10 social media monitoring tools to inform your campaigns

Is it time to step up your social media monitoring?

With so many networks and interactions across social media, tracking your engagement data can be tricky.

Thing is, those engagements are invaluable to your brand.

According to the Sprout Social Index™, 60% of brands analyze their social data daily. Putting your social interactions into context can uncover how to do better business. This includes strengthening your sales strategy and uncovering what your audience wants.

Below we’ve broken down some of the best social media monitoring tools and how to pick one that makes sense.

What is social media monitoring (and why does it matter so much)?

Social media monitoring is the process of tracking and reacting to social engagements. These engagements include @mentions, comments, #hashtags and keywords related to your brand.
Despite the name, “monitoring” is not a passive activity. Brands should track everything from shout-outs and reviews to questions and complaints. More importantly, brands must react to all of the above. This is the distinction between social monitoring and listening.
Social media monitoring involves much more than just direct mentions and branded keywords, too. For example, a competitor call-out presents an opportunity for your brand to intervene. The same rings true for people asking for product recommendations.

The problem? These types of conversations don’t typically pop up in your notifications. This is especially true if you’re active on multiple networks. That’s why brands use social media monitoring tools to supplement their native data.

Consider that the stakes are high when it comes to your social mentions. Based on Sprout’s own research, supporting sales strategy (65%) is the number one use of social data by brands. From competitive analysis to figuring out how to better serve your customers, monitoring serves as a treasure trove of insight.

How brands use social data

And focusing on actual customer conversations means that you can take action with confidence.

If nothing else, comprehensive monitoring also helps you understand how customers at large feel about your brand. After all, social media is the go-to place for consumers to sound off. Since social mentions are totally transparent, uncovering those mentions is largely a matter of having the right tools.

10 social media monitoring tools that should be on your radar

Again, owning and understanding your social interactions is crucial.

But doing so is easier said than done when you’re trying to track activity across multiple platforms.

When some brands are dealing with dozens (or hundreds!) of interactions on a daily basis, it’s easy to lose track of key conversations. Likewise, native social analytics primarily focuses on direct @mentions and @tags.

With dedicated social media monitoring tools, you can track your brand’s meaningful engagements wherever and whenever they happen.

There’s no shortage of monitoring tools out there. The following list can help you hone in on a tool that makes sense for your brand based on your needs.

1. Sprout Social

Sprout Social gives you everything not only to track important interactions but also to act on them.

For starters, our platform keeps track of mentions, comments and keywords across multiple networks including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok.

The ability to condense all of your interactions into one platform is a massive time-saver. Doing so ensures that you don’t miss any noteworthy mentions or let customer service concerns go unanswered.

For example, Sprout’s Smart Inbox provides a real-time, up-to-date list of all of your social interactions. This includes communications between leads, followers and customers.

Screenshot of the Sprout Social Smart Inbox.

With a collaborative inbox, you and your team can reply to mentions and call-outs without leaving the platform. These features speed up response times and allow your team to offer a consistent experience to your customers.

Beyond monitoring, Sprout’s s suite of social listening tools is equally powerful. You can track specific queries using boolean operators to zero in on conversations that matter most. We make it easier to detect call-outs and shout-outs as they happen.

Screenshot of the Sprout Social listening topic builder.

And with Sprout’s social analytics, you can report on all of the above to track the progress of your social presence.

Screenshot of the Sprout Social cross-network analytics dashboard.

Keep track of metrics including average response times and engagement volume to ensure that you’re consistently growing and improving. Consider that the best social media monitoring tools work across multiple platforms and encourage growth wherever your team is active. That’s exactly what Sprout does.

2. Agorapulse

Agorapulse’s platform lives up to its namesake with features to help brands keep a better pulse on their social mentions.

The platform’s monitoring and listening features are designed to help brands focus on “what counts.” With countless notifications and mentions for busy brands to sift through, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

To combat comment overload, Agorapulse allows users to set parameters to filter specific phrases and platforms out of their monitoring feeds. The platform also makes it a cinch to label and organize notable customer conversations and competitor activity. This activity includes negative competitor mentions and opportunities for your brand to intervene.

Animated GIF of Agorapulse's social mention labels in action.

