Everything You Need To Know About Social Media Monitoring

Social media now offers much more than just a way to interact with loved ones. Business success or failure now depends on an organization’s capacity to negotiate the ebb and flow of Internet discourse. This is where social media monitoring’s art and science come into play.

You’re in for a treat, whether you’re an experienced marketing manager, social media manager, dedicated brand manager, or just someone eager to increase their expertise in this field.

Table of Contents

Social media monitoring: What is it?

Monitoring social media is like listening in on discussions at a busy market in the digital realm. It involves actively monitoring, evaluating, and listening to what people are saying on various social media platforms about your company, your rivals, and your sector.

Using social media monitoring tools, you can record the mentions, conversations, reviews, and sentiments that might affect the success of your brand.

Why it matters

Social media monitoring isn’t a luxury in today’s digital world; it’s a requirement. Here is why it’s important:

1. Management of brand reputation

Your brand’s most valuable asset is its reputation. By keeping track of what people are saying about your brand on social media, social media monitoring enables you to protect it. It serves as your system for detecting impending PR issues, which are critical for maintaining a positive KPI for software development.

It’s better to interact with your audience and promote your brand, especially if you’re just starting out, with the help of software development services for startups, which create customized solutions for everyone. There is also another option – using ready-made software, which we will talk about in the following sections.

2. Customer insights

The key to successful marketing is to comprehend your target audience. Monitoring social media reveals priceless information about client preferences, problems, and expectations. It’s like having access to their innermost wishes and thoughts.

3. Competitor research

The commercial environment is quite competitive. Keeping track of the actions, plans, and client interactions of your rivals gives you a competitive edge. You can innovate, adapt, and keep up with the times.

4. Crisis recognition

A digital crisis might come to a head at any time. Monitoring enables you to identify problems as they emerge. You’ll be ready to act quickly regardless of whether there is a problem with the product, a bad reaction, or a social media uproar.

5. Industry trends

Markets change quickly as a result of new trends. You may better understand these trends by keeping an eye on social media, which enables you to adapt your plans to changing market conditions.

Intrigued? Good. Let’s go more detailed about social media monitoring now that we have a better understanding of the “what” and “why.”

Who has access to social media monitoring’s power?

The appeal of social media monitoring is how adaptable it is. It is a flexible toolset that can empower people and organizations in a variety of positions and industries:

1. Marketing executives: Sharpen campaigns, assess audience stance, and accurately assess campaign success.

2. Managers of social media: For effective results, streamline your content development and engagement techniques.

3. Brand custodians: Protect your brand’s reputation and foster enduring brand loyalty.

4. Customer support teams: Ensure customer satisfaction by offering prompt solutions and averting emergencies.

5. Product development teams: Utilize customer insights to improve your offerings and provide new ones.

6. Sales teams: Determine prospective leads and keep a close eye on what the competition is doing.

7. Business owners: Make decisions for your business based on data that will help you achieve your objectives.

Various forms of social media monitoring

The task of social media monitoring is not universally applicable. It has several components, each with a different function:

1. Brand monitoring: Monitor the conversation about your brand on social media. This contains references, opinions, and feelings.

2. Competitor monitoring: See your rivals from the other side of the fence. Recognize gaps in their plans and possibilities by understanding them.

3. Crisis management: Be the first to learn when a crisis is approaching. You can save your reputation by acting quickly.

4. Sentiment analysis: Analyze the exchanges’ emotional undertones. Is there good, negative, or neutral chatter about your brand?

5. Trend evaluation: Discovering new trends in your sector will help you stay ahead of the curve.

6. Influencer monitoring: Find influencers who can help you spread your message, reach more people, and work with them.

Top social media monitoring tools you can try

Knowledge is power in the world of social media monitoring, but your tools are your weapons. You can use the full power of monitoring with the help of these digital tools. Let’s get to know some of the major players:

1. Keyhole

An adept in the realm of real-time social media monitoring and analytics, Keyhole empowers users to track online conversations, monitor brand mentions, and gather insights across key social platforms.

Whether you’re gauging campaign success, identifying niche influencers, or tracking hashtags, Keyhole delivers a comprehensive snapshot of your social media presence.


