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Published June 15th 2022

The Top Social Media Monitoring Tools

We review the best social media monitoring tools and social listening tools, to help you or your brand get ahead and find useful insights.

The key to making the most of social media is listening to what your audience has to say about you, your competitors, and the market in general. Once you have the data you can undertake analysis, and finally, reach social business intelligence; using all these insights to know your customers better and improve your marketing strategy.

If you are a social media rookie, this list of the top social media monitoring tools might come in handy. When looking for a tool, it’s a good idea to try a couple of them and choose the one that suits your needs best.

However, bear in mind that these tools are not an alternative to enterprise-level tools, such as Brandwatch Consumer Research, which brings social media monitoring to a new level, offering a much higher variety of services, functionality, and in-depth analysis. It all depends on your needs.

Below you’ll read about the following tools:

  1. Brandwatch Consumer Research
  2. Hootsuite
  3. IFTTT
  4. Buzzsumo
  5. Boardreader
  6. TweetDeck
  7. Mention
  8. Twitonomy
  9. Followerwonk
  10. Keyhole
  11. Tailwind
  12. Sendible
  13. Tweepsmap 
  14. Brand24
  15. Agorapulse
  16. Awario
  17. YouScan 
  18. Zoho Social
  19. Buffer
  20. Loomly
  21. Listen

Read on as we expand more on each of these tools. You can also jump directly to each tool by tapping the above links.

But firstly, what is social media monitoring, and how is it different from social listening?

What is social media monitoring?

In simple terms, social media monitoring is the act of using a tool or software to listen to what is being said across the internet; monitoring media not just from traditional publishers, but on millions of social sites too. Social media monitoring is often confused with social listening.

What is social media listening?

Social listening is how social media marketers and social insights professionals track conversations around key topics, terms, brands, and more, using specialized software tools.

Social listening software gathers mentions, comments, hashtags, and relevant posts from across social media to provide insights on what users are talking about in real time, sentiment in those conversations, and so on. Brands often use these insights to tap into key trends, see what people are saying about them and their competitors online, and feed this information into their marketing strategy and decision-making.

1. Brandwatch Consumer Research

Our social intelligence suite, Brandwatch Consumer Research, has a huge range of features and applications. It can track everything from your own channels to hashtags to specific phrases and keywords you want to look at.

With a customizable query builder, you can set it to track very specific topics or very broad ones. Then you can get data from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Reddit, forums, blogs, and various other sources (over 100 million online sources and over 1.4 trillion posts!)

There’s then the ability to build custom dashboards and views, plus analytical components, such as looking at sentiment, emotions, and demographics. It’s one of the most powerful tools in the industry.

2. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the best free social media listening tools available, and it covers multiple social networks, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and TikTok. It is well known for its social media management functions.

The weekly reports and the excellent team management facility (eg delegating tasks, sending private messages) can be very useful when there’s more than one person handling the social media accounts.

You can also monitor specific search terms in real time. This can be really handy for tracking mentions of your brand, products, or relevant keywords you’re interested in.

Hootsuite also allows you to collect articles from multiple RSS feeds in one place that you can post to your personal or organization’s social networks.

3. If This Then That (IFTTT)

IFTTT isn’t specifically made for social media monitoring, but it can be easily turned towards it. IFTTT essentially lets you connect different services so that when something happens on one, it triggers an action in another.

For example, you could have IFTTT send you an email every time your brand is mentioned online. Or you can get an SMS whenever a term specified by a Twitter search query gets posted. Or if you’d like to keep your social accounts active with little effort, you could set up IFTTT to make sure that every post you recommend on Medium, for example, also gets posted to your Facebook or Twitter accounts.

In other words, thanks to its customizability and range of integrated apps, it can be a nifty way to keep an eye on social media activity.

Be sure to dig around and explore pre-existing ‘applets’ and social media automation on the platform. There’s also a handy course on IFTTT automation available on Udemy

4. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is a great tool for content research, but it also has an excellent way to analyze and monitor your Facebook pages. Along with metrics around each individual post, more interestingly is the ability to see what content performs best.

BuzzSumo will tell you what day is the best to post, how long your posts should be, what types of content work best, and monthly stats over time.

5. Boardreader

Sometimes we forget that social media doesn’t just include the big players. Forums and messaging boards count too. Boardreader is a search engine that allows you to search for specific terms on a range of different forums and boards online to see when people talk about a specific subject and what they’re saying.

Putting in a term will return a list of all of these posts up to the previous two years; you can generate charts to look for trends and compare terms against each other. It’s a great way to find conversations about your brand or a topic of your interest.

6. TweetDeck

TweetDeck covers the basic needs of any Twitter user, especially the beginners. It’s a great tool for scheduling tweets and monitoring your interactions and messages, as well as tracking hashtags and managing multiple accounts. There is a web app, Chrome app, or Mac app. The Windows app ceased functioning in April 2016.

7. Mention

Mention monitors over one billion sources in up to 44 languages, helping you stay on top of all your brand mentions on social networks, news sites, forums, blogs, or any web pages.

The app lets you keep track of your team’s actions, share alerts, and assign tasks. Generating reports and exporting mentions can help you get a snapshot of your mentions by source or language over a selected period of time. They offer a free basic plan for individuals and several advanced options.

