6 Social Media Monitoring Tools: Free & Paid


Analysis is a crucial  part of social media management. It’s not enough to simply schedule Facebook posts, tweets and updates on a regular basis. While this will give you a regular stream of content, it provides very little feedback or evaluation. 

social media monitoring - image of graphs and charts

By Ahmed Ahmed, Senior Account Manager at Clarity

Social media monitoring is important because it allows you to:

  • Identify high-performing content
  • Identify poorly performing content
  • Learn about your fans and followers
  • Discover trends in community behaviour
  • Evaluate the growth (and growth rate) of your social channels

All of the above should feed into your thought process as you generate ideas for new content, changing the weekly ‘what-shall-we-post-this-time?’ into an informed, continuous improvement process. Social media monitoring also lets you see what conversations are taking place about your brand away from you ‘owned’ social channels.

BASIC SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORING TOOLS

These tools are free to use, and offer a baseline level of insight for social media managers. They focus on monitoring your own channels’ performance.

FACEBOOK INSIGHTS

Image showing social media monitoring offered by Facebook Insights

Features

Found within the Facebook Page Manager. Provides statistics on: Likes, reach, visits, individual post performance and audience demographics.

Pros

Detailed age demographics, reveals sources of page likes and times when community most active. Also allows easy monitoring of competitor pages.

Cons

Difficult to determine numbers of likes, comments, shares day by day.

Cost

Free

TWITTER ANALYTICS

Image showing social media monitoring offered by Twitter Ads

Features

Found within Twitter, via Settings>Twitter ads. Provides statistics on response to tweets (including clicks on links), follower growth

Pros

Follower interests provided, as well as other accounts they follow, ‘Websites’ tool allows tracking of all links to your site shared by Twitter users

Cons

Very basic demographics compared to Facebook Insights

Cost

Free

HOOTSUITE

Image showing Hootsuite's social media monitoring tools

Features

Link analytics (if you use the ow.ly shortener), basic reports on profile growth and engagement

Pros

Provides customisable reports for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

Cons

Figures sometimes lag behind real-time, anything beyond very basic stats overview requires spend

Cost

Free overview report, deeper level information requires upgrading to Hootsuite Pro (from $8.99/month) or Enterprise.

TWITONOMY

Image showing Twitonomy's analytics report

Features

Statistics on follower growth, mentions and retweets. Also allows hashtag analysis

Pros

Very detailed, easy to export statistics

Cons

Only analyses one social network: Twitter. Detailed information

Cost

Premium costs $19 per month.

ADVANCED

These advanced tools are paid for, and offer a deeper levels of insight, with access to historical data, and the ability to monitor conversations and identify influencers on given search topics.

BRANDWATCH

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Features

Works via queries; searches that you set up for particular terms, which can be refined by excluding other similar but unrelated terms in order to maximise relevance. It provides data on the sources, scale and sentiment (positive or negative)of conversation around topics or brands.

Pros

Sentiment accuracy is high, system can be adjusted to ‘learn’ language patterns, good tool for online reputation management

Cons

Queries can be complex to grasp initially, and may return a high volume of irrelevant results that eat into you allowance (which is based on number of social media mentions monitored)

Cost

Basic package starts at £500/month, rising to £2000 per month for Enterprise packages

PULSAR

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Features

Monitors and measures by topics, audience and content, allowing tracking of published assets as they spread organically,

Pros

Collects all publicly available data, attractive data visualisations, customisable detailed reports, more reliable influencer rankings based on expertise as well as size of following

Cons

Can take a while to collect data,

Cost

Entry price of £500/month for basic package.

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