16 Social Listening Strategies to Incorporate Into Your Business Strategy [+2 tools!]

With 3.03 billion active social media users around the world, you can use social listening to tune in and monitor what your customers are saying about your business across a variety of platforms. 

This allows you to listen to your customer base, learn more about them and interact with them. 

You can also identify possible new customers, and learn more about your industry or competitors. 

Social listening needs to be actionable. To use it to your advantage, you need to make the most out of conversations that happen about your brand and industry. 

Jump Links

16 Social Listening Strategies:
1. Develop Leads by Pinpointing Prospects
2. Develop Leads through Dissatisfied Competitor Customers
3. Learn Your Audience’s Language
4. Identify Influencers
5. Find Feedback
6. Start Conversations with Users Who Don’t Tag You
7. Keep Tabs on Industry News and Developing Trends
8. Track and Measure the Results of Social Campaigns
9. Discover New Audience Spaces
10. Answer Indirect Questions
11. Monitor Competitor Content
12. Create Customer and Prospect Personas
13. Research and Develop
14. Detect and Mitigate Issues Before they Escalate
15. Send Bottom-of-the-Funnel Customers to Gated Free Trials, Product Pages, or Waiting Lists
16. Refer Top-of-the-Funnel Customers to Ungated Content

2 Social Listening Tools to Grow Your Business

Here are 16 social listening strategies you can incorporate to grow your business and 2 tools to execute your strategy:

1. Develop Leads by Pinpointing Prospects

By tracking a range of terms, you can reveal users in your target market who may not know about your business.

To locate potential customers, track keywords and hashtags related to your niche that reflect:

  • Trade publications
  • Common practices
  • Issues in your sector
  • Leading figures and products

It can take between seconds and days to find posts containing your terms, depending on the social scale of your business and industry. Regardless, consider users who post with those terms as prospects.

The next step involves putting your social media sales hat on. Join the conversation by replying to them.

For example, give your opinion about a trend or send the prospect to a relevant page on your website.

This can earn you a fan and generate interest in your brand. The user may engage with you in the future or explore your website and eventually convert.

2. Develop Leads through Dissatisfied Competitor Customers

With similar tactics, you can find users eager to try new products and services.

Instagram Unhappy - 15 Ways to Grow Your Business Through Social Listening and a List of 3 Tools

Track your competitors’ usernames, brand hashtags and product names to locate prospects who may be tired of their services.

Along with these terms, monitor negative keywords such as:

  • Not
  • Can’t
  • Won’t
  • Doesn’t

Depending on your social media monitoring tool, this can be done by typing the following into the search function:

“competitor name” AND “negative keyword”

As you identify unhappy customers, ask them what they’re looking for in an ideal product. If you can meet their needs, link them to a demo, discount or free trial.

But remember, they’re upset. Use gentle language and don’t force a reply from them.

3. Learn Your Audience’s Language

Effectively marketing a product through content such as ads and landing pages involves speaking the audience’s language.

This is largely because it shows you understand their common train of thought. As a result, you can better communicate with them.

As you study posts that use your tracked keywords, you may notice that members of your market:

  • Phrase concepts in a specific way
  • Use common secondary keywords
  • Write simple, complex or somewhere-in-between sentences

Without compromising clarity, implement the findings in your content.

Unconvinced it’ll make a difference? Run a landing page A/B test using your writing style versus an adjusted style that uses your audience’s diction.

Go forward based on the winning conversion rate.

READ: The Marketer’s Guide to Writing Click-Worthy Headlines

4. Identify Influencers

As brands turn to popular online personalities to post about their products, social listening is becoming a viable way to identify influencers.

Typical Influencers - 15 Ways to Grow Your Business Through Social Listening + 3 Tools List

To find social media thought leaders in your niche, track the URLs and titles of:

  • Popular blog posts
  • Authoritative case studies
  • Content from industry-leading blogs and publications

You then need to determine who’s earning the highest engagement rate when sharing this material.

Use this simple formula to calculate engagement rate:

Add the number of likes and comments, and divide by the number of followers. Multiply by 100 to get the engagement rate percentage.

After you identify influencers, reach out to them by pitching your campaign idea. Explain how they’ll benefit and then ask for their participation.

5. Find Feedback

Tracking your brand and product names can uncover customer feedback across niche and popular social platforms.

Combined with positive and negative terms, such as “does” and “doesn’t,” you can locate reviews, complaints and endorsements.

As customers post positive comments, ask to use them as testimonials on your website, and make an effort to repost or retweet positive feedback.

This is a great strategy because it reminds your followers of the awesomeness of what you’re selling, and will likely interest new leads who happen to hear others raving about you.

Money saving app Piggybank does a great job at this. They repost the positive reviews they get from Twitter right on their Instagram page.

Image of Sam Hart tweeting about 'Saving Violently' using Piggybank

Since consumers resonate more easily with reviews from fellow consumers than from ads sent out by brands, Piggybank’s happy customers see fit to testify to the customer review Piggybank posted…

Image of Sam Hart tweeting about 'Saving Violently' using Piggybank

And there are also bottom-of-the-funnel customers asking how to get started; here’s one:

Image of Piggybank linking signup

On the flip side, you can also find negative feedback or comments through social listening.

But what you do after getting bad reviews is what matters the most.

It can be overwhelming to take note of every single piece of negative feedback, but the trick is to find the public embarrassments your company can do something about and handle the situation with finesse and style that impresses onlookers.

For example, JetBlue got a tweet from a customer who was complaining about being on a flight that had a bad headphone jack and a malfunctioning TV.

Image of cutomer tweeting to JetBlue

JetBlue responded with what clearly looks like more than just an apology; they offered to compensate the customer with a $15 credit for the inconvenience (once she can confirm she’s the actual customer who had the experience).

6. Start Conversations with Users Who Don’t Tag You

If you only pay attention to your direct mentions on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, you can miss chances to connect with prospects and nurture leads.

As well as not tagging you, it’s common for users to:

  • Misspell your name when trying to tag you
  • Talk about your products or services without mentioning your business
  • Misspell those products and services, too

The solution is to monitor the names of your business, products and services, along with their common incorrect spellings.