8. Twitonomy

Twitonomy offers a range of metrics for free. You can also buy one single month for $20 or subscribe to the monthly plan for $19. Simply sign in with your Twitter account for robust monitoring and metrics about your account. You can add your competitor’s Twitter handles to gain insights about their activity too.

Twitonomy shows you details of your Twitter lists, followers and followings, your most popular Tweets, engagement statistics, and much more.

You can track conversations on Twitter based on hashtags, users, or lists. The details are displayed in graphs and easily digestible stats.

9. Followerwonk

Focusing specifically on Twitter, Followerwonk is the right tool to find, analyze, and optimize your online presence for social growth.

The tool is perfect for planning outreach campaigns by allowing you to search Twitter bios, connect with influencers or fans, and break them out by location, authority, number of followers, and more.

Interestingly, with Followerwonk you can compare your social graph to competitors, friends or industry leaders, and measure how well you are doing. The platform offers a basic free plan, and premium features start at $29/month.

10. Keyhole

Keyhole is excellent for tracking keywords and hashtags. It’ll track them live and create a dashboard showing all the mentions, letting you sort by engagement, date, and other metrics.

You can also get a look at influencers, sentiment, and trending topics based on the mentions collected.

11. Tailwind

Tailwind is a social media listening and monitoring tool for Pinterest. Armed with this tool, you’ll be able to learn how users use pins to engage with your brand and competitors on Pinterest.

Besides brand monitoring and engagement, Tailwind will also help you discover industry benchmarks, trending topics, and category-level performance. Tailwind offers a basic plan for free, and advanced options run from $9.99/month.

12. Sendible

Sendible is a social media marketing platform that allows individuals, agencies, and small businesses to engage with their audience across multiple channels. The platform’s features include publishing, collaboration, analytics, and dashboards. As reported by many users on G2.com, a peer-to-peer review site, the tool is widely used by agencies to manage multiple accounts. Pricing runs between $29-$399/month.

13. Tweepsmap 

An AI-driven Twitter analytics and management platform that supports five languages. According to user reports on Capterra, a software review website, Post Scheduler is one of the popular features, and it allows users to put their tweets on autopilot. Plans include a free basic one and customizable options as well.

14. Brand24 

Brand24 is a media monitoring and reputation management tool whose features include mention analytics, influence score, and sentiment analysis. Consumer reports on G2.com suggest that the tool, while can be used by businesses of all sizes, works best for small businesses (<50 employees). The tool offers a free 14-day trial, and there are several paid plans available.

15. Agorapulse

This platform is for social media management, and it’s best known for its unified social inbox that lets users easily manage all incoming social media mentions, comments, messages, and reviews in one place. Consumer reviews on G2 frequently mentioned the queue feature that allows users to prepare content in advance and set it to autopilot, as well as the ability to share the social media calendar with clients. Plans vary from a free basic one to custom. 

16. Awario

Awario is a brand monitoring tool that helps brands analyze social mentions. Positive reviews on G2.com included users naming the tool a “smart solution for small businesses”. And the platform’s daily email, Slack integration, and the option to download mention data into an Excel file were reported as favorite features. Plans include starter, pro, and enterprise options. 

17. YouScan 

YouScan can detect brand logos, scenes, objects, activities, and people, and turn all visual data into ‘visual insights’. 

As an example, if a brand appears in an image on social, the tool will extract contextual insights about what's featured in that image (eg the brand name and people engaging with the product).

According to several user reviews online, YouScan is ideal for measuring sponsorship ROI, finding UGC, and identifying and connecting with brand ambassadors. 

18. Zoho Social

This tool comes in handy for social media managers who are looking to schedule unlimited posts across social networks – and, especially, if they manage multiple accounts. 

The tool’s collaboration features and custom user roles make it easy for social marketers to bring all the members on board to manage social accounts for multiple brands.

The platform offers different packages for businesses and agencies.

19. Buffer

Buffer is widely used as a scheduling and publishing social media tool for small businesses. With Buffer, users can manage Facebook fan Pages and groups, LinkedIn profiles and company pages, Twitter profiles, Pinterest accounts, and more, all of which help plan social media programs. 

Among other features, Buffer users favor the authorizing a post feature, stating that it gives an easier way to get things approved or denied when in different locations.

20. Loomly

Loomly describes itself as a brand success platform, and its core features include collaboration, publishing, and measuring.

Among other features, the platform offers an ability to advertise to different social channels without leaving the tool, as well as daily custom content suggestions and tips for optimizing posts (eg time of day, day of the week, etc). Loomly offers a free 15-day trial, with no credit card required. 

21. Listen

Listen (formerly known as Union Metrics) lets you have an ear on what the world is talking about right now. With Listen, you can discover trends in real time, monitor customer mentions, and become crisis ready. 

The platform measures the actual impact and implications of social media discussions. With Listen, brands can discover top industry contributors and hashtags they should be targeting when aiming to share and promote online content.

The final word

It should be clear if you’ve got this far that the social listening and monitoring tool space is a crowded one.

We’ve developed our own social media monitoring technology with larger, more sophisticated organizations in mind, but we hope this list for getting started is a useful foundation.

If you are interested in seeing what more advanced suites like Brandwatch can offer, please get in touch by booking a demo.

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