Social media continues to grow and has become the way many brands ‘do’ business. And since 72% of consumers use social media to discover new products, tracking your brand’s effectiveness online has become integral, so social media scanners are the key to unlocking your success.
Here, we’ll explore what social media scanning is, as well as provide the 20 best social media monitoring tools out there. And these stats speak to the importance of understanding social media’s role in your consumers’ lives, and its importance to brands’ lives as well!
- Two-thirds of shoppers today use social media as part of their shopping strategy.
- Social media users trust other consumers more than brands, so you need to know what they’re saying.
- There was a rebirth of conscious consumerism in 2021, with consumer purchases closely aligned with their values – understand what they are!
- Fifty-eight percent of consumers remember at least one brand that pivoted to better respond to their needs during the pandemic, and 82% said this led to them doing more business with the brand.
So, what are social media scanners? These handy tools monitor every inch of the social web, including social media channels, forums, blogs, comment data, reviews, news media – you name it. And they scour each for insight relevant to your brand and to your category, including share of voice, consumer sentiment, demographic and psychographic specifics about your audience, a plethora of competitive intelligence and so much more.
Using social media monitoring tools reveals what your consumers love and hate, and leads to better targeted messaging, which improves brand perception and, ultimately, better ROI.
But not all tools offer the same things, which is why we’ve compiled this list of social media scanners to help you decide which one is right for you! Let’s explore.
1) NetBase Quid
When it comes to social media scanners, brands need to have a real-time and accurate overview of the consumer and market conversation happening online, wherever it is happening. NetBase Quid offers real-time and in-depth insight that reaches every corner of the social web. Brands can aggregate and analyze intel from a wide variety of social channels, news sources, blogs, comment data, employee and consumer review sites, visual imagery, and so much more.
But a great social media scanner needs to do more than pull data from all over the web, it must also visually break it all down in dashboards that are easily digested by stakeholders. As noted, brands can capture not only text-based intel, but also emojis and imagery, with positive, negative and neutral sentiments easily parsed, tracked back to their sources and evaluated for impact. And whether one is comparing brands, trends, customer service efforts, the latest campaign, or the effectiveness of your latest PR response – everything is immediately accessible and clear.
This tool is also able to extrapolate accurate meanings in context, so sarcasm and slang aren’t skewing your findings, and ensuring everything is categorized properly so there’s no mixed messaging to trip over and muddle your understanding.
2) Rival IQ
Keeping an eye on the competition, without obsessing over them, is a good business practice. Rival IQ has a whole host of social media scanners to help you do this, and they offer particular expertise in the competitive analysis realm.
Benchmarking your brand against competitors is a vital part of ensuring you are consistently winning a larger share of voice – or at least, more consumer love. And measuring your brand against average stats for other brands in your industry, instead of just relying on your own performance, is super helpful in its own right, as it keeps your brand grounded in reality. With Rival IQ’s tool, you can set alerts to let you know when a particular brand’s post has been boosted or when their Twitter mentions go off the charts. This keeps you aware of what’s happening, so you can catch a trend as it evolves and potentially improve on a competitor’s messaging. And it also reveals competitor struggles, as those skyrocketing mentions are not always a good thing!
Creating content for all of your many channels can feel overwhelming, but Hootsuite makes quick and easy work of this. From their dashboard, you can create, schedule and publish content to share across multiple social media outlets. This way you get the messaging right for each one and can more accurately monitor for a consistent voice. This is especially helpful when you have a team managing your social voice.
Brands can also search popular terms, so you can track brand mentions or products, and relevant keywords or hashtags
Buffer offers some of the same benefits Hootsuite does, however, with their engagement tool, brands are able to track comments. This helps keep brands better informed of their consumers’ kudos, wish lists, and even complaints. And Buffer uses machine learning to alert you to any comment that may have negative sentiment or specific questions about a product or order. It learns as it goes, getting better at detecting patterns and becoming progressively more valuable when it comes to getting ahead of problems and protecting your brand health
The world of social media is constantly evolving and when it comes to social media scanners, NUVI is a great choice for those with larger teams. NUVI is created with teams in mind to help keep everyone on the same page. It provides real time, actionable insights and the ability to collaborate across its social listening tools that go well beyond capturing social media intel. They also work well with RSS outlets, blogs and websites
By setting alerts for sentiment dips, or for keywords you’re tracking, or even to identify trends, your entire team will be notified simultaneously, creating a seamless notification systema and helping you strategize campaign planning and customer experience.
HubSpot offers a combination of social media scanners and customer service software. With 90% of consumers expecting their queries to be answered in less than 24 hours, having a marriage between these two marketing tools is a no-brainer. Bring what you discover using consumer analytics to bear on your customer service side, and create a more complete picture of your audience. The service hub brings your customer service data and channels together on one CRM platform that keeps consumer intelligence accessible and organized. And it helps to efficiently onboard, support, retain, and increase your customer base.
Agencies with multiple clients who want to stay ahead of the competition may like Sendible for its ability to monitor the landscape of each individual client from one dashboard. You can monitor trending hashtags on Twitter to see which ones might be the best for your client, or use their social media scanners to keep a careful watch on the competition. This way, your clients can either emulate their successful steps, or learn from their mistakes and avoid typical pitfalls all-together.