Barraco Barner - 15 Ways Social Listening can Grow Your Business + 3 Tools List
People can even incorrectly spell the U.S. president’s name.

For the latter, type the names into your phone. Note any autocorrects and create social listening trackers with your tool of choice. You can also think up misspellings on your own.

7. Keep Tabs on Industry News and Developing Trends

Monitoring the social web for news and trends can provide topics to post and blog about, keeping your content marketing strategy fresh.

To stay on top of what’s relevant, track keywords and usernames for big players and authoritative publications in your sector.

A tool like Keyhole can help you track other accounts, hashtags, or keywords.

News Stages - 15 Ways to Grow Your Business through Social Listening a List of 3 Media Monitoring Tools
These tweets use #Breaking, #Trending and #Developing.

Along with these keywords, monitor standard news terms such as:

  • Breaking
  • Developing
  • Trending

Depending on your social listening software, you can do this by typing a news term and publication name into the search function:

“breaking” AND “Wall Street Journal”

As you collect data about news and trends, your business can demonstrate expertise by creating and promoting articles that explain a story’s background issues.

READ: How to Build, Run and Grow a Successful Company Blog [Douglas Karr Interview]

8. Track and Measure the Results of Social Campaigns

This may seem like a moot point to some, but many marketers don’t track social media campaigns run by rivals, role models or even their own brands.

Since many social listening tools have analytics suites, you can collect data surrounding hashtag campaigns on Twitter, Instagram and other platforms.

Beyond tracking performance, this data is useful for:

  • Setting goals for future campaigns
  • Analyzing which demographics within your target audience were most active, tailoring upcoming ads and content toward them

9. Discover New Audience Spaces

A multi-channel social listening strategy can reveal audience activity on platforms you didn’t know about.

You may uncover conversations surrounding trends, competitors and even your business by searching through different forums, communities and social sites.

For example, people thinking about cosmetic surgery may not take to Twitter to express their concerns. Instead, niche forums are more common:

Cosmetic Surgery - 15 Ways to Grow Your Business Through Social Listening and a List of 3 Media Monitoring Tools

As you discover platforms that audience members frequent, read their posts to gain more insights about their needs, desires and pain-points.

READ: 10 Mistakes that Keep Your Key Social Metrics from Growing

10. Answer Indirect Questions

Answering questions isn’t always a way to overtly promote your business. Rather, it introduces you to prospects and helps build rapport.

You’ll inevitably stumble upon queries as you track brand and industry keywords.

For example, if you make task managers, you’ll likely find questions about prioritization and project management. You can respond by giving an answer or link to a relevant blog post.

Task Manager - 15 Ways to Grow Your Business with Social Media Monitoring and 3 Tools List

It’s less common for people to ask for task manager recommendations. But when that time comes, feel free to make the case for your product.

11. Monitor Competitor Content

Monitoring how a competitor’s content performs on social media can help you develop blog ideas and tactics.

Since you likely share an audience with opposing businesses, content that works well for them can work well for you.

Start by tracking a content piece’s URL and title. Depending on your tool, this should generate engagement data – how many times it’s been shared and by whom. You may also see opinions and conversations about the piece.

Use these insights by:

  • Seeing which issues and pain points resonate with your audience
  • Modeling posts, studies and infographics off popular content
  • Reaching out to users when sharing your similar material you’ve made

Keyhole allows you to monitor competitor content such as their accounts and hashtags.

12. Create Customer and Prospect Personas

Analyzing the profiles of users who post with your monitored terms is a way to build buyer personas – representations of customer groups to help you understand your target markets.

First, make a spreadsheet and fill it with the profile URLs of people who use your brand-specific keywords and hashtags. Second, once you’re comfortable with the size your list, look at each profile for information about:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Position
  • Industry
  • Business size and scope
Buyer Persona - 15 Ways to Grow Your Business Through Social Listening and a List of 3 Tools

Third, sort the profiles into groups based on this data. You may be surprised to learn which kinds of people make up your social audience.

Understanding who you’re communicating with should boost clicks and engagements as you craft messages and campaigns.

13. Research and Develop

You can think up ideas worth investigating by sifting through social listening reports, such as:

  • Creating new services or products
  • Launching events or campaigns your audience would likely enjoy
  • Altering brand positioning based on what consumers say about your and the competition

Depending on your organization’s structure, putting these ideas into action could involve collaborating with a different department or the team member beside you.

Regardless, uncovering them starts by tracking broad industry terms.

For example, if you’re a marketer for an analytics brand, you might monitor “metrics” and “social data.” You’ll eventually see someone express a need or desire. Reach out if you can already solve their pain point.

If not, consider taking the necessary steps to do so.

14. Detect and Mitigate Issues Before they Escalate

DKNY Crisis - 15 Ways to Grow Your Business Through Social Media Monitoring and List of 3 Tools
With its social listening strategy, DKNY reacted to this Facebook crisis within four hours.

Monitoring brand and industry keywords can inform you when concerns and problems develop, helping you quickly react.

Let’s say you’re in the software business. One day, you notice someone tweeting about a significant error.

You would immediately try to replicate that error, and:

  • If you can replicate it, try to fix it. Then, reach out to the user to explain it’s on the mend.
  • If you can’t replicate it, show your concern. Tweet with the user and ask for more information.

What’s the value of a speedy reaction?

Consumers expect you to swiftly address problems in the age of social media. To see why, read about Domino’s Pizza employees filming themselves ruining ingredients.

A slow, or non-existent, reaction can push customers away and damage your reputation.

15. Send Bottom-of-the-Funnel Customers to Gated Free Trials, Product Pages, or Waiting Lists

Bottom-of-the-funnel consumers are also always lurking around conversations about your industry, brand, or specific product.

These people have heard about your brand before.

And they’re ready to buy. They just need a few questions answered.

So they ask questions like “Is there a version that will include xyz feature coming soon?” OR “Can your product do this specific thing?” If you’re keeping tabs on conversations in your industry, you’ll be able to pull these prospects into the fold.

In 2017, Audi had a tweet where a prospective buyer (Godwin) asked if they had any new upgrades on a couple of their cars.

Audi responded saying the feature is coming in 2018, and sent the buyer a link where he could sign up with them to get updated once it’s out.

