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Given the realities of today’s customer-led market and real-time customer feedback, it’s more critical than ever for brands to track, monitor, and listen to what customers are saying online.

It’s not always easy, however, to get a handle on what they’re saying — and where they’re saying it. With so many platforms and channels to choose from, your customers are more empowered than ever to share their thoughts about and experiences with your business.

They’re rating their experiences based on scales of 1 star to 5 stars. They’re expressing themselves in free-form text on online review sites and blog posts. They’re posting comments and creating conversations on channels like Yelp, Google, and TripAdvisor, on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as via status updates, check-ins, hearts, thumbs up/down, and tweets. And they’re making their voices heard and expecting your company to respond.

Manual monitoring is not impossible. But it’s time-consuming, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to cover all your bases as well as respond to customers in a timely manner. If you’re hoping to effectively and efficiently monitor your brand based on what customers are saying, you’ll need a tool to help you get the job done.

Bonus: Download free customizable response templates to help you jumpstart conversations with customers and save time writing responses to them. No tricks — get started in seconds!     

Here’s a list of top social media monitoring tools for tracking your brand and listening in on customer-led conversations:

Hootsuite

Hootsuite helps you manage your social media marketing in one place. Using the world’s most widely used social relationship platform, you can manage your various social profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, YouTube, and LinkedIn, to name a few) and automatically find and schedule effective social content.

Your Hootsuite account also includes insights, analytics, and real-time results to help you achieve a better understanding of your social media performance. Plus: it has a growing App Directory that enables users to connect existing marketing, content, and other business systems to the Hootsuite platform.

Hootsuite’s Free plan lets you manage up to 3 social media profiles, as well as utilize basic analytics and content scheduling features. Paid plans, which start at $9.99 a month, are also available for teams with multiple members.

ReviewTrackers

Ever wanted to consolidate all your online reviews in one dashboard? Hoping to get more out of — and do more with — customer feedback?

ReviewTrackers is the award-winning online review management and customer feedback software platform trusted by more than 30,000 business locations.

Designed to help you monitor online reviews and measure the customer experience, ReviewTrackers collects and analyzes online review and customer feedback data from over 80 sources, including reviews and ratings from sites like Yelp, Google, Facebook, and TripAdvisor, among many others.

As an enterprise-ready tool, ReviewTrackers does more than simply collect data. It has a powerful analytics and reporting engine that allows you to drill down data and accurately measure the performance of individual business locations. ReviewTrackers also has a feedback and review request tool, complete with NPS-based customer feedback survey creation and distribution, to help you build online brand visibility through reviews. And with Trending Topics, a text analytics and sentiment analysis tool with easy-to-use word cloud visualizations, you can high-impact customer trends and issues affecting customer experience.

BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is a great tool to help you find your most-shared content and build a community of influencers. You can perform an instant search of up to 12 months of data and quickly find out your best pieces of content based on share activity across all the major social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, and even Pinterest.

With BuzzSumo, you can also analyze what kind of content performs best for any topic or competitor. The tool can run detailed analysis reports as well as competitive intelligence reports, plus you can improve your outreach and influencer marketing by searching for the key influencers in any topic area. Plans start at $79 a month, and each includes a free 14-day trial as well as webinar training sessions.

Owler

Want to know what your competitors are doing? There’s a monitoring tool for that, too.

Founded in San Mateo, California, Owler is crowdsourced competitive intelligence platform that businesses use to keep an eye on their competition, gain information, and uncover industry trends.

Every day, Owler processes more than 11,000 news articles and over 22,000 blog posts; to have yours processed, all you have to do is sign up, then publish your blog post and press release, so that the tool can automatically pick it up through its RSS feeds.

One of Owler’s most popular features is the Daily Snapshot, a hand-curated e-mail on the latest news related to the companies a user follows. The best part? The tool is free, and simply having an Owler profile can help you monitor your brand, gain exposure, and bolster brand authority in several different ways.

 

Migs Bassig

Migs is the Content Manager for ReviewTrackers. He's a creative writer who has helped numerous companies communicate more effectively online, and he loves sharing his local marketing knowledge to help brands and business succeed.

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