Social media offers your brand the best of both worlds. You get to talk, grow and connect with your audience. Plus, you get to listen to what they say to and about you.

Creating and engaging with fans is where brands spend 90 percent of their time. Yet you can learn just as much from listening to the feedback, reviews and overall chatter about your company online.

Think about it. It's like a nonstop digital focus group. Users are always talking candidly about their brand experience. Now, it's up to you to pause, tune in and listen.

When you focus and prioritize social listening, you open up a whole new world. You can discover untapped leads, right poor customer experiences and gather unfiltered feedback about your products and services. When you truly value the feedback you find on the web, without instantly disregarding it, you can create a better long-term brand experience.

For those positive effects to happen, you first need to have the right social media monitoring tools on your side. With these, it's much easier to hear what others are saying about your brand online — and not just on your official profiles.

Below are the three best social media monitoring tools. To maximize the effectiveness of these tools, track more than just your company name. Also, include your top product names, services or brand terms.

1. Mention

What it is: Mention allows anyone to monitor the web and social media in real time.


  • Mention covers all the major social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Reddit and Pinterest.
  • They've perfected their algorithm to show you the most relevant info about your brand. This way, you can tune out the noise and hone in on what matters.
  • You can reply right from the app or mobile site. No need to hop onto each social network to engage.

2. Brandwatch

What it is: Brandwatch specializes in powerful social media monitoring and analytics.


  • Brandwatch listens and covers the major social media platforms. However, their coverage of image-driven platforms — such as Instagram and Pinterest — is limited.
  • You can add unlimited users, so this is a great option for bigger brands or agencies.
  • This is one of the best social media listening tools to collect competitive intel.
  • The many filters make it easy to set up customized alerts. For example, you can get alerted immediately for negative mentions and have all positive mentions delivered to your email the next day.
  • Brandwatch presents their data visually, which makes it easier to digest and share with other team members. There are lots of graphs, data and numbers.

3. Social Mention

What it is: Social Mention is a social media search and analysis platform that aggregates user-generated content into a single stream of information.


  • Free! While the other two social monitoring tools do charge, Social Mention is 100 percent free to use.
  • This is a great option for small businesses. It gives you the ability to test the waters of social media listening without getting bogged down by a complicated tool.
  • One of the coolest, instant features is the sentiment ratio. You get to see how often your brand mentions are positive versus negative.