Experimenting with different social media strategies based on what sounds exciting and interesting might result in a few successes, but if you want continuous growth for your social media presence, you need to base your strategies on data. That’s where social media monitoring tools come in.

Social media monitoring tools go beyond your regular analytics to gather and track information from a wide range of social media sources. They can help you understand how your target demographics interact on social media and what your customers are saying about you, even when they don’t tag you. You’ll also be able to identify influencers and thought leaders relevant to your business.

Armed with this data, you can build successful marketing strategies across all social media platforms.

Today we’re going to take a look at the best social media monitoring tools available.

Essential functions of social monitoring tools

All of the marketing tools on this list are able to do the following things:

  • “Listen” to specific mentions on social media
  • Identify popular topics, phrases, and individuals
  • Organize customer information
  • Detail customer sentiment

And as you’ll see, this is only the beginning of what many of these social media monitoring tools offer.

Best social media monitoring tools

1. Agorapulse

Social media monitoring tools: Agorapulse

Agorapulse is a one-stop shop for social media tools. Along with social monitoring and analytics, it can be used for scheduling posts and managing community engagement. It also offers several tools designed to enhance collaboration, even if your team is spread across the entire world.

The primary hub of Agorapulse is the Inbox. Here you can see all the social media content Agorapulse is tracking, assign social media tasks to people on your team, and easily respond to customer questions or concerns.

Compatibility: Agorapulse can connect with Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

Pricing: Agorapulse offers four different annual plans, ranging in price from $39/month to $239/month. Plans charged on a monthly basis are also available at higher prices.

2. Brand24

Brand24

Brand24 is a specialized social monitoring tool that listens to mentions of your brand on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It features a Mentions feed where you can see and respond to everything customers are saying about you in real time, as well as several detailed analysis tools.

The analysis tab of Brand24 provides not only the basic metrics associated with your mentions but also a detailed sentiment analysis to show how customers on social media actually feel about you. Brand24 also gives influence scores to the people talking about your brand online. This can help you identify potential influencers to approach for your future marketing campaigns.

Compatibility: Brand24’s social media monitoring tools focus on the main social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Pricing: Brand24 plans start at $49/month for 50,000 mentions. The Max plan listens to up to one million mentions per month, and costs $399/month.

3. Cyfe

Cyfe

Cyfe is a business intelligence tool, which means that it examines more than your regular social media channels. You can use Cyfe to monitor your reviews on sites like Yelp, your advertising campaigns with programs like Google AdSense, and even your sales and finances with PayPal and Freshbooks integration. The user dashboard comes with premade widgets for all of these things and more. This makes it one of the most expansive social media monitoring tools available.

Unlike most of the other services on this list, Cyfe also offers some of its functionality for free. You can run a dashboard with up to five widgets for absolutely nothing, and you can set it up in a few minutes.

Cyfe Dashboard Free

If you like the Cyfe interface, you can upgrade your plan. The premium version of Cyfe allows you to create unlimited dashboards and widgets, schedule and publish unlimited social media posts, and set up automated reports and monitoring alerts.

Compatibility: Cyfe is compatible with an enormous range of social media networks and other applications.

Pricing: You can use the free plan indefinitely, or upgrade to premium for $19/month or $228/year.

4. Hootsuite

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the most well known social media tools, but most people think of it as merely a scheduling tool. What they don’t realize is that Hootsuite has the power to do much more than schedule posts, especially with the premium plans.

In the Hootsuite dashboard you can create streams to monitor mentions for your social media networks. You can also create streams to watch specific keywords on those platforms. The free plan allows you to do this for up to three accounts.

If you want to add more social media accounts or give members of your team access to the Hootsuite dashboard, you’ll need to upgrade to one of the paid plans.

Compatibility: Hootsuite connects with over 35 social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Pricing: The basic Hootsuite plan costs $29/month, and their most expensive plan costs $599/month.

5. Zoho Social

Zoho Social

Zoho Social provides an enormous amount of social media services, including scheduling, analytics, and social monitoring. Their basic plan allows you to set up five different columns to monitor things like visitor posts, mentions, and other interactions. Individual members of your team can customize their monitoring dashboards to focus on different things.

The information gathered from your Zoho Social monitoring dashboard is also used to display the percentage of your most engaged community members who will see a post based on when you publish it. This can help you schedule posts at the optimal time for your individual brand, rather than basing your publishing times on overall demographic statistics for the platform.

Want even more functionality? Higher level plans allow you to create up to 15 different monitoring columns in your dashboard. They also offer regular sentiment analysis reports to help you understand the data that’s coming in.

Compatibility: Zoho Social is compatible with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+.