  • Real-Time Monitoring: Keyhole provides real-time analytics which can be especially useful for tracking live campaigns or events.
  • User-Friendly Interface: The tool is often praised for its easy-to-use interface, making it accessible even to those who aren’t tech-savvy.
  • Hashtag Analytics: Keyhole offers deep insights into hashtag performance, which is valuable for campaigns or brand monitoring.
  • Historical Data: The tool provides historical data which can be useful for benchmarking and analyzing past performance.
  • Alerts and Notifications: Users can set up alerts for specific keywords or spikes in activity.


  • Pricey for Small Businesses: Some users find Keyhole to be on the pricier side, especially small businesses or individual users.
  • Limited Platforms: As of 2022, Keyhole mainly focused on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. If you need analytics for other platforms, this could be limiting.


Pricing for Keyhole has changed over time and might differ based on the features you want, the size of your business, or any ongoing promotions they might have. You can choose from different plans such as Professional, Corporate, and Enterprise, with each tier offering more features and capabilities.

2. Hootsuite

A leader in the field of social media management is Hootsuite. It provides a complete set of publishing and monitoring features. You can plan posts, manage numerous social media accounts, and monitor activity with Hootsuite.


  • Multi-Platform Management: Manage and schedule posts across multiple social media platforms from one dashboard.
  • Analytics: Detailed reports to track the performance of your content.
  • Team Collaboration: Allows multiple team members to manage accounts collaboratively.


  • Interface: Some users find the dashboard cluttered or non-intuitive.
  • Price: Can become expensive as you add more features or profiles.


Hootsuite offers several plans, ranging from a Free plan to Enterprise solutions. The Professional, Team, Business, and Enterprise plans vary based on the number of social profiles and additional features.

3. Sprout Social

Another all-encompassing social media management platform is Sprout Social. It has strong monitoring capabilities, including the ability to observe trends, mentions, and keywords. Because of its simple UI, social media managers love it.


  • User-Friendly: Known for its clean and intuitive interface.
  • Comprehensive Reporting: Detailed analytics and customizable reports.
  • Inbox Zero: A unified inbox to manage all messages and interactions.


  • Cost: Often considered pricier than some competitors.
  • Integration Limits: Limited integrations with some less popular platforms.


Sprout Social generally offers three tiers – Standard, Professional, and Advanced. Each tier offers more features and integrations.

4. Brandwatch

The leader in social listening is Brandwatch. By crawling millions of online sources, such as social media sites, forums, and news websites, it offers in-depth information. For brands looking for in-depth information, its data analytics capabilities are a gold mine.


  • Deep Analytics: Provides in-depth data analysis from various online sources.
  • Versatile Data Sources: Crawls forums, news sites, and social media platforms.
  • Demographics: Detailed demographic data for audience analysis.


  • Learning Curve: Can be complex for new users.
  • Price: High-end tool with a pricing structure that may not suit smaller businesses.


Brandwatch’s pricing is more bespoke, often tailored to the user’s needs. They have different packages with varying capabilities.

5. Agorapulse

Agorapulse is renowned for being straightforward and reasonably priced. It provides functions for scheduling, reporting, and monitoring social media. A great option for small- to medium-sized enterprises is Agorapulse.


  • Simple UI: User-friendly interface.
  • Affordable: Priced reasonably, especially for the features it offers.
  • Unified Inbox: Consolidate messages from different platforms in one place.


  • Limited Advanced Analytics: While it has good basic analytics, it might not be as deep as some competitors.
  • Fewer Integrations: Doesn’t support as many platforms as some other tools.


Agorapulse offers a range of plans, from Medium to Enterprise. The pricing varies based on features and the number of social profiles.

6. Mention

Mention is a real-time media monitoring tool. To track mentions of your brand or keywords, it searches the internet, including social media, blogs, forums, and news websites. You will always know what is going on thanks to its real-time alerts.


  • Real-Time Alerts: Immediate notifications for brand mentions.
  • Wide Reach: Scans a broad range of online platforms for mentions.
  • Collaboration Tools: Allows team members to collaborate on tasks and mentions.


  • Depth of Analytics: While great for mentions, it might not offer deep analytical insights.
  • Price Point: Some features are behind higher-tier plans.


Mention provides several plans, from Solo to Enterprise. The features and the number of mentions tracked vary with each plan.

