Market research is a versatile tool. Its applications range from positioning new businesses to recording customer satisfaction, uncovering latent needs and even prioritising budgets. But the one area in which traditional market research has always lacked is real-time analysis. In fact, a whole host of alternatives have sprung up to conquer the real-time decision making market.
Social media monitoring is one industry that exemplifies this need for real-time understanding. Designed to provide instant analysis, monitoring tools use social networks to gauge opinion and sentiment towards brands – delivered in seconds. Some even go as far as seeking and recommending opportunities for branded interaction, boosting your organisation’s online presence.
In many ways, social monitoring tools are a perfect complement to long term market research. Used correctly, they can provide the information required to make in-the-moment decisions, which are supported by further research and analysis. The following 25 tools are, in our opinion, those which offer the most value to insight teams looking to make instant, informed decisions.
Buzzsumo is one of the most well-known social media monitoring tools, and for good reason. Its easy-to-use search engine style interface allows users to search for content and influencers based on relevance and social presence. Between monitoring how your content performs across the web and building high profile outreach lists, it’s easy to see how Buzzsumo has become one of the most popular choices for social media and content managers worldwide.
Billed as a social media search engine, Social Mention is a simple tool which allows you to search for any key phrase to see real-time mentions, sentiment, related keywords and even basic statistical analyses. To top it off, all the data can be downloaded in .csv format for further analysis and dissemination. Try it out now by searching your brand name and find out how you’re perceived online.
Definitely an enterprise solution, Crimson Hexagon does not offer a free version. However, sign up for an account and you’ll receive a huge amount more than sentiment analysis. Measurable statistics include: purchase intent, customer satisfaction, user interests and even customisable audience segments. Crimson Hexagon is even built to integrate with in-house expertise through an accessible API that allows you to connect data sources.
The world’s most stunning social marketing suite: that’s how NUVI describes itself. But what exactly does it mean? Well it certainly stands out from the crowd with its striking visual design. NUVI makes it easy to create beautiful, real-time data visualisations that display the social impact of your brand. Combined with in-depth exploratory tools and a range of presentation options – NUVI is a clear winner when it comes to creating social dashboards.
Meltwater takes a slightly different approach. In addition to monitoring social channels, the platform gives you access to real-time editorial and blog conversations. Track your brand, your competitors and receive daily alerts so that you never miss an opportunity. Know who is writing about you, what they are writing and analyse media exposure over time, all in one platform.
With plans starting from £35 per month, Brand24 is an affordable social monitoring solution that doesn’t skimp on features. A mention feed, discussion chart, marketing analytics, influence score and sentiment analysis are currently included – but a lot more features are on the way. Brand24 is also the only entry on our list that integrates directly with Slack, ensuring team efficiency and making it possible to handle negative comments before they escalate.
Used by some of the largest brands in the world, the Sysomos social intelligence platform provide accurate, real-time insight to the likes of Subway, NBC, Porsche and more. The Sysomos toolset is also broader than most entries on this list with functions ranging from basic analytics to optimising online advertising campaigns based on real-time insight.
Social Studio is a hybrid between customer relationship management (CRM) and social monitoring software. This helps you analyse conversations from across the world, monitor what customers are saying and (most importantly) use this information to directly tailor your online marketing campaigns. In addition, customer relationship elements allow you to personalise responses and engage socially on a one-to-one basis.
Want to know how your brand is perceived online? Mention is the perfect tool for you. Beyond social media monitoring, Mention listens out for new opportunities to grow your online presence and even for potential customers. Reach out to prospects through forums, social channels and blogs before analysing results and monitoring performance straight from your dashboard.
Stay on top of your online campaigns using Falcon.io. Custom queries allow you to monitor anything from brand names to key topics and phrases. This tool is great for understanding popularity over time and generating the in-the-moment insight you need to capitalise on the relevant, timely trends. Interactive graphs, industry benchmarks and demographic insights add an extra layer of information, providing fantastic opportunities for cross-comparison and niche targeting.
Cision offer a suite of public relations and social tools, including a social media monitoring platform which blends competitive brand tracking with lead identification and targeting. Monitor conversations to understand the discussions around your brand. Then strategically tap into individual interaction to deliver targeted messages to leads, providing a tailored social experience.
