step in the process of understanding what your audience thinks and says about your brand on social.
Then comes social listening which entails gathering insights about how your company is talked about and mentioned. This is followed by an analysis of that data.
Now you may be wondering: What are the best social media listening tools? And how about the best social media tracking tools?
Here are 15 options — most of which can help with both the processes of social listening and tracking (and more!).
Best Social Media Listening and Tracking Tools
HubSpot Social Media Management Software
Note: Many tools that combine social media listening, tracking, and analytics into a single platform or software are considered social media management tools.
With HubSpot, you have the power to easily monitor interactions, conversations, and audiences on social media. You also have the necessary tools to manage day-to-day interactions and engagement on social, and target specific audiences using context from the contacts database in your free CRM to better understand what these people mean to your business.
What does that mean for you — the user? You can manage your entire social strategy — from planning to sharing to analyzing — from one, central location.
You can handle all of your social accounts from the tool as well as easily turn your content offers into social posts. With HubSpot, you don't need to worry about logging into your social profiles to post content — rather, you can schedule posts weeks in advance on all of your profiles from within the tool to free up valuable time.
You can also post to social from anywhere — whether you're in HubSpot, on a specific social platform, or on another social tool that you connected to HubSpot. And how you post won't ever affect your ability to report on the success of those posts.
HubSpot's social software helps you stay up to date on what’s current and trending by monitoring specific keywords you deem as important to your brand — this way, you never miss a beat when it comes to the things that matter most to your business and audience.
Don't worry about having to open specific platforms to converse with your audience either — instead, reply to anyone who commented on posts you published through HubSpot.
Falcon.io is an all-in-one social media management and customer experience (CX) platform for medium-to-enterprise-size companies.
The software has capabilities related to scheduling, engaging, social listening, publishing, advertising, and analyzing all aspects of your social media strategy. The platform makes it easy to segment and target your customers for customized social campaigns.
The tool makes it easy to find the conversations that matter most, join conversations right away, and delight your audience — that's because you can post content and engage directly in the replies from one centralized dashboard through a team-shared inbox.
TweetReach is a great tool if you're specifically looking to analyze Twitter reach. It analyzes reach with a selected keyword, person/ Twitter handle, or hashtag.
The tool also analyzes impressions, mentions, and the times in which the most-relevant Tweets to your business are shared. Additionally, TweetReach helps you discover who your most impressionable followers are so you can target them with your content.
BuzzSumo shows the number of impressions and shares certain posts have and makes it easy to analyze your success on Facebook.
The tool offers insight into your Facebook content to help you identify which types of posts garner the best results on the platform among your audience. It even tells you which days and times of the week you should post and what the ideal post length is.
Keyhole focuses on Twitter and Instagram brand analyses. The tool allows you to track hashtags, mentions, usernames and more across both of these social media platforms.
Additionally, the tool offers impressive heat maps that show how mentions and engagement with your brand differ across the globe. This allows for you to better understand your target audience and how to effectively interact with them.
Mention has the capacity to track millions of content sources across 42 languages to monitor brand mentions all over the world. You can select what content you'd like to tune out so you're only paying attention to trends that matter.
There's a competitive analysis tool that lets you compare your brand against two or more competitors — this way, you can ensure your content is always relevant, timely, and unique to your brand when compared to other industry leaders.
Awario is a social listening tool focused on building brand awareness. It works by tracking keywords in a number of languages. This solution is great for companies that are trying to grow their international customer base through social media engagement.
The platform provides everything you need to not only monitor and respond to comments, but to also build meaningful relationships with your target audience on social.
Oktopost is a social media management platform meant for monitoring and measuring all social media activities for B2B marketers. The tool has features that help you manage and understand social media campaigns, editorial calendars, content curation, growth, and social listening.
Including social media management, Oktopost has three overarching functions — the other two are social employee advocacy and social media promotions.
Use advanced reporting to determine your social media ROI.
Tie Oktopost to your B2B social media marketing goals.
Publish content to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, even WeChat.
Integrate Oktopost with your HubSpot CRM to engage and converse with prospects, score leads based on engagement, enhance nurturing programs, update contact records, and inform Sales of any negative sentiment coming from prospects on social.
Iconosquare has solutions for publishing, monitoring, and analyzing social media content and profiles. Advanced analytics and graphs — plus an option for automated reports — measure success on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram in terms of posts, stories, tags, hashtags, mentions, and more.
Schedule content ahead, store content for future use, and preview your feed prior to posting/ scheduling content. Lastly, monitor your brand and get real-time engagement information with social listening capabilities.
Tailwind is an Instagram and Pinterest scheduling and analytics tool. When it comes to Instagram, schedule content to auto post, use the Smart Scheduler to identify ideal times to share content, and use hashtag suggestions. When it comes to Pinterest, schedule a week's worth of pins in under 20 minutes, use analytics for both pins and boards, and create up to 10 pins in just one click.
Determine the best times to post on Instagram and Pinterest and which hashtags to use to boost engagement.
Plan social content and automate your posting cadence.
Track your success on Instagram and Pinterest with in-depth analytics, monitoring, and tracking tools.
Use Tailwind to manage all aspects of your Instagram and Pinterest social media content from planning to reporting.
Grow Better With Social Media Tracking Tools
We always recommend reviewing product and pricing pages in depth for any tool you're looking to incorporate on your team. Additionally, don't be afraid to experiment with more than one social media tracking tool to determine which will effectively meet your needs and help you achieve your goals.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in January, 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Nov 24, 2020 10:00:00 PM, updated April 23 2021