Image of Audi's tweet to the buyer

Once the buyer clicks the link, Audi sends him to a well-designed landing page where he’s being welcomed as a lead. The car brand gets his info and gets the chance to alert him once his desired feature is out in the market.

This means while Audi is responding to Godwin with a signup form to fill, there are probably other potential buyers around who have the same question Godwin asked and would sign up to get updates from Audi as well — via the same page Audi sent to Godwin.

This way, Audi is using social listening as a tactic to generate more leads for their new car upgrade coming in 2018.

It’s a powerful social listening strategy to monitor these industry interactions and earn the opportunity to convert bottom-of-the-funnel prospects into actual paying buyers.

And if, like Audi, you don’t already have the feature or exact product a potential buyer is asking for, have a well-designed page ready to convert the person into a lead — so you have the opportunity to draw them back to your business when it’s time.

16. Refer Top-of-the-Funnel Customers to Ungated Content

Top-of-the-funnel customers are also lurking around.

There’s always someone hearing about your brand or product for the first time, or seeing conversations about your brand or industry.

Unlike those on the bottom-of-the funnel, these people aren’t ready to buy anything.

They only want to learn more about the matter being discussed — your product, brand or industry.

You can refer these customers to a piece of content, a handy tool, or any value that answers their questions and get them ready to buy.

Audi, in the example above, sent ready-to-buy prospects right from social interactions to a gated page; should you do the same for top-of-the-funnel customers? Not quite.

Picture this for a moment: you go to Twitter and find a promoted tweet that interests you. The tweet is from a brand you’ve never seen or heard of before, promoting a product you don’t entirely understand.

So you’re curious. You want to learn more about about what’s being promoted. You reply the tweet asking “How do I get started?”

To which the brand replies, “Go to [this url] to learn how to get started.”

Would you click or not? You probably would. After all, you’re the one looking for answers.

But upon arrival on the page, you find a form asking for your personal information.

Would you give your information just to learn more about a product? You probably won’t. Especially when you’re just trying to see how to get started with a product.

If you were ready to get started, that’s a different case, you’d sign up. But gating a page that’ll teach you how to get started? Not ideal.

So it’s best to make your tool, content or any other value ungated for people who just want to “learn more”.

2 Social Listening Tools to Grow Your Business

A great social monitoring tool will analyze the most engaging posts about your brand, alert you when influencers talk about you or identify possible influencers, as well as indicate when a keyword or topic you’re tracking is being buzzed about on social platforms.

Here are 2 social listening tools that do all of the above.

1. Keyhole

Keyhole monitors real-time and historical data around URLs, hashtags, keywords and usernames on Twitter and Instagram.

A screenshot of Keyhole's social listening tracker.

By inputting up to five terms in this social listening tool’s search function, it will generate and track metrics such as:

  • The number of posts and people using your terms
  • User demographic information, including gender and location
  • Top posts, based on engagement data such as shares and replies
  • Influence data, such as which users are drawing the most attention to your tracked terms

In a shareable and printable dashboard, it displays this data in tables, timelines, pie charts and bar graphs.

Price: Starts at $179 USD; advanced plans vary

READ: Forbes Uses Keyhole to Track and Rank SXSW Hashtags

2. Talkwalker

Talkwalker tracks real-time and historical data surrounding keywords, taking data from almost all major social platforms. It also monitors blogs, forums and online news websites for keyword mentions.

For Twitter and Facebook, it provides analytics such as:

  • Engagement rate
  • Activity levels, including the times when users post with a given keyword
  • Share of voice, which is a calculation of how much a user or brand is contributing to online conversations about your keyword

You can use Talkwalker as a traditional media monitoring tool, too. It tracks keywords on global TV, radio and newswires.

Price: Starts at $800 USD per month; advanced plans vary


Whether people are having conversations directly about your brand, your industry, or your competitors, there’s a constant information exchange at high volumes.  

Social listening can contribute greatly to your business’s growth in a variety of different ways. 

You need to keep listening and monitoring to inform your social media and business strategies.

Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

The Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

top 25 social media monitoring tools

You need social media monitoring tools for three main reasons:

  1. To get quality audience data.
  2. To take relevant actions, based on the data collected, to keep or build a good reputation and drive ROI.
  3. To save time, as all your social media analytics are available to you in one platform.

But it begs the question: which social media monitoring tool is the best for your brand?

It can be tough to pick one — with so many enticing promises from each solution.

Related topic: Top 25 Social Media Analytics Tools: The Definitive Guide

What you need is a resource that provides you with quality insights about each tool.

Well, look no further; here’s a guide showing you the top 25 social media monitoring tools that are worth considering:

Jump Links:

1. Keyhole
2. BrandWatch
3. Buzzsumo
4. Glean.info
5. Digimind
6. Google Alert
7. Hootsuite
8. Falcon.io
9. Meltwater
10. Sprinklr
11. Mention
12. NetBase
13. Nuvi
14. SharedCount
15. Social Mention
16. IFTTT
17. TalkWalker
18. Awario
19. ZoomSphere
20. Sprout Social
21. Followerwonk
22. Iconosquare
23. Audiense
24. Tailwind
25. Union Metrics

1. Keyhole

Screenshot_keyhole_new_design_20190709

Keyhole’s analytics are used by brands like Google, Alibaba, L’Oreal, H&M and Mashable.

Keyhole’s social dashboard feature gives you an instant rundown of what your brand’s health looks like; you don’t have to look too deep before seeing basic analytics like total impressions, total engagements and total link clicks.

If you’re looking for a tool that gives you insight into what’s going on in your customers’ minds, Keyhole is the tool you need.

It provides you with the following key features:

  • 24/7 monitoring of the performance of keywords, URLs, topics, hashtags, @mentions and more around your brand, audience, and industry.
  • Access to the best and most relevant influencers for your brand and exclusive information about their engagement rates, reach, etc.
  • A stunning, in-depth visual representation of your brand’s social performance.
  • Broad, historical, and deep real-time views of global conversations, topics, and influencers driving your market – all in the same spot.
  • A social analytics platform to monitor sentiments around your brand and oversee your overall brand health.

