Social media listening tools give you the power to discover what your (current and future) customers really think about you.

That’s something we’d all like to know, right?

After all, research from SuperOffice shows that the number one reason customers ditch a company is because they think that company doesn’t care about them.

But it’s not only about turning your customers’ frowns upside down; social media listening generally helps you deliver a better standard of service. And better customer service offers tangible benefits. According to that same SuperOffice study:

  • 86% of consumers are willing to pay more if they receive a better quality of service
  • 73% of consumers say friendly customer service made them fall in love with a brand
  • 55% of businesses claim that improving customer service leads to increased sales

However, with tens of thousands of social media updates being posted every second of every day, manually listening for brand mentions is simply too labor-intensive. To do social listening effectively, you need the right tools for the job.

Check our 10 of our favorite social media listening tools:

1. Buffer

Price

  • Free publishing tools for individuals getting started with social media
  • Upgrade to $5 per social channel per month to access publishing, analytics & engagement tools for social media geeks

Summary
Buffer takes an omnichannel approach to social media management, allowing you to handle all your social platforms in one place. That’s helpful if –– like most brands –– your audience could be anywhere, rather than exclusively active on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Buffer makes it simple to track down the most important conversations your customers are engaging in online. Once you’ve found them, the centralized dashboard and shared team inbox allow you to join in those conversations and drive audience engagement.

Key Features

  • Listen for conversations on multiple platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest
  • Measure audience behavior and engagement through analytics and reporting tools
  • Plan and build campaigns using the publishing and scheduling features

2. Brandwatch

Price

Summary
Brandwatch was named one of the world’s leading social media listening tools in the Q4 2020 edition of the Forrester Wave report, so it deserves a spot on this list.

It helps users understand how customers feel about their brand by monitoring mentions –– not just of their brand name, but also their products and logos. It’s even possible to conduct the multi-year analyses required to identify big-picture trends.

Key Features

  • Monitor key publications, regions, and influencers to gather industry-level insights
  • Measure the impact of your marketing strategies to understand how consumers feel about your brand and messaging
  • Track online mentions to understand customer perception, spot changes in sentiment, and measure brand visibility

Falcon.io

Pricing

  • From $108 per seat per month

Summary
Falcon.io’s social media listening tools allow users to monitor brands across 100 million online sources, allowing them to see who’s talking about them and when, pick out emerging trends, and bring real meaning to those conversations.

By monitoring mentions, you can quickly understand what your customers like (and don’t like) about your brand, including what content types and themes keep them engaged.

Key Features

  • Analyze sentiment and brand perception without the clunkiness of having to sift through large datasets manually
  • AI detects peaks and troughs in your social media data, helping to identify unusual levels of activity
  • Team members are automatically notified about negative comments so they can respond quickly

4. Sprout Social

Pricing

  • From $89 per user per month

Summary
Sprout Social’s listening tools are designed to help companies extract actionable insights from global social conversations, enabling them to identify gaps in their industry and boost the strength of their brand.

Compatible with Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, and the wider internet, Sprout offers extensive training and educational resources to ensure you get the most value from the platform.

Key Features

  • Keep track of conversations and relevant themes to understand how consumers feel about your brand and broader topics
  • Catalog conversations and audience information to build a clear picture of consumer sentiment, industry trends, and brand opportunities
  • Explore customer feelings on specific topics, products, and companies to enhance your messaging and brand positioning

5. Mention

Price

  • Free for individuals with up to three social accounts, limited to 1,000 mentions per month
  • Premium plans priced from $29 per month
  • Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, and YouTube excluded from all but the top-tier, team and agency-level plan

Summary
Even at the free account level, Mention boasts a vast amount of social media listening functionality. Users can listen to millions of conversations across multiple platforms, organizing the most important ones using Mention’s “Smart folders” functionality.

Filtering options make it easy to gauge audience sentiment, while the Insights Center helps you stay focused on top-level goals. Reports can be built using rich data from your brand, a product, a competitor, or a broader industry topic.

