10 Best Social Media Monitoring Tools
As more and more social media platforms become mainstream, it becomes harder and harder to keep yourself or your business relevant topics on each of them. You could do all the monitoring and managing of your social media accounts by yourself, but that takes a substantial amount of time out of your day. There is always the option of hiring a social media manager, but that’s not feasible for most people or small businesses. That is why so many people have started turning to social media monitoring tools.
These applications allow people to see what’s trending, mentions, post frequency, and many more metrics. Sometimes, they will even have more specialized functions like being able to schedule automatic posts on some platforms. The best part is that they save you a ton of time and most options out there cost you little to nothing. If you are serious about growing your social media presence, then you should seriously consider investing in one of these social media monitoring tools.
If you happen to be a small business looking to promote yourself, consider combining a monitoring tool with influencer marketing. Once you see the results, you won’t regret the effort.
These are not necessarily ranked from best to worst; most social media monitoring tools will have the same basic function so any of the ones on this list will get the job done. The small details and features matter a lot and will dictate which one is the best for you specifically, so be sure to read about them all. That being said, these are 10 of the best social media monitoring tools on the market, and you can bet that at least one of them will be exactly what you are looking for.
Hootsuite is one of the more recognizable names when it comes to social media monitoring applications, and for a good reason. They offer a super robust analytics section so you can tell what has been your most successful content, what didn’t land so well, and when the best time to post is. You also have access to a library of all the content you have posted through Hootsuite, so you can quickly and easily reference past posts.
Hootsuite features a live feed of whatever social media accounts you have synced with it, so you’ll always be alert to changes that happen on your profiles. There is also built-in messaging compatibility, so you can respond to DMs across multiple platforms without ever having to look away from the Hootsuite tab.
If you happen to be a larger operation, to the point where you have multiple people in charge of social media relations, you’ll be pleased to find out Hootsuite can support multiple simultaneous users, and has a built-in scheduling function to help them coordinate. If you purchase one of their more intensive service subscriptions, they even provide some training and certifications to help people less experienced with social media monitoring tools up to speed.
Mention was recently acquired by online news and PR platform, Mynewsdesk, but continues to be a separate service focusing on social media monitoring. Mention offers the main functionalities that you’d look for in a monitoring application but to a more polished degree.
Not only can you use Mention to make posts to all the main social media platforms, but the application will offer suggestions to help increase your engagement and relevance in content searches. This helps you get seen by more people and increase the likelihood of them wanting to stick around to see what else you have to stay.
As you can expect from a service named Mention, the software is particularly good at monitoring what people are mentioning in their posts and how they are talking about it. Mention allows you to filter through posts by both searching for specific content and avoiding the stuff you don’t care about. This makes it incredibly easy to gauge your audience’s reactions to specific events so you can cater your posts to what they want to hear.
You can take Mention out for a spin — they offer a free trial. However, you can only geta trail on their larger-business-level services if you specifically request one and get approved.
This social media monitoring tool features probably the most individually extensive searching function on the market. Everything from traditional places like Twitter and Instagram, to the new hotness that is TikTok, and even podcast hosting sites can all be scoured by Brand24. If you need to be as thorough as possible when it comes to finding out what people are saying about you or your brand, look no further than this application.
If you have a particularly large Facebook Page or are working towards one, then you should take Brand24 up on their free trial. Their service offers a lot more functions when it comes to the world’s largest social media platform. Responding to comments, seeing public mentions that involve your page, allowing you to engage with other Facebook Pages using your own, and more are things that Brand24 can do.
If you aren’t after those exact capabilities, it still has plenty of good stuff to offer. You can do some unusual stuff like estimating sentiment or calculating expected reach on a given platform. Of course, all these powers come at a cost, and Brand24 is one of the most expensive monitoring tools on the market, with a shorter than normal free trial period — 14 days.
Talkwalker is a bit of an odd one. It has two free options that are super stripped-down versions of their premium product, one of which seems like a slightly glorified Google Alerts equivalent, and the other is more in line with a proper social media marketing tool.
Social Search, the free monitoring tool, is restricted mostly to consumer insights. You can track relevant data on your followers and compare it to real-time market data so you can determine how to best advertise products and services to your followers on all your platforms.
The Premium version of Talkwalker combines Social Search and the alerts function and adds a ton of other features to it. The marketing analytics gets a boost with some AI machine learning that helps you craft the best social media posts possible. You also get access to things like locational data, which can help you determine what region of the world people are talking about you the most.
It is not recommended that you pick up Talkwalker if you don’t have a sizable budget for social media marketing. The premium version is prohibitively expensive for smaller influencers and brands.
As you might be able to tell by the name, Tweetdeck is a social media monitoring tool geared specifically towards Twitter. It is an exceptionally good tool in that regard, but it does not work with any other platform, so if you aren’t heavily invested in a Twitter presence or trying to create one, you might want to just skip ahead.
The best way to think about Tweetdeck is just a customizable and streamlined Twitter feed. You can set up monitoring tools for specific things like messages or when someone you follow tweets about a specific subject. You can better tailor what kind of trending topics you see and get notified when they start gaining momentum. There is also a post scheduling feature, which is handy when you have a great idea for a post but know it would be better received at a different time. Don’t give yourself the extra work of remembering to send the tweet later, just use Tweetdeck to have it be saved and automatically sent out whenever you want it to be.
