5 Social Media Tools To Help Listen To Your Customers – And Your Competitors

Social listening is more than a trendy buzzword; it’s an essential part of your business’ digital strategy.

Listening to your target audiences online helps you monitor trends, identify potential influencers, and track consumer sentiment to grow your community and develop more relevant, engaging content.

For even more valuable insight use social listening tools to monitor what your competitors are doing and how their consumers respond. We break down 5 of the best social media listening tools to make the job easy for you:

1. Hootsuite

One of the earliest comprehensive social monitoring tools available, Hootsuite remains one of the most popular today. Hootsuite Insights accesses real-time data from over 100 million sources in 50+ languages across 25+ social networks and other platforms to make sure you never miss a conversation that matters.

Social sentiment around your brand – or your competitors – can be filtered by location, language, and gender for a multi-dimensional view of your market segments. Take advantage of the free basic plan or upgrade for additional functionality.

2. Sprout Social

Easy to use and reasonably priced with plans starting at $59/month, it’s no wonder Sprout Social is among the leading social media management tools on the market today.

Track hashtags, keywords mentions and sentiment across multiple social channels in real time, then use the data you’ve gathers to gain deeper insights thanks to a suite of helpful analytics tools and customizable reporting options.

3. Mention

Mention promises to scour the web, allowing you to monitor your brand, your products, your consumers and your competitors anywhere online.

An integrated dashboard allows you to post, reply, and engage on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram from a single screen, while collaboration tools help you share and assign tasks to your team members. The budget friendly Solo plan starts at just $29/month.

4. Likeable Local

Designed specifically for small business, Likeable Local is on a mission to transform small businesses into #likeable businesses through the power of social media.

The platform promises to help manage your reputation and track the conversations which matter to you with advanced keyword tracking across multiple channels, while connecting you with the people searching for or talking about your services online. Monthly plans start at $299.

5. Brandwatch

Popular among larger enterprises and agency clients, the social listening tools from Brandwatch provide valuable insights to small business owners as well.

Brandwatch Analytics tracks conversations as they happen on social media channels, blogs, forums, review sites and more, to help you listen to your customers anywhere, any time.

The extensive selection of features for analysis, includies advanced filtering, tagging and categorization, Alerts, flexible charting, topic and sentiment analysis, and plenty more data management capabilities. Pricing is available upon request only.

Small Business, Little Time – Tips to Get the Most from Social Media

small business social media tips

As a small business owner, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by social media. Your time and attention are already pulled in multiple directions – is it really worth promoting your business on Facebook, YouTube,

Twitter and more? Yes, if you’re doing it right. Follow these 5 tips to ensure your business gets maximum value from your online presence, with maximum efficiency.

1. Research before you start

Every successful venture begins with a plan. Before getting started spend some time understanding which channels your customers are using and why. While SnapChat might be an effective tool for reaching tweens and teens, it is unlikely to help you engage with customers who are 50+.

2. Automation is your friend

While you may see the best results from posting daily, or even several times a day, that doesn’t mean you have to be a slave to your keyboard all day. Take advantage of scheduling options within social media networks such as Facebook, or purpose-built tools such as Hootsuite, Sprout Social and Buffer.

With some careful planning and an hour or so of your time, you can schedule a week’s worth of posts across multiple social networks, add photos or videos and choose the exact date and time for each to go live.

3. Sharing is caring

Social media is about engagement, not selling. One key to engaging your audience is ensuring the content you share is truly relevant to them and not just a sales message promoting your business or product.

Sharing interesting content from other trusted sources boosts the quality and diversity of your feed, while also encouraging those sources to return the favour and share your content with their own audiences. Follow other businesses, bloggers, and thought leaders in your field to get relevant, sharable content delivered right to your news feed.

4. Repurpose with purpose

With the fast-paced nature of social media, your business’ post can get lost in a viewer’s feed within minutes. Re-posting the same message at different times and even on different days helps ensure your content reaches as many people as possible. Best practices include waiting at least eight hours before duplicating content, sharing one or two other posts between duplicates, and using different headlines and images to convey the same message.

5. Be human

While automation can be a great time-saver, your customers want to know they are dealing with real people who care about their concerns. Time spent answering online questions, addressing complaints and solving problems is time well-spent.

The customer who posted a comment feels listened to, and others viewing your feed gain confidence in your company’s customer service.

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