Social media is vital for promoting your business. For example, Pinterest is trusted by 70% of users for researching products. And 54% of users choose social media platforms to research products. It is no surprise that there are benefits to taking your business online. But creating content and sharing them is not enough.
A good digital marketing approach includes analytics. You need to track and assess your efforts. And improve your plan based on the data. Social monitoring increases brand activity rate by around 25%. It also lowers reaction time on social platforms by 50 minutes.
A key aspect of social media monitoring is social listening.
But what is social media listening? And what are social media listening tools?
Keep reading to get all the info on social media listening. Learn about its importance and benefits.
And check out our Top 10 handpicked social media listening tools.
What is social listening?
Social listening is about knowing what people are saying about you. It helps you find out what people think of your brand, company, or product. The data helps you learn more about your brand and your audience.
A social media listening tool gathers data from online sources. For example, posts, blogs, comments, sites, forums, etc. It filters it out and provides you with related results. It will show you where your brand is mentioned and by whom.
You’ll also be able to see engagements on your content. For example; the number of shares and comments, etc. This data can play a big role in promoting your brand. It can improve customer service and marketing plans. It also helps with reputation management.
What does Social Listening measure?
Social media listening helps you measure the following metrics:
- Social conversations: The number of brand mentions received on social media.
- Engagement: The number of people engaged with your content. For example, comments, shares, likes, etc.
- Audience sentiment: Track the sentiment of your audience. For example; positive vs negative.
- Competitors: Track your competitors. Get insights on mentions, follower size, interactions, etc.
How does the Social Media Listening Tool work?
A Social media listening tool works by monitoring and assessing. It looks into social media channels, blogs, sites, etc. In the process, it checks your brand mentions. It also provides insight into keywords and products that match your business.
You can then filter data depending on what you need. You can respond, engage, and be a part of the conversation. For example, someone mentions your brand on social media. Your social media listening tool sends you an alert. This helps you respond instantly and engage with the audience.
How does Social Media Listening help your business grow?
Social listening helps you learn about customers’ changing needs. People will have opinions about your business on social media. And it is in your best interest to know what they are saying. It gives you raw insights into trends and customer sentiment. This information is valuable in understanding your audience.
Half of the world’s marketers use social listening in their marketing plans. This has helped them stay on top of trends and react faster to issues. Here’s how social listening further helps brands:
- It helps you learn more about people interested in your brand.
- Monitoring brand mentions helps you engage with the audience faster.
- It helps you improve customer service.
- You can find influencers to work with.
- It helps you analyze your competitors.
- It helps you monitor the sentiment of your audience. Are they happy with your brand? Do they talk positively about your products?
- It helps you manage your brand’s reputation and avert a crisis.
What to look for while choosing a social media listening tool?
The internet is filled with a lot of noise. There are billions of data to filter to get the results you want. And getting precise results is tough. This is where Boolean search comes to your rescue.
A Boolean search lets you find what you are looking for. It filters out what you don’t need. It allows you to combine keywords with operators such as AND, OR, and NOT. This helps produce specific results. For example, “books” AND “Florence”. This limits your search results to sources that have these words.
If your business has unique keywords, you don’t need this feature. However, if you want to refine your searches, a Boolean search can be helpful.
Supported Social Networks
Choose a tool that gives you wide coverage. Choose one that dives into all major social media networks. Such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. Make sure it also covers news sites, forums, blogs, etc.
A social media listening tool must have a sentiment analysis. This feature breaks down the sentiment of your mentions. For example, good, bad, and neutral. It shows you the overall audience sentiment towards your brand.
Business and Audience Insight
The insight feature is another must-have in your social listening tool. It shows you any odd events in your mentions. This feature helps you notice a sudden increase in the number of mentions or reach. For example, when someone famous mentioned your keyword. It also shows sudden changes in sentiment. Sudden changes in sentiment or mentions can be a good or a bad thing. This feature is highly helpful for reputation management.
Analytics and reports give you an edge. You will be able to see if you’ve made progress. You can assess the data and improve. Listening tools that provide reports help you get a better picture. And make better plans.
Social media listening tools cost money. Free versions tend to have limited features. With paid versions, the add-ons could be hard on your pockets. The choice depends on your marketing goals. Find out what features you need. Try out free trials to get a feel of the tool before buying.
