The Best Small Business Social Media Monitoring Tools
By now, it’s safe to say that businesses need social media if they are to thrive in the 21st Century. Approximately 77 percent of small businesses in the United States use social media for sales and marketing, and that number will almost certainly grow over the next few years. Not only is a presence on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram practically mandatory for small businesses, but they also provide a great way to keep an eye on your industry of choice and your competition. You do need to know how to monitor these social media networks if you hope to gain any insight from them, though. Logging onto your social media accounts regularly to look at your analytics and who follows you might suffice when your marketing efforts are just beginning, but you will eventually need some extra help once your online presence starts to grow. Fortunately, there are plenty of social media monitoring tools that you can use to keep track of your analytics and the market as a whole. Here are some of the better tools out there that you can use in your next campaign.
Awario is a relatively new social media monitoring tool, but it is definitely one of the most ambitious options out there. Its goal is to provide a way to provide social media insights to businesses of all kinds, from small startups to larger international companies, at affordable prices. Awario can of course monitor things such as mentions of your brand, your competitors, and your industry as a whole, but it also allows you to set up queries for less obvious use cases and find opportunities to write guest blogs and connect with influencers in your industry. It’s endlessly flexible, especially since its lower price point allows smaller businesses to use its many features.
If you want to try Awario for yourself to find out if it’s right for your business, you can always sign up for a free trial before settling on one if its (very affordable) paid plans.
Brandwatch is actually a suite of three social media monitoring tools aimed at marketing and PR teams. Its Audience tool allows you to find groups based on certain targeting rules such as shared interests and demographic information. You can analyze these groups’ social media posts to find out what sets them apart from the rest of the public and how they fit into your brand’s demographic. The second tool is Vizia, a visualization tool that allows you to build custom dashboards based on data you’ve gathered from the rest of Brandwatch. Finally, we have Analytics, the social media monitoring tool. Analytics comes equipped with image recognition, API access, and analytical dashboards that you can download as PowerPoint presentations with a click of the mouse.
There is no trial version of Brandwatch, and the full package can get expensive, but you might be able to contact the development team if you want a demo of the product. Brandwatch works with almost all popular social media platforms, and it is definitely worth the price for those who can afford it and who are serious about making their social media marketing campaigns the best they can be.
If you’re looking for a way to publish and monitor content across multiple social media platforms, Hootsuite might be perfect for you. It doesn’t offer any options for monitoring analytics beyond social media, it does make it incredibly easy to post and view content across multiple platforms. Think of it as a central hub for your social media accounts. It’s also very user-friendly, which will appeal to users who might not be entirely comfortable with monitoring multiple social media accounts.
Hootsuite supports Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, but other platforms can be made available by integrating with other tools such as Brandwatch. There is also a free trial available that lets you play around with its features before you commit to one of its paid plans. The plans themselves are reasonably priced and provide plenty of versatility and support.
Meltwater is less of a social media monitoring tool and more of a media intelligence tool that allows you to monitor mentions of your keywords across the Internet. It offers some very robust analytical tools and lets you create custom dashboards to monitor the metrics such as demographics and social media chatter.
If there is a downside to using Meltwater, it’s the high price tag. Meltwater’s monitoring package will cost you $15,000 a year, so it’s really for more established businesses that want to expand and monitor their reach across social media and the Web.
Talkwater is a social media tool that provides users with the latest mentions of their brands and competitors. It also provides useful analytics that lets users spot trends in the buzz around certain keywords and analyzes their audiences’ demographics and interests. It even monitors print and TV mentions to keep users covered about all mentions of their brands. It’s something that really benefits larger brands and agencies, but it provides the kind of data that no nationwide marketing campaign should be without.
As its name implies, TweetDeck is owned by Twitter and is intended as an all-in-one dashboard for all of your Twitter activity. With TweetDeck, you can schedule tweets, interact with other users on your feed, and track mentions of anything that you think will be useful on your network. It’s free for anybody with a Twitter account to use, but it is also surprisingly robust for a free app. You can set up as many searches as you need and filter results by country, language, or date, and use it to track mentions of your brand and anything related to it. The only real downside is that it only works with Twitter, but it is also a must-have for anybody who relies on the microblogging platform for any of their marketing campaigns. If nothing else, the fact that it is free is good enough reason to use it along with some of the other tools on this list.