The Best Social Media Monitoring Tools For Your Brand

As you know, I’ve dedicated this entire week to helping you learn all the ins and outs of social media monitoring. Over the last two days, we’ve explored the benefits of becoming an avid social media monitor, the different types of listening you can do, and of course, the keywords and phrases you should be monitoring for.

Today is going to be more hands-on! By the end of this post, you’ll be ready to start setting up your social media monitoring posts. Within this post I’m going to go through some great social media monitoring tools, how they work and why you might choose to use them. I’ll also provide you with a list of additional social media monitoring tools, both free and paid, that you may want to look into.

The importance of your social media monitoring tools
Being set up with social media monitoring tools allows you to continuously monitor the discussions around your brand, while not having to spend every waking moment actually monitoring.

Of course if you have a mega brand that gets discussed hundreds or thousands of times each day, then you’ll want to combine these tools (and probably the more advanced paid ones as well) with an actual social media monitoring team. But I’ll be getting more into that in tomorrow’s post.

Yesterday I left you with some homework. I asked you to make a list of the the keywords and phrases you wanted to track and monitor. Today, it’s time to put those keywords to use and start monitoring!

The following are some great free tools that do the job really well:

Google Alerts –
The Google alerts tool is great for monitoring your targeted keywords, and being alerted whenever they get used online. You simply enter in your keyword or phrase and choose the type of results you want (news, blogs, video discussions, books or all), as well as the frequency in which you’d like to receive these alerts. The great part about Google Alerts, is that you can choose between receiving the alerts straight in your inbox, or within your RSS reader.

SocialMention –
SocialMention is a great tool for monitoring and analyzing different keywords and phrases across the many social media platforms. Similar to Google Alerts, you specify your chosen terms and SocialMention gives you the results from the various social media platforms. Only it goes a step further than Google Alerts. SocialMention also analyzes:

  • The sentiment of the keyword
  • The reach
  • The average number of days between mentions
  • Top keywords
  • Top Users
  • Top Hashtags
  • And more

It’s a great tool to look into! 


Twilert –
Twilert is a free web-based app that enables you to receive email updates when the keywords you choose get mentioned or discussed on Twitter. Going beyond searching hashtags and @mentions, Twilert scans each and every tweet searching for your specific keyword. You can set it up to scan and notify you as often as you see fit.

Tweetdeck and Hootsuite – and
Tweetdeck and Hootsuite are two very widely used tools for monitoring your social media mentions and discussions. They do relatively the same things, only Tweetdeck is a desktop application and Hootsuite is an online social media monitoring tool.

The great thing about these two tools, is that they allow you to monitor different accounts at once, including different Twitter accounts, Facebook accounts, Linkedin and more. They also make it very simple to monitor your @mentions, direct messages, different search terms, trending topics, and others – all from within the same platform.

Another nifty function is that they allow you to schedule your tweets in advance. 

Narrowing in on your search terms
It’s normal if it takes you a few weeks to get the hang of narrowing in on your search terms. One key trick is to be as targeted and direct as possible. This allows you to maximize on the amount of relevant search results that come in.

For example, if you’re monitoring discussions and mentions around the apple brand, you’ll want to use phrases such as “technology”, “computer”, “iPod”, etc. Otherwise, simply monitoring the word “apple” will bring in hundreds of results about the fruit, apple farms, apple picking… You get the idea!

Get notified in real time
All of these different tools are great and can really work together (or separately) to provide you with real-time insights of what’s going on around your brand. But unless you set yourself up to be notified in real-time, all the tools in the world won’t help you detect a social media crisis as it happens – which is what you want if you want the opportunity to react and respond before it grows out of control.

Here are some tricks to help you stay current and aware, at all times:

  • Download the apps for all of the social media monitoring tools you use, and set them up to notify you on each of your mobile devices
  • Activate screen popups
  • Download an RSS reader to your mobile device

Make it easy to stay connected at all times and use the wonders of today’s technology to your advantage. Then you can rest assured that if something goes on in the online world, you will be one of the first to hear about it!

