Are you ready to take your brand from ground zero to sparkling heights?
Just blindly publishing content on social media is not enough. You need to constantly monitor your brand mentions, published content, backlinks, and competition to see what the people really think about your brand.
Brand monitoring will not just help with your future content strategies; it can also help dealing with customer support.
Of course, with so many brand monitoring tools online, it is easy to get confused. So, first, you should focus on your main requirement and decide why you really want to monitor your brand online and then pick a tool accordingly.
Monitor keywords and brand mentions
#1. Talkwalker – WINNER
Mainly marketing their services to large enterprises and SMB’s, Talkwalker is an all-in-one social media analytics tool. Some of the many features provided by the tool include social channel analysis, hashtag monitoring, competitive intelligence, content analysis, and listening crises.
A unique feature of Talkwalker is that it allows you to check the user sentiment for different platforms. So, for instance, a type of post might be doing great on Facebook, but it might not be received well on Twitter.
- Provides a free service called ‘Free Social Search’ which tracks mentions of the last 7 days
- Great reporting capabilities
- Powerful features with integration with Hootsuite and Tableau
- Addresses the needs of large businesses, not an ideal solution for small businesses and individuals
- Even with an expensive $500 per month price tag, the tool has restrictions on number of results (Though, you can make unlimited searches)
- Complex features might require prior training
Price: Starts at $50 per month
Trackur is another rather popular tool for hashtag and brand mentions. With only a 10-day free trial period and a $97 per month price tag, the tool’s unique feature is that it can track all the major social media platforms, including Facebook, Google +, Reddit, Tumblr, and Twitter.
- Constantly tracks and researches keywords with custom feeds
- Emails daily results
- Predicts sentiment and influence of each result
- Trackur does not have a free version
- Monthly subscription costs $97, which is very expensive for a keyword monitoring tool
- The interface is a bit outdated
Price: Starting at $97 per month
Socialert is the most hassle-free tool for analyzing keywords and brand mentions, out of all the tools that we tried and tested. As soon as you sign up, the tool automatically asks for the hashtags that you want to follow and quickly scans through Twitter to find everything there is about the hashtag.
The most impressive part was Socialert’s speed, it hardly takes the tool five seconds to analyze and present the report on the hashtags entered by the user.
For every hashtag, Socialert provides the following information (and much more if you are a paid user):
- Tweet count for every day
- Country wise distribution
- Influencer Ranking
- Most active users
- Most Re-tweeted Mention
- Used keywords
- Top URL’s
Overall, Socialert doesn’t just work as a tool to analyze a keyword or brand mention; it can also help with brand strategy and finding the right influencers.
- Easy to understand, graphic reports
- Up to 300 tweets from the last seven days are analyzed for every free user
- The tool mines every aspect of the hashtag, which most of the tools on the list couldn’t
- Results can be filtered and exported
- For a full keyword analysis, users have to buy the tool
- Only analyses Twitter
Price: Starts at $9.95 per month
Signing up to Brand24 means you can monitor all the social media platforms from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, to even the newest entries like Periscope (which cannot be monitored by any of the other tools on the list). The entire analysis report is divided into five parts – Sources, Analysis, Mentions, Comparison, and Quotes.
As a new research project is set up, Brand24 can only provide up to a month old analysis, though it only vouches for the accuracy of data from the moment the project is set up.
- A very comprehensive analysis depicted in a graphical manner
- Each influencer link is given a score from 1 to 10
- Can provide both positive and negative comments for a specific trending topic
- Search results can be filtered by social networks
- Historical analysis only dates back to a month
- Relatively expensive
Price: Starting at $49 per month
Sendible pulls posts and comments from all the major social media platforms, and also Flicker, WordPress, and Google Analytics (which other tools don’t support). The tool can create custom reports and analyze topics. Sendible also provides auto publishing for social media platforms, and it’s clear that the tool’s priorities lie over there and not towards the monitoring end.
- Tracks sentiments and influencers for each post
- Automated reports can be emailed at a specific time
- The tool can be a bit buggy on Google Chrome
- Credit card information required for a free trial
- The pricing structure is a bit confusing
- The tool keeps popping up options to buy upgrades or add-ons
Price: Starting at $59 per month
Monitor blog content
#6. Buzzsumo – WINNER
Buzzsumo is one of the most used and popular tool for monitoring blogs mainly because it easy to use and it provides a multitude of advance options.
It helps analyze what type of content gets the most shares on social media. The search can be done for a keyword, a specific blog, or website URL, or even for an author’s name. Though, since Buzzsumo is a paid tool, the search result is limited and users can only search five times a day.
