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5 Social Media Listening Tools (Plus A Zappos Example)

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  • April 8, 2015

Millions of people have taken their discussions about brands online – from complaints to questions to praise. 67% of consumers have used a company’s social media sites for customer service J.D. Power and Associates) and 33% of customers prefer to contact brands through social media rather than the phone (Nielsen). These stats mark a definite shift in consumer behavior and make one thing very obvious: brands need to treat social media like a telephone and not like a megaphone and start listening to what’s being said online.

Some brands are doing this very successfully. Zappos, for example, recognizes that engaging with customers online will yield both happy and loyal customers. Watch this discussion with Anna Nickolatos Darden of Pahlmeyer:

Social Media Listening tool

Social Media Tools

And it didn’t top there…

Social Media Listening

The most significant part of this exchange is that @NapaCruiseDir doesn’t ever actually @mention Zappos. However, because Zappos was monitoring Twitter closely for any mention of their brand, they were able to jump into the conversation and further their relationships with @SelfEmployDKing and @NapaCruiseDir.

Do me a favor and ask yourself something: when is the last time you checked the @mentions for your social accounts? And what about the people who aren’t @mentioning you?

Are you listening to what’s being said about you online?

Are you REALLY listening?

We know that monitoring your brand online can be a lot of work…which is why it’s important to equip yourself with the right social media listening tools to do it more efficiently. Check out these top 5 tools for listening on social media.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite does a great job of helping you monitor your reputation on Twitter. It allows you, for example, to set up streams to monitor @mentions, keywords or keyword phrases. Not everyone who tweets will be using your hashtag or @mentioning you so this is a great way to spot Twitter conversations happening around your brand and immediately reply. I use this actively for monitoring my own Sheena White website mentions.

Social Mention

This free tool scans social media, news sites, and blogs for mentions of a name or brand. It actually rates the mentions according to Strength (how often your brand is being discussed), Sentiment (positive to negative), Passion (how likely someone will repeat the mention) and Reach (measure of influence). You also can use this tool to monitor your competitors, establishing the top keywords, users and hashtags.

Mention

This tool monitors Facebook, Twitter, blogs, videos, forums, and even images for mentions of your name, Twitter handle and website. Like Hootsuite, you can respond to and favorite comments directly within the platform, as well as mark items as read. Mention will even flag comments as high priority for Twitter or Facebook users who are influential so you’re sure to notice them. One of my favorite parts, however, is that it has a mobile app so you can monitor your social mentions even when you’re out and about.

Topsy

Topsy is a search engine that’s similar to Social Mention, and the main focus is around social media and blogs. The database is in real time and it measures sentiment and provides analytics for you to review. Unlike other tools that just show results in order of last received, Topsy allows you to sort by links, tweets, photos, videos, or influencers, which is especially useful if you have a lot of content to go through and/or you’re looking for something specific. Like Social Mention, it’s not necessary to register, but you do have the option of creating an email alert.

Brand24

Brand24 is both easy to use and provides great reports (useful for demonstrating the value of your social media efforts) as you monitor your accounts. Use the graphs to monitor your mentions over a period of time and then filter based on the source of the traffic (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

Are you using any social media listening tools now? If so, which one? We would love to hear which tools are your favorites. Let us know in the comments below!

Author Sheena White

Sheena White is a copywriter and social media strategist who helps clients rock their sales copy in order to increase conversions. She also has a copywriting course where she teaches entrepreneurs the strategies they need to write great sales copy.

More posts by Sheena White
  • Jim Moritz

    wow It’s my first visit on your amazing website. I really appreciate

    5 Social Media Listening Tools and Plus A Zappos Example.

    • Wow Jim we love 1st time visitors.

      What did you like about the article?

  • Jim Moritz

    wow It’s my first visit on your amazing website. I really appreciate

    5 Social Media Listening Tools and Plus A Zappos Example.

    • Wow Jim we love 1st time visitors.

      What did you like about the article?

  • Great post Sheena!
    Listening for your brand when you’re not actually tagged is just as important as listening to the ones you’re tagged in. Sometimes even more so because people are surprised and delighted to see a brand respond when they didn’t tag them in the post.
    I also just wanted to point out that I work for a social media monitoring and analytics platform that didn’t make your list, but we can definitely help with listening for mentions of your brand (whether you’re tagged or not) and more, like your competitors and industry, plus we do a ton of analytics on top of just listening to help people get true social media intelligence out of their listening efforts. Feel free to check out Sysomos (http://sysomos.com) to see what I mean.

    Cheers,
    Sheldon, community manager for Sysomos

    • Thanks Sheldon for adding your comment.Yes just as important in answering is also one’s you are specifically tagged in. Those can be real damaging to your brand when they’re not responded to.

  • Great post Sheena!
    Listening for your brand when you’re not actually tagged is just as important as listening to the ones you’re tagged in. Sometimes even more so because people are surprised and delighted to see a brand respond when they didn’t tag them in the post.
    I also just wanted to point out that I work for a social media monitoring and analytics platform that didn’t make your list, but we can definitely help with listening for mentions of your brand (whether you’re tagged or not) and more, like your competitors and industry, plus we do a ton of analytics on top of just listening to help people get true social media intelligence out of their listening efforts. Feel free to check out Sysomos (http://sysomos.com) to see what I mean.

