In your personal life, reading people’s minds is a questionable superpower; but the business benefits of being able to listen in on people’s thoughts are infinite. And while social media monitoring isn’t exactly about reading people’s minds, it’s as close to it as it gets.

Social listening gives you access to what people are saying about your brand, industry, or competitors across social media and the web – often without them being aware of you listening. If you know how to word your queries and filter the results, you’ll end up with the most authentic, unbiased insights you can get as a business.

In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best social media and web monitoring tools to help you gain and act on those insights in the coming year. Let’s roll.

1. Awario

Affordable social listening and analytics with Enterprise-level capabilities.

Awario is a relatively new tool that (finally!) makes social media and web monitoring affordable for businesses of any size: with plans starting at $29/mo, Awario offers a lot of capabilities that you’ll find in Enterprise-level tools.

You can use the tool to monitor mentions of your brand, competitors, industry, or even set up complex Boolean queries for the less obvious use cases. For instance, Awario lets you detect plagiarized copies of your content, find linkless brand mentions that you can turn into links, and monitor new backlinks to your site.

The platform also offers a social selling tool, called Leads, as a free add-on to all users. The tool uses predictive insights to find people who’re asking for recommendations about a product like yours or looking for an alternative to your competitors.

Supported networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, Reddit, news and blogs, the web.

Benefits:

  • A Boolean search mode to set up flexible queries and improve the accuracy of the results.
  • An Influencers report outlining the most influential people talking about your brand, competitors, or industry.
  • A free Leads add-on for sales prospecting on social media.
  • Enterprise-level analytics such as sentiment analysis, location and language breakdown, and unlimited historical data available in all plans.

Pricing: Awario offers a free trial that lets you fully test the app out. Pricing starts at $29/mo for the Starter plan, with 3 monitoring alerts that let subscribers find 30,000 new mentions per month. Awario’s most popular Pro plan costs $89/mo with 10 alerts and 100,000 monthly mentions. Enterprise is $299/mo and includes 50 alerts and 500,000 mentions. If you choose to go with an annual plan, you’ll get 2 months for free.

2. Agorapulse

Social media management and monitoring for a growing business.

If you aren’t quite ready to invest into a standalone social listening or reputation management platform, Agorapulse is an excellent 2-in-1 option: it offers both the scheduling and monitoring bits. The tool will find @mentions of accounts you connect as well as comments on your social media posts, plus allow you to search for keywords of your choice across Twitter. The tool also lets you identify influencers within your social media audience and assign conversations to your team in a mouse click.

While Agorapulse doesn’t offer web monitoring, it’s a great choice if you’re mainly interested in social mentions.

Supported networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube.

Benefits:

  • The ability to tag important mentions.
  • Being able to assign conversations to team members.
  • Audience insights that let you identify influencers and brand ambassadors.
  • A built-in CRM that lets you create lists of prospects and influencers.

Pricing: Agorapulse has a free trial if you’d like to test the app out first. The pricing starts at $49/mo for the Small plan, which comes with 3 social media profiles and a single user. Large is their most popular option at $199/mo, with 25 profiles to manage and 6 users. Agorapulse’s Enterprise solution is $299/mo with 40 profiles and 12 users.

3. TweetDeck

A handy tool for managing several Twitter accounts and monitoring mentions.

TweetDeck is Twitter’s official social media dashboard that lets you manage your Twitter presence as a business, particularly if you have multiple accounts that you regularly post to. The tool’s column layout lets you add in several
“streams”: feeds from people you follow, trending posts, direct messages, and mentions of any keywords of your choice.

For the latter, TweetDeck gives you access to Twitter’s search functionality, with the ability to narrow searches down using language and location filters, negative keywords, and date ranges. You can then engage with mentions on behalf of any of the Twitter accounts you connect to the app.

Supported networks: Twitter.

Benefits:

  • Built-in Twitter search filters, such as location, language, and negative keywords.
  • Twitter scheduling capabilities for multiple accounts.
  • A neat column layout that lets you keep your feeds organized.

Pricing: Free.

