Social media monitoring

Search for any topic or keyword, and filter by date, demographics, location, and more. You’ll be able to identify thought leaders or brand advocates, understand the perception of your brand in the market, and get immediate alerts if and when your mentions spike (for good or for bad.)

How does social media monitoring work? Infographic

What is social media monitoring?

By monitoring this data, you’re doing research that is both quantitative (metrics and analytics) and qualitative (inspiration for posts and strategies). You’ll get information that can help you determine things like:

For brands, social monitoring is an essential part of being a good social citizen, and succeeding on social, period. For instance, you wouldn’t launch into a high-pressure sales pitch (or informative lecture, or even a stand up routine) to a new customer who’s just walked in the door. You’d listen first, and at least figure out what they’re looking for or why they’re in your office.

Note: You’ve probably also heard of social media listening, which is the next step you’ll want to take after social media monitoring. Social listening involves not just gathering and analyzing the metrics, but taking action. Take part in the conversation, and turn your intelligence into audience insights. Read our article about social media listening tools over here.

chart comparing social media monitoring to social listening

Are You Listening? The 19 Best Social Media Monitoring Tools

Are You Listening? The 19 Best Social Media Monitoring Tools

If they tagged your social media profile in their posts, you could check your notifications. If they didn’t, maybe you could search on each social media platform every time you want to find out. Sounds tedious? Here’s a better way:

There’s a great deal of wonderful social media tools out there. Among them are tools built specifically to help you pick out relevant conversations on social media — social media monitoring tools. Some of these tools allow you to monitor multiple social media profiles on the different social media platforms from a single place. There are even some that let you monitor social media trends and keywords.


Seize opportunities via social listening


Description: Sendible is a full social media management tool, built for agencies that manage multiple clients. On top of scheduling and collaborating on social media content, you can also respond to comments and messages from an inbox and monitor hashtags, keywords, and your competitors on social media and the web.

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The remaining social media monitoring tools are more pricey than those above. I have not had the opportunity to try them out myself (as they do not provide free trials). I’ve selected them based on reviews and their brand name. If you have used any of them before, it’ll be great to hear your experience.

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Best practices of social media monitoring

01 Decide why you’re monitoring

Can you use it for all of the above? Of course – you can use social monitoring data for much more than that! This is just a reminder that it’s a good idea to have a plan (maybe several plans, one for each different use), or you may find yourself getting overwhelmed and confused by all the data.

02 Choose a tool that fits both your budget and your needs

Free tools (like Google Alerts, TweetReach, etc) are options, while inexpensive tools (like Brand24) cost up even $49 / month. Midrange tools can cost around $800 / month while more expensive full-service tools usually come with personal consultants, but typically cost about $1000 / month.

We all like free tools because, well, they’re free. But unfortunately, they also won’t retrieve most results. I monitored the book Oryx and Crake with both a free social media monitoring software as well as paid tool Brand24 (free-to-try).

During a 24-hr period, the free tool retrieved 4 results for Oryx and Crake while Brand24 retrieved 14 results. That’s a 350% difference. A free tool may be enough for some users, but it just won’t cut it for most businesses.

03 Choose relevant keywords

To provide customer service, you should monitor all of the above. Your company or brand will not always be tagged in a question or complaint, and you don’t want unhappy customers to feel ignored. Even a quick response to acknowledge their frustration can help, like this:

How to use Required keywords in social listening tool

For example, to retrieve results about conversations that compare Nike versus Reebok, I would create a project that monitored conversations about Nike. Then, I would enter Reebok as a Required keyword. This would retrieve results that discuss both Nike and Reebok.

06 Think twice about long-tail keywords

I’ve just expressed the same thought in 3 different sentences. And I’m only one person. Imagine all the different ways various members of your audience could be talking about you or asking for recommendations:

07 Clean up your social listening results

Take a day or two to observe your results

How to clean up your social listening results

Start any social monitoring project well in advance. Not only does this provide you with historical data, but it also lets you spend the first couple of days observing your results and looking for ways to fine-tune and optimize your project.

Look for irrelevant results

How to look for irrelevant results

Social media monitoring - Instagram post

Use Excluded keywords

I quickly entered Cameron as an Excluded keyword. This ensures that your project doesn’t retrieve results containing Dove if the keyword Cameron also appears in the same result. (Results about Dove Cameron do make this project more fun to look at, but unfortunately, these aren’t relevant results.)

