With more businesses than ever turning to social media for customer insight, social listening tools are growing in popularity.
The premise is satisfyingly simple, but powerful. Social media, as you’re no doubt aware, is rather noisy; there’s tweets, updates, comments and visual media flying around everywhere and millions of conversations taking place at once. Identifying the conversations in which your brand is the subject is therefore rather tricky.
That is, unless you use a social listening tool! These brilliant platforms strip away the noise and show you only the chatter about your brand as and when it happens.
Although, the best do an awful lot more than that, as you’re about to find out.
Here’s our five favourite social listening tools.
If analytics is your thing, Brandwatch is a brilliant choice.
Although rather expensive for smaller businesses, Brandwatch provides demographic data, image recognition and API access. It also links to a number of other platforms such as Google Analytics, Hootsuite and Buzzsumo for a fully-integrated social listening experience.
Focusing on real-time search, Mention enables users to set up alerts that provide social listening results for the last twenty-four hours.
You can grab historical data, too, but Mention really scores in the way it helps you identity influencers on Twitter and Instagram by running keyword searches. Add deeply analytical reports into the mix, and this is a strong contender.
If you’re looking for a tool that combines social listening with the ability to schedule your posts, Keyhole is a super option.
Brand monitoring in Keyhole also extends beyond social and into blogs and news sites, too. Keyword clouds, sentiment analysis and tracking industry influencers (available in the higher-tier plans) completes a very comprehensive package.
Twitter’s official social media dashboard is actually a pretty good social listening tool, too (if only for that particular network).
If you have multiple accounts to which you post, TweetDeck is very useful indeed. By setting up separate ‘streams’, you can follow trending topics and mentions of keywords that are important to you (including those related to your brand).
A new entrant to the market, Awario is affordable and works well for businesses or practically any size.
You can monitor mentions of your brand, industry or competitors. However, if you’re into a bit of coding or more complex analytical insight, Awario even provides the ability to run Boolean queries to detect plagiarised content, linkless brand mentions and backlinks to your website.
So, it’s a first generation of social listening tools that can call you out on your bad behaviour.
Social listening tools give you the opportunity to build relationships with brand ambassadors who might otherwise hide beneath the radar and jump on complaints before they become significant problems.
The right tool for you will come down to your budget, feature requirements and, let’s be honest, which one simply ‘feels right’. Our advice is to get out there, get some free trials under your belt and add this vital tool to your marketing arsenal.