Even more, Keyhole gives you access to historical data about your brand or campaign’s performance on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Plus, in-depth competitor benchmarking and insights are available in all plans. Keyhole helps you easily compare your brand accounts and campaigns against that major competitors.

Plus, you can also track mentions of any brand or keyword across news, blogs and forums.

Neil Patel describes it this way: “This tool (Keyhole) does a lot of things others can’t. And as a bonus, it’s extremely user-friendly.”

Price: Starts at $179 USD per month. View pricing here.

2. BrandWatch

BrandWatch helps you dig out relevant data from blogs, forums, and even social and news/review sites. Basically, this tool tells you what your customers are thinking.

Brandwatch_screenshot_july2019

You can use BrandWatch to get an overview of your brand mentions’ volume and compare it with that of several competitors, find out what topics your audience are mostly interested in, observe the sentiments about your brand, and see your audience demographics.

It also provides a data visualization tool that lets you bring your data to life; your data can be represented in the form of graphs that make hard stats and numbers easily understandable for every team member.

Price: Varies based on mentions per month and historical data access.

3. Buzzsumo

Want to know what’s drawing your audience’s attention? Then you need Buzzsumo.

Buzzsumo_screenshot_aug2019


This tool shows you which content is getting the most shares for specific topics. Knowing this allows you to determine what your users prefer to see in your industry.

Price: $79 – $499 USD per month.

4. Glean.info

Glean.info gets you audience data from social media sites, online news, blogs, message boards, forums, and photo/video sharing sites.

Similar to Keyhole and BrandWatch, this tool also lets you see your share of voice on social — the percent of your brand’s mentions against that of your competitor’s.

Gleaninfo_screenshot_aug2019


Here’s what’s even more interesting: Glean.info alerts you when your brand gets mentioned on a fake news site.

They monitor all new posts on 2000 fake news sites and alert you when your brand gets mentioned; this helps you handle bad press before things get out of hand.

Price: Varies based on your needs.

5. Digimind

Digimind provides a beautiful visual representation of your brand’s social performance.

For example, here’s an image showing American Airlines’ trend on social in seven days.

Digimind_screenshot_aug2019

This tool also allows you to monitor your own social media posts and run competitive analysis — checking how your brand and/or product stacks up against industry rivals. You’re also able to access your data via Digimind’s mobile app.

Price: Get in touch with Digimind for pricing.

6. Google Alerts

Google Alerts is super useful for you if you’re looking for a basic monitoring solution.

Googlealerts_screenshot_aug2019

It scans through the web and tells you when your brand or product gets mentioned. You can choose which sources you want to be receiving alerts for — whether blogs, news sites or forums —and the languages you want to get alerts for.

Price: Free.

7. Hootsuite

Hootsuite isn’t just a social media management software; this tool also provides social insights by monitoring relevant conversations on social media.

Hootsuite_screenshot_july2019

It helps you measure the impact of your social media campaigns by separating conversions from your paid and owned media. It also gives you the option to choose what to monitor by filtering out conversations by keyword, language and location.

Price: Free — custom pricing per month.

8. Falcon.io

Falcon.io is another great tool that helps you monitor your brand’s impact on social.

This platform is for social media marketer that helps them with social listening, customer engagement, content marketing and audience management. It’s social listening feature will help you can monitor influencer and directly engage with them, monitor your brands and stay on top of your trends

Falcon.io supports all the major social media such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Price: Falcon.io offers three service packages: starter, pro and premium. Please contact the vendor for more detail.

9. Meltwater

From tracking brand mentions to monitoring campaigns in real time, Meltwater shows you critical conversations about your brand on social media.

Meltwater - Top 25 Social Media Analytics and Monitoring Tools

This tool uses AI to help you listen to relevant social media conversations and make intelligent marketing decisions. Meltwater also runs your social media management; you can schedule posts to publish later.

Price: Contact Meltwater for pricing.

10. Sprinklr

Sprinklr is not just a powerful social media management tool. It also provides a social listening feature that helps you gain broad, historical and deep real-time views of global conversations, topics, and influencers driving your market – all in the same spot.

Sprinklr - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

Like many other similar tools, this software helps you benchmark your social media performance against that of your rivals. Even more, they also help you track likely crisis before they arise so you are able to make informed decisions.

Price: Contact Sprinklr to discuss a unique plan.

11. Mention

As the name implies, Mention helps you track conversations where your brand, product, industry, campaign and customers are mentioned online.

This keeps you abreast of important conversations around your business so you’re able to join in on these conversations when it matters the most. 

Mention - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

It also lets you filter the conversations you want to monitor by language, source and date, and refine your alerts by adding or removing certain keywords.

Price: $29 per month — custom plans.

12. NetBase

NetBase provides many customer experience features, of which social media monitoring is one.

Netbase - Top 25 Social Media Analytics and Monitoring Tools

This software uses a natural processing language engine to generate an accurate  understanding of human language (customer data) at scale across 199 languages.

In NetBase’s own words: “You will gain deep understanding of customer preferences, passions, and behaviors to drive your customer experience initiatives and make smarter, faster business decisions.”

Price: Contact NetBase to discuss a unique plan.

13. Nuvi

From social media publishing to monitoring, Nuvi takes care of it all for you.

You can monitor more than just hashtags. This tool helps you monitor keywords, URLs, topics, social media handles and more.

Nuvi - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

Nuvi also gets you audience data from Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, Facebook, VK, Stack Overflow and an ever-updating list of 3 million+ blogs and RSS feeds.

Price: Contact Nuvi to discuss a unique plan.

14. SharedCount

Much like Buzzsumo, SharedCount tracks popular content in your industry. Just add a URL in the tool and it will show you how many shares the content has gotten so far.

SharedCount - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

You can also analyze URLs in bulk and export them as CSV files.

Price: Free — $450 USD per month.

15. Social Mention

Social Mention is a real-time social media analytics tool.

It collects and compiles user-generated content (UGC) from the web into a single platform. Let’s say we want to see the audience data around the #ArtificialIntelligence hashtag; Social Mention provides you with data-rich information about what’s going on around your query as seen in the image below.

Socialmention - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

It shows the ratio of positive to negative sentiments, the percent of reach, and the strength of your searched term on social media. It also shows the passion around your query; that is the likelihood that users will keep talking about your query repeatedly.