How to use excluded keywords in social media monitoring tool

Delete irrelevant results manually

Block domains and mute authors that are giving you irrelevant results

How to block domains and mute authors that are giving you irrelevant results

Use Required keywords to clean up your results

How to use required keywords to clean up your results

08 Explore all the features of the social listening tool

You played around with the tool during your free trial and asked any questions that you had. Now that you’ve chosen the best tool for your business, really take the time to get to know it. Don’t let any feature go to waste.

I strongly encourage you to explore all the features that your social monitoring tool offers. Furthermore, it’s worth checking the latest updates and features. For example, since 2021, Brand24 has presented a new metric called Presence Score:

Presence Score - feature developed by social media listening tool Brand24

Social media monitoring

That’s only logical. The more data you gather and examine, the more insights you get. That’s why I recommend embracing social listening not as a one-time tool specific to one campaign or task, but a continuous support for your marketing strategy.

Illustration of the Meltwater Dashboards for Brand Tracking, Sentiment Analysis, Brand Trends, Demographics, and News Trend Drivers

What is social listening: everything you need to know (and best tools to start)

Anna Bredava

A lot of marketing professionals ignore social listening because of the assumed complexity of the process. I can assure you: social media monitoring strategy is one of the simpler (if not the simplest) elements of social media strategy. Actually, social listening saves you a lot of time and effort, whether you are a business owner or a marketing manager.

In this article, I’ll guide you through the concept of monitoring social media, social media monitoring use cases, I’ll explain how to do media monitoring and social listening, and list the most popular social monitoring tools to do it.

20. Sprout Social

Keyhole - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools - Sprout Social

Keyhole - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools - Iconosquare

As most other social media management & listening tools, it gives you an overview of your stats and performance across Facebook and Instagram via a unified dashboard, helps you plan and moderate conversations across your different accounts, and enables you to schedule and publish content automatically without having to babysit your content promotion all the time.

Market Research in the World’s Biggest Focus Group

Got a new idea you want to test? Social media monitoring tools give you instant access to the world’s biggest focus group. Log into our platform, build your search, and within seconds you’ll be able to tap into the thoughts and opinions of billions of people, giving you the ammunition to breathe life into your ideas.

Market research used to take months, as it required building surveys, gathering focus groups, and collating results – but not any more. With Meltwater social listening you can get an immediate answer to almost any question , letting you find gaps in the market and spot rising trends before anybody else. And, if you’re not sure how to get to the answers you’re looking for, our expert customer support team is always on hand to help you build the right queries and make sense of the results.

Social Listening Capabilities

Meltwater’s enterprise-level social listening tools are built to empower teams to work seamlessly and efficiently. Whether you’re a small in-house team, or an agency collaborating with your clients, our platform gives you the tools you need to keep everybody informed and on-track.

"Our goal is to better listen to our community and know what they care about. Using Meltwater not only keeps us informed, but it allows us to interject our thought leaders into the conversations where they can make the biggest positive impact for ODU."

"One of the biggest challenges we had was putting that all together into a comprehensive, insightful presentation that would allow us to really have a clear picture of where we are across the board, also a deeper dive into the insights from there. Previously we had numbers, but we didn’t know what was behind the numbers."

Social media monitoring

You can set up multiple columns to show relevant combinations of tweets for multiple Twitter accounts. While most people choose to pick columns like Home, Notifications, or Messages, you have many more options. This includes setting up a column for @mentions – either on a specific account or across accounts.


19 Social Media Monitoring Tools for 2022 [Tools to Monitor Brand Mentions]

In the case of businesses, you want to know genuine organic mentions of your brand – both positive and negative. This is particularly important when somebody complains about your brand online. You can’t remedy a problem if you don’t know of its existence.

Often all it takes to make somebody happy is a reply, where you recognize his or her concern. The problem with social media is that people are now accustomed to near instantaneous reply. For you to react with speed, you first need to know when you have a brand mention.

A key part of social media management is keeping people happy. Influencers also need to play the same game. They rule their niche because people trust them and believe in their authenticity. If the sentiment changes and people begin to doubt an influencer’s sincerity, it is vital the influencer learns of this as quickly as possible.

Some of the tools we cover focus on social media listening, while others are more into social media monitoring. Although people often use the terms interchangeably, there is a subtle difference. Social monitoring is the first step in a social listening strategy. A firm monitors all mentions of its name online, particularly on social media. Once you have discovered social mentions, you can then go a stage further and analyze what the mentions mean. You look for patterns and trends and discover the influencers who already organically promote your product.

19 Social Media Monitoring Tools for 2022:



YouScan is one of the more mature social media monitoring tools, founded in Kyiv in 2009. Over the last decade, it’s built a solid reputation and attracted clients like McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Nestle, and Google.

