Life without social media is a distant dream. Social media has brought a wave of change into our lives and we have rode it with elan and amazement. Our life is completely synced with this artificial wonder. From making new contacts to spreading a message to now use it as a business tool-social media has come a long way indeed.Businesses houses have learned the latent power of Social Media to further their businesses and take them to a global audience. Be it Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and the like, social media is the best and the fastest way to gather leads, target a potential audience and engage with them.
But how will you know whether your business is getting maximum leverage through social media? How will you figure out whether people are talking about your brand and are interested in your products and services?
You have to monitor audience behavior and figure out how they actually perceive your brand. Having this information will give you knowledge about your brand performance, who your real competitors are and how you will survive the competition. You will be able to make informed decisions on how you can get maximum engagement for your brand. Incidentally, there are some great social media listening tools which can make your work easier. These tools will fish out complete information about your brand. You can track keywords, hashtags, URLs and much more. Let’s dig in into some of these.
- Keyhole: Keyhole is a great tool to monitor your Twitter and Instagram feeds. It’s basically a social conversation tracker where you get inputs on keywords, hashtags, URLs and usernames. You can check real-time data and past information. The tool also allows you to monitor your activity across the world through heat maps.
Pricing: Keyhole’s basic plan comes as low as $49 per month. It comes with one keyword search and 5000 monthly social media posts. There is a Corporate plan at $599 with 10 searches and 250,000 posts. The most expensive is the Enterprise plan, starting at $1000 a month.
- Hootsuite: One of the most popular social media trackers and includes the holy grail of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and WordPress. Though there are many who use Hootsuite because of its content optimization tools, it is a brilliant social monitoring platform. To provide the best functionality across all social media platforms, the dashboard is updated almost regularly in a week.
Pricing: The tool comes with a free 30 days trial and starts at a measly price of $17 a month and goes upto $89 a month. The tool has a custom package option where you can negotiate the pricing and get custom features to fine-tune your social monitoring game.
- Mention: The king of the pack, Mention is the best social monitoring tool which gives you the ease of tracking competitors online and at the same time monitoring your social media. You can run keyword searches and discover Twitter and Instagram influencers. The most important thing about Mention is that it comes with dats-rich reports out of the box;though the real mojo about this tool is that you can build your own custom reports and automate the delivery.
Pricing: If you are interested in Mention, take a free test-drive to understand the functionality of the tool. There are three plans. A $29 Solo plan which includes 2 alerts and 3000 mentions; a Starter plan starting at $99 a month having 5 alerts and 5000 mentions and lastly a Custom plan which is available on request.
- Social Sprout: Sprout Social is a special social monitoring tool which uses analytics to drive home its results. What distinguishes it from others is that it has an aggregated window where you can see all the data from all platforms such as Facebook and Twitter at one place. It makes the tool a breeze to use. The tool’s Trends Report helps you to gauge audience behavior which helps you to change your content strategy accordingly. If you want to learn what keywords and hashtags you should use to connect with your audience, Social Sprout will help you out. The dashboard is a workhorse. You can use it to collaborate with your team and publish post from it.
Pricing: There are three price packages for Social Sprout, Premium, Corporate and Enterprise. You get a 30 day free trial with each one. The Premium one includes 5 social profiles and costs $99 a month. With the Corporate you get 10 social profiles at a cost of $149/ month. The Enterprise option includes the most advanced features and comes with 10 social profiles at $249/month.
- Brandwatch: Though one of the most expensive social monitoring tools, Brandwatch is a great one in terms of analytics. Besides offering image recognition and demographic data about the audience, it also provides API access and its dashboards can be exported into customizable powerpoint presentations. It has its own data visualization platform called Vizia which allows you to see your data and amplify it by pooling insights from a number of integrations like Google Analytics and Buzzsumo.
Pricing: The pricing of Brandwatch is somewhat segregated into three types. The entry-level option is known as Pro carrying an offer tag of $636 and is mainly suited for small and medium brands. The last two called the Enterprise/M and Enterprise/Q come at $2546 and are tailored for big brands.
So, there you go, the five best social media listening tools. All these tools will help you get on with your act of monitoring your audience. However, if I were to choose one, I would go for Hootsuite. Let me elaborate my choice. The numero uno thing about Hootsuite is the dashboard where you can manage everything from one centralized location. The dashboard integrates all platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google+, Linkedin and Instagram. You can track trends and measure growth right from the dashboard. Isn’t it convenient!!? Sure it is.
Nagendra Singh is a SEO Expert in India and the Chief Search Strategist at SEO Corporation, the leading Digital Marketing Agency of India. Nagendra Singh is well versed with the changing global SEO market and has crafted impeccable SEO and SMM campaigns for a number of brands around the world. A strong believer of improvisation, his strategies are focused on maximising incoming traffic to the website and lead generation.