Price: Free.

16. IFTTT

If you don’t already know, IFTTT stands for If This Then That.

It is an automation used to set up a simple set of conditional events, you know, if this (happens) then that (should follow).

IFTTT - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

You can setup this tool to alert you when your product, brand, competitor or any keyword at all is mentioned on certain industry RSS feeds.

Price: Free.

17. Talkwalker

Talkwalker provides a social analytics platform to monitor sentiments around your brand and oversee your overall brand health.

It also helps you spot out the best influencers for your brand and shows you their engagement rates, reach, etc.

Talkwalker - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

This lets you understand the best influencers for your specific brand or product. This tool also gives you a 3600 view of your owned and earned social media content, including your brand, product or competitor mentions offline. All these help you account for what exactly comms bring to the table at your organization.

Price: $8,400 per year — enterprise pricing.

18. Awario

Awario crawls 13 billion pages everyday to get important data about your audience.

Awario - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

It has a social media customer support service that lets you be there right when your customers need your help.

This tool also provides an intelligent alert system that tells you when an important conversation is gaining popularity. This helps you prioritize customer support requests based on the impact they can have on your business.

Price: $29 — $299 USD per month.

19. ZoomSphere

ZoomSphere analyzes major social networks —  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn — and provides you with over 150 different metrics.

This tool also provides you with competitor analysis so you can see how you rank compared to your competitors.

It also lets you set up your social media content calendar.

You can collaborate with your team on this tool and set when and where to publish your social media posts.

Price: A monthly fee of €400.

20. Sprout Social

Sprout Social provides a comprehensive tool for social media monitoring.

Their social dashboard feature gives you an instant rundown of what your brand’s health looks like — so you don’t have to look too deep before seeing basic analytics like total impressions, total engagements and total link clicks.

SproutSocial - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

This tool also lets you into the minds of your prospects by showing you the keywords and hashtags they mostly associate your brand or product keywords with. Even more, it allows you to monitor sentiments and set up alerts for when critical conversations start getting popular on social media.

Price: $99 — $249 USD per month.

Platform-Specific Tools

21. Followerwonk (Twitter)

FollowerWonk provides you with detailed audience data on Twitter.

Followerwonk - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

You can find out anything with this tool: from who your followers are, where they’re located and the times they mostly tweet to the relevant influencers on Twitter that catch their attention.

Their most used feature is Twitter bio search. The Twitter profiles are all valid, current and refreshed every 30 days.

Anything else? Yes, this tool also provides amazing visualizations of your social graph to benchmark your Twitter results with others in the market.

Price: Free — $79 USD per month.

22. Iconosquare (Instagram and Facebook)

Iconosquare provides you with Instagram and Facebook audience analytics — so you get to know your audience on these platforms on a much deeper level.

iconosquare - Top 25 Social Media Analytics and Monitoring Tools

This tool also helps you plan and moderate conversations across your Instagram and Facebook accounts. You also get to schedule and publish content automatically without having to babysit your content promotion all the time.

Price: 29€/mo — 59€/mo.

23. Audiense Connect (Twitter)

Audiense Connect - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

This is a tool from Audiense that provides you with detailed information about your Twitter audience.

From creating your own custom Twitter DM chatbots to tracking your performance on the platform, Audiense Connect does a great job helping you understand your customers so you can give them the content they really want.

Price: $31.25 — $758 USD per month.

24. Tailwind (Pinterest and Instagram)

Tailwind - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

With Tailwind, you can discover content ideas, schedule posts, monitor conversations, amplify your reach, and analyze your performance on Pinterest and Instagram.

You can also automatically optimize your posts to publish when your audience is most active on Pinterest and Instagram. More importantly, this tool provides rich analytics that help you monitor conversations and analyze your performance on Pinterest and Instagram.

Price: $9.99 USD per month — custom pricing.

25. Union Metrics (Twitter)

With Union Metrics twitter snapshot, you can measure the potential reach and impression to see how something spread.

Used by over 300,000 marketers, the software helps you monitor posts about your product, brand or industry in real time so you’re getting the full gist of relevant stories as they unfold.

Price: $23 — $159 USD per month.

The Final Verdict

Most marketers will go insane looking at the social analytics on each social network; it would be extra stressful when you’re trying to go from Instagram to Twitter to Facebook, etc looking at audience insights.

Your best bet is to pick a good social monitoring platform that suits your marketing needs; you have this list at your disposal all the time, so make proper use of it.

[Updated in August 2019, for a brand new Social Media Monitoring Tools comparison]

Top 25 Social Media Analytics Tools: The Definitive Guide

Top 25 Social Media Analytics Tools

[Updated in July 2019, for a brand new Social Media Analytics Tools comparison]

Did you miss our previous blog on the 27 Hashtag Analytics strategies? No worries, you can read it here: https://keyhole.co/blog/hashtag-analytics-27-actionable-strategies/

It can be a daunting task.

You’ve asked everyone and every query tool for the best social media analytics tools and you’re still unsure which to use. And you don’t have the time and money to waste using a tool only to find out later on that it doesn’t suit your needs. Whether you’re asking other marketers or searching on Google, it can be quite confusing — with every brand making enticing promises.

How do you know which of them would deliver on their promise? A good complete guide is a great place to look.

Here’s a guide showing you the top 25 social media analytics tools, and how they work:

Read moreTop 25 Social Media Analytics Tools: The Definitive Guide

How Arizona State University Uses Keyhole to Help PBS Journalists and Students Become Authorities in Trending Topics

Jessica Pucci, Director of Digital Audience Programs – Walter Cronkite School, ASU

“Keyhole is a tool that you can use to understand the conversation around a topic and help you become an authority, connecting you with people who are existing authorities.

It’s always my hope that Keyhole becomes a tool in my students’ arsenal that they turn to first. Keyhole is great because it allows students to visualize the many facets of a conversation and assess what’s performing well in different ways. The students love it.

Ultimately, having data behind your decision is what makes your content stronger and makes you a stronger communicator.

How This John Hopkins University Graduate Uses Keyhole to Inform Large-Scale Marketing Strategies

Robin Lindner, Graduate Researcher and Marketing Strategist, John Hopkins University

“When I was putting together my strategy for these large projects, I was looking at sentiment, but I was also looking at what types of media folks were engaging the most with.