More tools to check out
Free tools:

Paid tools:

As you can see, there are tons of cool tools and applications for you to choose from and use to your advantage!

If you’re a smaller brand with a limited amount of discussions online, then these free tools will allow you the flexibility and awareness that you need to keep track of what’s being said about your brand online, and the opportunity to detect a crisis as it happens.

However, if you’re a bigger brand and you feel that you will need more than just these tools to keep you alert (perhaps monitoring and responding to the discussions is a full time job on it’s own), then join me tomorrow when I will be elaborating on your social media monitoring team, who to hire, and what their job description includes.

Are there any great social media monitoring tools that I left out? Be sure to share your comments with me in the comments section below!

Melissa Agnes is an international crisis management keynote speaker and consultant. President of the crisis management firm Agnes + Day, Melissa has developed a worldwide reputation for crisis management, planning and training by helping global brands and government agencies prevent and manage a wide range of issues and crises. She is also the editor of The Crisis Intelligence Blog and host of The Crisis Intelligence Podcast.

13 Comments. Leave new

Woah! Huge list, huh.. 🙂 Great share, Melissa!

I read about tweet deck a few days back. Google alert was the only one about which I know, already but not the rest.

Thanks. 😀


I'm glad you got value from the post Abhi! Thanks for leaving your comment 🙂


I'm so glad you share these tools with us here. I'm more familiar with Google Alert but I'd suggest you check out Google's "ME ON THE WEB" feature as well which makes it easier for people to protect their brands from bad people..

BTW, I came here for my first time and I can say, I love your website. 🙂


Hi Daniel,

Im glad you came to check out the link I sent you, and Im glad you found some useful tools that you didn't know about!

I'll definitely check out your suggestion, thanks!

Im glad you stopped by and thanks for the great comment! 🙂


[…] which social media monitoring tools best suit your […]


[…] right! It wouldn’t be possible… without the help of your beloved social media monitoring tools that […]


Hi Melissa,

I have been following your series on social media monitoring tools and have thoroughly enjoyed it. This is a very useful list and a great place to get started into Social Media Monitoring. However, I do urge you to check out our social media monitoring and intelligence tool – webfluenz.
If a business requires a social media monitoring tool which enables you to listen to a wider scope of conversations than just Twitter (including blogs, forums, videos etc), to perform more detailed analysis of trends in Buzz in Social Media, or to manage your Twitter & Facebook to engage directly, and to perform deeper analytics on your own outbound marketing message, our tool – webfluenz – does just that. For more details, please visit


Hi Aditi,

Thanks for following my series, and thanks for letting me know about your product. I'll definitely check it out! I saw your tweet this morning, so now it all makes sense 😉

I appreciate you stopping by!



[…] Start setting up your social media listening posts […]


Very Detailed content.
I've just started using twepe which notifies you of Twitter mentions and enables you to tweet updates from Google+ — however, I haven't been able to get that feature to work. Good list.

Another leading social media monitoring company is Sysomos, which offers two services: Heartbeat (monitoring and measurement) and MAP (analytics and in-depth reports). Both services feature geo-demographics, automated sentiment, on-the-fly-translation and the ability to identify and engage with key influencers and opinion leaders. Sysomos’ clients include many of the world’s leading public relations and advertising agencies, as well as many Fortune 500 companies. You can learn more about what we do here:

Well Very good guide.



Hi Rosey,

Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment and suggestion! I'll definitely take a look at Sysomos 🙂

For Twitter mentions, try Twilert. I use it regularly and love it! The best part is that you can monitor keywords within tweets that don't get hash tagged or @mentioned. Let me know what you think if you try it out 😉


You are welcome Melissa.
hmm Twilert is so interesting thanks for suggestion :).
it's just my start on it. but it's feel better.


Glad I could help Rosey! It seems like you're off to a good start 🙂


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Get the tips and strategies you need to prevent, manage and overcome any type of organizational crisis, by subscribing to The Crisis Intelligence Blog and Podcast. By subscribing you will receive periodic emails with:

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