A little different to the other items on this list, Cyfe is not a dedicated social media monitoring tool. Instead, Cyfe acts as a bespoke online dashboard – allowing you to pull information from multiple sources to keep track of your social media presence across all networks in one place. A wide variety of charts and visualisations make Cyfe stand out, along with its free and premium options.
The power of Ice Rocket is not in its search engine style keyword searches, but the accompanying trend analysis. This tool gives you the opportunity to build trend graphs that cross-compare the popularity of different keywords over time, as a percentage of blog and social mentions. This can help you spot emerging opportunities and public interest ahead of your competitors.
A full analytics, engagement and publishing platform – Sprout Social was built with interaction in mind. As well as standard monitoring and analytics, the platform allows you to mark conversations with bespoke tags. This functionality makes it easier to analyse messages by type, by department or even campaign as well as improve responses and ensure a smooth social experience.
A major competitor in the social media analytics space, Klout is as controversial as it is popular. This is mainly due to its unique Klout score. The score is designed to reflect the relative influence and reach a brand has – however there has been much debate over the accuracy and relevance of the score. We believe it is still a strong way to gauge competitive social performance and understand how you stack up against similar organisations.
Targeted towards small to medium sized organisations, SumAll is a cost effective way of understanding the correlation between your social media channels. SumAll isn’t limited to a few accounts either, you can add as many as you need making it perfect for businesses with localised presences or multiple accounts across a single platform.
Don’t limit yourself to measuring social activity. Discover how it is impacting your business goals and revenue using powerful analytics tools from Simply Measured. From audience research through the funnel to engagement and results, track the effectiveness of your social presence with ease. We love how comprehensive and bottom-line oriented the Simply Measured tools are, which set it above much of the competition.
What list of social media monitoring tools would be complete without a mention of Hootsuite? Though predominantly used for campaign based publishing, the Hootsuite toolkit has been expanding rapidly and now includes powerful reporting features that track internal performance metrics in addition to external KPIs.
Don’t be fooled by Trackur’s basic appearance. Under the hood of this slightly dated looking social media monitoring platform are some of the best tools on the market. Trackur gives you access to a huge amount of sources to analyse that includes blogs, social networks, RSS feeds, news sites and customisable channels. In addition, you can dive into your branded data to see exactly which employees, produces and services your customers are talking about.
Easily keep tabs on your owned and earned media performance using Talkwalker’s easy to navigate interface. Integrate data from print, TV and radio campaigns for a complete 360 degree view of your brand and reputation. Sort results by relevance or engagement and save time with quick search and filter functionality.
Klear combines social media monitoring with influencer outreach so you can understand how thought leaders and online audiences interact with your brand. Build reports and make strategic decisions based on your most popular channels, activity breakdown and persona based marketing.
It’s been a long time coming, but ZoomSphere is the first social media analysis platform to integrate Facebook Reactions directly into reports. Why is this important? Because it provides an additional layer of emotive data that analyses not just who is engaging with your brand, but the emotional drivers behind their engagement. Use these tools to monitor emotional impact and build on successful experimentation.
While it may be an expensive option, Oracle’s Social Cloud is an ideal way to centralise and enhance social media efforts. Data is directly integrated with customer experience applications, removing data silos and improving data sharing across organisations.
NetBase is a global, enterprise level social media analytics solution used by some of the world’s largest brands. Options include the ability to track brand health through voice of customer programs, track and monitor digital campaigns and find new emerging opportunities through trend exploration. The Audience 3D product from NetBase provides a multi-dimensional story that expands the scope of analytics and integrates relevant, customer-centric stories into reporting functions.
Not strictly a social media listening tool, it is possible to configure Google Alerts to notify you of brand, person or topic mentions online. The main benefit to this is access to the full Google database of website data. Never miss another opportunity with details of relevant blogs, news stories and articles delivered directly to your inbox.
That concludes our list of the top 25 social media listening tools. In the list we have focused on tools which can analyse multiple platforms to provide a high-level overview of your online presence. However, there are a lot more social media listening tools available - and many which target a single platform for greater insight. Which are your favourite social media listening tools? Let us know in the comments below.
Chris is experienced in marketing strategy and brand development, which he uses to skilfully guide the FlexMR brand to its full potential. Chris works hard maximising opportunities and ensuring the brand’s offering is relevant and appealing to insights professionals. You can follow Chris on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.