Key Features

  • Filter key conversations to quickly analyze and compare trends
  • Schedule automated reports to receive them in your inbox at the time and day that suits you
  • Build detailed dashboards to understand trends at a glance better

6. Brand24

Price

  • $49 per month for individuals tracking a single brand

Summary
Unlike social media management tools that incorporate social media listening functionality as part of a much broader feature set, Brand24 is built from the ground up with monitoring and listening in mind.

Users get access to a wide range of social media listening tools. Their tools include a mentions feed, where you can quickly find out what people are saying about your brand in real-time. Additionally, a discussion volume chart helps you identify sudden changes in activity levels.

Key Features

  • Cut through the noise with customized alerts, such as only receiving notifications on negative brand mentions from blogs with more than 300,000 monthly visits
  • Filter results across a range of criteria, including mention source, sentiment, and number of visits
  • Turn your data in infographics, PDF reports, and .xls files

7. Awario

Price

  • From $29 per month (or $24 per month when billed annually)

Summary
Rather than relying on a single third-party data source to provide social media listening data, Awario crawls more than 13 billion web pages every single day, as well as leveraging APIs. That means you get access to a whole lot of information!

Using your brand name as a keyword allows you to quickly find relevant discussions across multiple social platforms and join in when necessary. Plus, you can keep track of sentiment and share-of-voice data to understand the scale and quality of your brand reputation.

Key Features

  • Use sentiment analysis to sort mentions by positive, negative, and neutral
  • Track down your top social influencers across multiple platforms
  • Monitor mentions for keywords in any language and given location

8. Keyhole

Price

Summary
Marketers at more than 7,000 organizations use Keyhole to measure and demonstrate the impact of their social media marketing, with plenty of big names –– including Billboard, Reuters, and the Smithsonian Institution –– relying on its social media monitoring tools.

Keyhole gives users a detailed view of their brand, audiences, and industry by displaying their direct and indirect mentions, hashtags, keywords, and influencers on a single platform.

Key Features

  • Understand how your audience feels about your brand and competitors using Keyhole’s AI-powered sentiment analysis tool
  • Use QuickTrends –– like Google Trends for social media –– to instantly identify key trends and opportunities in your industry
  • Boost your social media following and increase conversions with account recommendations on top times to post and hashtags to use

9. BuzzSumo

Price

  • The free product tier offers ten searches a month with up to 1,000 results
  • The paid tier starts from $99 per month (or $79 per month when paying annually) and includes a 30-day free trial

Summary
Although it’s best known as a content analysis tool, BuzzSumo also offers a range of social media listening functionality that allows users to track mentions, trends, and updates for their brands, competitors, and the wider industry.

What’s more, you can get alerts on pretty much everything, which means your results never get missed amid all the noise of your social feeds.

Key Features

  • Set alerts for the topics, brands, and keywords that have the most significant impact on your marketing goals
  • Monitor influencers, bloggers, and journalists to ensure you’re the first to engage with their latest posts and articles
  • Browse the world’s most extensive index of social engagement data, based on information from five billion articles

10. BrandMentions

Price

  • From $99 per month
  • All plans include a seven-day free trial

Summary
BrandMentions monitors key online channels to keep you posted about everything that’s going on in your niche, including anything related to your brand. It’s used by almost 11,000 large and small organizations, including big names like eToro and McCann.

Users receive new mentions on their brand and market directly to their inbox, ensuring they’re up to date with the latest developments the moment they happen.

Key Features

  • Keep tabs on everything that’s being said about your company or product
  • Learn when and where your brand is being mentioned to help optimize your marketing strategy
  • Understand your audience’s interests and the products that most closely align with their needs

Are there any social media listening tools you’d add to this list?

To learn more about social media listening, marketing, and building an engaging online presence, check out one of our upcoming social media strategy conferences.