Note: This post has been updated as of 19/09/2015.
Monitoring mentions of your brand across social networks and other online platforms is important.
If only just to ensure that you can effectively manage your brands reputation.
It’s difficult offline, but it gets a lot easier online thanks to the tools available.
When people have a bad experience with a service some might blog about it or share it with their social media followers – that can have a significant impact.
That’s why you need to have a system in place that will allow you to react to these situations quick.
If left untended they can quickly spiral out of control and create a PR nightmare for your business.
But on the flip side, it’s good practice to find positive mentions and reshare them with your audience.
In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most effective social monitoring tools on the market. They cover a variety of different price points right from free to £500/month enterprise-level tools. There’s something here for every budget.
Let’s dive in!
Social media monitoring and analytics tools to monitor your brand better
Mention is a feature packed monitoring tool and it’s easy to use.
You can monitor your brand, your name or your competitors and easily jump into the conversation.
There is a free account available to get you started, although you can have a free trial of the pro or enterprise level accounts for 30 days without the need for handing over your credit card details.
Each account comes with its own quota so you can easily monitor usage and upgrade if/when you need to.
In the enterprise account you will get access to a team’s feature with a built-in task management system. You can also monitor your team’s activity and share an alert externally to someone who isn’t a team member.
I also quite like the Google Alerts import function which makes it very easy to migrate all of your alerts.
- Support for multiple devices
- Support for teams (enterprise account only)
- Sentiment analysis (pro and enterprise accounts only)
- Data export (pro and enterprise accounts only)
- Collaborative tools (enterprise account only)
- Add Facebook and Twitter account to react through the Mention platform
- 1-month data storage
- Google Alerts import functionality
- Real-time social alerts
- Web alerts updated daily
Price: Free with premium accounts available and a 30-day free trial.
If you want to Topsy is a free tool that is focused around mentions on Twitter.
You get access to sentiment analysis and can filter mentions by content type.
You can search for keywords or Twitter usernames and run a quick comparison to show how they shape up against each other.
Topsy searches every tweet ever sent and has an archive of every tweet since Twitter launched in 2006, that’s something that not many companies actually have access to.
Topsy was bought by Apple for $200 million towards the end of 2013.
- Social analytics tool to track keywords, usernames and domain names mentioned on Twitter
- Social trends tool to identify the most popular, tweets, links, photos and videos
- Date filter allowing custom search dates
- Advanced search function
- Helps to identify influencers
- View individual mentions on Twitter with the ability to reply, retweet and favourite from within Topsy
- Support for email alerts
- Monitor links, tweets, photos, videos and influencers
Hootsuite is not primarily known as a social monitoring tool. Its primary function is to help you manage your social profiles.
The platform supports multiple social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Google+ (pages only until Google release their profiles API), Linkedin and more.
You can expand the functionality with the handy app directory, and there are also mobile apps to help you when you are on the go.
Hootsuite allows you to set up tabs for each of your social accounts and then add streams within them.
You can then add a number of different types of streams (as shown in the picture above).
For example, if you want to monitor a particular keyword, you can add a new stream and set your keyword. You can then monitor mentions of your brand in real-time and reply/favourite/retweet as appropriate.
If you go for the pro account, you get the option to use teams which can make managing your brand mentions very easy with the ‘assign to team’ option.
For a more in-depth look at Hootsuite, check out this post.
- Social analytics
- App directory with a wide range of tools to extend functionality
- Monitor your mentions from mobile devices
- Support for teams in pro account
- Complete social management platform
Price: Free and pro accounts start at $5.99/month.
Google Alerts has had its ups and downs over the years.
Unfortunately, Google Alerts went through a period where it barely worked at all, which was covered by Danny Sullivan here.
That being said, it’s still quite handy for quickly and easily setting up alerts for keywords and you can use advanced search operators.
- All or the best – choose how many results
- Choose how often you get updates (as-it-happens, daily or weekly)
- Choose multiple result types including news, blogs, videos, discussions and more
- Deliver alerts to your email address or an RSS feed
- Refine your search query with advanced search operators
Talkwalker starts at a much higher price point than most of the tools in this list, but it’s easy to see why with the number of features available.
Especially the support for monitoring print, TV and radio – that’s impressive!
Aside from brand monitoring, you can use Talkwalker as a fully-fledged social management platform and also use it as a powerful influencer research tool.
