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Well, well, well… Hello! If you’re here reading this, chances are you have an interest in learning more about social media monitoring. You’ve come to the right place!
In this article, we’re breaking down the basics of social media monitoring and sharing the top 10 best social media tracker tools to help you monitor your social accounts effectively.
So without further ado, let’s get started!
First things first, what is Social Media Monitoring?
In the simplest terms, social media monitoring is the act or process of using a tool (which we’ll get to later on) to listen and monitor what is being said about your brand across the internet.
Social media monitoring is about more than just paying attention to your brand’s direct @’s, direct comments or messages. When you utilize social media monitoring, you expand your listening range to conversations and interactions outside of your standard network notifications.
Essentially, you are looking and listening to EVERYTHING (and yes, we mean everything) that could affect your brand. It can be things like :
- Product Questions
- Service Repair Complaints
So, let’s recap real quick. Social media monitoring is listening and monitoring all interactions and conversations outside your brand and industry, regardless of whether your brand is directly mentioned or not.
Okay, got it. How does a Social Media Monitoring Tool work?
Now that you understand what social monitoring is, you might be wondering how these tools even work. It might be a little hard to wrap your head around the idea of a tool finding conversations outside your usual network but don’t fret! We have an explanation!
Social media monitoring tools use crawlers (a slightly icky name for little search bots) to go through various forums, blogs, news sites, review sites, and others, along with the major social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and so on).
The majority of these monitoring tools will continuously crawl and index sites. Some platforms like Twitter and others will be crawled in real-time. Meanwhile, others deemed less important can be set to a crawling limit (like every 10 minutes or once a day). Doing this in real-time is super important for relevancy; there would be no point in gathering all this information if it’s out of date.
In order to get their social data, these tools usually connect to various networks through APIs. This makes it possible for them to search and index public information. Other things like private groups and accounts are off-limits (privacy is still a thing in 2021).
And there you have it! A complex process made simple.
* By the way, it’s a good practice to have your crawlers to include some of the following:
- Your brand name and common misspellings.
- Your product names and common misspellings.
- Mentions of your main competitor(s).
- People searching for products in your area.
How does Social Media Monitoring Help?
Social media monitoring is an essential part of any social care customer strategy. With social media monitoring, you can help your customer feel supported and heard. Think of it this way: have you ever reached out to a brand and gotten radio silence back? Not the greatest feeling (we’ve all been there), but with social media monitoring, you’re able to proactively respond, not just reactively.
Social media monitoring also allows you to:
- Track key metrics
- Measure your social media reach
- Measure ROI
- Test messaging and see performance
Social media monitoring helps you keep an eye on your brand and all the relevant information that can be happening around it. It also can help you measure key metrics, track your social reach and use these metrics to improve your current strategy.
Social Media Listening Vs. Social Media Monitoring
Okay, now that you understand what social media monitoring is, another strategy that often gets mixed up with social media monitoring is social media listening.
We know, we know, they sound alike, BUT there are differences between the two.
Social media listening refers to when you listen and analyze conversations that concern your whole industry, not just the ones that are focused on your brand. Social media listening helps marketers (like you) analyze conversations and trends that can help you plan future marketing campaigns and decisions.
So what’s the difference between the two?
Social media monitoring encompasses aspects of the past and present. Monitoring allows you to respond accordingly but also lets you see everything that has already been said. Monitoring has a focus on gathering data and details.
While on the other hand, social media listening is about the future. Social media listening is a lot more active and strategic in a sense. Listening helps inform future decisions with projections that you make off of the data and information you’ve gathered.
Think of it this way, social media monitoring tells you what, and social media listening tells you why.
Is there anything else I should know about Social Media Listening before we move on?
Well, if you’re really interested in it, we can cover a little more! Social media listening is essential when it comes to providing you insights into your industry and brand. Social listening can help you draw key insights on your brand’s health and perception, and it can also help in other fields such as lead generation and link building as well.
It would be useless to try and effectively use social media monitoring without social listening (like making a sandwich without the bread). They need each other to be the most effective.
Some of our favourite social media listening tips are:
- Cast a wide net: Social listening is not about you (sorry, but it’s true). So cast a wide net that goes beyond your usual social mentions and network. Be a fly on the wall for conversations that are relevant to you but not necessarily ABOUT you.
- Keep your competition close: don’t turn a blind eye to your competitors. Social media listening is a great way to keep an eye on what’s going on with them too. This can give you key insights into what they are good at and what they’re bad at too. We all know the saying, keep your friends close and enemies closer.
