Imagine being able to see into your customers’ minds to get a sense of their values, interests and motivations. Wouldn’t you be much better at crafting messages that resonate? Or sensing when your brand reputation is in trouble?
While it’s not exactly possible to read people’s minds, you can get pretty close by listening in on their social media conversations. That’s why you need social listening tools to analyze what people are saying on social media and extract valuable insights. Social media listening tools let you monitor and track social media conversations related to a specific brand or topic. You can then analyze the data to uncover insights that will inform your marketing decisions.
But the quality of your insights greatly depends on your choice of tools. So let’s narrow down 13 of the top social listening tools that you should consider for your brand.
Table of contents:
Best all-in-one social listening tool
Some tools provide deep listening for one specific platform. Meanwhile, some may specialize in certain functions. While one tool gives you an in-depth sentiment analysis, another may be much better at predicting trends.
To get the most out of your social listening efforts, however, you need a tool that does it all.
1. Sprout Social
Sprout Social’s social listening tools give you a comprehensive look into conversations that are relevant to your brand. Track conversations related to your brand across all major social networks and other online sources. Sprout’s tools automatically sift through millions of data points to uncover insights relevant to your brand.
You can learn about audience preferences and how they feel about specific products, campaigns or topics. This helps you stay on top of the latest industry trends and identify untapped business opportunities. Discover key influencers and thought leaders that are leading the conversation, so you know whom to engage.
Brand-specific conversations give you more visibility into customer experiences and brand sentiment. You can even set up custom alerts to anticipate an upcoming brand crisis, giving you ample time to fix it before it gets out of hand. Plus, with powerful social media management tools built in, you can easily manage these issues all in one place.
Sprout offers a 30-day free trial so you can test out its publishing and analytics capabilities. The social listening tools are part of a custom-built plan for enterprise users.
General social listening tools
If your brand maintains a presence across a variety of social networks, you’d need a tool that’s appropriate for all major platforms. Let’s look at the top social listening tools that are suitable for general use.
Brandwatch extracts valuable conversational insights from millions of sources. It analyzes both historical and real-time conversations to identify current trends and how they change over time. This gives you a better understanding of your market and audience, so you know what’s trending and popular. You’ll be able to see the top topics they’re talking about and identify relevant brand mentions.
The pricing for Brandwatch’s consumer intelligence solution is available on request.
Brand24 is a powerful tool for measuring brand awareness and reach. It lets you track conversations from 25 million online sources to gather valuable consumer insights. This gives you a better understanding of what people like or dislike, especially when it comes to your brand. You can even measure brand sentiment and quickly identify reputational risks.
Individual plans for Brand24 start from $79/mo. This lets you track up to three keywords and 2,000 mentions each month.
BuzzSumo is a comprehensive listening tool that specializes in content discovery and research. The platform lets you track trending topics and popular content to inspire you. You can use the monitoring features to track mentions and trends across leading social networks. It lets you set up alerts for brands, topics and keywords to help you stay on top of the latest conversations.
The basic plan for BuzzSumo starts at $119/mo. This provides access to one user to perform 80 searches and set up one alert.
Keyhole offers enterprise-grade social listening to gain a deeper understanding of your audience. It provides insights to identify who they are and get a better sense of what they like. You can use the platform to track specific hashtags and keywords as well as identify relevant influencers. The volume predictions feature lets you anticipate when your posts are going viral so you can come up with a game plan.
Users can gain access to Keyhole’s social listening features with plans starting at $99/mo.
Meltwater helps you cut through the noise and uncover the conversational insights that matter to your brand. It provides you with a full picture by capturing historical data so you can research changes in trends over time. The platform gives you a better understanding of your audience and allows you to analyze their sentiment. You can use it to monitor brand mentions in real time and stay on top of upcoming crises to quell them on time.
Meltwater is available in four different plans with pricing on request.
YouScan is one of the top social listening tools that come with image recognition capabilities. It gives you access to AI-powered visual insights to gain a better understanding of your buyer persona. The platform identifies upcoming trends so you can align your marketing strategy accordingly. It tracks brand sentiment and consumer perceptions to show you how people feel about your brand. It even detects possible threats to your brand reputation in real time.
The pricing for YouScan’s social listening platform is available on request.
Social listening tools for Twitter
Twitter is a place where all the trending conversations take place. It’s where people go when they want to complain about a brand or discuss a trending topic. As such, Twitter listening can uncover valuable insights into your target market.
So let’s take a look at the social media listening tools that specifically focus on Twitter.
8. Twitter advanced search
Twitter’s built-in advanced search tool is highly robust for listening in on relevant conversations. You can track conversations containing specific words, phrases and hashtags. It even lets you narrow your search by excluding certain words. To get even more specific, you can look for Tweets from specific accounts and to specific accounts. The tool gives you plenty of additional filters to help you narrow your search by engagement, date range and so on.
Twitter’s advanced search is completely free to use and is accessible to every user.
TweetDeck is a free interface from Twitter that helps you with organization and managing multiple accounts. You can pull up hundreds of conversations across Twitter and display them in several columns. This makes it easier to look out for Tweets around specific topics and news stories as they come in. TweetDeck even lets you pull up Tweets from the dedicated lists you’ve created. This makes it easier to narrow down conversations from Twitter accounts that are most interesting to you.
Like advanced search, TweetDeck is completely free to use and accessible to all users.
Social listening tools for TikTok
TikTok’s reach and influence are rapidly expanding. Now it’s the hub for all the latest social media trends and conversations. So being able to tap into the conversations happening on the platform can give you leverage to stand apart.
Let’s take a look at a couple of TikTok tools that you can use to conduct social listening on the platform.
Exolyt gives you comprehensive insights into TikTok conversations and trends. You can use the tool to monitor what people are saying about your brand and how they feel about it. It lets you track specific TikTok accounts, hashtags and videos to gather granular insights. You can even use it to discover trending sounds, hashtags, effects and accounts to inform your content strategy.
The pricing for Exolyt starts at €199/mo. This gives access to an unlimited number of users and tracks up to 10 accounts and hashtags.
Analisa is a powerful analytics tool with some listening capabilities. It analyzes TikTok profiles and hashtags to measure engagement and posting activity. You can use the tool to analyze content and influencers in real time. This helps you identify top posts, captions and hashtags as well as posting times to inform your strategy.
The free version of the tool only provides basic analytics for Instagram. Users can sign up for paid plans starting at $62.10/mo.
Free social listening tools
If you’re not ready to invest in a paid tool just yet, there are a few free social listening tools that come with basic listening capabilities.
12. Answer the Public
Answer the Public pulls up search volumes and trends for a given topic, brand or product. It gives you a breakdown of the associated search terms. So you can use it to see what questions people are asking about it and what comparisons they’re making. This gives you a better understanding of their needs and pain points as well as their interests.
The public version of the tool is free to access and comes with two free searches a day. Individual plans start at $9/mo. and lets you conduct up to 100 searches per day.
13. Google Alerts
Google Alerts is another free option that lets you set up alerts for conversations taking place across the web. You can choose to monitor specific keywords and topics or even brand names. The tool lets you filter your results based on sources, language and region. You can even customize the frequency of alerts and choose to show only the best results.
Maximize impact with the right social listening tools
The best social listening tool for your brand depends on your unique needs and expectations. Carefully assess each of the options we shared above to find the best one for you. But if you’re looking for a well-rounded tool that does everything, Sprout’s the answer you need. Try it free for 30 days to see if it’s the right match for your brand.