Customers have the option of communicating with companies via multiple channels, be it for sharing a positive or negative experience. While such channels improve brand presence for businesses, they also increase service liability. It doesn’t take long for a small customer complaint to turn into a full-blown crisis, and things can escalate quickly if a company isn’t even aware of the conversation. In such scenarios, what should businesses do to improve customer experience (CX)? Social media listening is the answer.
Social media listening helps businesses create and maintain positive customer sentiments about their brand. It proactively tracks brand-related conversations and mentions on social media platforms to identify customer preferences and pain points. It also tracks competitor conversations and industry trends to help understand the overall sentiments of customers in the market.
Software solutions that enable social media listening via features such as social media engagement monitoring, measurement, analytics, and reporting can help listen to brand-related social media conversations for identifying areas of action to boost CX. In this article, we’ve featured the three best software tools businesses can use to monitor customers’ social media conversations.
These tools (listed alphabetically) have been selected based on SERP results, overall rating and number of reviews on GetApp, and average annual Google search volume. Our detailed methodology can be found at the bottom of the article.
Hootsuite is a cloud-based reputation and social media management solution. Its features include content management, schedule management, team collaboration, audience engagement, and analytics.
The software offers four pricing plans: professional, team, business, and enterprise. A 30-day free trial is available with all plans, except enterprise. It also has a free version.
Hootsuite’s social media listening capabilities include:
Integrating with monitoring apps: Hootsuite can be integrated with other reviews monitoring apps, including ReviewTrackers, Brandwatch, and Reputology. This allows businesses to use a single tool to track customer reviews as well as social media conversations. They can also add notes to the reviews, share positive ones on social media handles, and respond to customers right from the Hootsuite dashboard.
Tracking and filtering social conversations: Hootsuite tracks multilingual social media conversations and filters them by keyword, relevant hashtags, and location to know how customers feel about a brand or product, its competitors, and the industry at large. Businesses can use these insights to improve their offerings. They can also highlight positive conversations to boost brand positioning and attract new customers.
Let’s read a few user reviews of Hootsuite to understand what customers think about the software.
What they like:
Social media posts can be autoscheduled for multiple platforms, and social media accounts can be easily configured.
The software offers detailed social media analytics to help understand customer perceptions.
What they would like to see:
Better integration between Hootsuite and Instagram.
An improved interface, especially for Android and iOS apps. A few users think that the existing interface is cluttered and difficult to navigate.
Who should consider Hootsuite?
Hootsuite is well suited for businesses looking for a social media management software tool within a limited budget. These businesses can use the free version and schedule up to 30 posts per month.
HubSpot Marketing is cloud-based inbound marketing software that offers email marketing, marketing automation, lead management, and analytics, among other features.
The software has three pricing plans: starter, professional, and enterprise. All three include a free CRM module called HubSpot CRM.
HubSpot Marketing’s social media listening capabilities include:
Monitoring social media activities through social streams: HubSpot’s social media inbox allows businesses to prioritize and track the most relevant conversations, interactions, and followers right from their inbox. Consolidated and personalized keyword monitoring streams help monitor conversations across online discussion threads, Twitter feeds, retweets, and Facebook reactions to understand the overall customer perception about relevant business topics.
Integrating with YouTube to measure customer engagement: This function is particularly helpful for businesses that use YouTube to engage with customers. They can access statistics about the average view time and total number of subscribers, views, likes, dislikes, comments, and shares for a given duration. For viral videos, viewer comments can be analyzed and the findings used to tweak the video strategy for maximum outreach and engagement.
Let’s read a few user reviews of HubSpot Marketing to understand what customers think about the software.
What they like:
Workflows, social media posting, and social media analytics can be managed using a single tool.
Customer interactions can be tracked for marketing campaigns, allowing users to understand customer preferences and accordingly create customized email marketing campaigns.
What they would like to see:
An improved reporting functionality.
Some users reported that the tool can get clunky when running as a Salesforce add-on.
Who should consider HubSpot Marketing?
HubSpot Marketing is suitable for businesses that want a complete suite to manage marketing, sales, and customer service. The tool offers a free CRM module that can be built upon by integrating marketing, sales, and service modules as per need.
Mention is a cloud-based social media monitoring solution that offers web monitoring, social media tracking, competitive analysis, and content management and scheduling.
The software is available in four pricing plans: free, solo, pro, and enterprise. The solo and pro plans have a 14-day trial period.
Mention’s social media listening capabilities include:
Filtering social mentions using Boolean queries: Mention uses Boolean queries for social media monitoring. These queries can search an unlimited number of keywords in different languages. Businesses can view customers’ Twitter bio directly on the application. They can also monitor competitors’ mentions to compare brand presence and use the gathered insights to increase the frequency of online engagement and get more visibility.
Tracking influencer marketing to boost positive sentiments: Mention provides data on subject matter experts who can become community influencers and potential brand ambassadors for increasing the audience of a brand. It offers an influencer dashboard that allows businesses to reply to influencers who have mentioned their brand online. It also provides insights into how competitors are engaging with influencers to help businesses optimize their engagement strategies.
Let’s read a few user reviews of Mention to understand what customers think about the software.
What they like:
Users receive email alerts about competitor mentions on social media platforms, blogs, and online forums.
The software tracks industry trends to identify potential issues or crises so that users can take proactive resolution steps.
What they would like to see:
Users would like to view customer mentions from the past. Currently, they can only check mentions starting from their date of sign-up.
A few small businesses and not-for-profit organizations find the upgrade pricing expensive and want more affordable upgrade plans for accessing complete software features.
Who should consider Mention?
Mention is suitable for businesses of all sizes, especially those looking for an easy-to-use tool that offers specialized features for managing social media content publishing and branding.
This article covers three of the best social media listening tools out there, but to choose the one that best fits your unique requirements be sure to consider these factors:
Value for money: Check which tool is within your budget, and weigh the features offered against software pricing to get maximum value for money. Opt for a free version or trial before investing in any tool.
Integrations: Check out the integrations offered by each of the products to decide on the ones that you want. Some popular software integrations include CRM, sales, and customer service.
Demo: Get a demo of the product that you’ve shortlisted to evaluate its usability before taking the final call. If the tool is easy to use, you’ll save on training costs.
Right tool: If none of these tools seems quite right for your business, be sure to explore GetApp's social media monitoring software catalog.
Based on secondary research (as on March 2, 2020) of articles that featured software tools for social media listening to boost CX, we got a list of 19 products.
Out of these 19, we retained the 9 most popular products based on their occurrence in Google’s blog list.
Thereafter, we evaluated the remaining products based on their overall rating (average rating of 4+) and number of reviews (30+ reviews) on GetApp to select the top 6 products.
We compared the average annual search volume (as on March 4, 2020) for the rest of the products to arrive at our top three recommendations.
Note: The content in this piece provides the opinions and points of view expressed by users and doesn’t represent the views of GetApp. They’ve been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.