Social Media Marketing

Hear what the community has to say

with the help of social media monitoring

Author
Portrait von Christin Hock. | © punkt & komma
Christin Hock

You always wanted to be a fly on the wall? And find out what the online community thinks about your brand? With social media monitoring, that’s easy! What you need to do? Listen, understand and react! What sounds easy at first can be a bit tricky, though. If you don’t listen to your customers, you inevitably miss quite a lot. For instance, what they complain about, what makes them angry, what makes them happy or where they have questions on a certain topic. All of this is vital feedback for making your brand stronger. 

To make it easier for you to keep track of what the community is saying about you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other platforms, there is a number of helpful social media monitoring tools, three of which we have taken a closer look at. But first: a little introduction to the world of monitoring and how to find your perfect “listening tool”.
punkt & komma arbeitet mit hilfreichen Monitoring-Tools, um die Community immer im Blick zu haben | © punkt & komma

Social media monitoring

Is it useful?
You regularly post snapshots on Instagram and share videos on Facebook? You’re also collecting followers on Twitter? Despite all of this, your business just isn’t taking off? Then it might be time to find out what fans, customers and business partners think about your content!

Social media monitoring tools tell you who is saying what, where and in what context about you. They find online discussions and track conversations based on certain keywords, phrases and events. They also show you opinions of your brand, the whole industry and your competitors.

And there’s more! There are critical voices? A shitstorm might be brewing? Some monitoring tools have an alarm system (e.g. Google Alerts) flagging up potential crises in advance. This helps you react in time and nip the shitstorm in the bud.

Keep in mind: If there’s a problem, people rarely send e-mails anymore. Instead, they use the big social media stage to make their opinion known to the public. Whether it’s a “like” or a short comment – it’s important to react to such “outbreaks” in time!

What’s possible with social media monitoring tools

  • analyses and reports on online activities
  • engagement monitoring: reactions on comments and messages in real time 
  • listening: exchange with people who are talking about your brand, your keywords or your competitors

Useful extra feature of some tools:
  • posting and planning content on social media channels
punkt & komma arbeitet hat die Community immer im Blick mit effektiven Social Media Monitoring-Tools | © punkt & komma

How do I find the right monitoring tool for me?

Finding the right tool in the vast jungle of monitoring software can be a bit tricky. That’s why it’s important to define a few key factors in advance.
  • How much budget are you willing to spend?
  • What’s your objective?
  • What social media platforms do you want to skim?
  • What metrics, data and information are important for you?
  • What do you expect from your dashboard and your reporting? For instance, do you want a customisable dashboard?
  • Does the tool have an alarm feature for critical comments?
3 monitoring tools put to the test

Hootsuite

The all-rounder
You’re interested in what Hootsuite can do for you? The question is rather what it CAN’T do for you! The software offers everything from publication and planning to reacting to follower requests, customisable analyses and monitoring of activities. It’s also a great tool for working in a team: Tweets and answers can be delegated and marked, messages can be tracked. The vast selection of features makes Hootsuite a popular tool for managing social media channels.
Screen von Startseite der Hootsuite-Website | © hootsuite
The pros of Hootsuite:
  • One for all: With only one app, you can centrally control all social networks. It’s also possible for others to access and edit the account, at least in the paid version.
  • Comprehensive functionalities: Preparing, planning and publishing posts. In addition, you can monitor all of them. What’s more, different statistics help you improve social media activities.

The cons of Hootsuite:
  • No intuitive user interface: Neither the software’s design nor the user interface are particularly intuitive – think “cluttered” and “complicated”.
  • Restrictions in the free version: You can only create three social media profiles to use the respective services.

Brandwatch

High-level monitoring
Brandwatch crawls more than 50 million sources for relevant hits, among them blogs, forums and social media. It identifies and analyses posts, tweets, comments and news in more than 25 languages – a truly massive scope! Consequently, Brandwatch is known as one of the most comprehensive tools on the market. The software is particularly useful if you need an overview of large amounts of online data and if the interaction rate on the channels is really high. This makes it a good choice for big companies who are frequently mentioned on the web.
Screen von Startseite der Brandwatch-Website | © brandwatch
The pros of Brandwatch
  • Clear and simply user interface: Brandwatch gives you a quick overview of the channels with the most hits. In addition, the tool identifies the most active authors without the need to specify any additional settings.  
  • Varied possibilities: The software offers a huge selection of features and in-depth analyses.

The cons of Brandwatch
  • Too many options: If you’re an online monitoring newbie, you’ll likely be overwhelmed by Brandwatch. The tool offers almost too many options.
  • Expensive: Prices start at EUR 600 per month.

Echobot

State-of-the-art media monitoring
Find out across all channels what people are saying about your brand, your products and your competitors – with Echobot, that’s possible. The tool isn’t only useful for monitoring social media but also for scanning classic print media! The platform gives you the option to analyse individually configurable search profiles. It’s easy to create reports and to save them in different file formats (PDF, Excel, RSS feed).
Screen von Startseite der Echobot-Website | © echobot
The pros of Echobot
  • Print clippings: Direct access to the content of renowned publishing houses and news agencies. This gives you an even more comprehensive media overview. The software also offers an integrated, free download of press clippings including a headline, text preview, source and date of publication in PDF or Excel format.
  • Individual dashboard: great flexibility in the sorting and grouping of data.

The cons of Echobot
  • Limited scope: Echobot focuses on the German-speaking realm and mainly crawls the most popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest – which might not be enough for global businesses.
  • Price/performance ratio: You can test Echobot for free for one month. After that, the basic version costs EUR 299 per month. However, prices go up with every search agent and the number of keywords for each search profile is limited.
Conclusion
Social media monitoring is important. However, you will have problems finding a free tool that is as comprehensive as Hootsuite, Brandwatch or Echobot. As an alternative, Google Alerts offers a quick way of monitoring all major news pages and blogs but it’s really only useful as an add-on.

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