    Cheers,
    Sheldon, community manager for Sysomos

    • Thanks Sheldon for adding your comment.Yes just as important in answering is also one’s you are specifically tagged in. Those can be real damaging to your brand when they’re not responded to.

    • Thanks Sheldon for adding your comment.Yes just as important in answering is also one’s you are specifically tagged in. Those can be real damaging to your brand when they’re not responded to.

  • Great post Sheena!
    Listening for your brand when you’re not actually tagged is just as important as listening to the ones you’re tagged in. Sometimes even more so because people are surprised and delighted to see a brand respond when they didn’t tag them in the post.
    I also just wanted to point out that I work for a social media monitoring and analytics platform that didn’t make your list, but we can definitely help with listening for mentions of your brand (whether you’re tagged or not) and more, like your competitors and industry, plus we do a ton of analytics on top of just listening to help people get true social media intelligence out of their listening efforts. Feel free to check out Sysomos (http://sysomos.com) to see what I mean.

    Cheers,
    Sheldon, community manager for Sysomos

  • Hi Shenna Thanks for great tips on Twitter: Zappos is outstanding (in this example Zappos “caught those two” with two different Twitter accounts) when it comes to customer service! They gain customer one at a time: just like this Twitter exchange shows! Have you given @Twitonomy a try? I am using it right now and would love to have your take on it! Kind Regards to you from Hamburg!

    • Thanks for visiting Bruno. Absolutely love Zappos style of acquiring customers one at a time as you mentioned. Truly amazing company.

      We don’t use Twitonomy currently. There are a ton of Twitter tools (us being one) and we use several different ones. Do you find it helpful and what features do you like/dislike? We always love feedback so we can possibly integrate into our service.

  • Hi Shenna Thanks for great tips on Twitter: Zappos is outstanding (in this example Zappos “caught those two” with two different Twitter accounts) when it comes to customer service! They gain customer one at a time: just like this Twitter exchange shows! Have you given @Twitonomy a try? I am using it right now and would love to have your take on it! Kind Regards to you from Hamburg!

    • Thanks for visiting Bruno. Absolutely love Zappos style of acquiring customers one at a time as you mentioned. Truly amazing company.

      We don’t use Twitonomy currently. There are a ton of Twitter tools (us being one) and we use several different ones. Do you find it helpful and what features do you like/dislike? We always love feedback so we can possibly integrate into our service.

  • Beaglecat

    Great list, Sheena! These are all great tools! I admit we’re using swat.io for social media management but we’ll definitely take a look at the ones you’ve mentioned. The main struggle for us resides in managing multiple clients, that is why we opted for a tool with a ticket inbox functionality and a shared calendar.

    • Thanks for sharing and there are definitely a ton of different tools out there. We’ll check this one out also.

      Thanks for visiting SocialQuant and let us know if we can ever assist with any of your clients accounts. Love working with Agencies.

  • Thanks for sharing and there are definitely a ton of different tools out there. We’ll check this one out also.

    Thanks for visiting SocialQuant and let us know if we can ever assist with any of your clients accounts. Love working with Agencies.

  • Thanks for including Brand24 in your list! Also I wanna add that our social media monitoring tool combines a simple dashboard with powerful analytics, so even begginers will be fascinated with the results. Also pricing starts with less than $50, which makes selecting the right tool is very easy :) Any questions you might have – feel free to shoot me an email at martyna.tarnawska@brand24.net 😉

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  • TodaysLearnings

    Thanks for the great article. I currently use Hootsuite to monitor the @ mentions but your article really helped highlight how sometimes there is activity that is happening that, if we are paying attention, we can take some action to remedy and really create a surprise and delight for our customers. Thank you for sharing these great social monitoring options Sheena!

    • Dennis

      Love HootSuite for publishing. I think it serves it’s purpose in the listening category.

  • TodaysLearnings

    Thanks for the great article. I currently use Hootsuite to monitor the @ mentions but your article really helped highlight how sometimes there is activity that is happening that, if we are paying attention, we can take some action to remedy and really create a surprise and delight for our customers. Thank you for sharing these great social monitoring options Sheena!

  • mstricker

    Now that Topsy has been retired, SMBs and agency teams might consider SEMrush. The added mentions tool is being fine-tuned. When you take into account all of the other functions (follower growth, engagement and most-popular content) PLUS features for SEO, PPC etc., this power tool suite deserves a (free) trial. (Full disclosure: I’m SEMrush U.S. Marketing Director).

    • Dennis

      Hi mstricker…Would be great to learn more. Looking at tools for both sentiment + emotional analysis, routing features, capabilities to communicate in omni channel, etc. Please feel free to connect with me on Twitter @dschiraldi – send me a DM. I’d like to catch a demo.

  • Sheena why in the world wouldn’t you include Respondly, which was acquired by Buffer? It is EXACTLY what is needed to to have a conversation on Twitter with your followers!! Is it due to a lack of a referral link, perhaps? Because Hootsuite wasn’t designed for responding to tweets, and well, Respondly was and is created exactly for that purpose. Or SocialBro, now Audiense but the same tool. It seems to me personally that you included all brand mention tools, rather than actual conversational tools for Twitter; but that is just on man’s opinion.

  • Found this article on Twitter and it’s very insightful. Thanks for sharing with us your ideas, Sheena! I personally use – Oscilloskope, and I totally recommend it. The key difference between all of these great tools and Oscilloskope is done by the Facebook monitoring. Oscilloskope offers real mentions from real users, and not only the comments from the public page. Check it out!

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