Top Social Listening Tools to Try in 2024

social listening tools

Social listening tools have become indispensable for businesses aiming to stay ahead of the competition. By utilizing social listening tools, businesses can tap into these conversations, gain valuable insights, and make data-driven decisions to improve their marketing strategies.

This blog will explore the top social listening tools available in 2024, their key features, and how they can benefit your business.

We’ll also guide on choosing the right tool for your specific needs and implementing social listening effectively in your marketing strategy.

What is Social Listening?

what is social listening

Social listening refers to monitoring and analyzing digital conversations about a brand, product, or industry across various online platforms. This practice involves collecting data from social media, blogs, forums, and news sites to gain insights into customer sentiment, preferences, and trends.

Benefits for Businesses and Marketers

Let’s discuss some major benefits of social media listening tools and how they can benefit your business.

1. Improved Customer Insights

Social listening provides valuable information about customer needs, preferences, and pain points. This data helps businesses tailor their products and services to meet customer expectations better.

2. Real-time Brand Monitoring

Companies can track mentions of their brand in real time, allowing for quick responses to customer feedback or potential crises.

3. Competitive Analysis

Social listening tools enable businesses to monitor their competitors’ online presence and strategies. This information helps identify market gaps and opportunities for differentiation.

4. Trend Identification

Businesses can spot emerging industry trends by analyzing social media conversations. This foresight allows for proactive decision-making and strategy adjustments.

5. Influencer Discovery

Social listening helps identify key influencers in specific niches. 93% of marketers use influencer marketing as part of their overall strategy.

How Social Listening Differs from Social Monitoring

While often used interchangeably, social listening and social monitoring are distinct concepts:

1. Social Monitoring

  • Focuses on tracking specific metrics like mentions, likes, and shares
  • Primarily quantitative
  • Provides surface-level insights

2. Social Listening

  • Analyzes the context and sentiment behind social media data
  • Combines quantitative and qualitative analysis
  • Offers deeper insights into customer perceptions and industry trends

It goes beyond simply collecting data. It involves interpreting that data to uncover actionable insights.

Key Features to Look for in Social Listening Tools

When searching for the best social listening tools, it’s important to consider several key features. These features ensure that you get the most value from your chosen tool.

1. Real-time Monitoring Capabilities

The ability to track mentions and conversations as they happen is crucial. Real-time monitoring allows businesses to:

  • Respond quickly to customer inquiries
  • Address potential issues before they escalate
  • Capitalize on trending topics

42% of consumers expect a response on social media within 60 minutes. Real-time monitoring helps meet these expectations.

2. Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment analysis helps understand the emotions behind mentions of your brand. This feature:

  • Categories mentions as positive, negative, or neutral
  • Provides insights into customer satisfaction
  • Helps identify areas for improvement

73% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations.

3. Competitor Tracking

The best social listening tools offer competitor tracking features. This allows you to:

  • Monitor competitor mentions and engagement
  • Identify gaps in the market
  • Benchmark your performance against industry standards

4. Reporting and Analytics

Comprehensive reporting features are essential for turning data into actionable insights. Look for tools that offer:

  • Customizable dashboards
  • Visual data representation (charts, graphs)
  • Exportable reports for sharing with stakeholders

4. Integration with Other Marketing Tools

Integration capabilities enhance the effectiveness of social listening tools. Consider platforms that integrate with:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems
  • Social media management platforms
  • Email marketing software

5. Multi-language Support

For businesses operating in multiple markets, multi-language support is crucial. This feature allows you to:

  • Monitor conversations in different languages
  • Understand sentiment across various cultures
  • Expand your global reach

6. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Capabilities

AI and machine learning enhance the accuracy and efficiency of social listening tools. These technologies can:

  • Improve sentiment analysis accuracy
  • Predict trends and customer behavior
  • Automate routine tasks

94% of businesses believe AI will be critical to their success in the next two years.

When evaluating the best social listening tools, consider these key features to ensure you choose a platform that meets your business needs.

Here’s how you can create your own social media listening tool, “How To Create Your Own Automated Social Listening Tool.”

Top Social Listening Tools for 2024

Let’s explore some of the best social listening tools available in 2024. While many of these tools offer paid plans with advanced features, some also provide free social listening tools 2024 options for businesses just starting out or with limited budgets.

1. Brandwatch


Brandwatch is a powerful social listening tool known for its comprehensive analytics capabilities. It offers deep insights into consumer trends and brand perception across various online platforms.