Loomly not only allows you to create and schedule social media posts, but it keeps those creative juices flowing by providing ideas for fresh content to share with your audience. Keeping on trend is important when trying to reach your consumers, of course. And Loomly’s social media scanner helps your brand do this by basing its suggestions on trending topics, RSS feeds, date related events and social media best practices. And with its post approval workflow, it offers exceptional functionalities for teams working together.
And since we’re looking at social media intelligence, it wouldn’t be complete without one that offers feedback on reviews. With Reputation, you can access all of your brand’s review feedback in one place. Then you can easily respond to each in turn, and this act boosts your online presence! Reputation even offers customer response templates that are battle-tested. These help brands overcome writer’s block and respond in a timelier fashion, keeping things moving forward.
10) Social Mention
User generated content (UGC) is some of the best-earned media a brand can have, assuming it’s positive. And companies need to be able to see these thousands of brand mentions, whether positive or negative if they hope to keep on top of consumer perception.
Social mention’s ability to track UGC aids you in locating positive reviews that you can then turn around and use to promote yourself. It’s also handy for uncovering negative mentions, which are important to identify quickly as bad news spreads faster than good. Social Mention’s social media scanners help you do all of this, protecting brand health and gradually improving perception, even providing sentiment scoring and connected keywords. Use it to track trends as well!
It’s vital to your brand’s heartbeat to track which posts are performing well and which aren’t, this way you’re not focusing effort in the wrong areas. With eclincher’s social media scanner for small to medium businesses, you can keep an eye on all your stats and pivot as needed. And because they partner with Google Analytics, you’ll have tools that measure reach, engagemen,t and sentiment to aid your brand in making the right moves.
The big selling point for YouScan, is their logo recognition software. This visual insight allows consumer insights professionals and brands to see their product in use when it’s not specifically mentioned in text. This can pave the way for new ideas in marketing, as sometimes your product may be used in a way you hadn’t thought of. But it delivers more than just ideas, it also protects your brand and can keep you aware of any trademark infringement.
This social media scanner offers real time monitoring of all online conversations. And it’s possible to measure your reach, track engagements and measure your campaign efforts. But it’s stand-out tool is sentiment monitoring. Brands need to understand what sentiments lie behind consumer comments and posts. With sentiment analysis tools you can check your audience’s temperature and address any negative feelings so they don’t fester – or spread.
Feedly has a unique approach to tracking trends, and even discovering emerging trends. And it does so by using an AI assistant called Leo. The idea is that you feed Leo the information that’s important for you to stay on top of, and it filters out the nonsense, providing you a dashboard of only the insights you asked for. It also discovers and suggests related topics, hashtags, and keywords important to the subjects you already follow. This way, you don’t miss a thing – and often discover new, related topics that may have escaped your notice in our noisy online world.
NapoleonCat offers insights for ecommerce efforts – intel that drills down to the geographical level. Demographics are a key element in understanding your audience, as is knowing where your consumers are located, specifically. The social media scanner this company provides pinpoints where in the world your audience is. This helps brands create better targeted messaging, and produces a visual map of where brands should consider expanding their marketing efforts.
Mediatoolkit offers a free brand report, which shares some detailed analyses including an influencer dashboard. Influencer marketing is super important, of course as it is now a 13.8 billion dollar industry. Brand missing out on this puzzle piece are letting excellent opportunities to connect with consumers slip away. Consumers often view influencers as friends, or as regular people – at least as opposed to a big company. Track which influencers will reach your audience and then measure their impact afterwards to see what is working and who connects best with your finnicky crowd. With Mediatoolkit’s social media scanner, you can do both.
One of the most powerful ways to increase your brand’s perception on social media is by having employee advocates. Give your employees the tools to easily discover, filter and then share pre-approved content to their profiles, expanding your reach and credibility. Then track how their audience responds. You may have an in-house influencers hiding in plain sight!
TikTok brought a whole new way to grab the attention of younger audiences. And now that it has grown, it houses multiple generations along with multiple opportunities to connect with them! The social media scanner that Storyclash offers is focused on influencer identification, tracking and reporting. You can track owned, and even earned, influence to see what’s working best for your company. Discover which TikTok sensations are resonating with your consumers, and then harness their prowess for your benefit.
Sentiment API from radarr stands out as it offers campaign sentiment prediction. This free social media scanner, takes a phrase or sentence that you choose and analyzes it for any found sentiments so your brand can better understand what wording to use for the best outcome. It predicts your best results!
If Twitter is your thing, then TweetDeck is one of the best tools for your brand to track your impact and reach. It’s a part of an all-in-one social media scanner, meaning that you can create, schedule and track a post’s success. And it’s free for Twitter users.
With it, you can stay up-to-date on your messages or explore trending topics and hashtags on Twitter. Searching for competitors is simple and will help keep you apprised of any major moves in your market.
Staying aware of brand perception, consumer trends and campaign response starts with social media scanners. If you’re looking for one offering a meticulously detailed view of your consumer, while simultaneously offering a 360-degree view of your category, be sure to reach out for a demo! We’ll have you up and running right away!