Having access to that data through Keyhole, I was able to go and make a change. For the professional, it is so key because you can prove that you know what you’re talking about. You can prove that your strategy has merit.”

How HerCampus uses Keyhole Reports to Show Sponsors the Real Reach of their Events

Windsor Hanger-Western, Cofounder, HerCampus Media

We do a lot of experiential marketing within  HerCampus Media, and we used to have a hard time conveying the impact of our events to our brands.  They’d say, ‘Well, you’re doing an event and there are 1,000 women there, that seems like a lot of money to just reach 1,000 women’. 

So, we’re saying “You’re not just reaching the 1,000 women that are there, you’re reaching all of their friends on social, because we’re creating experiences that they’re going to want to share”.  And so by you hosting this amazing event with us with those women, it’s exponential how many women you’re going to access. 

And Keyhole is how we say it’s not just 1,000 women, it’s 5 million impressions… the numbers help us prove the impact of what we’re doing to our customers”. 

Keyhole How to Avoid a Social Media Crisis crises 6 steps how to

6 Critical Steps to Avoid a Social Media Crisis

Social media is an enormously powerful tool for managing customer relationships, broadcasting positive brand stories and introducing new products. But while the benefits of this free, fast and intuitive marketing channel are virtually limitless, it also has some potentially serious risks.

But there’s good news; with proper planning you can avoid the most common mistakes that lead to a social media crisis.


What Causes Social Media Crises?


Common Mistakes — Just about anything can spark social media outrage and bring out the trolls, but the most common slip-ups include:

  • Spelling and grammar mistakes made by professional organizations
  • Accidentally liking an inappropriate post
  • Tweeting a personal message from a professional account
  • Unintentionally making an offensive statement

Serious Problems — Employee sabotage and hacking are much more serious offenses. While businesses can, and do, shift responsibility for the malicious post, they’re often criticised for allowing their login credentials to be compromised.

Catastrophic Events — Intentionally racist, sexist, or malicious comments made by companies or individuals ignite the worst type of social media crisis. These statements can significantly impact a brand’s revenue and reputation, and recovery could take years.

Look no further than Roseanne Barr for a trending example of how powerful one tweet can be.

In the days following her comment, Barr’s television contract was canceled, her reputation was heavily damaged, and she lost an estimated $3 million in revenue.

So, how can you avoid a social media crisis? Here are 6 steps you can take.


1. Have a Crisis Communication Plan


Image of a Man in Front of a Whiteboard with a Plan Structure

The most important steps toward preventing a social media disaster are understanding what crisis management means for your business and creating an action plan to address your risk factors.

While you can’t predict every crisis, you can train your social media team to prepare for, and effectively manage, potential problems.

Since social media is your front line of communication during a crisis, your plan should include specific guidelines to protect your brand. Most importantly, always have a second set of eyes on every post before it’s published. Companies should also train more individuals in crisis communications and social media management than you think you’ll need.


2. Monitor your Social Media for Trouble!


Identifying problems as soon as they arise is critical to crisis prevention. Unfortunately, you may never know about the biggest issues facing your company because 96% of angry customers don’t complain to brands directly. Many of these upset customers prefer posting about their poor experience on their own timeline. These “dark” complaints could go unnoticed, causing negative impact, without proper tools and training.

Social listening tools allow you to monitor keywords and indirect brand mentions as well as direct mentions. This gives your company a much more holistic view of what your customers are saying across all social platforms.

Keyhole’s Intelligent Notifications feature is an excellent example of how brands can set up alerts to detect direct and indirect (‘dark’) posts with negative sentiment.

Keyhole AI detects any tracked posts with negative sentiment made about your brand, and you automatically receive an Intelligent notification in your inbox, which allows you to react to the post before the negative sentiment escalates.

Keyhole Intelligent Notifications Dashboard With Negative Sentiment Alerts Turned On

For instance, United Airlines would have seen this tweet and its volume, the first mention of the United Flight 3411 incident, with Keyhole.

Capture-of-the-Original-Tweet-that-started-the-United-Airlines-Crisis-in-2017

This would have given the airline an ample runway to handle the crisis before it escalated.


3. Always Engage with Your Audience


Engaging-with-Facebook-Audience---Image-of-person-using-Facebook-on-phone


Social profiles are frequently viewed as sales tools instead of powerful customer service platforms for building brand loyalty and customer care. By solely pitching products rather than having meaningful conversations with your followers, you could miss opportunities to address customer experience problems early on.

According to Maritz Research, 49% of customers expect companies to respond to Twitter complaints, yet only 29% of those who complained received a reply.

Additionally, customers who complain expect a response within 4 hours, while the average brand response time exceeds 10 hours.

It’s crucial to respond quickly and professionally when negative comments about your company are discovered. Ignoring criticism, even when it isn’t posted directly to your page, sends a message to your followers that you don’t care enough about them to respond.


4. Respond to Criticism Professionally


Knowing how to properly handle criticism in a public forum is essential to protecting your reputation. A single rude response to a genuine complaint will do far more damage to your image than the original comment could.

Deleting comments and blocking users may seem like the quickest way to fix a problem, but doing so could cause your customer to become more outspoken. Instead, make an effort to understand what caused the situation and show a willingness to make things right.

Consumers typically complain on social media when their problem has not been properly resolved. You may be able to prevent your customers from complaining in public by providing a seamless resolution process on your website or over the phone.

Angry customers want to express their frustration quickly, so they usually avoid email. Adding a simple feedback button to your site may prevent them from firing off a raging tweet for all to see. Just make sure it’s easy to find and effortless to use. You could even offer visitors incentives for leaving feedback if it they’ve been poking around your site for a while.


5. Choose the Right Person to Manage Your Accounts


Hands-woman-laptop-notebook

Assigning your brand’s social media strategy to an intern or an inexperienced employee may save you money, but it could also be a recipe for disaster.

A great social media manager has a level head, is capable of handling a crisis, and is well-organized and detail-oriented. Finding someone with public relations experience adds another layer of insurance against mistakes.