Key features

  • Advanced AI-powered analytics
  • Real-time data collection from over 100 million sources
  • Custom dashboards and reporting


  • Custom pricing based on needs
  • No free plan, but it offers a free demo

Best for

Large enterprises and agencies requiring in-depth analytics and customization

2. Sprout Social

Sprout Social

Sprout Social combines social media management with robust listening features. It provides a user-friendly interface for tracking brand mentions, analyzing sentiment, and managing social media campaigns.

Key features

  • Comprehensive social media management suite
  • Sentiment analysis and trend reporting
  • Competitive benchmarking


  • Starts at $249/month per user
  • Offers a 30-day free trial

Best for:

Mid-sized businesses looking for an all-in-one social media solution

3. Hootsuite Insights

Hootsuite Insights

As an extension of Hootsuite’s popular social media management platform, Hootsuite Insights offers advanced social listening capabilities. It allows businesses to monitor conversations across multiple social networks and gain actionable insights.

Key features

  • Real-time social listening across multiple platforms
  • Sentiment analysis in 50+ languages
  • Integration with Hootsuite’s social media management tools


  • Custom pricing for Insights
  • Hootsuite offers a limited free plan for basic social media management

Best for

Businesses are already using Hootsuite for social media management.

4. Mention


Mention is a versatile tool that monitors brand mentions across social media, web, and news sources. It offers real-time alerts and competitive analysis to help businesses stay on top of their online presence.

Key features

  • Real-time monitoring of web and social media mentions
  • Competitive analysis
  • Influencer identification


  • Starts at $49/month
  • Offers a free plan with limited features

Best for

Small to medium-sized businesses looking for affordable social listening

5. Talkwalker


Talkwalker is an enterprise-level social listening and analytics platform. It uses AI-powered technology to provide in-depth insights from various online sources, including images and videos.

Key features

  • AI-powered analytics
  • Image and video recognition
  • Extensive data sources, including blogs and forums


  • Custom pricing based on needs
  • No free plan, but it offers a free demo

Best for

Large enterprises requiring comprehensive social listening and analytics

6. SocialBu


SocialBu is a social media management tool that includes basic social listening features. It offers an affordable solution for small businesses looking to manage their social media presence and track brand mentions.

Key features

  • Social media scheduling and analytics
  • Basic social listening capabilities
  • Multi-account management


  • Starts at $19/month
  • Offers a free plan with limited features

Best for

Small businesses and entrepreneurs looking for an affordable social media management tool with basic listening features

7. Awario


Awario is a social listening tool focusing on real-time monitoring and precise search capabilities. It helps businesses track brand mentions, identify influencers, and analyze competitors across various online platforms.

Key features

  • Real-time monitoring across various platforms
  • Boolean search for precise results
  • Influencer discovery


  • Starts at $49/month
  • Offers a 14-day free trial

Best for

Small to medium-sized businesses seeking affordable yet powerful social listening

8. Keyhole


Keyhole tracks hashtags, keywords, and accounts across social media platforms. It’s particularly useful for businesses focusing on influencer marketing and campaign performance tracking.

Key features

  • Real-time hashtag and keyword tracking
  • Influencer identification and management
  • Competitor analysis


  • Starts at $189/month
  • Offers a free trial

Best for

Businesses focusing on influencer marketing and campaign tracking

When choosing a tool, consider your specific needs, budget, and the scale of your social listening efforts. Remember, even free or low-cost tools can provide valuable insights to help improve your social media strategy.

How to Choose the Right Social Listening Tool

Selecting the best social listening tools for your business requires careful consideration. Here’s a guide to help you make the right decision.

1. Assess Your Business Needs and Goals

Start by clearly defining your objectives. Ask yourself:

  • What specific information do you want to gather?
  • Which platforms are most important for your brand?
  • How will you use the insights gained?

2. Consider Your Budget

Social listening tools come at various price points. Determine:

  • How much can you allocate to social listening?
  • Do you need a free tool, or can you invest in a paid solution?
  • What features are essential, and which are nice to have?

Remember, the best social listening tools often offer tiered pricing. This allows you to start small and scale up as your needs grow.

3. Evaluate Ease of Use and Learning Curve

User-friendliness is crucial for effective implementation. Consider:

  • How intuitive is the tool’s interface?
  • What kind of training or support does the provider offer?
  • Can your team easily adapt to the new software?

Ease of use is the top consideration for 61% of software buyers.