- Counts shares from Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, and LinkedIn
- Several filter options available including date, language, TLD, domains, and content type
- A very simple and fuss-free interface
- For free users, search results are restricted, and there is a daily limit too
Price: Starting at $99 per month
SharedCount could be easily taken as a ‘lite version’ of Buzzsumo, and since it’s free, it is perfect for individuals and freelancers.
It works well when it comes to showing the total ‘shared count’ on each platform, but that’s about it. Unlike Buzzsumo, there aren’t any advance search features. In fact, you will have to put down the exact URL you want to search, including ‘http://’
- Counts shares from Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and Pinterest
- Free to use
- Only exact URLs can be searched – No keywords or authors
- The interface is way too simple, and the results aren’t even formatted well
- Does not show a cumulative shared number
#8. SumoMe Content Analytics
SumoMe is one of the most jam-packed suite for website owners. One of the tools of the suite, content analytics, helps users see and analyze what type of content is being read the most.
The tool uses heatmap technique to make it easy to understand for users. Heatmap uses different intensity colours to depict which portions of the website are being read the most. So red signifies the most read portions and yellow signifies the least read.
- Free to use
- It is like a highly advanced version of Google Analytics
- Heat maps make it easier for the user to see which parts of the website are getting the least traction
- Cannot display share count for any article
- Since Sumome requires an integrated code to work, competitive analysis is next to impossible
- While the tool is free, there is a cap of 100 users per day
Price: Free for up to 100 users, after that, pricing starts at $29 per month.
Monitor user activity and find influencers
Launched just 9 years ago, Klout has quickly become a primary tool for brands to check influencers in different categories, and it also gives users a platform to showcase their social media power. The tool starts by taking data from each user’s social media pages and then gives them marks out of 100 to best calculate their influence.
- The interface makes it easy for users to sign up and connect social media profiles
- Supports a large number of platforms
- Klout was the first platform to ever address the need for influencer marketing
- Also allows users to schedule social media posts
- Klout does not share its ranking algorithm
- The tool recently shut down ‘Klout Perks,’ a program where the top influencers for each brand got free gifts from that brand
Price: On request
#10. Get Little Bird
Instead of ranking or onboarding new users like Klout, Get Little Bird helps brands recognize the best voices on the social media platforms and helps them figure out how they can engage with them.
The tool is unique because it lets you type in a keyword, then search through the platform for influencers in that category, and how they engage with that keyword.
- Tells how many influencers already follow you and who should you follow
- Tells what kind of content the influencers are sharing more often so it can help with content curation
- Helps brands by sending actionable emails
- The tool does not explain on what grounds a user becomes an important influencer
- Not as easy to use as Klout
- No free trial
Price: On request
# 11. Kred
Unlike Klout and Get Little Bird, Kred actually explains how the tool gives each user an influence score. The tool awards points when a user interacts with another user through content and the more influential the connection, the higher the points.
Additionally, along with a score, it gives you the ability to create your own . Kred identity on a domain, and build a dynamic engagement profile with drag and drop widgets.
- Apart from influence score, Kred also displays an outreach score
- For each influencer, Kred lists their number of social mentions and a 30-day follower graph
- Kred does offer a lot of data about each influencer category, but it isn’t as reliable. For instance, according to Kred the top influencer in the publishing category is Snooki from Jersey Shore
- Pricing structure is complicated
Price: Starting at $99
For monitoring customer support
A large number of customers now reach out to brands through social media to get instant solutions. While it might be easy to track support requests where the brand handle is tagged with the right hashtag, indirect messages can be rather different to tag, and that is exactly where these customer support tools come in.
#12. Sparkcentral – WINNER
Sparkcentral has been specifically developed to help companies monitor customer support requests on social media. The tool can track every tweet, chat, or Facebook post in real-time, and quickly send them to the brand’s customer support team.
- The first, one-of-its-kind tool which helps track customer service requests on social media
- Uses automation technology to route real-time requests to the specific customer service agent
- The tool is used by giants like Uber, Netflix, Lyft, and Delta Airlines
- Since Sparkcentral only supports certain big companies (as mentioned above), their tool also has been developed with industry specific features, and it might not be suitable for small businesses or individuals.
Price: On request
Sproutsocial is another social media CRM tool which logs all the conversation that happen between your brand and customers and assigns these incoming social messages to the right customer support team member.
The tool’s integration with Zendesk is one of its most powerful features, since the companies that already use Zendesk for customer support can connect SproutSocial directly with it. The customer requests on social media platforms can then directly be converted it support tickets on Zendesk.
- Supports Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Zendesk, and UserVoice
- A smart inbox feature with single-stream messages
- A powerful built-in image editing feature
- Some helpful features are only available for enterprise level customers
- Influencer and listening tools are workable, but it’s still not as robust
- The access to historical data is limited
Price: Starts at $99 per month
#14. Respond by Buffer
It was in December 2015 when Buffer acquired Respondly, a Twitter customer service tool, and in June 2016, Buffer combined their technology with Respondly and created the ultimate tool which is both a customer service and social monitoring tool.