Prefer to outsource the work? There are many companies specializing in managing social media accounts for businesses. This option may be the most impactful if you have room in your budget.


6. Draft an Employee Social Media Policy


Most people might think their private social profiles are safe for ranting about work stress, but negative posts can have serious consequences if customers or coworkers see them. Distribute guidelines about how to reference your brand online, but don’t scare your team away from posting. Happy employees are some of the best recruiting tools you can ask for!

Closing thoughts

The benefits of using social media intelligently will always outweigh the risks. Remember to monitor for problems, listen to your followers, react quickly and compassionately, and plan ahead, that way you’ll be able to maximize the benefits of this channel while avoiding potential crises.

How The Infinite Agency Uses Keyhole to Run ‘Real-Time Marketing’ & Predict Campaign Success

Freddy Duran is the Social Media Director at The Infinite Agency, a cutting-edge, data-driven creative agency based in Dallas, Texas.


A strong advocate for the power of social media analytics, Freddy gives us his expert insight into *why* it is so crucial to use data to optimize social media campaigns at every stage, and how it helps to reach the right people with the right message at the right time.

“Anything that is not data backed, to me, is guesswork.”

Freddy Duran

In this article, Freddy focuses on how Predictive Analytics help you determine campaign success and pivot when needed. He also explores the concept of “real-time marketing”, using social media analytics to optimize campaigns as they run.

Predicting Campaign Success


One of The Infinite Agency’s Award-Winning campaigns ˄

One of the benefits of using social media analytics tools like Keyhole is predictive power, and “Predictions” is a feature that sets us apart.

GIF illustrating 'Predictions' tool being toggled on Keyhole

After just 7 days of tracking an active #campaign with Keyhole, you can predict campaign performance for the next 30 days.

I mean, I used to do these projections by hand and the methodology is the same, based on historical data by x amount of time, but the fact that you guys are including it in your dashboard is amazing.”

How does this work?: Our algorithm will learn key metrics about your campaign’s performance such as the number of posts and average engagements, and will then project those numbers based on its current status.

“Back in the day (and when I say that, I mean like 2-3 years ago) marketers had to know the algorithms and formulas to calculate these things by hand. Saving time by not doing these things by hand, and knowing that you still have accurate information is very valuable.”

Being able to predict campaign performance helps you know if your campaign is already set to get the traction you are hoping for, or if you need to be more proactive with your outreach to hit your goals before it’s too late.

Image of a Hashtag Tracker dashboard 'Predicting' campaign performance for the next 30 days

“In my personal experience with advertising, I have dealt with many tools. But Keyhole is the only one that is incredibly easy to use, and right off the bat I was blown away that you have built-in campaign performance predictions. That is something that I haven’t seen anywhere else.

Optimize Campaigns with Real-Time Marketing


Image of Infinite Agency campaign- 3 People Popping Confetti Balloons

“I’m seeing it a whole lot lately that clients ask: ‘How can we do social listening better?’, ‘How can we be more reactive to what’s going on right now?’. Real-time trackers like Keyhole help you know how people are feeling about and talking about your brand in real time. This means that we can have real-time marketing from a brand perspective and make it reactionary.”

Image showing a Sentiment score of 98
This sentiment score from one of the Agency’s campaigns indicates healthy overall brand sentiment.

Real-time marketing entails tracking conversations as they happen on social media, and reacting to both positive and negative conversations in a way that benefits your overall marketing strategy.

For Example:

Positive posts can be shared as social proof, and you can chime in on trending topics during spikes of activity to amplify your message.

Negative Posts can be addressed right away and mediated in order to prevent a change in your brand sentiment.

This approach helps Freddy and his team optimize campaigns during their entire run.

“My life would be terrible without social media analytics tools. Being able to look at a tool like Keyhole is incredibly important because it gives you a look at not only what a brand is doing right but also how people are responding to it.

Being able to assess how audiences are feeling is the end game. Advertisement is based on happiness and persuasion, and if you can determine how people are reacting to things or how they’re talking about it, that gives you good insights into what you should do as an advertiser or a marketer, and you guys take away a lot of the guesswork in that.”

How the USTA is Leveraging Social Media to Reach the Next Generation of Tennis Players

Learn 3 of the social media marketing strategies that the USTA uses to yield incredible (700% year-over-year!) growth in content engagement.

From grassroots community tennis to the US Open, the USTA strives to grow tennis at every level.

One of the driving forces in accomplishing this mission is the USTA social media team. Led by Director of Social Media & Strategy, Qianna Smith-Bruneteau, the USTA has built a social strategy that has landed their campaigns in the billion+ impression category and that leads to a consistent 700% year-over-year growth in content engagement.

More importantly, every person their content reaches is inspired by tennis-related content that is positive, motivational and inclusive.

QIanna-header

Read on to learn 3 key social media marketing strategies that Qianna’s team implements to reach their goals and guide these numbers.

1. Reach Generation Z & Millennials Through Youth Ambassadors

One of the ways that the USTA social team is engaging a younger audience on social media is by leveraging the power of influencers.

The team has built partnerships with 100 youth ambassadors who share their stories through social media, inspiring others in their age group to become involved in this sport and community, and driving home their mission.

“We have this incredible mission to inspire the next generation of tennis greats through our Net Generation brand. Leveraging social media, we have developed relationships with Generation Z and millennial audiences. We’ve assembled a movement of 100 ambassadors, the Net Set, age 5 to 19, who share their personal tennis journeys and stories on social media, and it’s through their lens that I see the magic and the mission of the organization unfold.”

Not to mention, their winning strategy has also won them several awards, the most recent being the 10th Annual Shorty Award for best celebrity & influencer campaign on Snapchat.

Bonus Tip:

Notice the USTA’s use of emoji CTA’s- calling for comment engagement by showing which emoji to use to show your support for USTA athletes/ partners?.

2. Monitor the #Conversation to Increase Engagement

Qianna’s team also maximizes overall engagement by leveraging hashtag analytics, or in other words, tracking #USOpen during the run of the event and year-round to understand how their content is being engaged.

“I never imagined during the US Open that our hashtag would enter into the billion+ impression category. Having the ability to download the content tagged with our hashtag really allowed us to identify super users and reward them with surprise and delight moments throughout the tournament.”