Pricing: Zoho Social plans start as low as $8.33/month. Their most expensive plan costs $125/month.

6. Buffer Reply

Buffer Reply

Buffer Reply is created by Buffer and relies on their social media expertise, but its focus is on maximizing customer engagement rather than on scheduling posts. This tool gathers all customer mentions and interactions with your brand from across a variety of social media channels and places them in one inbox so you can answer them with ease.

Along with being one of the best social media monitoring tools around, Buffer Reply offers several ways to simplify communicating with your customers. You can access detailed customer profiles, see the history of your interactions with each customer at a glance, assign responses to members of your team, and move sensitive conversations into private messages with a single click.

Buffer Reply also integrates with Slack, allowing you to streamline all of your internal communications in one place.

Compatibility: Buffer Reply is compatible with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Pricing: $50/month for the Professional plan, and $225/month for the Business plan. You can also add an unlimited number of additional users or social media accounts for a small fee per user/account.

7. Mention

Mention

Mention offers two types of social media monitoring plans: Enterprise monitoring tailored to business owners, and Agency monitoring that allows social media managers to track their clients’ reputations.

Mention tracks more than just the standard social media networks. On top of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, Mention tracks conversations about your brand on a variety of blogs and news sites. The dashboard also makes it easy to assign conversations to specific members of your team.

Once you’ve signed up with Mention, you’ll also be able to download the iOS or Android app and view your dashboard on the go.

Compatibility: Mention offers direct integration with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They monitor a much wider range of sources, including blogs and news sites.

Pricing: Solo plans start at $29/month and Starter plans are $99/month. Mention also offers customized plans for brands with highly specific needs.

8. Sendible

Oktopost
Sendible is a comprehensive social media management software with a variety of plans for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Instead of dictating the precise features of each plan, Sendible allows you to choose a specific number of services based on the amount you’re paying. “Services” are defined as one way interactions between Sendible and a social media service. For example, publishing to one Twitter account is a Service. Showing posts published on that same account is considered a second Service.

This allows you to completely customize your Sendible experience by choosing the Services most appropriate for your marketing efforts. You can also create team hierarchies, assign tasks to collaborators, and even create an approval workflow with your stakeholders.

Compatibility: Sendible is compatible with a wide range of social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and more. They also offer integration with other productivity tools like Canva.

Pricing: Sendible plans start at $29/month for solopreneurs and go all the way up to $299/month for large businesses.

9. Oktopost

Oktopost

Oktopost is designed to be your solution for all things social media. From social listening and monitoring to actually building and executing your social media marketing campaigns, you can do just about anything with the tools they provide.

When you sign up with Oktopost, you’ll work with one of their experts to create the ideal marketing package and dashboard for your business. This will vary based on your preferred social media networks, the size of your team, and your marketing goals. Not sure what you want? They’ve worked with thousands of brands and can give you insights into what works best for companies like yours.

Oktopost also hosts occasional webinars and an extensive collection of articles to help business owners understand social media.

Compatibility: Oktopost can be integrated with virtually any social media network, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Pricing: Oktopost provides individualized pricing based on your business’s specific plan. You can request a demo and get a quote for your business from the Oktopost home page.

10. Synthesio

Social media monitoring tools: Synthesio

Synthesio provides brands with a variety of social media tools, including social listening, social monitoring, crisis management, and product launch management. They work with brands to create a customized social media analytics dashboard, and use web crawling technology to analyze what’s being said about your brand on a wide variety of websites.

You’ll also find a large number of educational resources on the Synthesio website. They offer extensive guides on subjects like social customer care and crisis management, as well as regular webinars to help you understand what to do with the data Synthesio gathers.

Synthesio also provides excellent customer service, and they have a large team devoted to vetting all the data their software collects.

Compatibility: Synthesio can be connected to all major social media sites, and their web crawling technology also keeps an eye on news sites and blogs.

Pricing: Synthesio pricing is available only on a by-quote basis. You can request a demo and a quote from their home page.

How to choose the best social media monitoring tool for you

Feeling overwhelmed by all of the options on this list? That’s perfectly normal. But there’s a reason why so many different social media monitoring tools exist: every business’s needs are different. What seems like a minor change from one tool to the next might actually make an enormous difference for your business.

To find the right tool for you, we highly recommend testing the free trials and/or demos associated with each of these social media monitoring tools. Once you’ve tested them all, choose the interface you’re most comfortable with and start monitoring your brand’s online reputation.

If you’re interested in expanding your marketing research efforts, you may also want to check out our guides to Instagram analytics tools and how to track your analytics like a ninja.

Have you used social media monitoring tools in the past? Let us know how they’ve helped you in the comments section below!