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    Social media monitoring helps companies leverage the full potential of social media for their brand. If used efficiently, it can help a brand gauge how people perceive it, identify brand advocates, provide exceptional customer service, and make more informed decisions. It also improves response times, increasing brand loyalty. Learn more about how social media monitoring works and some of the top social monitoring tools in this guide.

    What Is Social Media Monitoring?

    Social media monitoring is the process of monitoring conversations about individuals, brands, or products on social channels. Organizations can track keywords and monitor multiple social media profiles from one platform.

    Brands use social monitoring to track competitors, gain information on social trends, and understand the conversations happening about them. Marketers also use social media monitoring to identify thought leaders and influencers and personalize content for specific user demographics

    How Does Social Media Monitoring Work?

    Social media monitoring tools are algorithm-based; they crawl sites and social platforms, continuously indexing them. Once sites are indexed, they are searched to find mentions, opinions, and sentiments on specific brands, products, companies, people, and trending topics. 

    Social monitoring tools provide demographic data that helps brands understand their social media presence, engage users, and improve their reputation. The data collected helps companies gain social intelligence; they can use the insights to improve their marketing strategies.

    Social Media Monitoring vs Social Listening

    Social media monitoring involves tracking brand mentions online for marketing intelligence and research. Companies save the time they would have spent performing complex manual searches and switching between social platforms.

    Social listening is a two-part process, unlike social monitoring. It involves monitoring a brand’s social media channels for direct mentions and customer feedback. This is followed by an analysis to gain insights and act on those opportunities. Brands and marketers use social listening to track conversations around keywords, topics, and brands they’re interested in and to take follow-up action. 

    What Are the Benefits of Social Media Monitoring?

    Quick complaint resolution 

    Addressing issues and complaints quickly prevents situations from escalating and going viral on social media. Social monitoring ensures brands address customer concerns quickly and enlist the right people and resources to handle situations effectively.

    Ability to answer brand-related questions

    Customers often have questions about company products and services. Brands that use social media monitoring tools can quickly spot and respond to brand-related questions. Sales representatives or customer support agents can answer follow-up questions and assist customers as needed. 

    Opportunities to take action on customer feedback

    Businesses can use positive feedback to improve their marketing efforts and negative feedback to correct their errors. Customer feedback also helps brands understand how their marketing campaigns are performing so they can refine them and build brand credibility.

    Best Tools for Social Media Monitoring 

    Hootsuite

    Hootsuite Logo

    Hootsuite is a free social media monitoring tool–with premium plans–that covers all major social media platforms. It has an intuitive dashboard that monitors specific search terms in real-time. Its RSS reader puts articles from various RSS feeds in one place, allowing businesses to post them on social networks. Hootsuite uses keywords, hashtags, locations, and specific users to track social mentions, trends, and essential topics

    Zoho Social

    Zoho Social Logo

    Zoho Social is ideal for social media managers in growing businesses that manage multiple accounts. It supports Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Zoho has a Bulk Scheduler, a Publishing Calendar, and a Repeat Post feature. It integrates with Zoho CRM, helping brands engage with prospects and generate social media leads. It also integrates with Zoho Desk, so social media managers can create tickets for support teams to resolve.

    Sprout Social

    Sprout Social Logo

    Sprout Social is an all-in-one social management solution that empowers users to streamline publishing workflows, connect better with audiences, and collaborate in real-time. It supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Sprout Social performs intelligent, real-time social media monitoring and has two distinct features for social monitoring and engagement. A discovery feature lets users perform specific keyword searches on Twitter or Instagram.

    Read next: Buyer’s Guide to Social Media Marketing Software