Choosing your excalibur

Your goals, budget, and the level of information you seek will all influence your decision. Think about things like data accuracy, scalability, and user-friendliness.

Numerous tools provide users with free trials before purchasing. Utilize them to test the tool’s capabilities and make sure it meets your monitoring requirements.

Creating a strategy for monitoring social media

It’s time to set sail with a clearly defined strategy now that we’ve shown you the ropes. With a clear blueprint, effective social media monitoring can start. How to plan your course is as follows:

Define your objectives

Outline your monitoring objectives first. What do you hope to accomplish? Is it competitor analysis, consumer insights, or brand reputation management? Your plan will take the form of your goals.

Platform choice

There are differences among various social media sites. Determine the platforms you’ll monitor based on your goals. Every platform has a distinct user base and dynamics.

Identify your target audience

Success on social media is based on knowing your audience. Determine the demographics, habits, and preferences of your target audience. Your monitoring efforts are based on this information.

You are prepared to start your social media monitoring journey once you have decided on your objectives, platforms, and audience.

Information gathering and analysis

Data is the lifeblood that nourishes your insights and tactics in the complex world of social media. 

Assembling the pieces of a digital jigsaw is analogous to gathering data from social media networks. Let’s dissect this procedure in detail:

Data sources selection

Determine which social media channels are hosting relevant topics or where your business is present first. Popular networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and even specialized platforms or forums may fall under this category.

Making the best keyword and hashtag selections

You can use hashtags and keywords as tracking beacons. Make careful selections so that you can record the most pertinent talks. Your company name, product names, industry keywords, and popular subjects are a few examples.

Using tools for social media monitoring

Utilizing the proper tools is essential for effective data collection. Data capture options in social media monitoring software like Hootsuite, Brandwatch, or Mention speed up the process. They give you the ability to design personalized data streams that update you in real time.

Setting up notifications and alerts

In the digital world, being proactive is crucial. To get immediate updates on mentions, trends, or abrupt changes in sentiment, set up alerts and notifications. Being informed of a potential emergency enables you to act quickly.

Setting up data filters

Data does not all start the same. Filters assist you in separating the signal from the noise. To improve the quality of your data gathering, employ filters based on user demographics, location, or sentiment.

The science and art of data analysis

Data collection is only the first step. The real magic is in deriving practical knowledge from the data you’ve collected. Here, data analysis has a prominent role.

A game-changer in social media monitoring is sentiment analysis. It entails identifying the emotional tone of conversations—whether they are positive, negative, or neutral—using natural language processing and machine learning. It is essential to comprehend sentiment because it influences your responses and behavior. For illustration:

Positive attitude: Finding supportive opinions about your brand helps guide content strategies. Showcase great experiences to honor client loyalty and happiness.

Negative attitude: On the other hand, negative emotion makes you aware of problems that need your urgent attention. Crisis management and quick reactions can protect your brand from reputational harm.

Neutral attitude: You can determine how people generally feel about your brand by analyzing neutral sentiment. It offers a starting point from which to gauge changes in sentiment throughout time.

Social media reach and engagement metrics

Metrics for reach and engagement offer information on audience interactions and the distance that your content travels. They consist of statistics like clicks, likes, shares, comments, and retweets. These indicators enable you to pinpoint your efforts and determine what material resonates with your audience.

Trends and influencers to watch

Social media serves as a breeding ground for influencers and trends. You may adapt your content to what your audience is currently interested in by keeping an eye on trends. Additionally, finding influencers that support your company might lead to fruitful collaborations.

Brand reputation monitoring

The digital world’s intangible currency is brand reputation. We’ll discuss methods for keeping an eye on and controlling the online reputation of your company in this part.

Real-time surveillance

You can quickly resolve problems, offer support, or express appreciation for positive feedback by keeping an eye out for mentions, comments, and chats in real time.

Plan-making for crisis management

Even the most well-known businesses can experience problems. Making your guardian stronger is analogous to having a well-thought-out crisis management plan in place. Have pre-planned replies, escalation procedures, and designated spokespeople available.

Responding with empathy

In addition to what you say, how you say it also affects your reputation. Empathize with those who have unfavorable feedback or criticism and express a willingness to find a solution. Empathetic replies can convert opponents into supporters.

Utilizing successful brand stories

Encourage pleased consumers to spread the word about their excellent encounters. User reviews and user-generated material can be potent brand reputation boosters.