If you have been featured in an article, you can also find engagement and influence metrics along with an approximate # of views that an article will get. Powerful stuff.
If you get the opportunity, take a free trial or take a look at the live demo.
- Support for monitoring print, TV and radio
- Customisable email alerts and RSS feeds
- Monitor Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages
- Over 150 million websites crawled and indexed
- Automated reporting
- Twitter firehose access (monitor tweets in real-time)
- Track specific websites
- Identify social influencers
- Sentiment analysis
- Manage social media profiles including G+ pages
- Built in team functionality
- Comparison tool
Price: Starts at 480€/month.
Brandwatch is another very powerful tool. If you’re looking for a solid enterprise-level brand monitoring solution, this is a great fit.
I’ve found the platform to be useful for some applications such as influencer research and content planning.
You can easily track your own Twitter and Facebook channels alongside your competitors to see how you are standing out.
I particularly like how you can easily track share of voice in comparison to your competitors – this can be visualised on graphs and charts.
With other tools separating tweets from the account you’re tracking, and tweets from the audience can sometimes be difficult.
Brandwatch has a simple interface, however, given the level of data provided and the potential of this tool, it comes with a significant learning curve. But it’s well worthwhile.
With this tool you’ll get access to a huge number of data sources. You’ll be able to monitor 90 million + data sources for online mentions. This includes blogs, forums, social sites and news sites.
- Supports 90 million + data sources
- Powerful Boolean search string feature
- Support for 44 different languages
- Historical data
- Locational data
- Sentiment analysis
- Topic clouds
- Custom email alerts
- Powerful charting functionality
- Full data export functionality
- Full access to real-time Twitter data
- Unlimited users
Price: Starts at £500/month.
You can track the most shared content for any search term or website, analyze content, find influencers and more.
The great news is that BuzzSumo also has a feature called “Content Alerts” which allows you to monitor brand mentions, competitors, keywords, new backlinks and specific authors.
You can then customize your alerts to narrow your scope, block domains and set up email alerts.
- Content research functionality
- Find and connect with influencers
- Monitor various types of web mentions
- Generate an RSS feed for your mentions
- Export your data to spreadsheets
- Filter by location and language
- Email alerts
Price: Starts from $99/month for up to 5 users, 15 alerts and 10 trending feeds.
Brand24 is a tool that I’ve been testing recently, and it’s proving to be quite effective.
Just select your keywords, language, sources and you’re ready to start tracking your mentions.
Once your mentions start coming in, you can see which online platforms they’re coming from, and you’re given the option to engage with those on social networks.
You can dive deeper into results, export them or even generate a shareable infographic that will look great as a report.
- Identify how influential people who mention your brand are
- Segment mentions using the sentiment analysis feature
- See how you weigh up against your competitors
- Search for trending topics and discussions
- Monitor a wide variety of online sources such as social networks, forums, blogs and more
- Monitor mentions on the go with mobile apps available for iPhones and Android
Price: Starts from $49/month for 5 keywords and 50,000 mentions per month, larger plans available.
SoTrender is a great tool to get actionable data on your social media activity.
You can’t monitor mentions in the way of monitoring keywords, but the analytics it provides for Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will show you some great data.
What I particularly like is the tips that SoTrender gives you.
It will tell you what’s working, what’s not working and general observations.
I noticed the odd tip wasn’t relevant but overall, they’ve proved very helpful.
For example, some insights provided included:
- Keep adding tweets containing video – this makes sense, as visual content always gets great engagement.
- I gain more new followers on Tuesdays than any other day – on Blogging Wizard, I usually publish on Tuesdays and in turn, I get the most @mentions on Tuesdays.
- I should consider tweeting at 10 AM, 5 PM and 9 PM BST – most of my followers engage with other users at these times, but I don’t tweet much as these times. Gives me something to test!
- Get tips to improve your social presence from within the app
- Supports Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube
- Generate reports on the fly
- See which hashtags are working for your brand on Twitter
- Find out the perfect time to share on social media
- Monitor the time it takes for you to reply to brand mentions
- Find out which social media messages are working best
Price: Starts from €13/month.
The potential fallout from not monitoring a brand can be significant and there are positive opportunities that can be lost.
With the right tools in place you can monitor social networks and other online platforms and respond to issues before they get out of control.
Which brand monitoring tools have you found to work quite well?
We would love to hear more in the comments below.