Just like SproutSocial, Respond too creates an inbox with requests accumulated from different social media platforms and it makes it possible for customer service agents to reply quickly.
The great thing about Respond is that it is a Buffer tool, so if you already use Buffer for brand monitoring and scheduling social media posts, then you would only have to use one single tool for all your monitoring needs.
- Inbox automatically populates with all the requests, so it’s easy for team members to respond
- Allows custom search queries
- Available for both enterprises and individuals
- Limited features as compared to the other tools on the list
- Respond is a rather new tool, so it’s difficult to judge its robustness and company’s customer service response time.
Price: On request
Monitor trending topics
By monitoring trending topics, your brand can gain advantage of the of the increased traction for that particular hashtag or keyword. So, if your business deals with virtual reality, then you will need all the important alerts related to VR.
#15. Mention.com – WINNER
Developed as a direct replacement for Google Alerts, Mention.com can monitor search results, news, blogs, and even social media channels, and it can directly provide email alerts and keep you updated on all the recent changes. There is also a mobile app for easy access.
- Scans Facebook and Twitter, apart from other search results
- It has an ‘anti-noise technology’ which automatically does not show the results that the user has previously deleted
- Social metrics and email alerts available
- Google Alerts can be imported to Mention.com
- Not a free tool but there is a free trial available
Price: Starting at $29
#16. Google Alerts
Google Alerts was the first and ultimate tool to monitor trending topics and keywords. The tool can scan for keyword mentions, scan different publications, and newspaper websites. The search results can be easily filtered according to language, region, and websites.
- Free tool
- Searches through all the major websites
- RSS feed and search results can be directly emailed
- It is an easy but barebone tool with not many options
- It can be difficult to get precise search results
- Does not monitor social media platforms
Awario is a social media and web monitoring tool which can search for every mention of the keyword online. Since the tool searches for results in real-time, it is possible for users to instantly check even the newest results.
- Scans Facebook, Twitter, Google, Plus, and YouTube, as well as web search results
- Alerts can be quickly created and monitored, and there is an option for negative keywords as well
- Each alert statistics can be further mined, and Awario can also find influential users for each alert
- Not a free tool but there is a free 14- day trial available
Price: Starting at $19
Monitor SEO and backlinks
#18. Ahrefs – WINNER
Ahrefs is an all-in-one tool which provides SEO keyword checker, rank tracker, competitive research tool, and much more.
The most impressive part was Ahrefs dashbaord, it hardly takes time to add any website and check detailed information like backlinks, top pages, competing pages, organic keywords quickly.
Their brand keywords tracking (email Alerts feature) and new backlinks tracking (another part of email Alerts) is awesome.
- Both keyword research and competitive research is possible
- Brand monitoring and backlink tracking can be done
- Content research finds the most popular content for that specific keyword
- Search speed is pretty fast
- One of the most expensive tools in the market
- The keyword volume is not completely taken from Google, but other search engines as well
Price: Starting at $99
Semrush does provide tools for backlinks and keyword research like Ahrefs, but its unique feature is that it helps in creating the most optimized PPC and PPI ads by providing CPC pricing and distribution. Semrush also saves the previous ads history to provide future projections.
- Easiest way to do a competitor analysis
- Provides great information for PPC and organic planning
- Search results can be further mined and filtered
- There is no way to save keyword reports
- The interface isn’t as easy to work with
- You might need a few tutorials to make the most of the tool
Price: Starting at $99
Moz is an all-in-one tool which provides – keyword research, engagement and followers on social media, backlink tracking, brand mentions, and obviously, total traffic. None of the other tools in this category providing so many features together.
- The interface is very clean
- Focuses more on high-quality links and less on spam
- Opportunity and Potential scores are a great metric to analyze future SEO plans
- There aren’t many ways to filter the results
- The database isn’t as big as Ahref, but it is constantly growing
- The prices aren’t really justified
Price: Starting at $99
#21. Google Webmaster
Google’s homemade toolset makes it easier for users to track the search engine traffic coming to their website. The reason why most users opt of Google Webmaster is because it’s easy to integrate, its free, and the search volume numbers are exactly according to Google’s search engine.
- Free service
- The most extensive search results
- Easy to check search engine traffic, any crawl or indexing issues
- No way to do competitor analysis
- Helps with historical data analysis but not in predicting future trends
- Searches cannot be saved
Now that you have all the brilliant brand monitoring tools at your disposable, it’s time to decide your requirements and budget, and choose the perfect tool for your brand