These features highlight the fast-paced, high-stakes nature of social media monitoring and why tools matter so much.

3. RivalIQ

Perhaps not surprisingly, RivalIQ’s platform focuses on competitive analysis to help brands keep an eye on their business rivals.

Monitoring and benchmarking features allow brands to understand their share of voice and how they’re growing versus their competitors.

The most notable features of RivalIQ are the platform’s variety of real-time alerts. For example, the platform can identify when a competitor has changed their social media bio as soon as it happens. Recent features include the ability to also see when a competitor boosts an organic post as an ad.

Screenshot of RivalIQ's social media monitoring alerts on an Instagram bio.

These alerts can give you a head start on understanding your competitors’ positioning, promotions and campaigns.

4. Mention

Mention is yet another monitoring tool that lives up to its namesake as a powerful @mention tracker.

For brands and agencies alike, the platform claims to monitor over one billion sources for relevant mentions and comments. With so many conversations to sift through, the platform offers plenty of filtering options to help brands “eliminate noise.”

Screenshot of Mention's social media monitoring brand alert example.

Likewise, the platform’s alerts can keep brands in the loop. Additional features of the platform include identifying spikes in mention volume. These instances can help brands identify a potential social media crisis or PR opportunity sooner rather than later.

5. Keyhole

Keyhole’s monitoring abilities are primarily focused on helping brands find influencers to work with.

Automated keyword and hashtag searches uncover influencers posting about topics relevant to brands. The platform also uses hashtag analytics to highlight influential accounts, posts and conversations around any given topic.

Screenshot of Keyhole's brand monitoring dashboard.

6. HubSpot

If you’re already using HubSpot as your CRM, consider how the platform can double as your social media monitoring tool of choice.

HubSpot’s features aren’t radically different from most tools on our list. The platform tracks interactions, engagements and content performance.

Screenshot of HubSpot's social monitoring tool.

Coupled with HubSpot’s sales CRM, the tool highlights the correlation between top-performing content and social interactions with sales. For example, you can see if customers interacted with a certain piece of content or a team member via social. This goes hand in hand with understanding your social media ROI and the impact of your social team.

7. Brand24

Brand24’s media monitoring features include sentiment analysis and instant notifications for all of your social mentions. The platform can also detect trending hashtags that relate to your brand.

A notable feature of the platform is its mention feed that detects spikes in activity. The platform’s “summary” feed also makes it easy to track your brand’s PR efforts from week to week.

Screenshot of Brand24's monitoring dashboard.

8. Atribus

Atribus is a consumer intelligence tool with an emphasis on social media monitoring. Helping brands uncover “unmet needs,” the platform digs deep into customer conversations and data.

Screenshot of Atribus's social media monitoring tool.

Specifically, the platform highlights common complaints within any given industry through sentiment analysis. This provides opportunities for competing brands to identify pain points and intervene. Atribus is capable of automatically classifying mentions into complaints versus inquiries, too.

9. Zoho Social

If you’re using Zoho as a CRM, the platform’s complimentary social media monitoring features are incredibly useful.

Beyond the standard monitoring features we’ve talked about, the platform lets you build a custom listening dashboard. From hashtags to specific platforms or media outlets, this gives you a comprehensive understanding of your PR and social presence at a glance.

Screenshot of Zoho's social listening feed.

10. Awario

Awario’s monitoring features are also similar to many of the platforms mentioned above.

That said, Awario Leads is a noteworthy addition to the platform’s regular monitoring and listening capabilities.

In short, Awario can identify specific instances of people asking for recommendations for a particular industry. This again shows how monitoring is an active process that can help you win more business.

Screenshot of lead mentions in Awario's dashboard.

How could social media monitoring help you build better campaigns?

Stepping up your social monitoring should be a top priority regardless of your industry.

The closer you track what people are saying about your brand, the better you can serve your target audience.

Likewise, you can form more meaningful relationships with your followers and customers. That’s because you’re already clued into their wants, needs and pain points.

Doing so means having the right social media monitoring tools at your fingertips. With an all-in-one tool like Sprout, you can align your publishing and customer service strategy with your monitoring insights in one place.

Looking for more inspiration to level up your social marketing campaigns? Make sure to grab our collection of social media templates if you haven’t already!