Social media is an incredibly versatile tool. It can be used for nearly anything -- from getting your daily dose of news to keeping updated on your favorite celebrities to discovering the latest memes.
While it has such benefits for users' personal lives, it can also benefit the more professional lives of brands. Social media is the perfect way to connect with users on a platform that they're already using 24/7. It's much less disruptive than emails or print advertisements since it's native advertising -- a form of paid media that is disguised since it follows the natural form of the platform on which it's posted.
Beyond just advertising your brand, products, or services, social media can also be a great way to keep tabs on your company's reputation. It's essentially the closest thing to straight-up surveying or interviewing customers on their thoughts. This is why social listening is so important.
What Is Social Listening?
Social listening is the monitoring of your brand's social media platforms for customer feedback, direct mentions of your brand, and discussions regarding related keywords, topics, competitors, or industries, followed by an analysis of this data to gain further insights and act on these opportunities.
Social listening is a two-part process. The first part is social monitoring, which keeps track of social media mentions and conversations. The second part is the analysis and actionable responses, which help you make improvements to meet the needs of your customers. Social listening finds root causes for social conversations and implements changes to improve social media strategies for the long run.
Now that you understand why this process is vital to your brand, take a look at the following social listening tools to find the perfect one to meet your needs.
10 of the Best Social Listening Tools
HubSpot allows you to build marketing campaigns, share content like blog posts and landing pages, automatically distribute content to various social channels, and discover the best times to post, all on one tool. This platform provides more than just social listening; it offers you an all-inclusive inbound marketing software that benefits your entire team and helps you integrate social as an integral part of the company.
Features & Compatibility
HubSpot's tools let you manage all of your social media from one platform. You can write or share new posts and respond to comments and mentions all through the HubSpot interface. You can even compare performance across your social channels and keep track of the number of visits and leads you receive. Since the tools are linked to the HubSpot free HubSpot CRM, this data is immediately transferred and recorded onto the contact records in your account.
HubSpot's Social Media tools are compatible with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and LinkedIn.
Sprout Social is a comprehensive social media management platform that provides powerful solutions for social listening and analytics, customer care, and employee advocacy.
Features & Compatibility
With Sprout Social, you can easily monitor and manage your engagement across social networks in the unified Smart Inbox, while the Publishing tool helps you map out your content strategy and schedule posts. Sprout’s integrated Listening tool helps you uncover trends in the conversation, learn about your audience, and gain actionable insights that help inform your marketing strategy.
If you're a HubSpot customer, you can integrate HubSpot with Sprout Social to collect accurate social reports all in one place.
Price: Free, then $99-$249/user/month
Hootsuite allows you to view all your messages, comments, and brand mentions across several social channels in one concise dashboard from which you can respond to them all. You can also track influencers and leads in lists that can be imported and shared with others in your company. Hootsuite offers three different plans so you can find the perfect solutions and strategies to fit your business's needs.
Features & Compatibility
Hootsuite offers a range of tools that manage and monitor social media activity. Its most notable feature is its "boost" option which provides customization for paid social media campaigns. With this tool, you can balance organic reach with paid advertisements to optimize your content's engagement.
Hootsuite is compatible with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. It also supports a variety of social network integrations that can link external accounts to your Hootsuite interface.
Buffer is a popular social media management tool that creates an omni-channel experience for your social media and community teams. With Buffer, you can post content and engage directly in the replies from one centralized dashboard through a shared inbox. Buffer makes it easy to find the conversations that matter most, to join conversations right away, and to delight your audience.
Features & Compatibility
When it comes to features, Buffer can go toe-to-toe with almost any platform on this list. It has useful scheduling and publishing tools that help you plan effective social campaigns. It's reports and analytics monitor your team's performance by measuring engagement and audience behavior. It also has a story monitoring feature that records and analyzes your stories on channels like Facebook and Instagram.
Buffer supports Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest accounts. However, Pinterest is only offered on its Pro and Business plans.
TweetReach is a great tool for companies looking to specifically analyze their Twitter reach. The tool can analyze exactly how many Twitter accounts have reached your selected keyword, person, or hashtag. It also gives you analytics on impressions, what users are mentioning, when these tweets are being posted, and more. This tool helps you discover who your most impressionable followers are that you should be targeting with your tweets.
Features and Compatibility
One of TweetReach's best features is its tracker tool. The tracker tool can be assigned to any topic or it can be assigned to a specific profile or account. You can even assign the tool to track your competitor's pages as well. Then, all of this data can be exported via CSV or PDF at any time.
TweetReach is compatible with Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
BuzzSumo allows you to see the number of impressions and shares certain posts have with a domain. Additionally, it's a great tool for analyzing your brand's Facebook. It helps you gain insights about each Facebook post, as well as what types of posts garner the best results. It can even go as far as telling you what days and times of the week to post and what the ideal lengths your posts should be.
Buzzsumo has a content discovery tool that identifies your most popular posts across different social media channels. It also includes a curation tool that organizes shared content in order of significance. This way, management can quickly access the most important information without digging through irrelevant posts.
Buzzsumo can be connected to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Reddit.
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 in different areas across the globe. This allows for you to better understand your target audiences and interact more with those demographics.
Keyhole offers an impressive hashtag analytics tool that provides unique insights into your company's tracked hashtags. Its monitoring tool ensures every post and mention using your hashtags are recorded in real-time, so you always have the most up-to-date information on your accounts. And, the tool has an AI feature that can predict how well your hashtag will perform. Based on the timing and topic of your hashtag, Keyhole can predict engagement, reach, and even impressions.
Keyhole is compatible with Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.
SumAll is a great tool for small and medium-sized businesses since it helps you analyze how your social channels are correlated. You can also schedule automated posts to save time. The tool offers many metrics related to engagement on each platform. You can even receive brief, daily email updates that compare previous weeks' metrics with current weeks' metrics to efficiently track your growth and make any necessary changes at that moment.
SumAll is easy to set up and onboarding only takes a few clicks. Once you're ready to go, SumAll provides an array of automation tools that make scheduling a social campaign a breeze. While none of the features are particularly ground-breaking, each one is user-friendly and intuitive, making this an attractive, simple option for SMB's.
SumAll can be paired with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google Adwords, and LinkedIn. It can also sync with mobile payment services like PayPal, Venmo, Shopify, Stripe, and Square.
Mention has the capacity to track millions of content sources across 42 languages, so you can monitor your brand mentions all over the world. You can also select what content you'd like to tune out, so you're only paying attention to trends that matter. With a competitive analysis tool that lets you compare your brand across two or more competitors, you can ensure your content is always greater in relevance to your users than competitors.
Every business makes mistakes and if left unchecked, these mishaps can turn into a full-fledged crisis. Luckily, Mention has a crisis management feature that can help your team endure a social media uproar. Using the "Team" features, your employees can collaborate on social media management and alert each other when they need help with an issue. It also includes a tracking feature that can update you on the progress of your crisis communication plan.
Mention is compatible with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Buffer.
Awario is a social listening tool that's focused on building brand awareness. It does this by tracking keywords in all languages from all over the world. This solution is great for companies that are trying to grow their international customer base through social media engagement. The platform provides businesses everything they need to not only monitor and respond to comments but also to build meaningful relationships with their target audience.
Awario's most notable feature is its "Social Selling" tool. This algorithm identifies posts that ask for a product recommendation similar to yours or posts where users are complaining about your competitors. By collecting these posts, your sales team has a constantly updating list of new leads they can pursue.
Awario can connect with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and YouTube. It can also pair with blogs, forums, and external websites using an API.