What Should You Look for in a Social Media Tracker Tool?
In infamous words, not all tools are made the same. Depending on how you want your social media tracker tool to work, you’re going to have to consider which metrics are more important to you to analyze.
Now we made a little checklist of key metrics to include, which are:
- Brand name, including common misspellings
- Brand product names
- All mentions, comments, reviews and direct messages
- Reviews across various platforms
- Posts at your location(s)
- Posts that tag you in their photo
- Brand hashtags
- Campaign hashtags
- Industry hashtags, if applicable
- All the above repeated for a competitor, depending on how close an eye you want to keep on them
Our Top 10 Social Media Monitoring Tools
Okay! Now that you’re all up to speed on everything social media monitoring and listening, you are all set and informed to make your decision on which social media monitoring tool will work best for your needs!
1. Sprout Social
First up is Sprout. Now, this tool is one of the more comprehensive tools on the market. With Sprout, you can do social listening and analytics, customer care, and employee advocacy. In addition, you can track multiple platforms in real-time without navigating in and out of the app. Everything is then unified in their Smart Inbox.
Sprout’s inboxes are definitely one of their redeeming features. They separate two inboxes so you can easily and clearly navigate between monitoring or engaging. All the networks, brand keywords, search results, and even your hashtag campaigns will appear in real-time in your inbox.
- Unified Smart Inbox
- Custom Tag Feature
- Publishing Tool (For mapping out strategies and scheduling posts)
- Integrated Social Listening Tool (capable of uncovering trends in social conversations, learning more about your audience and providing insights)
- Compatible with HubSpot Software
Supported Social Platforms: Facebook. Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+
Price Tag: Offers a 30-day free trial, Standard: $99/ per month, Professional: $149
A close runner-up is another major player, Hootsuite. Much like Sprout, Hootsuite is another all-in-one monitoring platform that allows you to monitor conversations relevant to you, your industry and your products. Hootsuite can even watch what people say based on keywords, hashtags, locations and specific users like influencers.
Since Hootsuite’s monitoring tool is a part of its social media package, if you decide to subscribe, you have access to their other features such as scheduling and analytics too!
- The dashboard lets you view and respond to all messages, comments, and brand mentions in a concise, unified view
- Manage and monitor all social media activity with native tools and features.
- Customizable paid campaigns with Boost feature (which balances organic reach and paid ads to optimize reach and engagement)
- Can add multiple team members and assign tasks over to the appropriate member
- Able to identify thought leaders and understand your perception in the marketplace
- Able to integrate and is compatible with top social listening tools such as brandwatch, Talkwalker. But other apps too like HubSpot, Google My Business, Adviews and more!
Supported Social Platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, blogs, forums, and more
Price Tag: Offers a 30-day free trial, Professional: $49/ per month, Team: $129/ per month
3. Brandwatch Consumer Research
Don’t let the name lead you astray. This tool offered by Brandwatch is a powerful monitoring tool. Brandwatch didn’t trim the fat off anything; this tool gives you access to 100 million online sources and over 1.4 trillion posts (and that is no exaggeration).
Brandwatch helps you find relevant data from blogs, forums, social media, news and even review sites too. Essentially, they tell you how and what your customers think of your brand and where they talk about it online.
- Provides an overview of your brand mentions’ volume and compares it with competitors
- Capable of monitoring brand sentiment in real-time
- Able to generate who your audience demographic is and what topic they are interested in
- Data visualization tool that brings your analytics to life (visual life, of course)
- Access to the world’s largest archive of consumer opinions (which include things like proprietary data crawlers,
Supported Social Platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, blog posts, forums, and more
Price Tag: Must contact and speak to an expert for pricing (dependant on brand mentions and historical data access)
HubSpot is kind of like a one-stop spot. You can do everything from social media to marketing to emails (yes, email marketing is still a thing). HubSpot gives you the power to easily monitor your interactions, conversations, and even the audience on social media platforms.
One of our favourite features about HubSpot’s monitoring tool is the capability to target specific audiences using context from the contacts database (which is also tied to a free CRM feature!). So you’ll have all the necessary tools to manage daily interactions and engagement.