Tweetdeck falls short in data tracking, though. It has no analytics functions at all. As a major plus, it is completely free — there isn’t even a freemium version that hides all the real capabilities.
Sprout Social covers all the basics when it comes to both capabilities and platform coverage. You get access to basic scheduling, analytics, engagement metrics, and trend listening; the mainstay platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and lightly more niche sites like YouTube, Pinterest, and even LinkedIn.
Sprout Social is more geared toward serving a professional team of social media campaign managers, and much less so for individual influencers trying to maximize their presence. Part of this is due to it being a bit on the expensive side, as well as even the most basic plan still having team scheduling and coordination functions.
As strange as it may sound, one of the standout features of Sprout Social is that it doesn’t have a gimmick. Most other social media monitoring tools have a unique or unusual “thing” that they have developed to help them stand out from the crowd. Sprout Social’s trend-watching software is more potent than most competitors, but it isn’t trying to do anything crazy with it. As such, this makes for an incredibly good starting foothold in the world of social media monitoring tools for a smaller business.
Along with the standard suite of social media monitoring software, Keyhole comes with some features for tracking things like brand marketing, influencer marketing, and event monitoring. Their higher-level plans also let users collect historical data from the main social media site like Twitter and Facebook. The base plan does not have this included, but the data can be paid for and obtained on a case-by-case basis.
Along with the data collection, a super cool thing about Keyhole is that you can customize what features your plan has in a roundabout way; the basic plans have the features that come with them, but you can pay extra to gain access to their other tools that aren’t included with a specific plan without having to upgrade into the next level.
Hashtag tracking and account monitoring also help set it apart specifically for influencers. It allows you to more conveniently track the reach and usage of your hashtags and keywords, as well as keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. It is also fairly priced for an individual influencer to make use of, as long as they make a decent return on their marketing.
Agorapulse has a few things it can do outside of social media monitoring, but that is its primary purpose, and this list isn’t concerned with that other stuff. It covers all the main platforms and a few less popular ones like LinkedIn. It has an exceptionally strong multi-account stream, making it one of the front-runners if you have a ton of accounts across many platforms to keep track of.
Not only can you have multiple people running on one account to manage social media for a larger company, but you can also collaborate with other Agoraopulse-registered users. This makes it ideal for influencer team-ups and makes influencer marketing campaigns an extra step easier.
On top of that, Agorapulse can take your data and compile it into easy to understand reports. This makes it super easy to not only keep track of and process your marketing information but also report it to supervisors and brands you are partnered with. To take it a step further, the reports can be transferred to other users within the Agorapulse client seamlessly and save time, cost, and frustration by avoiding printing or the occasional email screwup.
9. Zoho Social
Zoho Social is only compatible with the major platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but it has impressive capabilities inside those platforms. The dashboard includes everything you need to publish content when you need to and in the best shape possible. The interface makes it especially easy to figure out and decide where you are posting your content as well, so you can better avoid posting the right update on the wrong platform.
The dashboard is especially good for responding to mentions you get on your various social media accounts. You can receive and prioritize notifications from your different accounts and can interact with the people mentioning you all from inside the client. Speed of response is a huge factor in making consumers feel like your brand cares, especially in the world of social media.
The one slightly awkward thing about Zoho Social is that some of their plans have restrictions on the subscription windows. If you are a lower-level influencer or smaller business that can get away with their simpler packages, it likely won’t affect you too much. However, their high-tier service packages geared toward large companies can only be purchased in full-year subscriptions. So, if you buy into their huge plan and find that you don’t like it, you’ve committed a lot of money to something that you can’t easily cancel.
If you like things being centralized and have a thing for organizing, this is probably the tool for you. Falcion.io features a calendar that covers all the scheduled posts and whatnot from all your accounts and an in-client inbox where you can manage all the messages your accounts get from people.
Along with the main platforms you’d expect from a social media monitoring tool, Falcon.io’s listening tool can also pull data from things like blogs and news sites.
The analytics tool allows you to set benchmarks that can be monitored in-client, as well as account for things like demographic data and sentimental data surrounding your brand. One of the coolest things about Falcon.io is that it has networking capabilities to connect brands with influencers for potential marketing partnerships.
There are several packages you can purchase, depending on your needs, and they are reasonably priced for what you receive. It is the only monitoring tool on this list that does not offer a free trial whatsoever — you can get a demo to try it out without commitment, but you still have to pay for it.
The social media monitoring tool market is supersaturated now that people have recognized the importance of using these platforms as huge sources of revenue. Trying to pick the right one can feel overwhelming, but you can take solace in the fact that most of your options are going to have everything you need, and the differences between them are usually just the extra icing on the cake.
The three main determining factors you can use to make the best decision are price, the scale of your needs, and where you plan to do most of your marketing. Identify what platforms you want to prioritize and look first for tools that can support those platforms, and pay attention to ones that are optimized with some of those platforms in mind. The price and scale of operation are often hand-in-hand, since the kind of package you need and thus the amount you have to pay for the service is dictated by whether you are a micro-influencer, a small business, a major social media presence, or a major corporate conglomerate.