The 9 Best Free Social Listening Tools for Small Businesses

best free social listening

Mine social media for valuable insights from your customers – without spending a penny

Everyone loves something for nothing – especially when that something can grow your business. Social listening tools are becoming more and more popular as ways you can monitor and analyse what your customers are saying. Are you keeping up with the current trends in your industry? Are you aware of what people online are saying about your brand?

Don’t fall behind your competitors or brush off the benefits of social listening. We’ve hit the books to find the best free social media monitoring tools on the market. Our nine expert picks can save you time and money while helping you understand your customers. And the best part? They’re all free.

Want something that packs more of a punch? Fill out this form to get quotes for more powerful social tools within the minute.

The best free social media monitoring tools

We looked at every free social listening tool on the market to find the nine best to help you grow your business.

Our top free social listening tools include Cyfe, TweetDeck, Buffer, Social Mention, Hootsuite, Twitonomy, ZoomSphere, Crowdfire, and SumAll.

The best free social listening tools for small businesses:


Cyfe’s user-friendly ‘all-in-one’ dashboard brings simplicity back to social. Cyfe mines social media to give you real-time updates on your brand, track your best-performing posts, and easily follow your audience’s likes, follows, and shares. Plus, having all your data in one place allows you to quickly find and analyse trends about your business.


  • Integrates with Google Analytics and Salesforce


  • Lacks attractive visual display


TweetDeck is a handy, scalable tool simplifying how you use Twitter. TweetDeck displays mentions of your brand as they occur in a format that’s easy on the eye. It lets you schedule tweets to save time and manage several accounts from one place. If you’re new to Twitter and still learning the ropes, TweetDeck is the tool for you.


  • Operates from your browser – no installation required


  • Limited only to Twitter
Did You Know?

Every 60 seconds on Facebook, 293,000 statuses are updated. 510,000 comments are posted, and 136,000 photos are uploaded. Can you afford to miss out on hearing what they're saying about your business?


Buffer takes the hassle out of social media monitoring. Its powerful scheduling feature automates your posts to Facebook and Instagram. Queue up content to share with your audience as soon as you find it. Buffer makes creating and sharing great posts simple and fun, rather than a chore!


  • Superb for managing different social media accounts from one place


  • Room for improvement with emerging platforms like Pinterest

Social Mention

Social Mention is a fantastic, no-frills foray into the world of social listening. Social Mention monitors over 100 social platforms for the keywords that matter to your business, brand or industry. Learn about people’s levels of passion and sentiment towards your brand and dig deeper. Plus, doing so is laughably simple: just type what you want to monitor into a search bar and let it do the rest!


  • Quick, simple, and effective – start monitoring in seconds


  • Won’t provide advanced analysis


Hootsuite is one of the most well-known social listening tools on the market. It has over 16 million users, and for good reason. You can manage three social profiles from one place, easily delegating tasks to your team members. And the free social media courses and ad spend they offer are a great bonus. Interested? Read our detailed review of Hootsuite for the key benefits for your small business.


  • Boasts integration with over 150 apps


  • The three social profiles offered with a free plan simply aren’t enough for growing businesses


Twitonomy is another impressive tool for Twitter that won’t cost you a thing. Interested in which of your followers isn’t returning the favour? Or want to track your follower growth day by day? Twitonomy has you covered. Their smart search feature also lets you gather and export tweets featuring the hashtags, keywords and URLs making waves in your industry.


  • Lets you export Twitter data reports with one click


  • They won’t spoon-feed you the data analysis – you’ll need to draw your own conclusions!
Did You Know?

85% of small businesses felt it was important to provide customer support through Twitter


You’ll need to break the bank to get your hands on ZoomSphere’s better features. However, what their free stuff does, it does well. Their Facebook tools let you analyse the emotions of your audience. Whether a heart, a laughing face or a simple thumbs up, tap into people’s reactions to a post. Learn which posts your customers love so you can keep making them smile.


  • Aesthetically appealing user interface


  • Free features severely limited


Crowdfire’s hot curation features save you time by sourcing your content for you. Crowdfire finds images and articles relevant to your business’ message – all you need to do is choose them. And while it’s not too costly to upgrade, you won’t need to – the free plan supports six social networks and lets you schedule up to ten posts at a time.


  • Recommends the best time of day to post


  • Not as effective for growing your LinkedIn audience


SumAll’s mission is to automate all your social media monitoring needs, and there’s plenty you can do without having to pay to upgrade. They’re still in beta mode, so are offering an eyebrow-raising deal for absolutely nothing. Do SumAll’s unlimited platforms and data sound good to you? Take advantage while they’re still free!


  • Tailored to small and medium sized businesses


  • Interface can be overwhelming if you’re new to social listening
Did You Know?

More than 50% of all social media traffic to B2B blogs comes through LinkedIn

Next steps

Serious about harnessing social media to grow your business? You’ll need an advanced tool that matches your ambition. Check out our picks for the 5 best social media monitoring tools. Better yet, pop your details into our short form to compare quotes from top suppliers.

Dan’s a Senior Writer at Expert Market, specialising in digital marketing, web design, and photocopiers, amongst other topics.