Every entrepreneur, business owner, and marketer who wants to build a strong following on social media needs to know about social media monitoring.
With the social media monitoring strategies and the 25 tools you’ll learn about in this guide, you can create responsive content that will actually connect with your target audience and increase conversions.
Let’s start the guide off strong by defining what social media monitoring is.
Social media monitoring – sometimes also referred to as social media tracking – is a process in which you track the performance of your brand on the platform.
A brand’s performance on social media is measured, in part, via metrics such as the number of times it’s mentioned in a comment or a hashtag, or the number of times it’s tagged. All this data coalesces to tell you how popular the account is and where you need to improve.
But social media monitoring requires more than tracking namedrops. It also involves paying attention to what people are saying about your brand and then taking action. That action – typically a reply to the original poster – is usually meant to improve your brand’s reputation and presence on the platform and craft a better user experience with your account.
Why is Social Media Monitoring Important?
Social media monitoring provides businesses with two important benefits:
1) Helping you connect with your target audience
2) Improving the cost-effectiveness of your marketing strategy.
We dig into each benefit in detail below.
Benefit #1: Helps You Connect with Your Target Audience Faster
Even if you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur or a business owner, you probably already know that one of the primary goals of social media marketing is to reach your target audience. “Target audience” is a marketing term for the people you want to sell your product, service, or content to.
All your business social media posts should be curated, at least somewhat, to your target audience’s preferences, wants, needs, and pain points. This way, they are highly likely to find your content on the platform, follow your account, and be persuaded into buying, subscribing, or completing some other action that benefits your business.
But you also want to connect with your target audience. According to a report by Sprout Social, 76% of consumers expect a brand to respond to them within 24 hours. That’s why you use social media monitoring to not only see what people are saying about your brand, but how you can respond.
With all this information in hand, you’re able to produce solutions to improve your brand’s social performance, with the ultimate goal of converting more users into customers.
Which leads us into our second benefit…
Benefit #2: Improves Cost-Effectiveness of Marketing Budget
As you improve your social media performance, you learn how to make your marketing strategy more cost-effective.
For example, as you pin down how to make users’ experience with your brand on the platform better, you learn which types of posts would be better to invest in as advertisements or to run as sponsored posts on other influencers’ accounts. This means you can invest your budget in ads that are more likely to increase your return on ad spend (ROAS), which is the amount of revenue you get from the ads you pay for.
Without some type of social media monitoring system, you could waste thousands of dollars, not to mention months of your precious time, throwing posts on your timeline without addressing your real customers’ needs and wants.
With performance metrics like those we discussed above, you’ll be able to see what isn’t sticking and know why. The sooner you know why, the faster you can come up with a solution.
What Social Media Metrics are the Most Important to Track?
Here’s where social media monitoring can get tricky.
The truth is that there are dozens of metrics you can track to analyze the performances of your brand on social media. Does that mean you need to focus on all of them at once?
Not necessarily. There are a handful of metrics that are more important than the rest, and they are the perfect place for a novice of social media tracking to start.
Below are three of the most important social media metrics you should focus on.
Mentions or Tags
When a user on social media wants to directly call out another account, they will mention or tag them by inserting an “@” in front of their username in their post (e.g., @username). By monitoring this metric, you can see exactly who is reaching out to your brand and immediately respond.
Another way that users will refer to brands or products is by placing a hashtag “#” in front of their name. They may do this when they don’t want to address the real account directly, or if they have something negative to say and don’t want a response. This is a great metric for you to monitor to find out what people really think of your brand and then craft an appropriate reply.
Relevant keywords can include keywords or phrases that are not directly related to your brand, but that represent an opportunity for you to respond. For example, if you run a company that sells cellphone cases, you could monitor the keyword “cellphone cases,” and then react to posts that mention it with a promotion of your own product.
You may be wondering how to acquire all this data, much less how to see the big picture that it creates. That part is simple. All you need is a social media monitoring tool.
Who uses Social Media Monitoring Tools?
Everyone uses social media monitoring tools! Influencers, celebrities, marketers, entrepreneurs, business owners, and brands across all industries use them to track their brand’s performance on a given social media platform.
That’s because they all want to achieve the same benefits we talked about at the beginning of the article: connecting with their target audience and improving the cost-effectiveness of their marketing budget. And of course, they want the ultimate benefit, which is to convert more sales and make money.