Statistics show that a large number of reviews and ratings are the most important among other things for 32% of buyers, which emphasizes the importance of brand promotion, communication with customers, and, as a result, receiving good reviews.

Learning from mistakes

Even though mistakes are unavoidable, how you handle them determines how others will view you. Acknowledge mistakes, accept responsibility, and show that you’re dedicated to making things right.

Real-life reputation rescuers

There are tales of brands that confronted crises head-on and came out stronger in the social media annals. Let’s look at a few instances of reputation management at its best.

Domino’s: Restoring credibility

Domino's Pizza

When two employees produced a spoof video in 2009 showing sloppy food handling, Domino’s Pizza found itself in a dire reputational situation. The company responded right away and openly. They apologized and promised to do better in a YouTube video they posted alongside the company president. This upfront and honest reaction contributed to the trust-building process.

Starbucks: Using the crisis to improve training


When a worker reported two African American customers who were waiting in one of their cafes to the authorities, Starbucks faced a dilemma in 2018. In response, Starbucks closed 8,000 locations for racial bias education. This action received high acclaim for accepting accountability and attempting to solve systemic problems.

These incidents provide a prime example of the value of prompt, forthright, and sympathetic answers in maintaining a brand reputation.

Competitor analysis through social media monitoring

Keyhole is a platform known for its social media monitoring and analytics features. When it comes to competitor analysis, Keyhole’s suite of tools provides businesses the means to get a comprehensive understanding of how their rivals are performing in the digital space. Let’s delve into how Keyhole’s features can be used in line with the aspects of competitor analysis you’ve mentioned:

Monitoring competitor activity

With Keyhole, you can:

  • Track competitors’ branded hashtags or keywords to gain insights into how often they’re mentioned and by whom.
  • Observe the growth trends in their followers and measure engagement metrics like likes, shares, and comments.
  • Analyze the content strategy of your rivals: What type of content are they posting? How frequently? And at what times?

Comparative analysis of competitors

How Keyhole helps:

  • Keyhole’s side-by-side account comparison allows you to benchmark your social media performance against that of your competitors.
  • Visual graphs and detailed metrics in the platform can show you how you’re fairing in terms of engagement, post frequency, and overall reach.
  • By understanding these comparisons, you can refine your strategy to ensure you’re not lagging in areas where your competitors are excelling.

Identifying untapped potential

Keyhole: Conduct Market Research & In Depth Competitive Analysis Using  Quick Trends - YouTube

With Keyhole, you can:

  • Monitor sentiment analysis of mentions related to your competitors. This can highlight areas where consumers might be dissatisfied with a rival’s offering, giving you an opportunity to fill that gap.
  • Track conversations around specific keywords in your industry. This can spotlight potential market needs or desires that haven’t been addressed.

Staying informed about competitive moves

How Keyhole aids in this:

  • Set up alerts and notifications in Keyhole to get immediate updates when there’s a spike in mentions or activity around a competitor’s brand or product. This can be an early indicator of a new launch or marketing campaign.
  • Monitor the use of certain campaign-specific hashtags that competitors might use. This can give you insights into their campaign strategies, durations, and audience reactions.

In essence, Keyhole’s competitor analysis features act as a comprehensive lens, providing businesses with the data and insights needed to gauge the strategies and performance of rivals in the social media domain. By leveraging this information, brands can make informed decisions to remain competitive and innovate in the market.

Crisis management and social media monitoring

The unpredictability of social media allows for the rapid emergence of crises. However, social media monitoring can be a glimmer of light during these stressful times.

Your crisis early warning system is social media monitoring. This is how:

Swift identification of issues

Using monitoring tools, you can quickly identify growing problems, increases in mentions, or unfavorable sentiment. This quick detection is essential for preventing crises before they start.

Proactive crisis mitigation

Social media monitoring enables you to act quickly and proactively when a problem arises. Acknowledge the issue, show empathy, and describe your strategy for resolving it. Often, your quick reaction helps diffuse tense circumstances.

Crisis preparedness

Preventing a crisis altogether is preferable to coping with one when it arises. You may stay prepared by watching social media to keep up with conversations and sentiment patterns. This foresight will enable you to solve issues before they become more serious.