4. Keyhole

Real-time hashtag and keyword tracker for Twitter, Instagram, and the news.

Keyhole is another 2-in-1 social media tool: it lets you both automate your posts and track keywords or hashtags across Twitter and Instagram. On top of that, you can monitor brand mentions across blogs and news sites. The tool comes equipped with analytics, too, including sentiment analysis, keyword clouds, and mention maps that display which countries your social mentions come from.

Keyhole’s higher-tier plans also include premium features like tracking industry influencers, unlocking historical mentions, and getting API access to Keyhole’s data.

Supported networks: Twitter, Instagram, news and blogs.

Benefits:

  • Social media management capabilities.
  • Powerful analytics, such as sentiment analysis, keyword clouds, and mention maps.
  • API access available in higher-tier plans.

Pricing: Keyhole’s Basic plan costs $49/mo and comes with one keyword search and 5,000 monthly social media posts. The tool has 4 other plans, with the $599 Corporate option being the most popular with 10 searches and 250,000 posts. The highest-tier Enterprise plan can include a custom number of searches and posts, with pricing starting at $1,000/mo.

5. Mention

Real-time social media monitoring with data-rich, customizable reports.

Mention is another social media and web monitoring tool. Its focus is on real-time search – setting up an alert will give you results from the last 24 hours. Historical data is available upon request under the Custom plans.

Apart from social listening, Mention lets you discover Twitter and Instagram influencers by running quick keyword searches. The tool then lets you add influencers of your choice to lists, save your lists in CSV, and import them into your CRM tool.

Mention comes with data-rich reports available out of the box, but the real power is in the Insights Center where you can build your own custom reports and automate delivery.

Supported networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, Reddit, news and blogs, the web.

Benefits:

  • Tags that let you organize your mentions.
  • Influencer discovery and management.
  • An ability to build your own custom reports and automate delivery.
  • A Slack integration to send the latest mentions to your Slack channels.

Pricing: Before settling on a plan, you can test-drive Mention with a free trial. The $29 Solo plan includes 2 alerts and 3,000 mentions. Starter is offered at $99/mo and comes with 5 alerts and 5,000 mentions. There’s also a Custom plan available on request.

6. Brandwatch

Social media measurement and in-depth analytics for the Enterprise.

Brandwatch is one of the most powerful social listening tools in terms of analytics – but it’s also one of the more expensive ones. On top of the monitoring aspect, Brandwatch offers image recognition, demographic data about your audience, trending topics in your niche, API access, and dashboards that can be exported into customizable PowerPoint presentations.

Brandwatch also has its own data visualization platform called Vizia. The tool lets you visualize your Brandwatch data, plus combine it with insights from a number of integrations (including Google Analytics, Buzzsumo, and Hootsuite).

Supported networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Sina Weibo, VK, QQ, news and blogs, the web.

Benefits:

  • Demographic data including gender, interests, occupation and location of your audience.
  • Image analysis that lets you find images containing your brand’s logo.
  • An ability to add preferred sites to collect mentions from.
  • A possibility to identify trending topics in your industry.

Pricing: Brandwatch is an Enterprise-level tool. Their most affordable Pro plan costs $800/month with 10,000 monthly mentions and 30 days of historical data. Custom Enterprise plans are available upon request.

Before you go

As more and more brands are turning to social media for market research, customer insights, competitor analysis, and even sales, social listening tools are getting increasingly powerful and affordable.

Whichever social media listening tool you settle on, don’t forget that the monitoring itself isn’t worth it if you’re not going to act on the data. Engage with the people mentioning you on social and make use of your social listening tool’s analytics to spot trends and adapt your marketing, customer service and product strategies – before your competitors do.

About The Author

Every day, the web is talking about your business. Most brands have limited insights into these conversations: only through their own social media feeds. To truly understand their customers, companies need access not only to their social media mentions, but to those from the rest of the web as well. Awario crawls over 13 billion web pages daily to bring instant mentions from everywhere online. Companies can now find all the important conversations, related to them, and join in. For more information and a free 14-day trial visit awario.com.

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