4. Check for Integration Capabilities

The best social listening tools should integrate seamlessly with your existing tech stack. Look for:

  • Compatibility with your current CRM system
  • Integration with social media management platforms
  • Ability to connect with data visualization tools

5. Look for Scalability

As your business grows, your social listening needs may change. Choose a tool that can grow with you:

  • Does the tool offer different plan tiers?
  • Can you easily upgrade or add features?
  • Is the tool suitable for businesses of various sizes?

63% of businesses consider scalability a critical factor when choosing software solutions.

6. Test Before Committing

Most tools offer free trials or demos. Take advantage of these to:

  • Get hands-on experience with the tool
  • Evaluate if it meets your specific needs
  • Compare different options side-by-side

7. Consider Customer Support and Resources

Reliable support can make a significant difference. Look for:

  • Availability of customer support (24/7, business hours, etc.)
  • Access to resources like tutorials, webinars, and knowledge bases
  • Community forums or user groups for peer support

75% of customers say the quality of customer service is crucial in their choice of and loyalty to a brand.

Choosing the best social listening tools requires a balanced approach. Consider your needs, budget, and long-term goals. Don’t hesitate to try multiple options before making a decision.

Implementing Social Listening in Your Marketing Strategy

Let’s explore how you can implement social listening in your marketing strategy to elevate your brand image.

1. Setting up Your Social Listening Campaign

Define Your Objectives

Start by clearly outlining what you want to achieve with social listening. This could include:

  • Improving customer service
  • Identifying product improvement opportunities
  • Tracking brand sentiment

Choose Your Keywords

Select relevant keywords, including:

  • Your brand name and products
  • Industry-specific terms
  • Competitor names

Set Up Alerts

Configure your chosen tool to notify you of important mentions or trends.

2. Defining Key Metrics and KPIs

Engagement Metrics

Track likes, shares, comments, and mentions. Posts with high engagement rates receive 3.5 times more reach than average posts.

Sentiment Analysis

Monitor the positive, negative, and neutral sentiments surrounding your brand. 80% of consumers have changed their minds about a purchase based on negative information they found online.

Share of Voice

Measure how your brand’s online presence compares to competitors. This helps gauge your market position.

Response Time

Track how quickly your team responds to mentions. 90% of customers rate an “immediate” response as important or very important when they have a customer service question.

3. Creating Actionable Insights from Data

Identify Patterns and Trends

Look for recurring themes in customer feedback and industry discussions.

Analyze Customer Pain Points

Use insights to address common issues and improve products or services.

Track Campaign Performance

Measure the impact of your marketing efforts in real time and adjust strategies accordingly.

4. Integrating Findings into Your Overall Marketing Plan

Inform Content Strategy

Use popular topics and customer questions to guide your content creation.

Improve Product Development

Incorporate customer feedback into your product roadmap.

Enhance Customer Service

Address common issues proactively and improve response strategies.

Refine Targeting

Use demographic and psychographic insights to better target your marketing efforts.


By leveraging the power of social listening, you can uncover valuable insights, improve customer satisfaction, and stay ahead of the competition.

You can turn data into actionable strategies that drive real results with the right social listening tool.

Remember to choose a tool that aligns with your business needs, budget, and goals. Start listening to the conversations that matter and take your marketing strategy to the next level.

Sign up for SocialBu today and discover how our affordable and user-friendly platform can help you track brand mentions and manage your social media presence in one place.


1. What is the social listening tool?

A social listening tool is a software or platform that monitors and analyzes online conversations about a brand, product, or industry across various social media platforms, blogs, and news sites.

2. Which social listening tool is the best?

The best social listening tool depends on business needs and goals. Popular options include Brandwatch, Sprout Social, Hootsuite Insights, and Talkwalker, offering unique features and pricing plans.

3. Is there a free social listening tool?

Some social listening tools offer free plans or trials, such as Mention, Awario, and Keyhole, which provide limited features and data. SocialBu also offers a free plan with basic social listening capabilities.

4. Is SocialBu a social listening tool?

Yes, SocialBu is a social media management tool that includes basic social listening features, allowing users to track brand mentions, analyze sentiment, and manage their social media presence in one place.

Noor Fatima
Noor Fatima
Noor Fatima creates engaging and informative content at SocialBu that simplifies complex marketing strategies for businesses of all sizes. With Noor's dedication to clear communication and strategic content creation, she is a valuable asset to the SocialBu team.

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