25 Best Social Media Tracking Tools
Now that you know how important social media monitoring is, here are the 25 best social media tracking tools that are used and loved by marketing experts in every industry.
Sprout Social is, without a doubt, the top choice for social media monitoring tools. Over 30,000 brands worldwide, including huge household names like UNICEF, Subaru, and Shopify, use it to manage their social media marketing.
It comes with five features, including Analytics, Listening, Engagement, Publishing & Scheduling, and Employee Advocacy. It also integrates with the top social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
Hootsuite is an intuitive tracking tool that has helped business owners achieve incredible success on social media. One candy company owner used its Publishing and Analytics features to help her gain over 16,000 TikTok followers after going viral. In two years, her sales increased by 750%.
Zoho Social provides you with Analytics, Monitoring, and other valuable features to help you track your social media performance, whether you’re an individual or a full-fledged marketing agency. It was chosen as the best social media management tool for individual creators by Forbes in 2023, but it also comes with features that make it useful for whole teams of marketers.
Meltwater’s comprehensive social media marketing suite includes tools for Social Listening & Analytics, Social Media Management, and Influencer Marketing. Domino’s Pizza used this social media monitoring tool to improve their content and drive up engagement by 5000%.
Agorapulse comes with everything you’ll need for social media tracking, including features like a social media inbox, publishing, monitoring, reporting, and more. More than 11,000 customers, including both individual marketers and agencies, have found a home with Agorapulse. Many of them praise how it helped them streamline their social media processes.
Sendible is a social media tracking tool designed for agencies that has been used by top brands like Expedia, Texas A&M University, and more. With features like the ability to monitor your brand’s performance, schedule your posts, and engage with your customers, you can fulfill every monitoring need from their organized dashboard. One agency called Amelia Rose Media used Sendible to help one of their clients increase engagement by 20%.
Brand24 is designed specifically for brands who want to engage in social media monitoring. This software gathers data about mentions and the number of people discussing your brand (AKA discussion volume), but they also calculate your Sentiment Analysis.
Sentiment Analysis tells you how customers feel about your brand from an emotional standpoint, which is incredibly helpful for showing you where you need to take action to improve your online reputation.
Features like these helped Uber use Brand24 to maximize social media buzz about their new app.
Mention provides basic social media monitoring and management features to help you amplify your brand’s presence online. Not only can you monitor your own brand’s performance on social media with Mention, but you can also track your competitors’. This tool is used by more than 750,000 marketers, including some that work with Microsoft.
Cyfe is an all-in-one dashboard that allows you to monitor all your social media channels, all at the same time. It integrates with many of the most popular platforms, but you can also create custom widgets and upload your own data that you collected from other platforms. Using Cyfe, the brand Drive was able to boost their average customer spend by 89%.
Keyhole’s aim is to help you monitor your brand’s social media performance and then use that data to your advantage. Among its many features are Social Listening & Campaigns, Profile Analytics, Publishing & Scheduling, Influencer Tracking, and Quick Trends – all useful tools that can help improve your reputation as well as your posts. You’ll recognize many of the big brands that have used Keyhole, as they include Google, L’Oréal, and Amazon.
Delta, Nestle, and GSK are just a few of the companies that use Brandwatch’s Consumer Intelligence platform. This is more than just a social media monitoring tool. This is a dashboard dedicated to gathering millions of datasets related to your brand, driven by powerful artificial intelligence. With Consumer Intelligence, you can easily (and quickly) search, segment, and analyze data before choosing the appropriate action.
Eclincher boasts an impressive array of tools, including a Monitoring & Listening feature, to help businesses improve their social media management game. Whether you’re a small business, an enterprise, or a franchise, Eclincher provides the solutions and integrations you need to expand your social media presence. One of their clients, Jason Gordon, the CEO of Strong Social, declared that Eclincher’s social inbox tools were better than Sprout Social.
Synthesio is an AI-powered consumer intelligence platform that has garnered praise from beauty brand L’Oréal for its time-saving benefits. Synthesio provides fast insights into consumer behavior, market trends, and more, so that you can pivot your social media marketing strategy according to what people are saying about your brand online.
Monitor your brand’s performance on several social media platforms on a single platform by using Iconosquare. With their Conversations and Listening features, you can track your mentions and keep an eye on your audience to identify ways you can respond to their discussions about your brand or industry. Over 20,000 marketers use Iconosquare, and they’ve also been used by major brands like Netflix, IKEA, Patagonia, and Sony Music.
