5 essential social media listening tools and how exactly to use them

6 min read

The best social media listening tools to utilize in 2018 to assist you develop your social media strategy

“The success of a relationship is solely influenced by two factors: a man’s capability to listen lovingly and respectfully to a woman’s feelings, and a woman’s capability to share her feelings in a loving and respectful way.”
― John Gray, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

The core premise of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus is that women and men communicate differently and for a relationship to reach your goals, they each have to be aware of the way the other works.

Men, specifically, want to do a more satisfactory job listening.

Not surprisingly, most brands have problems with exactly the same shortcomings. Rather than hearing what clients and prospects are actually saying on social media, many brands are content to simply broadcast their very own messages again and again, effectively ignoring what could possibly be a lot more productive, and profitable, conversations.


Well, it’s partly because of not realizing what and how exactly to do it, needless to say. If you’ve never done several searches on Twitter, you will possibly not know that your visitors & prospects are experiencing relevant conversations.

And it’s partly because of not having the proper tool set up, which is, needless to say, the objective of this short article.

Depending on just what you intend to listen for, and the way you plan to respond, there are numerous of available tools that may ease that task, as well as perhaps even automate important aspects. We’re likely to tell you 5 of the very most helpful, and affordable, social listening tools. Before we do, let’s make certain we’re on a single page regarding what social listening is and how it operates.

What Is Social Listening?

We mentioned earlier that social listening is due to watching the conversations your customers and/or prospects are experiencing on social media. At a higher level that’s accurate, but there’s more to it.

First, it’s vital that you recognize that the conversations could be about your brand, specifically, or they might be about:

  • your industry
  • products
  • competitors etc.

Which implies that sometimes – maybe even quite often – your brand will never be specifically mentioned in these conversations.

Sometimes people make reference to watching for mentions of a brandname as “monitoring” and leave “listening” to make reference to more general conversations that will be of interest to a brandname, but not in regards to a brand.

This implies that, whether or not someone’s discussing you as well as your business, or your products, or simply something linked to your business, you should be able to note that those conversations are occurring, and be ready to engage.

Which brings us to the next consideration: Engagement.

Social Listening doesn’t simply make reference to obtaining a notification each time someone tweets in regards to a problem your product can solve. In addition, it identifies having plans, maybe even specific text & information, set up to react to those social posts.

It does mean, exactly like in Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, that brands have to listen respectfully from what the client or prospect says and feeling. Your responses ought to be both helpful and empathic.

The tools will assist you to find those conversations, but it’s your decision to steer them in positive, constructive directions.

What Tools MAY I Use For Social Listening?

Each tool has its group of features and benefits, and it’s own manner in which it can help with social listening, so we’ll review the differences here. The various tools are simply just in alphabetical order.


The Agorapulse way for listening would be to funnel all mentions, comments, replies and saved keyword searches right into a single Inbox to enable you to swiftly review all your messages set up. Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube can each have “rules” setup for Keyword/Listening that may actively monitor those platforms and deliver leads to your inbox.

For instance, it is possible to create a rule for the Twitter profile which will demonstrate any tweets offering a link to your internet site, permitting you to see people tweeting your articles even though they don’t mention you.

You can seek out words, phrases, hashtags or usernames. You’ll then get notifications on desktop or mobile for just about any new results, and will reply within the app as well as assign to a team member.



The Hootsuite way for listening is by using tabs & streams inside your dashboard for every sort of listening that you intend to do. You may have a tab for the Twitter profile and within that tab, streams for Direct Messages, Mentions, and some saved searches.

Like Agorapulse, searching for words, phrases, hashtags or usernames. Hootsuite can monitor Twitter, along with Instagram (Hashtags, Usernames), Google+ (Keyword), and YouTube (Keyword).

Hootsuite’s Twitter search is specially powerful as possible limit leads to specific geographic areas in addition to languages.



The Sendible way for listening would be to split it into two areas: Engage & Monitor. Engage includes your normal replies and mentions, and is really a single inbox for several connected profiles.

Monitor is for keywords and search strings and supports both Twitter and Facebook.

Sendible also includes a Library feature that can help you bring RSS Feeds, saved content and trending tags into replies – a genuine convenience when monitoring active search & keyword queries.


Sprout Social

The Sprout Social way for listening also splits listening right into a brand activity social inbox, pitched against a “Discovery” tab for keyword search.

Each time you setup a fresh search, it is possible to indicate a geofence (i.e. 25km around Chicago) and save the search if it works for you personally. Saved searches are listed in the left side and support Twitter.

You may also create brand keywords in your social inbox, you need to include Twitter keywords and also Instagram hashtags.


Zoho Social

Finally, the Zoho Social way for listening utilizes a dashboard approach. You can include columns to the Monitor tab for a number of purposes.

Zoho Social supports Twitter (Keyword, User), Google+ (Keyword, User), Instagram (Hashtag, User). Searches could be saved and filtered.

If you have teammates, it is possible to discuss any particular social post within the app, along with add individual social profiles to your Zoho CRM for future followup.


Wrapping Up

With those 5 tools, I’m sure you noticed some differences and similarities.

They all support Twitter, for example, however, many use an Inbox approach while some favor a Dashboard presentation of different columns.

All of the various tools offer free trials so if you’re not entirely sure which to opt for, I would recommend starting a free of charge trial and get in touch with their sales staff to obtain up to date on how best to utilize the various search options.

Leave a Comment