At its most basic, YouScan is a listening tool, able to scan social media and the rest of the web for brand mentions, and then analyse those mentions for its larger social impact. The real selling point of YouScan, however, is its image recognition capabilities, which allows users to get decidedly specific in their visual searches.

YouScan offers five plan, ranging from $500 to $5,000 per month. Each plan permits you to analyze five topics per month but varies in terms of the number of rules and mentions per topic, as well as additional features offered in the higher-level plans. Five topics should be sufficient for most peoepl, as each YouScan search provides ways to include and exclude a variety of factors (like keywords and hashtags) and apply rules to them.

What Is Social Media Monitoring?

Ever wished you could get real-time feedback from millions of consumers? That’s kind of what social media monitoring is. You can tune into conversations happening online to see what people are saying about you, your products, your competition — anything, really. Social media monitoring is a great way to see what people think of your brand and how much of an impact your marketing efforts have made.

Of course you are, because you know how powerful it is. You’re posting and engaging and doing a great job. But if you want to maximize your social media resources, there’s no better way to steer your engagement ship than to implement a social media monitoring system.

Social Media: What Now?

Social media monitoring is often confused with similar-sounding (and a few similar-meaning) terms, including social media tracking. Simply put, social media monitoring is keeping an eye on the conversations already happening related to key terms that you search for, such as your brand name, tagline, and product names.

So how exactly do you become a fly on the digital wall of the web? The first step in effective social listening is to create a list of keywords to monitor. Depending on your goals, you may want to monitor conversations about your brand, products, services, industry, competitors, and competitors’ products. You could also monitor keywords associated with recent marketing campaigns or phrases used by people who might be in need of your product. For example, Febreze may monitor terms such as “pet odor” and “the smell test.”

Once you have your list, you’re ready to start monitoring. Most social media networks have a search feature like #tags and @tags, making it easy to bring up just the results you want. Unfortunately, using these tools manually has some potential problems.

Social Media Monitoring vs. Listening

These processes are equally important parts of collecting feedback from the audience. The main difference between them is that social media monitoring is just a process of collecting and sorting mentions while listening is the actual analysis of those insights with intention to build a better marketing strategy based on this data.

Besides, monitoring can be automated, while social media listening requires a lot of manual work and thoughtful analysis, creativity, and ability to deeply understand user intentions and emotions behind their behavior on social media.

Social media listening is an important research tool that is meant for analyzing user interactions with your brand across the internet and finding the ways to put what you learn into action. That can be something as small as responding to a happy customer, or something as big as shifting your entire brand positioning. Marketers often use this tool to analyze their competitors, discover new sales leads, and identify influencers and brand advocates.

Just like social media monitoring, there are services that provide tools for listening. These services usually provide tools for both processes, that’s why it’s best to regard them as an integrated whole, because none of them makes sense without another.

Social Media Monitoring Tools


Monitoring tool is one of many social media management tools available at Hootsuite. With Hootsuite, you can set up automated crawls of social media content based on your mentions, selected keywords, hashtags, and locations. It also provides real-time audience insights to help you identify what the audience feels about your brand, detect thought leaders, and get immediate alerts if there are suspicious numbers of mentions. Furthermore, Hootsuite integrates with more than a hundred apps to add more functions to its dashboard.

Pricing: The Professional plan offers a 30-day free trial and $19 per month after expiration. It allows you to connect one user and up to 10 social media accounts. Unlimited post scheduling and aggregated inbox for messaging are the features available on any plan.

Sprout Social

In the Smart Inbox, you’ll get all your social media mentions and messages. The discovery feature allows you to search for particular keywords on Twitter or Instagram, including mentions without tagging your social media profile.

Prices: All plans have a 30-day free trial. The Standard plan costs $99 per month with 5 social media profiles to connect, all-in-one social inbox, crafting and publishing posts, profiles, keywords, and location monitoring and more.

The Professional plan costs $149 per month with 10 social media profiles to connect, includes all features from the Standard plan plus competitive reports for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, incoming and outcoming message content tagging, custom workflows for multiple approvers and steps, and more.

The Advanced plan costs $249 per month with 10 social media profiles to connect, all features from the Professional plan, Message Spike Alerts for increased message activity, digital asset and content library, chatbots with automation tools, saved and suggested replies, Automated Link Tracking and more. You can find more information on Sprout Social pricing page.

Agora Pulse

Agora Pulse is an all-in-one social media management tool, which has scheduling, monitoring, engagement, and analytics features. All your social media mentions are collected in the inbox, while its listening feature allows you to search for keywords, URL, and handle on Twitter. Agora Pulse also allows you to monitor comments on your Facebook and Instagram ads.


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