If your brand has accounts on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram only, then Tailwind may be the social media tracking solution for you. This software offers an array of tools to help you plan, create, schedule, and optimize your posts across all three social media platforms. They’re trusted by over 1 million brands, including Shopify, CB2, and Jenny Yoo.
HubSpot’s Marketing Hub gives you access to marketing tools designed to help you increase revenue and grow your business, as well as monitor and improve your social media performance. However, if social media marketing is all you’re looking for, then HubSpot may not be the best choice. This is especially true if you want to track conversations, interactions, and followers across multiple platforms, since this software offers limited coverage of those three types of engagement.
Talkwalker lets you find and analyze discussions about your brand all across the internet. It even uses image, video, and speech recognition technology to monitor visual as well as text-based conversations. This way, you get a comprehensive view into how your target audience is thinking, feeling, and expressing themselves about your brand, enabling you to jump right in, as well.
Nexalogy is a social media intelligence and content marketing solution that will give you the data you need to monitor your brand online. It pulls information about your brand from popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, as well as Google Alerts, RSS Feeds, and more. Then it represents them in easy-to-read visualizations that show you the peaks and valleys of your brand’s performance. They’ve been trusted by high-profile clients like Ford, Yellow Pages, and Telefilm Canada.
Monitor your brand’s mentions closely with Mentionlytics. This social media tracking tool serves everyone, from small businesses to marketing agencies to public figures. It works by scouring the internet for mentions of your brand name and then giving you tools to join the conversations where those mentions are occurring.
This enables you to take action to further your brand’s reputation quickly. It also comes with Sentiment Analysis and an integration with Hootsuite.
Take a deep dive into your brand’s Twitter performance using Tweepsmap. This AI-driven software provides analysis of any Twitter account and a map showing hashtags relevant to the ones you want to monitor. It also allows you to analyze and segment your followers according to your desired specifications. It’s the ultimate Twitter data gathering tool used by Boeing, Visa, Johnson & Johnson, and many other well-known companies.
RivalIQ wants to help you rise above your competitors. With this software, you can do so much more than monitor your mentions. You can also track your competition, keep up with popular topics in your field, analyze hashtags, and see how your own social media posts are performing. Lung Cancer Alliance and Urban Decay are a couple of examples of companies that have chosen to rely on RivalIQ for their social media tracking needs.
Atribus offers a multi-faced social media monitoring tool that is designed to help you improve your brand reputation. You can use this software to track mentions of your brand on the internet. It will also send you alerts whenever a topic you want to monitor is talked about.
You can even use it to generate custom reports to help you evaluate your brand’s reputation on social media according to your desired parameters. Those features, plus the image recognition and competitive intelligence tools, will get you far.
YouScan leverages an AI-powered visual scanning technology to search for elements within images that are related to your brand. Using this social media tracking tool will enable you to not only learn what consumers are saying about your brand, products, and services, but also how they’re using them in real time.
This is valuable information that you can use for future marketing, as well as a great opportunity for you to initiate personable interactions with your target audience.
Awario claims to provide the most immediate results for conversations about your brand across the internet. And they may be right since they crawl apps as well as more than 13 billion webpages every day. With this software, you can monitor mentions of your brand, jump into conversations, and keep track of how your target audience is feeling about your business and your field at large.
What Should You Look For in a Social Media Tracking Tool?
The most important things you should look for in a social media tracking tool are monitoring and social listening.
Monitoring is a section of the tool that collects and organizes the data you need to accurately analyze your brand’s performance. It’s the most important feature that such a program can have.
Social listening is a feature that can help you tap into conversations, trends, and hot topics happening in your industry on the social media platform. With those insights, you shift your social media strategy and create posts to meet the needs and wants of your target audience directly.
Do Social Media Monitoring and Tracking Tools Monitor Every Social Media Platform on the Internet?
No, they don’t. Before you select a social media tracking tool, be sure you know which platforms they serve and that it provides a comprehensive solution that meets your needs.
Which Social Media Monitoring and Tracking Tool is the Best?
Sprout Social has the most professional social media monitoring tools, and it also integrates with the social media platforms that brands tend to use the most. For these reasons, it’s the best choice for marketers and business owners alike.
Social media monitoring is key to helping business owners, entrepreneurs, and marketers become active and responsive social media accounts. When you implement this strategy properly with the right tracking tool, you can improve your reputation, convert more customers, and stay ahead of the curve of trends in your industry.