- Prioritize social engagement
- Can monitor what’s current and trending by monitoring specific keywords
- Can be integrated with your Contacts Database and CRM software
- Capable of scheduling and cross-platform scheduling social posts
- Manage social profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts from one tool
Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, Xing, YouTube, blogging platforms with RSS feeds, and Pinterest
Price Tag: Doesn’t offer a free trial, Starter: $60/ per month, Professional: $1070/ per month
At our halfway point, we have Mention! This tracker tool truly lives up to its name. Mention will literally find your brand anywhere you may be mentioned, which includes realms like Yelp, Booking.com, and even Amazon. Mention boasts the capability to be translated into 42 different languages and can track your brand globally.
But Mentions’ brag worthiness doesn’t stop there. Mention has filtering tools to help you sort through the noise and find the conversations worth monitoring. Within Mention, there is a competitive analysis tool that allows you to compare your brand against your competition. This is a pretty nifty way to ensure that your content is always timely and gives you an edge against competitors.
- Team feature allows employees to collaborate on social media management efforts and is capable of alerting each other.
- Tracking feature which allows for progress update when in crisis communication
- Has a built-in Crisis Management feature to manage social uproar or crisis communications effectively.
- Compatible with your brand’s social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Buffer (which will allow you to direct reply and schedule through Mention)
Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blogs, forums, and more
Price Tag: No Free trial, Solo: $25/ per month, Pro: $83/ per month, ProPlus: $167/per month
Next up is Buffer. Buffer creates an omnichannel experience for you and your team. This comprehensive tool makes it easy to find the conversations that matter the most and join in immediately (give them the old razzle-dazzle, if you will). Buffer has one centralized dashboard and a team-shared inbox, which allows you to post content and engage directly from one spot.
Another benefit of Buffer is that it allows you to manage other elements like Facebook fan Pages and groups, LinkedIn profiles and more. If you utilize the scheduling and posting feature, you can then use the analytical tools to measure what is working and what needs work.
- Capable of planning effective social campaigns with scheduling and publishing features
- Analytic and report tools can monitor team performance through engagement and audience behaviour.
- Story Monitoring feature allows you to record and analyze your stories on Facebook and Instagram.
- Capable of integrating social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and Pinterest
Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest
Price Tag: Free Plan Available, Pro: $15/ per month, Premium: $65/ per month
7. Agora Plus
Agora Plus is kind of like the swiss army knife of the social media monitoring world. This tool can publish, engage, listen, report and collaborate on your digital marketing projects.
Agora Plus can track customer sentiments since this feature helps you identify the best social media content and identify ways to grow your online presence. Another benefit of Agora Plus is that it allows you to jump immediately into conversations from the platform.
- Label creation feature which helps you organize your content strategy by labelling items, such as important posts, competitor activity, and customer feedback
- Unlimited saved searches to help keep you on top of customer, prospect and potential new business opportunities
- Unlimited keyword and hashtag tracking on Twitter and YouTube, you can also track hashtags on Instagram.
Platforms Supported: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube
Price Tag: Free 30-day Trial, Pro: $79/month, Premium: $159.month
Now, we’re going to switch gears a little bit. Although Tweetreach isn’t as fully comprehensive as everyone else on the list, there is a good reason Tweetreach made the cut. Tweetreach is obviously specifically designed for Twitter. But it can analyze reach with a selected keyword, person/Twitter handle, or hashtag.
In addition to measuring your impact, Tweetreach is also able to help you learn about your most influential followers, which helps your direct content towards them to maximize reach. This tool also analyzes impressions, mentions, and the times in which the most relevant Tweets to your business are shared.
- Get an in-depth look at a Tweet’s potential reach, impressions, and conversation size
- Uncover who’s talking about a specific topic on Twitter and which individual has the biggest impact on that topic
- Generate reports on Twitter activity for any keyword, hashtag, URL or account name
Platforms Supported: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Price Tag: Offers Free Tools, Social Media Manager: $49/month, Social Media Marketer: $99/month and Marketing Team: $199/month
Keyhole is a social media monitoring tool that really lets you get into the nitty-gritty of gathering data. Unlike traditional trackers that let you find individual mentions, Keyhole goes off the beaten track and finds trends, insights, and analyses of your preferred hashtags, keywords, or accounts.
Another impressive feature of Keyhole is that Keyhole lets you see data in real-time and visualizes it as heat maps to see your global impact. But on top of all of that, Keyhole also lets you see all your competitors at the same time. By getting key benchmarking metrics as well as competitive intelligence, Keyhole can help you beat the competition.
- Hashtag Analytics feature provides unique insights into your company’s tracked hashtags.