Crisis avengers’ lessons

Let’s look at some actual cases of businesses that used social media monitoring to manage crises:

Johnson & Johnson

The Tylenol Crisis

Seven people in Chicago perished in 1982 as a result of taking cyanide-tainted Tylenol capsules. The manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, took prompt action by recalling 93 million bottles of Tylenol at a cost of more than $100 million. They used conventional media to transparently communicate and moved quickly. This method of crisis management established a standard for managing problems involving products.

Southwest airlines: A heroic response

Southwest Airlines

An engine failure on a Southwest Airlines flight in 2018 resulted in a fatal occurrence. The incident resulted in the death of one passenger and received extensive media coverage. Southwest Airlines monitored social media to keep tabs on internet discussions surrounding the incident.

They offered assistance and sympathies in a prompt and considerate manner. This sympathetic reaction demonstrated their dedication to the safety and recovery of passengers.

KFC: Finger-licking good recovery


Social media tracking was crucial during the UK chicken shortage situation that KFC had in 2018. They paid close attention to client feedback, caught problems early, and offered humble and humorous responses. They received praise for turning a crisis into an opportunity with their ironic “FCK” apology advertisement in newspapers.

Tips & best practices

We’ll build on your knowledge of the art and science of social media monitoring with a few best practices and pointers.

Understanding the landscape of social media monitoring

Set visible goals: Start by having a clear knowledge of the goals you have for monitoring. Establishing objectives directs your efforts, whether you’re managing your brand’s reputation, gaining consumer insights, or spotting crises.

Pick the correct tools: Choose social media tools that fit your objectives and financial constraints. Investigate features, usability, and data reliability. Numerous tools provide free trials, so you can determine their applicability.

Selective data use: Not every piece of information has value. By concentrating on the measurements and insights that are most pertinent to your goals, you may avoid data overload. The motto is quality over quantity.

Monitor consistently: Monitoring social media effectively requires consistency. Set up notifications and regular monitoring schedules. The digital world is evolving swiftly, so staying up-to-date requires frequent check-ins.

Accept automation: Tools for automation can make monitoring activities more efficient. Automate data collection, reports, and notifications to save time and make sure you don’t miss important developments.

Mastering social media monitoring

Content matters: To grasp sentiments and mentions, keep in mind that context is essential. Depending on the context, a single word can mean something entirely different. Explore further to learn the whole truth.

Stay ethical: Respect user privacy and utilize moral surveillance techniques. Avoid using intrusive techniques, and always get consent before collecting data from people.

Engage authentically: Be sincere and authentic when interacting with your audience or addressing difficulties. Users are sensitive to insincerity and can tell it from a mile away.

Constant improvement and learning

Stay updated: The social media environment is always evolving. Keep abreast of new platforms, features, and trends. What functions today might not function tomorrow.

Examine and refine: Review your monitoring activities frequently. Examine the effects of your actions, pinpoint areas that need improvement, and modify your approach as necessary.

Wrapping up

We’ve set out on a path from comprehending the fundamental ideas of social media monitoring to revealing its numerous uses. Social media monitoring is a strategic compass that helps brands navigate the ever-changing digital landscape, not just a tool.

Utilizing the power of social media monitoring, you can safeguard the reputation of your company, discover priceless information, intensify your marketing initiatives, and promote real interaction with your audience.

Always keep in mind that information is power in the digital era and that social media monitoring is your ticket to gaining access to it. Try out Keyhole’s free trial and unlock the potential of advanced social media insights.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What exactly is social media monitoring?

It's the process of tracking and analyzing mentions, conversations, and trends on social platforms to understand public sentiment, competitor activity, and improve online strategies.

2. How does social media monitoring differ from social media listening?

Monitoring focuses on collecting specific metrics like mentions and engagement. Listening goes deeper, analyzing sentiments and themes for strategic insights.

3. Why is real-time monitoring essential?

Real-time monitoring ensures timely responses to feedback or emerging situations, crucial for maintaining a brand's positive online reputation.

4. Can I monitor multiple social media platforms at once?

Yes, most tools allow tracking across various platforms, offering a holistic view of online conversations.

5. Is social media monitoring effective for small businesses?

Definitely! Small businesses can gain insights into their audience, improve based on feedback, and engage directly with customers.

Put an end to manual legwork once and for all.