Screen-Shot-2018-04-27-at-12.24.24-PM

By monitoring how people are engaging with your hashtag, you can identify most engaged users and the types of content they are engaging with. You can then adjust your content strategy in real time, replicating high-engagement content and delighting your audience.

“Keyhole allows us to analyze the conversations around turnkey marketing moments, and to understand the organic/earned media associated with our brand.”

3. Use Competitive Benchmarking to Inform your Strategy

Competitive Benchmarking means comparing your own performance to your top competitors’ as a way to hold your metrics to a standard.

“Keyhole.co is an invaluable tool for competitive benchmarking and seeing where we stack up in the space.”

Alt Text

With benchmarking, Qianna and her team were able to determine that they had the most engaged hashtag, #USOpen in the Grand Slam space in 2017 (US Open, AU Open, French Open, Wimbledon), which demonstrates the value of her team’s efforts within the organization.

“On the US Open channels, we had a 700% year-over-year increase in interactions and video views across the big 5. And our USTA social media channels did the most interactions and video views, an increase of over 1,200% year-over-year when compared to the other 3 governing bodies associated with a Grand Slam.”

Key Takeaways

Some key takeaways:

  • Create engaging content by partnering with influencers or brand ambassadors.
  • Monitor hashtags to understand engagement and double down on top content.
  • Use competitive benchmarking to measure your results.

That’s the USTA’s winning formula ??.

“Keyhole is an incredible tool for any social media marketer. I used it when I was head of social media at Saks Fifth Avenue, and it was one of the first tools I selected at the USTA.”

NMAAHC logo and Photo of SOcial Media Director at Museum Tour- Hashtag analytics -Cover

How the National Museum of African American History and Culture Transforms Conventional Narratives Through Social Media

Recruited before the museum even opened its doors, Lanae Spruce has become
The National Museum of African American History and Culture’s influential voice on social media.

As the Manager of Social Media and Digital Engagement, Lanae focuses on finding creative ways to take the rich stories that live within the museum walls and spread them far and wide online.

For the past four years, during a crucial time in US history, Lanae and her team have led transformational conversations about race and national identity on social media, subverting stereotypes and changing “minds & hearts”.

Quote Image: “We always think about how we are doing this for the culture. We ask ourselves, how can we create moments about African American history that will really allow people to educate themselves about the contributions of African Americans to this country and also really change minds and change hearts about what it means to be an American?”

Social Justice Leads the Conversation

One of the unique things about monitoring social media through hashtag analytics in the long-term is that clear patterns begin to emerge.

“We use Keyhole to monitor our hashtag campaigns and engagement. We also use it to find and look at our influencers, reshare content and find new stories.”

Lanae’s team (pictured below), for instance, finds that leading the conversation on issues of social justice attracts their highly-engaged audience.

IMG_8424--1-

“Through our analytics, we’ve been able to determine that we have one of the highest engaged audiences on social media in the museum industry, and that’s informed our practice directly. We’ve found that commenting on issues related to social justice really resonates with our audience. Whenever we can offer historical context for any of these contemporary issues they love it. By being timely and also by standing up for what’s right we continue to engage our followers.”

For instance, on National Watermelon Day (August 3), the team found an opportunity to subvert a common stereotype.

watermelon-enamel-pin-denim_4460x4460

“Watermelons are a stereotype associated with African Americans. What we were able to find through our research with historians here is that at one point in time, many African Americans owned watermelon farms. And it was seen as a symbol of empowerment because they were able to create their own wealth and lifestyles by buying and selling watermelons. So we were able to take a stereotype and flip it on its head.”

Tracking the Pulse

By listening to the goings-on of social media, Lanae’s team also keeps on top of fresh stories and adds their voice to relevant conversations as they emerge.

“I think for us we’re very in tune with the pulse side- what people are talking about right now, and how we can use that to create moments to educate the public”

For instance, Lanae shares that after the horrific events in Charlottesville last summer, her team thought a lot about the best way to respond on social media. Ultimately, they created a thread on Twitter that spoke about the history of terror for African Americans in the United States immediately following the civil war period, “during reconstruction”.

The impact?

“We got thousands and thousands of retweets, and Twitter created a stand-alone moment for that particular Twitter thread because it was so important and it led the conversation for what everyone was talking about at that time.”

Image Capture of the NMAAHC Twitter Moment on August 17,2017 "Historical Examples of White Supremacist Intimidation Provide Context for Today"
Click this image to see the Twitter Moment

Of course, the NMAAHC is in a unique position to lend their voice to this conversation, both as an educational institution and as experts in African American history.

“I remember one of my peers asking me, how can a museum tweet using #BlackLivesMatter? The answer is: because we directly have collections and exhibitions and programming that support the issues there, and as long as we are able to offer context on these issues we are doing our job at the Smithsonian as an educational institution.”

The Power of a Post-It

The intention that Lanae came to this job with has continued to inspire an approach to social media that transcends common marketing objectives. Far beyond any metrics or KPIs, the NMAAHC is leading an important conversation online.

Sticky note reading:'How do we honor African American experiences outside the common narrative?'

“I think for me one of the things that really drew me to the role is that my boss at the time posed a question to me that has stuck with me throughout this role (I still have the sticky note from our conversation!):

‘How do we honor African American experiences outside the common narrative?’


This question has since driven this team’s approach and guided how they choose to communicate online, the types of stories they highlight, and the content they create.

“I really thought about that: how can we create an impact and tell stories about LGBTQ African Americans, about the contributions of women and children during the struggle for African American civil rights?”

Key Take-Aways

The NMAAHC team has done extremely well through their social media channels, launching social campaigns like ‘Our Hidden Hurtstory’, daily ‘This Day in History’ content posts, and creating unique hashtags like #APeoplesJourney and #OurNationsStory that have, for instance, been used by 4 US presidents to date.

They are using social media differently, and in all their conversations they are reaching audiences with a message that is educational, progressive, and inclusive.

Using social media analytics, and specifically, hashtag analytics to monitor their conversations, they have created an approach that furthers their mission while also highly resonating with their audience.

We are thrilled that Keyhole is part of the mix that helps this museum regularly create significant conversations that move the needle.

Life is short and the internet is vast.