- Capable of tracking engagement or reach of social media posts, and social media reporting
- Predict how well your hashtag will perform with the AI feature.
- Use the timing and topic of your hashtag to predict engagement, reach, and impressions.
Platforms Supported: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Tik Tok
Price Tag: Offers a Free trial, Standard: $49/month, Enterprise: Custom Pricing
Ahh, the end is near. Wrapping up our list of social media monitoring trackers is Falcon.io. This tool is an all-in-one shop for social media monitoring, tracking, customer engagement, audience management and even customer experience (CX). Falcon.io keeps you tuned into online conversations and trends, tracks your campaigns and uncovers top influencers engaging with your brand.
Falcon.io allows you to set benchmarks for your brand, see trending topics, analyze the sentiment around your brand, peek into audience demographics, and find influencers. And, of course, all mentions are reported in real-time.
- Combine all your social media management tools (e.g. social listening, publishing, engagement, reporting, audience data management) into a single dashboard
- Engage Inbox Feature allows you to manage private messaging channels (also a bonus: compatible with WhatsApp)
- Capable of creating custom response templates for standard FAQs
- Collaborative solution feature allows for internal members to convene about solutions about audience members in a customizable mailbox
- Sentiment Feature is available in multiple languages
- Compatible with HubSpot’s CRM system
Supported Platforms: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter
Price Tag: Offers 14-day Free Trial, Essentials: $108/month, Full Suite: Contact for Details and Pricing
So, all that’s great. How do I find the one for me?
Well, first you have to make absolutely sure that the person treats you right… Oh wait, you’re talking about the tools. When it comes to choosing the right platform, you need to ensure that it fits your needs.
It’s important to keep in mind that although all these tools ‘sound similar,’ they will all greatly differ when it comes to functionality and coverage.
Being in the driver’s seat isn’t always easy. Picking the right social media monitoring tool can take quite a bit of navigating. Considering coverage, supported platforms, APIs, and of course budget, can make it difficult to reach your end decision.
This is why we recommend the following:
- Make a “Wish List” of all the feature you want AND need your tool to have
- From there, compile a list of ideal bachelors and bachelorettes
- Take a peek into their past reviews and factoring in the price tag as well
- Create your shortlist and then reach out for demos
- Make sure that you AND your team love the tool
Another tip we truly recommend is having absolutely no shame in your game. Try out as many tools as you need. Finding the right tool can seriously elevate your business and marketing decisions for the better.
Okay, got it. Any social media monitoring tool tips?
Since you have been around for so long, we have 3 key tips to help you monitor social media the best you can.
Tip One: Go to Infinity and beyond [your brand]
We’ve already covered that it’s absolutely crucial to track conversations about your brand, products and keep an eye on the competition when it comes from social media monitoring. But apply a little Toy Story logic and go to infinity and beyond; going beyond your brand can help shape your view on the overall industry and can help reinform your strategies as well.
Tip Two: Sharing is NOT caring
One metric to definitely keep an eye on is your social share of voice. This particular metric measures when there are changes in your standing compared to your competitors. If your share goes down, well, that means someone else’s has gone up.
Keeping your eye on this can alert you to dig deeper and find out what has changed, and strategize to regain the ground you lost. Most social shares of voice occur in real-time, so your team can jump right on what’s happening and why if there is a change.
Tip Three: Use a killer combo attack with Keywords
Don’t limit your monitoring with simple high volume keywords or keyphrases. If you amp up your combo skills, you can use a combination of keywords to identify intent in social signals. Even adding in question based keywords can help you see what people are actively searching for.
When you add in a word like “recommend” to a keyword related to your products or industry, you start to see what people are actively searching for when it comes to information. It also gives you a peek into how other competitors are responding as well.
Some of our favourite killer combos to add to your keyword searches are:
Wondering How To Track Down Success for Your Business?
Phew, we know this was a LONG one, but now you have all the know-how on how to find the perfect social media monitoring tracker for your business! There are plenty of factors that need to be considered, and having a solid foundation of what social media monitoring and social listening will only help you filter and sort through all the tools out there.
There’s a saying, many hands make light work, and we definitely believe that to be true. Having a solid social media strategy that encompasses all the facets can be hard to do… alone. But that’s why people like us here at Konstruct are here. We love our industry and really know the minuscule details of it too. We know what we’re talking about when it comes to tracking down success for our clients. If you need some help with getting your social media marketing strategy all in line, we’re here to help! Reach out to us today for more information.