Oct 10

Social listening platforms – which ones to use?

A couple weeks back we gave you an introduction to what social media listening is, what the benefits are and some thoughts on how to use it for your company. We also promised we’d be back later with a roundup of the current social listening platforms. So, here you go:

Sprout Social

  • With a starting price tag of $99 a month this is easily the most affordable of the tools on our radar today while still allowing you to monitor more sites than the closest competition (10-20 depending on subscription).
  • A free trial and scaling features with their price tiers means this is a great entryway to the world of social listening – you can start off free then grab the basic subscription if you like it before progressing to more advanced stuff as your ability with the tech improves.
  • A clean UI and excellent design make it easy for the beginner to find their way around.
  • The excellent design isn’t trying to compensate for a lack of features either, all the analytics you’ll need are on show and working perfectly. On the other hand, feeds may take up to 24 hours to populate once created.
  • There is no influencer monitoring available unfortunately. This is unlikely to be a massive deal breaker for most smaller businesses but it’s something to keep in mind as the influencer marketing train shows no sign of stopping

With reasonable (and scalable) costs, intuitive UI and excellent analytics ability it’s certainly the best social listening platform for beginners and SMB owners in general to be focusing on.

Mention

  • Technically this particular entry is the cheapest of the bunch with a starting subscription of $29. However, with the crippled level of access this level provides, it will be of little use to many.
  • $99 is the starting point to really get the functionality that you need as a SMB owner while company sub at $299 is required for data export – at which point its way above Sprout Social in cost.
  • It is excellently designed, with good clear design that makes everything clear and concise for the new user.
  • The analytics are comprehensive and provide competitor analysis.

We’ve maybe been a little harsh to little Mention here. It’s good kit and provides everything you’d need, but for the price it doesn’t compare well against other cheaper social listening platforms. If you feel you can make use of the $29 subscription tier however, it could be a good call for small businesses and startups.

If you’ve got the budget for it there are also enterprise-focused social listening platforms like:

Synthesio

  • With plans starting off at an eye watering $1200 per month its high cost is nonetheless justified by its truly top of the range suite of features.
  • Synthesio is able to handle highly complex, precisely segmented boolean searches (we’re talking up to a million characters) to let you get exactly the info you need.
  • If ROI is your thing, there’s an entire section devoted to tracking it, offering pinpoint measurements on how well social engagement is converting followers into customers.
  • Synthesio’s ‘Beam’ provides real-time monitoring of various metrics of a brand’s online impact and standing – customer satisfaction, public opinion etc – as well as providing comparisons with rivals.
  • All of its findings are returned through what are easily the most creative data visualization features in the industry.
  • Some negativity about its usability and UX compared to its rivals but with something this complex it’s almost inevitable.
  • They’re fully aware the hefty cost is likely to put off first timers. Hence, they’ve made a free trial available to let you bask briefly in the magnificence and weight up whether the benefits outweigh the price tag.

Other than minor quibbles about its ease of use it all adds up to a pretty amazing package. While it’s certainly the heavyweight champion of the social listening platforms, we’ll be honest, unless you’re running a globe-spanning social campaign this particular product is probably a bit much. You don’t need to nuke your dining room to kill a mouse afterall. If it’s in your price range however, go nuts!

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