Too many brands treat social media like their own personal soapbox. They invest all their energy preaching to their customers, but don’t spend enough time listening. Fewer than one out of four businesses actively listen to their followers on social media.
Many brands are starting to recognize the error of their ways. They recognize that there are lots of great social media listening tools that they can use to their advantage. Here are five of the best.
SentiOne is a newer social listening tool that is used by over 2,000 brands in nearly three dozen countries. There are three different service tiers, so you will need to decide which one is best for your business.
The most basic plan allows you to track keywords, users, mentions and recent updates in real-time. You can also track historical data for up to six months. If you want to track data for over a year, offer access to more than one user, or follow more than one market, then you will need to choose one of the other plans. You can get your feet wet with their 14-day trial.
Here are some of the main features:
• Data can be collected from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, news aggregators, opinion websites, and blogs.
• You can measure the reach of your messages on any given day.
• You can see results in 24 languages.
• You can monitor campaigns at different levels, including category, competition, consumers and communication.
• Advanced consumer and workflow management filters can be used.
Many marketing experts have spoken highly of SentiOne. If you run a small or medium-sized business, you may benefit from it as well.
Hootsuite brands itself as a centralized platform to manage all of your social media accounts. While most people use Hootsuite for its schedule and content optimization tools, it also has a very sophisticated social monitoring platform.
Hootsuite has a number of great functions that make social listening easy and efficient. You can monitor social networks by keyword or location. You can also set up an unlimited number of social media streams. Hootsuite provides a great blog post, along with a couple of video tutorials on setting up social listening campaigns on their platform.
Before you choose a tool and dig into the nitty-gritty work of social media listening, you’ll need to determine what you should actually listen for. The exact keywords and topics you monitor will likely evolve over time as you learn (from social listening) what language people use when they talk about your business and what sorts of insights are most useful for your business.
3. Sprout Social
Sprout Social is a popular social media management tool that has some excellent social listening features, such as:
• You can track specific keywords related to your industry or business. The easiest way to follow social media discussions of your brand is to use your company name.
• You can generate visual reports on every keyword you are tracking.
• You can subscribe to real-time alerts on hashtags.
• You can integrate inbound message tagging in your social media campaigns.
Over 19,000 brands depend on Sprout Social, so you can trust their social listening tools to deliver the data you need.
4. Talk Walker
Many other social listening tools aggregate data from a handful of social media platforms. Talk Walker extracts data from over 150 million websites, including over a dozen of the most popular social networking sites. This makes it one of the most comprehensive social media listening tools in the world.
Another great feature of Talk Walker is its ability to track conversations in nearly 190 different languages. This feature makes it ideal for global businesses that serve multilingual markets.
Conversocial brands itself as a “customer engagement solution as advanced as your customer.” It is a lesser known social listening tool, but many top brands depend on it, including Google, Hyatt, Hertz and Tesco.
Conversocial allows you to collect data on customers from multiple platforms on both mobile and desktop devices. The tool is designed to bring marketers into discussions with their customers and help them be more proactive with their responses.
Use the Right Social Listening Tools to Run Your Business
Social listening plays a key role in any social media marketing campaign. Fortunately, there are a lot of great tools at your disposal. Make sure you understand the nuances of these tools and use them properly to gain access to the social media data you need to optimize your marketing strategy.