Social listening offers marketers a huge opportunity to learn from and engage with customers and potential customers online.
In the simplest sense, social listening is essentially audience research. You monitor your brand’s social media channels for any customer feedback, mentions of your brand and discussions surrounding specific keywords, topics, competitors or industries that are relevant to your brand.
The right tool can make the social listening process more efficient. Keep in mind that many broader social media management tools include social listening capabilities. The following are nine of the best social listening tools that can help you be successful in your efforts.
This comprehensive social media management platform offers powerful solutions for social listening and more. Sprout Social features include:
- An integrated social listening tool that uncovers trends in social media conversations, teaches you about your audience and gives actionable insights.
- The ability to monitor and engage across social media networks.
- A single Smart Inbox for all direct messages across networks.
- Easy-to-understand social analytics.
Sprout Social offers a free 30-day trial. Paid plans start at $89 per month.
Another comprehensive social media management tool, Hootsuite provides a single, customizable dashboard so that you can view and respond to all your social media messages, comments and mentions across multiple networks. Other features include:
- The ability to share and schedule engaging content for your social media profiles within the application.
- A single inbox where you can address incoming messages and deliver timely replies.
- Multiple social network integrations that can be viewed within the interface.
- Easily monitor mentions and directly respond to them.
- The option to customize paid social media campaigns with the Boost tool.
- Customizable analytics reporting.
Hootsuite offers a limited free plan. Paid plans start at $49 per month (but a 30-day free trial is available as well).
Falcon.io is an all-in-one social media management tool and customer experience platform for medium-or-larger-sized businesses. This means that you can schedule, engage, listen, advertise and more. Other features include:
- A single dashboard for social listening, publishing, engagement, reporting and audience data management.
- The Engage inbox, which manages all private messaging channels, including WhatsApp.
- Custom response templates for FAQs.
- The ability to direct specific external messages to internal team members to collaborate on solutions.
Falcon.io offers a free 14-day trial. Paid plans start at $108 per seat per month.
Buffer considers itself an omnichannel experience for your social media marketing. It helps you find the conversations that matter most and join in. Buffer’s other features include:
- Smart alerts using machine learning let you know at a glance if a post has questions, negative sentiments or comments about a purchase.
- Scheduling and publishing tools to help you plan effective social media campaigns.
- Reports and analytics tools that help you measure engagement and audience behavior.
- A Story-monitoring tool that records and analyzes your Stories on Facebook and Instagram.
Buffer offers a limited free plan. Paid plans start at $5 per social channel per month (but a free 14-day trial is available as well).
A tool that prioritizes deeper insights is BuzzSumo. You can more easily identify which types of social media posts generate the best results among your audience. In fact, you’ll get recommendations on when you should post and the ideal length of a post. Other BuzzSumo features include:
- Organization of shared content in order of significance with the Curation tool.
- The ability to discover relevant influencers for your brand.
- A significant data analytics suite.
- A Content Ideas Generator to help you brainstorm new content for your audience.
BuzzSumo offers a limited free plan. Paid plans start at $79 per month (but a free 30-day trial is available as well). You also can save by paying annually.
Mention can track content sources across 42 languages to monitor for brand mentions throughout the globe. Of course, you can filter for what matters most to you. Mention’s other features include:
- A competitive analysis tool that helps you compare your brand against two or more competitors.
- A crisis management tool that allows you to effectively manage any uproar or crisis situation on social media.
- The ability of team members to alert each other within the interface.
- Comprehensive analytics.
Mention offers a limited free plan. Paid plans start at €29 per month (or about $31 per month). Free trials also are available for the paid plans.
With a heightened focus on social listening, Awario tracks keywords in a number of languages. You get everything you need to monitor and respond to comments while building relationships with your target audience on social media. Other Awario features include:
- A Social Selling feature where you can identify posts that request a product recommendation similar to yours and/or any posts about issues that users are having with products sold by your competition.
- Tracking the growth in the number of your mentions and their collective reach and sorting mentions by positive, negative, and neutral with sentiment analysis,
- Identifying top influencers by social media network.
Awario offers a free trial. Paid plans begin at $24 per month when billed annually.
Agorapulse is a complete social media management software intended to help you leverage social listening and get deeper audience insights. You get a single, unified inbox, as well as the ability to publish on multiple social media platforms. Other Agorapulse features include:
- Unlimited saved searches where you can discover new feedback and customers.
- Labeling any important posts, competitor activity and customer feedback for easy retrieval and response.
- Managing Facebook and Instagram ad comments in chronological order.
Agorapulse offers a free 15-day trial. Paid plans start at $79 per month when billed annually.
Beyond a social listening tool, Brandwatch is a consumer intelligence platform. It offers an AI analyst, which can automatically bring insights to the surface and save you time. Other Brandwatch features include:
- The ability to analyze images.
- Data that helps you fully understand how people aren’t just talking about your brand but how they’re displaying it in images, too.
Brandwatch offers a free demo. Paid plans begin at $800 per month, so it might not be the right fit for small businesses (depending on your budget).
Ultimately, deciding on the best social listening tool comes down to your goals and budget. Make sure you take advantage of any available free trials as needed, or dip your toe in with a limited free version of what seems like the best fit for you. You always can upgrade your plan later.
While you’re at it, make sure you understand the difference between social listening and crowdsourcing.
As you’re exploring these social listening tools, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.