What Is Social Listening and Why Is It Important? (Top tools)

Introducing to you some of the best social listening tool

As brands incorporate social media in their digital strategy, they soon realize the endless possibility this medium provides for their brand. Not only can brands generate brand awareness and increase exposure, they can also engage influencers to create genuine experiences and build a brand community. With an estimated 2.77 billion social media users by 2019 (Statista), imagine the reach and business insights every single user can provide to each brand – that is, if brands listen.

This is where social listening comes into play.

Social listening refers to the process of tracking all conversations around specific phrases, words or brands on different social media platform.

Social listening refers to going beyond simply monitoring those who tagged you directly through @mentions and comments, but to leverage on the immense scale of social media to discover new opportunities or create new content for all your audience. It is the monitoring of social media channels to see what consumers are talking about them, their competitors or general trends in the industry. Upon that, the next step that brands should engage in is to analyze these information and translate them to actionable insights for their digital strategy.

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Social listening is huge and there are various approaches that serves different functions:

  • To improve customer service: gather real time feedback, respond to consumers’ queries or potential negative experience on social media
  • Competitor analysis: understand who and what are people talking about your competitors, monitor content generated by them (new campaign/product/services)
  • Track performance of campaign: monitor all content generated during a campaign (sponsored and organic) with the use of an official hashtag
  • Identify potential influencers: engage with influencers you are already working with, identify and recruit potential influencers who are organically talking about your brand

To date, there are numerous social listening tools available in the market, each with their own niche and offering unique features. Here, we are sharing some of the top social listening platforms and their specialty.


  • Gain access to conversations by tracking keywords in real time, across numerous online sources (news portal and social media platforms)
  • Measures sentiment for online perception of keyword (positive, negative, neutral)
  • Allows brands to benchmark against competitors by comparing data from different keywords
  • USD$499 per month (G2 Crowd)


  • Track brand, competition and relevant news in real time; measure media exposure, coverage and gauge sentiment
  • Monitor campaign performance and conversation generated
  • Centralize all coverage (PR and marketing content) for reference on a central newsfeed
  • Draft, schedule and track engagement metric content for social media platform like Twitter and Facebook
  • USD$13,000 onwards per month (Adweek)

  • Access to sources including blogs, forums, review sites, new sources and popular social platforms such as Facebook
  • Monitor conversations with measuring analytics such as audience interests and gender ratio
  • Twitter Channel Report: gathers all Twitter data including all activity, mentions, the most impactful influencers and tweets, and hashtags
  • USD$899; $800 per month for 10,000 mentions (PCmag)

  • Monitors all conversations on Instagram through the use of hashtag with ability to filter by specific accounts, geo-location and sort by various metrics – immediate access to all posts with up to 12 months historical data
  • Identify influencers engaging in conversation and their performance (sponsored or organic)
  • Provides consultancy and one click end-of-campaign report
  • Integrated with influencer search engine (by followers’ demographics) and analytics platform providing brands with access to all Instagram and Youtube influencer account in the world
  • USD$1,450 per month (Popular Chips)


  • Smart Inbox blends social monitoring and response management tools into a single, unified feed streamlining engagement across networks and teams
  • Plan and schedule content publishing for social media campaign
  • Access to premium trend, engagement and listening reports
  • Team tools for collaboration: tasks, tagging, approvals, custom permissions to simplify workflow across various team and stakeholders
  • USD$249 per user per month (Sproutsocial)


These are just some of the options available in the market but they each have their own specialty and niche. With the rise of digital marketing, nothing can be more important than listening to and understanding what all your customers are talking about you.

While some platforms focused on listening and influencers while others integrate publishing and team management tools, they all offer a variety of services at differing prices thus brands can easily look for a platform that best caters to their social media strategy needs. Brands, big or small, should definitely invest in one of these platforms to gather, decipher and provide valuable insights from the massive quantities of social data.

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