Social media listening is a key marketing strategy over the past few years. Yet, only the big brands capitalized on it.
While small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) needed it, they were left out due to the high price points involved.
Today, prices of social media listening tools have dropped, and the number of active social media users have blown up.
Facebook, Twitter and other social networks now compete against original TV content providers and broadcasters. Publishers have shifted focus to social sharing from their official sites. And businesses have embraced social media marketing.
Social data is massive.
The inflow of usage has made social media listening (or measuring) a science.
People use social media a lot to voice out their opinion, share news or content with friends, read reviews and more.
You must have a good grasp on what these conversations mean to you. Brand mentions and online conversations are gold mines of valuable insight for future business strategies.
Here are some tools for social media listening to begin with.
Since it comes free, Google Alerts has been one of the search giant’s most underappreciated tools.
It acts as an emailer of automated search results based on the keyword you are monitoring. Alerts can track up to 1,000 terms for you daily, weekly or whenever necessary.
Yet, Google Alerts only searches sites crawled by Google. Results from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest may be limited or scarce. And it has no data visualization or collection.
A feature-packed tool for business of all sizes that start at $79 monthly for 5,000 mentions. It has alerts for mentions of your brand and your competitors, and other search terms.
You can run unlimited searches for content and influences. With it, you can find new ideas for articles about your business and social media influencers who may fit for your brand.
For a cheaper alternative, you may want to start with this tool. At $29 monthly for 3,000 mentions, Mention covers almost the same features as BuzzSumo.
Opting for the higher price points will unlock new features.
- Sentiment Analysis measures how positive people mention your brand online.
- Automated Reporting sends emails and reports to people who need to know about regular updates.
- API access gives you pipeline info to other compatible tools and programs.
- Crisis Management is for brands with their online reputation at risk. It alerts you so you can reply to messages that appear when you are in an online crisis.
The Swiss Army knife of social media listening tools, Hootsuite schedules and publishes across several social media accounts.
Yet, it also has search, analytics and data visualization features that will ease the job of anyone handling social media listening.
Free to use, Hootsuite also unlocks features if you upgrade to Pro or Business at $5.99 per month and $499 monthly, respectively.
You can add other features under the Pro plan a la carte. You can schedule and publish up to 50 accounts, and only has one Enhanced Analytics report.
Take note that Hootsuite most likely has the best after-sales customer service than competitors. Reps are friendly, knowledgeable and quick to respond.
No matter what tool you use for social media listening, remember that you still have to make data move from being informative to actionable.
Always respond to online brand mentions, regardless if it is positive or negative.
Yet, all of these tools depend on having your own solid social media presence.