Top 10 Social Media listening tools
Hootsuite is one of the top choices for social listening. It helps you simplify consumer research and monitor trends. You get instant reports of real-time conversations taking place online.
With this tool, organizing is easy. You can do it based on your priority. Streamline it by your social networks or your goals, priority, etc. Its streams are simple, and you can modify them as you want. This makes it easy for you to be a part of the social conversation.
The tool is great in helping you monitor your brand. You can look into mentions, keywords, and hashtags. It also allows you to look into your competitors. To make the most out of Hootsuite, check out this video. Hootsuite also provides a free course to get you started.
- Professional plan: $49/month. 30-day free trial.
- Team plan: $129/month. 30-day free trial.
- Business plan: $739/month. 30-day free trial.
- Enterprise plan: Custom pricing. 30-day free trial
- Manage social media activity with built-in tools.
- Monitor brand mentions.
- Measure activity across many social media platforms.
- Improve content engagement.
Buffer allows you to monitor social media channels on one platform. This makes it easy for you to track conversations online. You can listen for mentions and conversations on many platforms. You can join in the conversation with Buffer’s intuitive dashboard. You can plan campaigns, publish content, schedule posts, and more. To use Buffer better, read this guide.
- Free plan: $0/month.
- Essential plan: $5/month. 14-day free trial.
- Team plan: $10/month. 14-day free trial.
- Agency plan: $100/month. 14-day free trial.
- Helps drive audience engagement and traffic.
- Comes with scheduling and analytics tools.
- Helps you respond faster to conversations.
Awario is a great social listening tool. You can track keywords in multiple languages. This is great for brands with a global audience. The tool focuses on building brand awareness. So, it is perfect for building better relations with your audience.
It allows you to find discussions and join in conversations. You can keep track of sentiment and keep your brand reputation in check. You can monitor your brand, competitors, campaigns, products, etc. It also helps you identify trends. Give this guide a read while using Awario for social listening.
- Starter plan: $39/month.
- Pro plan: $119/month.
- Enterprise plan: $399/month.
- Monitor brand reputation management.
- Provide and improve customer support.
- Identify industry trends.
Sprout Social is a social media management tool. But it also includes listening tools in two ways. You can monitor brand mentions and keywords. And engage with your audience.
It gathers all social data and helps you analyze it in one place. Its Discovery feature lets you monitor specific words and hashtags. You can build queries and refine your searches. Check out the video below to learn and use Sprout Social for your business.
- Standard plan: $99/user per month.
- Professional plan: $149/user per month.
- Advanced plan: $249/user per month.
- Schedule posts, and monitor keywords, and hashtags.
- User-friendly and suggestive dashboard.
- Manage and monitor engagements across social channels.
- Identify marketing trends.
Similar to other tools in the list, Keyhole tracks mentions and hashtags. But what makes Keyhole a great option? It offers heat maps showing how brand mentions differ around the world. This makes Keyhole a great tool to learn about your target audience. It allows you to interact with them better.
The features of Keyhole differ from one plan to another. For example, only the corporate plan offers advanced sentiment analysis. Likewise, the enterprise plan offers more advanced analytics.
- Custom pricing for all types of business.
- Monitor hashtags and keywords.
- Improved reports on hashtags campaigns
- Improve posting schedule
Brandwatch is one of the most robust listening tools out there. It also comes at a high cost. It offers listening, publishing, measuring, and management features.
With Brandwatch, you get more flexibility. It allows you to track and filter according to your need. You can track names, topics, keywords, and even phrases. You also get image recognition. It means you get a better picture of what is going on. You can identify trending topics and hashtags.
You can also get sentiment analysis in multiple languages. It also allows you to identify influencers and ongoing conversations. This is great for reputation management.
- Essential plan: $108/month.
- Full suite plan: custom pricing.
- Track campaign performance.
- Improve customer service.
- Content creation and image recognition.
- Insight into audience and trends.
Agora Pulse is a social media management tool. It is professional and comes with social listening features.
Setting up relevant parameters is easy on this tool. It allows you to refine your searches on YouTube and Twitter. You can even refine searches based on how specific you want to be. For example, location, language, etc. It allows you to set keywords, phrases, and hashtags. You can set it for each channel, and they are saved forever. This means, you set it once, and you are good to go.
