Social media long ago became a place where people voice their opinions on everything. Though we often want to ignore posts on politics and other sensitive subjects, what we absolutely need to know is attitudes about our brand, company, and products. Maybe also about key company leaders, like the CEO, CMO, public speakers, and others.
That's why social media monitoring exists. Now, dozens of social media monitoring/listening tools gather data from social media platforms, blogs, forums, and news sites. Those tools range from the simple and absolutely free to complicated Big Data machines that perform comprehensive analysis and cost a fortune.
The list in this article features tools for every kind of budget and every kind of goal, whether that's immediate customer service, brand awareness, or deep and detailed market research.
What these tools have in common is that they work well. (Unfortunately, that's not a universal feature: Some tools on the market (e.g., Google Alerts) simply don't collect the data they promise to collect).
Awario is an optimal social media monitoring tool. It monitors all major social media platforms, forums (including Reddit), blogs, news sites, and the Web in general. (Disclosure: I'm its founder.) You get mentions of given keywords in real-time, and you also get unlimited historical data. If for some reason the keywords you use are problematic—in that you get loads of irrelevant data when using other tools—use Awario's Boolean search, the type of manual search that lets you write a very specific query that eliminates most irrelevant results.
For customer service and reputation management, the tool lets you reply to mentions straight from the dashboard. For lead generation, one of the most recently discovered uses of social media monitoring, Awario offers Awario Leads—a feature that uses predictive insights to determine prospects who are looking for recommendations about a product or service like yours online.