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:
- 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
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.
- 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
- Unlisted; contact Brandwatch for details
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.
- 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
3. Sprout Social
- From $89 per user per month
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.
- 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
- 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
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.
- 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
- $49 per month for individuals tracking a single brand
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.
- 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
- From $29 per month (or $24 per month when billed annually)
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.
- 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
- Unlisted; contact Keyhole for details
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.
- 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
- 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
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.
- 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
- From $99 per month
- All plans include a seven-day free trial
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.
- 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
- Offers a free 30-day trial
- Offers a free plan for one user and up to three social profiles
- Premium plans start at $79 per month for two users and ten profiles
AgoraPulse offers a whole suite of social media monitoring tools — covering everything from reporting to publishing — used by more than 31,000 social media managers daily.
Its social listening tool helps brands understand what current and potential customers say about them and their rivals. As well as a desktop platform, it has a dedicated mobile app that allows users to access the latest insights on their Android or iOS devices from any location.
- Twitter and YouTube search parameters allow users to find what they’re searching for via boolean operators.
- Labeling important posts, customer feedback, and competitor activity make it easy to retrieve and respond to.
- Unlimited saved searches help users keep on top of conversations with customers, prospects, and new opportunities.
- Unlisted; contact YouScan for details.
YouScan is slightly different from this article’s other social media listening tools.
As the name alludes to, it’s an image-based social listening platform. Powered by AI, it can gather brand mentions by logos, keywords, and text on images across thousands of media sources and over 500 billion conversations.
Images can be described in precise detail, giving brands and agencies access to instant consumer insights.
- Automatically locates key information from billions of conversations by sorting mentions by subjects, categories, and trends.
- AI-powered data segmentation eradicates the need for manual data processing.
- Provides context on brand conversations, helping users track down the most relevant subjects.
- Unlisted; contact Digimind for details.
Digimind describes itself as intelligence software that helps customers fully understand market trends and consumer insights across their competitive landscape.
Its social media listening functionality allows users to analyze conversations across millions of online sources to leverage audience insights and optimize their marketing strategies.
While Digimind does all the standard stuff you’d expect from a social media listening tool, it also offers a proprietary “Top Reputation” module, which uses Google search data to provide a real-time view of your brand image.
- Get to-the-minute tracking on the information people are searching for about your brands, people, products, and competitors.
- Generate social listening reports in seconds using Digimind’s pre-designed templates.
- Brand mentions are marked as “read” once you’ve seen them, helping you keep track of the latest conversations.
- From $49 per month for one user and ten social accounts
HootSuite is one of the market’s best-known social media management tools, helping customers optimize their marketing, sales, and support strategies.
While most people think of HootSuite as a simple scheduling tool, it also offers social media listening functionality powered by Brandwatch, another of the platforms on this list.
Known as HootSuite Insights, its social listening tool provides an instant, real-time overview of millions of online conversations.
- Set up immediate alerts to easily identify any spikes in brand mentions.
- Search for online conversations related to any keyword or topic.
- Filter searches by data, demographics, location, and other factors.
- Unlisted; contact Talkwalker for details.
More than 2,500 brands trust Talkwalker’s consumer intelligence platform, including big names like Orange, Spotify, and the European Investment Bank.
Talkwalker designed its suite of tools to help customers build stronger brands and gain a deeper understanding of their market.
From a social media listening perspective, Talkwalker can monitor online and offline conversations about brands, products, and campaigns. The platform covers 187 languages and tracks conversations across 150 million websites.
Use social listening to analyze brand mentions across ten social networks, including full firehose access to Twitter. Go beyond social to track discussions on online news sites, blogs, forums, and offline databases and understand what your customers and prospects think of your brand.
- Talkwalker claims to be the only platform to offer fully integrated “visual learning” capable of tracking over 30,000 brand logos.
- Analyzes brand mentions across ten social networks.
- Users can track discussions across news sites, blogs, forums, and even offline databases.
- Unlisted; contact Meltwater for details.
Meltwater describes itself as the “Swiss Army knife” of media monitoring platforms, with a toolkit that includes social media listening, influencer management, and sentiment analysis.
Named in 2021 as G2’s top-rated media intelligence platform, everyone from the smallest businesses to the largest enterprises can take advantage of Meltwater’s features.
It claims to offer the world’s most comprehensive social listening platform, capable of tracking conversations across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube and more niche platforms like Pinterest, Reddit, and Twitch.
- Create highly customizable monitoring dashboards to track conversations in real-time.
- It offers unlimited searches across its pool of 200 billion global conversations.
- Uses AI-driven algorithms to identify brand mentions on thousands of podcasts.
16. NetBase Quid
Unlisted; contact NetBase Quid for details.
NetBase Quid is a consumer and market intelligence platform that does everything from social media analytics to historical and real-time media monitoring.
Its social listening tools can analyze thousands of conversations as they happen, allowing customers to spot trends and address issues when they emerge.
Beyond that, it helps users understand the channels on which their audiences are most active and build customer segments based on shared interests.
- Track customer sentiment and passion over time to get an up-to-date view of customer satisfaction levels.
- Use psychographic attribution to understand where the biggest opportunities lie among your existing and potential customer base.
- Combine data from social media, surveys, your CRM, chat logs, and voice responders to build a deeper understanding of your audience.
- Unlimited; contact Synthesio for details.
Synthesio aims to speed up and improve business decision-making by providing AI-powered audience insights.
Whereas many social listening tools rely on data spikes to spot trends and highlight potential issues, Synthesio provides based on various advanced factors, including changes to daily posting patterns and shifts in conversation.
Importantly, it’s capable of categorizing and naming themes as they emerge, meaning you can tap into opportunities you may never even have considered.
- Semantically similar conversations are automatically grouped, providing valuable context and helping you gather higher-quality insights.
- Helps customers discover user-generated content that drives high levels of engagement.
- Allows reports to be shared across the organization, ensuring that audience data is top of mind during decision-making.
- Offers a 14-day free trial
- Plans start from $110 per month for a single user
Reputology is essentially a social media listening tool explicitly geared to review platforms.
So it’s more of a niche offering than many of the all-rounders in this article. But with 89% of consumers reading reviews before making a purchase, it can provide highly valuable insights.
Reputology monitors more than 100 review sites — including big hitters like Facebook, Google My Business, and the Apple App Store — allowing customers to monitor, analyze, and respond to online reviews from a single platform.
- Provides a single source for all reviews about your brands, products, services, and (if relevant) store locations.
- Uses semantic analysis technology to transform unstructured review content into meaningful data.
- Sends automated notifications, allowing users to read and reply to reviews as they arrive, all from within the Reputology platform.
- Unlisted; contact Emplifi for details or sign up for a free trial.
Emplifi is the comprehensive customer experience platform formerly known as Social Bakers.
Established more than a quarter-century ago (i.e., before social media listening was even a “thing”), it helps brands handle more than one billion social media interactions across over 28 million social profiles every month.
Want another impressive-sounding number? Emplifi analyzes more than 138 million voice-of-customer data points every day, and that’s a lot of data.
- Uses AI-driven analysis to understand the sentiment behind all incoming mentions, offering a real-time view of what people think about your brand.
- It breaks down your share of voice vs. your competitors, helping you understand your position in the market.
- It makes it easy to track down the accounts driving the most valuable and relevant conversations (and which of your competitors are already joining in).
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.