After that, your work is simply either adding more or editing them. Agora Pulse also monitors brand mentions and campaigns. Brand mentions can be reviewed in the dashboard. You can respond to them in real-time. Mentions are also automatically included in your reports. This tool makes it that easy. Agora Pulse is easy to set up and easy to use. Read this guide to learn how to use Agora Pulse.
- Free plan: $0/month
- Pro plan: $79/month. 15-day free trial.
- Premium plan: $199/month. 15-day free trial.
- Enterprise plan: custom pricing. 15-day free trial.
- Listen and capture key conversations on multiple channels.
- Create as many searches as you want. Filter your searches by location or language.
- Work with your team by capturing social conversation.
Digimind offers two products: Social listening and Market Intelligence. The tool is used by many famous brands in the market. Such as Audi, Nike, and many more.
Its Social Listening tools come with a wide range of features. You can monitor specific keywords and topics, and analyze mentions. The data are all available on one platform. This makes creating reports super easy.
The tool crawls through millions of online sources. In doing so, it lets you see conversations that matter. You get impressive insights that are valuable to your brand. Watch the video below to learn how to better use Digimind.
- Available on request.
- Unlimited social accounts.
- Real-time updates.
- Automatic translation is available.
- Automatic sentiment is available.
- Personalized tags.
- Clean and interactive graphs.
- Automatic country detection for mentions.
- Identify and compare influencers.
- Multi-filter analysis.
Brand Mentions is fast and easy. It searches sections of the internet and finds relevant brand mentions. You get real-time alerts and messages.
This tool helps you learn and monitor what people are saying about your brand. You can also look into your competitors. It helps you gain valuable insight into your brand. The tool is used by all sizes of organizations.
- Growing business plan: $99/month. 7-days free trial available.
- Company plan: $299/month. 7-days free trial available.
- Enterprise/Agency plan: $499/month. 7-days free trial available.
- Automatic report scheduling.
- Monitor competitors’ keywords and social handles.
- Manage brand reputation and social presence.
Buzzsumo is a content marketing tool. But it offers great features as a social media listening tool as well. You can filter searches based on date, B2B publishers, country, and much more. This makes Buzzsumo a more flexible choice.
Along with searches, Buzzsumo also shows the engagement present in the search. Learn how to use it better with this guide. You’ll be able to see how many people reacted to the content. How many shared it? Was it liked/disliked, etc? The tool allows you to modify your parameters according to your need. You can track mentions, content, keywords, backlinks, etc. It also provides you with an alert feature. So, you know when you are being mentioned somewhere.
- Free plan: $0/month.
- Pro plan: $99/month. 30-day free trial.
- Plus plan: $179/month. 30-day free trial.
- Large plan: $299/month. 30-day free trial.
- Equipped with mention alerts.
- Monitor influencers and bloggers.
- Along with tracking, it provides engagement figures.
Getting the right social listening platform depends on your needs. If you need a powerful social listening data tool, tap into Awario. Some tools are the perfect data analysis platform. Such as Digimind and Brandwatch. Other tools provide management and listening features. Such as Sprout Social and Agora Pulse. Compare products according to your marketing needs.
Also, pay attention to cost! You will find a social media listening tool free of cost. But free plans come with limited features. Paid plans could be expensive. Figure out what features will meet your goals. Try out free trials. When you find the one that is good for you, check your plan options. Look for a consultation as well. And don’t forget to check reviews.
With the right social listening tool, your business will be one step ahead. Because the more you know about your customer, the easier it is to sell. These top social media listening tools narrow down your choices. Choose the one that fits and start social listening today!
How do Social Media Listening Tools work?
A social media listening tool is software. It allows you to monitor and assess conversations online. You can track brand mentions, topics, competitor interactions, etc.
What are social media listening platforms?
It helps you monitor your brand’s social channels. It gives insight into your brand mentions, conversations, etc.
Is social listening different from social monitoring?
Social monitoring refers to monitoring customer feedback and messages. Social listening refers to understanding the audience. It helps improve interactions. Social monitoring focuses on the “What”. While social listening focuses on the “Why”.
What are some of the best social media listening tools?
Hootsuite, Buzzsumo, Sprout Social, and Keyhole.
What is a brand mention?
A brand mention is when someone mentions your brand online. Online sources could be posts, blogs, comments, etc.
How to choose a social media listening tool?
To choose the right social media listening tool for your business, you have to:
- Define your marketing goals.
- Research which tool fits the objective of your goals.
- Decide on a budget.
- Try free trials before getting subscriptions.