Social Listening Tools For Community (and Brand) Managers

Posted on Friday, August 19, 2016 by Rare Earth Interactive

We've already talked about the steps community managers can take in order deliver the level of service your customers expect, so let's talk about the tools that keep CMs attuned to customers' needs. Social listening platforms collect and curate data from a variety of platforms.  Depending on the application, these tools will find conversations about your brand, related keywords, or hashtags. You'll be able to interact with your community and share insights with stakeholders (colleagues, clients, your boss). Lastly, reporting functions collect data which allows you to see how the world views your brand.

You may learn that customers have found an unintended use for your product: think of that canned lunch meat that DIYers used as furniture polish. On the other hand, you may learn that there are shipping or packaging issues. When handled promptly and well, a less than satisfactory experience with the product can become a public relations success story.

Below are are four web-based applications that will help you keep on top of the conversation. 



Home  Fees  Features 

Mention monitors any social media or web discussions about your brand so you can respond in real time. With it, you can filter out irrelevant conversations, find influencers in your subject area, and discover related topics.Mention scans not only social media giants such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook; it also alerts brands to eBay sales of their products and taps into posts in the blogosphere.

While Mention primarily helps with community building, you can also use it for market research, competitor analysis, and lead generation.  Support is available via email; live support is available by appointment. The mobile app allows you to monitor your community from anywhere.

What are people saying about Mention?


Returns more results than Google Alerts, easy-to-use interface, affordable.


Returned off-base info, clunky interface.


Home   Fees (Not listed)  Features 

Sysomos provides comprehensive social media monitoring. The app works best for large, global companies with international reach. Not only does it track all mentions of your brand, it lets you find out where that conversation started and when. You can discover the key networks of influencers driving conversations, the conversations that matter to them, and gain insights into what the web talks about. Additionally, they offer tools to optimize and target your social media ad spends by finding the interests of users you want to target and other users like them.


Powerful and comprehensive enterprise social marketing tool with some genuinely innovative features.


"Not intuitive"; "Clunky and slow"; "Sometimes features available through native access (desktop/mobile Facebook app, etc) are not available in Heartbeat itself."


Hootsuite Pro/Enterprise

Home   Fees    Features 

Hootsuite Pro delivers basic social media monitoring across multiple social media networks on a budget. You can see who’s talking about you, schedule content to post ahead of time, and view analytics about your campaign. Their enterprise product adds security features like two-step approvals for content, team management, improved reporting, and training on-demand.


Robust, solid set of tools that get a lot of use, good support.


Extra reporting is costly, forced to use their URL shortener, extra fees.


Cision Social Software

Home Fees  Features 

Cision offers social software (formerly Visible Technologies) that can track conversations across multiple social platforms and interact those conversations without leaving the app. They provide a full suite of analytics to gain actionable insights from the data gathering from these conversations. With their API, you can integrate their functionality into the other tools you use, providing a seamless monitoring experience.


Complete database; easy to target desired audience


Difficult to use; missing important analytics; database outdated
These are just a few of the many social monitoring tools on the market, but we find that these are among the most popular. If we've miss your favorite, post a comment!

To learn more about how Rare Earth's Digital Marketing services can help your brand thrive:

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