Most of the common social media platforms today provide brands with a few ways to monitor their audience and track data. It might seem like enough, but using social media monitoring and tracking tools will give you access to a new set of actions, insights and information about your audience.
Hootsuite, BuzzSumo, Sprout Social and TweetDeck are some of the most popular, but we polled fellow marketers to learn about lesser-known, but powerful tools that they love using.
From monitoring competitors to leveraging the power of social selling to tracking trends in your industry, these social media monitoring tools (a combination of free and paid options) will help you save time and execute a stronger social media strategy.
Recommended social media monitoring and tracking tools
“This is a great platform to track all things Instagram, including my community, where my followers are coming from, the content they are interacting with the most, and overall engagement of each post, including dates, times, hashtag performance, and even filter impact. Through this platform, I can also track reach, competitors and trending hashtags to stay a part of the conversation.”
-Renata Sandor, Marketing Specialist at Netquest
Iconosquare’s reporting feature. Screenshot from Iconosquare’s YouTube
“Like other social media tools, Zoho Social connects with your social media profiles and allows you to schedule posts ahead of time. It also provides analytics insights, like audience and engagement.
However, where this tool really stands out is in its integration with other marketing tools in the Zoho Suite. It integrates seamlessly with Zoho CRM. Every time a post gets a like, comment, or share, that social media user will automatically be added into your CRM leads. This allows you to segment them into lists, target them with appropriate marketing campaigns, and help pass them through your sales pipeline.”
-Keri Lindenmuth, Marketing Manager at KDG
Zoho Social’s CRM info. Photo from Zoho Social blog.
“I have two preferred social media tools: Medallia and Sprinklr. They are both customer experience (CX) management tools. The most effective tools don’t just track social media reviews, sentiments and posts in a vacuum but track the entire CX journey and provide the back-end technology to act on the data collected.
We have used both platforms to create better user profiles for personalization/customization, assign tasks to other internal team members to address or answer social media posts, as well as shift messaging in other communication channels in response to changing perceptions.”
-Meghan Glasgow, Senior Manager at Deloitte Digital
Medallia Experience Cloud from Medallia on Vimeo.
“One of my favorite social media tools is Statusbrew. I specifically use it to manage our Twitter account in terms of analyzing our brand engagement from our tweets, managing our non-followers so we’re only following those that will share pertinent content and want to engage, and getting suggestions for future posts.
My favorite feature is ‘Audience.’ It makes it easy to unfollow accounts that haven’t been active for a while. This tool helps us follow those that share relevant content and content that will increase our social media following, an aspect that we’re currently working on as part of marketing goals. I’m on the free version and feel no need to upgrade to a paying account.”
-Ailsa Cartledge, Head of Marketing at Site Analyzer
Statusbrew’s audience feature. Screenshot from Statusbrew’s YouTube.
“I use Mention for social media monitoring. It’s a powerful business intelligence platform that provides timely and thorough monitoring of social platforms and it can be used to monitor clients, prospects and employees. I also monitor my name and company branded terms.
Mention allows me to identify coverage and mentions quickly (I’m notified about press coverage before the editors are able to inform me personally). I love the passive nature of the tool — Mention sends me emails every morning with the latest matches. I don’t have to do anything.”
-Kent Lewis, President & Founder at Anvil Media
Mention’s monitoring features. Screenshot from mention.com.
“Storyheap is an amazing social media tool for organizing and garnering analytics from the stories features on both Instagram and Snapchat. Stories are a way to engage in a unique way with your target audience and to give them a more insightful look into your brand.
It is the most useful for scheduling out posts in advance and providing imperative data from what consumers like to see from your brand and what they don’t. This is probably the best feature of the platform, as it tracks vital metrics such as open rates and the amount of views.”
-Antonella Pisani, VP of Marketing at FACT Goods
Storyheap’s dashboard. Screenshot from Storyheap demo preview.
Other notable social media monitoring tools
TwitterCounter tracks over 14 million users and is the number one site to track Twitter stats. Businesses can track their social media market share and compare it with competitors, making it a great competitive analysis tool.
Brandwatch is a monitoring tool that analyzes key aspects of social media marketing such as sentiment, location and topic. PR professionals use it to evaluate social media campaigns.
Cyfe helps you monitor and analyze data from all your online services like Google Analytics, Salesforce, AdSense, MailChimp, Facebook, WordPress and more from one single location in real time. Cyfe provides custom widgets that pull data from databases and let you export the data for analysis and reporting.
Simply Measured is a paid tool that makes it easy to analyze your social media activity by providing insights on content and competitors. Marketers can use it to create individual reports for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Vine and Google+.
Improving brand reputation
Social media monitoring can play a huge role in the success of your social media campaigns as well as the ultimate success of your business. It gives you a glimpse into what people are saying about your brand as well as the conversations concerning your competition. You have the opportunity to listen, learn and engage in those conversations. Through continuous brand monitoring, you can collect feedback and implement changes that will go toward improving your brand’s reputation.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in September, 2016. It has been updated for relevancy and comprehensiveness.