Social media lets people voice their opinion on companies, brands, people, and anything else that pops into their heads every minute of every hour of every day. This, of course, makes it a powerful research tool for companies keen to know what people think of them—both good and bad.
However, the downside of the ease of use and popularity of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook is they can make it hard to cut through all the noise and keep track of what matters most to you.
That’s why brands need social media monitoring tools. In this guide we’ll take you through everything you need to know about social monitoring, plus a list of some of the best tools out there.
What is social media monitoring?
Social media monitoring should ideally be part of your social listening strategy. Social listening is the process of monitoring social media channels for mentions of your brand, competitors, product, and anything else you consider relevant to your business.
Basically, you use social monitoring tools to capture and gather information about what people are posting about you. The social listening part is more active and strategic. It involves analyzing the data produced by your social monitoring for actionable insights—everything from engaging a happy customer to shifting your overall brand positioning strategy.
Why use social media monitoring tools?
Businesses should use social monitoring tools for a number of reasons. First and foremost, social monitoring allows you to capture powerful insights into your customers, competitors, and industry influencers.
Instead of just eavesdropping for things of interest, it lets you laser target specific keywords and topics. You can then use these captured insights to influence your online presence and help improve brand sentiment.
To take full advantage of social media listening, you need to spread your social monitoring across several social media channels, and keep a constant watch for new opportunities. However, acquiring these insights takes time, and the use of the right social monitoring tools.
To make your life easier, we’ve cast an eye, and ear, over the best tools out there, and have come up with this list of social media monitoring tools to get you started.
The best social media monitoring tools
1. Reddit Keyword Monitor Pro
With over 250 million unique users and 8 billion monthly pageviews, listening and monitoring your brand on Reddit should be part of your social media monitoring strategy. Use the Reddit Keyword Monitor app to set keywords and phrases you’d like to monitor on Reddit, and learn who is talking about your brand, business, or competitors. The last thing you want is having some stranger host a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything—a traditional Reddit Q&A session) on behalf of your company, and only finding out after it happened.
2. Streamview for Instagram
With a community of over 700 million users it makes sense to monitor what people are posting on Instagram, especially if your audience falls in the 18 to 29 age range. With the Streamview for Instagram app you can monitor posts by location, hashtag, or username. The app within Hootsuite allows you to monitor and engage with users that are posting in your area, or an area you choose to follow. For example, you can use this tool during events to see what is being posted and to engage with attended.
3. Hootsuite Syndicator Pro
Manage and monitor all your favorite blogs and websites with Hootsuite Syndicator Pro. This tool provides a quick and easy way to view RSS feeds and quickly share them to your social media channels, as well as rich filtering, monitoring, and tracking tools. You can also track which stories you’ve shared.
Online (and offline) reputation management is extremely important and surprisingly easy. The Reputology app lets you monitor and check major review sites, such as Yelp, Google, Facebook reviews, so that you can engage with reviewers and resolve any issues in a timely manner. You can track activity across multiple storefronts and locations, and respond quickly via quick links.
5. Hootsuite Insights
Hootsuite Insights combines social media listening, analytics, and powerful social media monitoring capabilities. It allows you to gain powerful real-time insights about your brand, track influencers, stories, and trends, and visualize the metrics—all in one place. You can filter and tailor results by sentiment, platform, location, and language, and engage directly from your stream to take action on previously hidden results.
The name says it all; the Brandwatch app in Hootsuite lets you keep watch over your brand through deep listening. You can identify key insights from more than 70 million traffic sources across the web, including major social channels, blogs, forums, news and review sites, and much more. This tool lets you make real-time, informed decisions and take action on them.
Whether it’s a positive or negative online review, your response should be in the same place as that review. The ReviewInc app for Hootsuite lets you view over 200 popular review sites across over 100 countries. Organize positive reviews for sharing on social media sites, and resolve negative issues instantly.
Synthesio is a comprehensive social monitoring tool for finding the information you need to gain deeper insights and better inform business decisions. The tool lets you monitor multiple mention streams at once, so you can listen to the social media conversations most important to you. You can then analyze these conversations and join them.
9. Crowd Analyzer
If you or your customers are based in the Middle East, Crowd Analyzer is an invaluable analytics and social media monitoring tool. As the first Arabic-focused social media monitoring platform, Crowd Analyzer analyzes “Arabic content in terms of relevancy, dialect and sentiment.” It not only monitors major social networks, but also blogs, forums, and news sites.
If content marketing is an important aspect of your Facebook marketing strategy, consider 76Insights. This social media monitoring tool measures the resonance of your social media content and breaks down your resonance score, which measures how much social media engagement someone receives after publishing something.
Keyhole lets you see what’s being said about you on Twitter and Instagram in real-time. You can monitor keywords, hashtags, URLs, and usernames, and see historical as well as real-time data. One cool feature is the heat maps that show you activity levels around the world.
Digimind lets you track keywords in news outlets and social media platforms for mentions of your company in real-time. It also measures sentiment, so you can gauge whether what is being said about you is good, bad, or “meh.” You can also compare how your company is perceived online against your competitors.
13. Google Alerts
Google Alerts lets you monitor the web for mentions of your company, your competitors, or other relevant topics. Just go to the Google Alerts page, type a keyword or phrase in the search box, and provide your email address to receive a notification every time Google finds results relevant to your alert criteria. You can set alerts for specific regions and languages.
On top of all the social media monitoring tools mentioned above, Hootsuite Pro provides social listening capabilities right in the dashboard. Monitor specific keywords, hashtags, regions, and more. Stay on top of what people are saying about your brand and listen to your customers and competitors to gain competitive advantage.