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The 5 best social media monitoring tools for your business

Start listening to your audience. Find a social media monitoring tool for your business today


You’ve read about the benefits of social listening for your small business. Now it’s time to find the social media monitoring tool that’s right for you. Your customers are talking - start listening! But with so many options on the market, how can you know the exact one that’s the best fit for your unique business needs?

That’s where we come in. We’ve trawled the internet; reading, researching and crunching the numbers to find the best social media monitoring solutions out there. Do you want real-time alerts sent straight to your phone when people mention your brand? Or perhaps to make friends with the most influential people in your industry? Scroll down to match your business goals with one of the five best social media monitoring tools on the market. The choice is yours!

So-cial we? Read on to find out more about our expert picks; what they do and why they’re the best on the market. Or if you’re short on time, cut to the chase and get quotes for social media monitoring tools now by filling out our quick form below!


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Sharing is caring: Never miss another online mention of your brand or industry

Sharing is caring: Never miss another online mention of your brand or industry


Top 5 social media monitoring tools for your small business

So which tools come out on top? Hootsuite makes the cut for its user-friendliness. Buzzsumo for connecting you to important influencers. Sprout Social wins us over with its fresh visual display. And Keyhole for simple, direct keyword targeting.

However, it was (drum roll please!) Talkwalker that came out on top. Want to know why? Let’s find out. Or just dive into our table below to compare tools and get quotes now.


ToolKey featureOur ratingFree trial available?Free plan available?
BuzzsumoInfluencer identification7 daysNo
HootsuiteUser-friendliness and price point30 daysYes
Sprout SocialAttractive data presentation30 daysNo
TalkwalkerUniqueness and all-round excellenceNoNo
KeyholeInsightful keyword targeting7 daysNo

Buzzsumo

Best for finding influencers

Buzzsumo interface

Buzzsumo is a superb social listening tool for the modern age. Their powerful influencer search tool lets you find popular bloggers and internet stars. If that’s where your social media strategy lies, Buzzsumo is the tool for you. And their cheapest plan starts from a reasonable £60/month. But of course, for the real juicy bits you’ll need a more advanced (and more pricey) deal.

Pros:

  • Brilliant ‘Advanced Influencer’ feature allows you to build outreach lists and analyse the impact of influencer marketing on sales.
  • New ‘Question Analyser’ feature scans thousands of forums for the most popular questions your customers are asking

X Cons:

  • Best features unavailable with a basic Buzzsumo plan (£60/month)
  • Not great for analysing backlinks to your site

Top client: Spotify


Hootsuite

Best for getting started

Hootsuite interface

Hootsuite is a fantastic platform if you’re just branching out into the social scene. It’s user-friendly and keeps all your social media platforms in one place. It lets you delegate tasks to team members, freeing you up to do what you’re best at. And with Hootsuite monitoring your social media mentions in real time, you’ll never miss a beat. Hootsuite has a range of handy features available without having to spend a penny. And we reckon the £25/month pricing for its most basic plan makes it a pretty ‘suite’ deal!

Pros:

  • Simple interface, lowest price
  • Integrates with most major social platforms
  • Monitors mentions in real time

X Cons:

  • More basic plans only allow for one user
  • Free and basic plan only support three platforms
  • Won’t provide the most advanced insights

Top client: Virgin


Sprout Social

Best for creating beautiful presentations

Sprout Social interface

Love having a range of business data at your fingertips? Sprout Social might be the tool for you. Sprout Social’s colourful interface offers key insights in an attractive and accessible way. Easily export data so you can let the numbers do the talking. And wow your colleagues with awesome presentations. Plus, the price plan sits at a comfortable middle range.

Pros:

  • Presentation-ready info takes the hassle out of reading figures
  • Logo branding feature creates stylish reports
  • Brilliant for analysing and improving Twitter campaigns

X Cons:

  • Instagram support could be improved to allow for video posting
  • Lower priced packages lack key features

Top client: Vice


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Talkwalker

Best for all-round excellence

Talkwalker interface

Talkwalker doesn’t just talk the talk; it walks the walk! And it’s strolled into first place on our list. What we love about Talkwalker is how big its reach is. More coverage means more insights about your business. Plus, it’s currently the only platform analysing social, print, online, and radio/TV content from one handy place.

Its number of unique features mean it has so much to offer your business. Check out the Virality Map if you want to know what we mean! That being said, you will need to be a quick learner to start making the most of its advanced features. You’ll also be paying a fair bit more than some of the other tools on the list.

All in all? Talkwalker is as close to a complete social media monitoring tool there is. We reckon it’s worth every penny!

Pros:

  • Image Recognition Technology lets you track over 30,000 brand images
  • Choose how many alerts you’re after and when you want them
  • Monitor conversations in 187 languages

X Cons:

  • You’ll have to open your wallet. The cheapest plan is around £445/month. Higher end plans cost upwards of £900
  • You’ll need to learn (or buy!) the expertise to get the best value out of its features

Top client: Microsoft


Keyhole

Best for keyword targeting

Keyhole interface

When it comes to targeting key words, hashtags and URLs in your industry, Keyhole comes out on top. Its Twitter and Instagram connections allow you to dive straight in to conversations about your business. And it’s great for the live monitoring of any events you might be running. The downside of Keyhole is that it’s one of the more pricey tools on the market.

Pros:

  • Excellent Instagram compatibility
  • Impressive support for event monitoring

X Cons:

  • Mobile interface isn’t as accessible as other platforms
  • Expensive; the package Keyhole recommend for small businesses clocks in at a hefty £410/month

Top client: Google


FAQs

Is social media monitoring the same as social listening?

Yes… and no. While the terms can be used interchangeably, there are differences. Broadly, social media monitoring is keeping your finger on the pulse of your online audience. Monitoring what’s being said about your brand and industry ‘buzzwords’ across social media sites. Social listening is the process by which you analyse the data. When you listen, you try to understand the meaning of what’s being said and use it to improve.

What is a ‘mention’?

A mention is any instance where a real person has referred to your company name, or any other words you’re targeting. These could involve your competitors or the industry in general. It’s important to keep track of them. The five tools reviewed above make tracking and analysing your mentions easy.

What is social media management?

It’s the broader umbrella term used to describe all forms of activity your business does in the world of social media. Analysis, listening and engagement are all covered. Confusing? Click here for more articles about social media management.


Next steps

By now you’re familiar with the best social media monitoring tools on the market. Which one stands out for you? Would you like to compare quotes from our top social media monitoring suppliers? Take a minute to pop your details into our short form and get listening.