Imagine a theatre play. The brands are on the stage, presenting their unique selling points, while their social media audience has the best seats in the house.  

Nowadays, staying on top of one’s brand monitoring through real-time social media monitoring is as important as knowing when to start building suspense and when to draw the curtains for intermission.  As all brands and digital marketers need a helping hand once in a while, we've gathered together a list of free and awesome social listening tools. 

theatre curtains couch

Internet searches are driven by a person’s need, which can be satisfied by content. 

When brands figure out what their audience is searching for, they can figure out how to provide content that speaks to them. 

Here is our list of 6 Free Social Listening Tools for a Booming 2022 Online Presence:

  1. BrandMentions
  2. Answer the Public
  3. Google Alerts
  4. Mention
  5. Hootsuite
  6. Twilert

However, not many businesses are aware of the value of social listening, let alone the existence of dedicated free social listening tools that assist, aid, and enhance brand management and online visibility.  

What is Social Listening?

Social listening is a somewhat new term adopted in digital marketing. It helps marketers and companies understand more about the online conversations around specific topics like their brand, competitors, and the market league they are playing in. 

what is social listening

Social media listening is the process of scouting brand-related mentions and conversations on relevant social channels, then analyzing them for insights to create new opportunities.

Social media listening is essentially a brilliant method to dive deep into your audience’s monologue, dialogue, or soliloquy. 

Bringing AI into the world of social listening took the game to another level. 

With the help of artificial intelligence, powerful listening tools are able to identify and interpret emotions, resulting in sentiment analysis, detect certain keywords that can signal a potential crisis, or categorize words by topics. 

Social media listening has two important components.

  • The first component entails monitoring the social networking space for mentions of your company, competitors, or relevant keywords for your industry and business. 

Now that you have this information what are you going to do with it? 

  • Analyze and act! The second component involves analyzing the information gathered and finding ways to apply this knowledge to your business strategy. 

Why is Social Listening Essential?

Through social listening, brands have the opportunity to access their audience’s reactions immediately and adjust their act (strategy) in direct accordance with what the people need.

When it comes to any business with an online presence, social listening is man-da-to-ty! 

Here are all the reasons you should start using a social media listening tool right now:

  • Monitor your social media accounts 
  • Analyze your marketing campaigns 
  • Be aware of all the conversations around your brand
  • Create a customized social media strategy that speaks to your audience
  • Identify trending topics and find new opportunities on the market
  • Conduct niched market research
  • Increase the quality of your public relations and customer support
  • Employ user-generated content to create content marketing campaigns based on the consumer’s needs
  • Find out when is the best time depending on your social media platform of choice
  • Discover untagged and unlinked brand mentions and turn them into links
  • Tackle multiple social media channels at once by keeping tabs on each account and quickly replying to mentions
  • Identify and resolve crises 

Brand monitoring platforms often offer a combination of services like social listening, social monitoring, data analytics, content scheduling, or event content creation. But in this article, we will be focusing on the platforms that offer free social listening services. 

6 Free Social Listening Tools

Although paid platforms offer a much larger variety of features, free social listening platforms are ideal for businesses who are unsure how this feature works and want to play around before actually purchasing a recurring subscription. 

6 free social listening tools

When looking for a tool, it is ideal to try a couple of them to see which suits your needs best. 

Because we know how important it is to learn more about your audience and competitors while sticking to a budget, we want to share with you 6 of the best free social listening tools to grow a prosperous online presence in 2022, as follows: 

1. BrandMentions

Brand Mentions is a dedicated platform for brand monitoring, social media and web listening, and reputation management. 

This social media monitoring platform offers 3 free online tools to play with. 

  • The Social Media Tracker helps you find who's talking about your brand or competitors in the news & social media. The tracker is not limited to social posts but it also provides information about blogs, video content, and microblogs where your brand’s name is mentioned.

The social media tracker can also be used as a social media monitoring tool. It offers information on social media metrics, sources, the context of mentions, country and language insights, media wall, and even sentiment analysis. 

The paid version of the tool presents advanced search features while adding the element of historical mentions that can go back in time for up to 10 years. This feature is extremely useful for companies who want to perform brand audits, campaign management strategies, or historical brand analysis.

Besides the social tracker, BrandMentions also offers 2 more free tools that come in handy for any marketer:

  • The Hashtag Tracker tool monitors hashtag performance and offers hashtag analytics for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more.
  • The Brand Tracker monitors Brand Performance and Brand Awareness on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

2. Answer the Public

Answer the public is a free social listening tool that offers a great alternative to exploring questions and problems that prospects or customers have. 

Instead of guessing what the audience might want to know, Answer the Public enables brands to construct a strong social media presence by offering valuable, optimized social media content. 

The journey on this platform starts with typing in a relevant keyword to the company’s line of business, builds suspense by revealing all the relevant questions that the public asks on the internet (how, where, what, when), and ends with the close-act of a CSV report download.

For more attributes, the platform is available in a premium version where a variety of filters and features are available. 

3. Google Alerts

Out of all the monitoring tools out there, Google Alerts is one of the most simple to use. It detects and notifies the user when there has been a change in the user’s search term(s). 

Users can use Google Alerts to identify new content, industry trends, conversations about their brand, or information about their competitors. The platform sends automatic email notifications once a result matches the searched keyword.

4. Mention

The free version of Mention covers the listening feature on a variety of websites. This tool can help uncover hidden conversations about your brand on two major social channels. The free version serves the user 1 alert and 1000 mentions for 3 social accounts. 

For companies who have a bigger social monitoring budget, Mention offers 4 types of paid plans, depending on the company’s size and needs. 

5. Hootsuite

The free plan on Hootsuite allows users to add up to 3 social profiles. 

Although the platform has multiple functions, you can use Hootsuite to search for specific keywords or hashtags and create a personalized stream with this search.

Therefore, the stream collects all the mentions of the specific keyword and gathers them for future use. 

For a full social mention experience, Hootsuite Insights is a sub-section of Hootsuite that is available only on paid subscriptions. 

6. Twilert

If the best social platform to reach your target audience is Twitter, and your budget is modest, this tool is ideal for your small business.

This Twitter monitoring platform comes in 3 paid plans but also a simple free deal that states: Free-Forever Daily Alert. 

Twilert offers “one free daily alert that tracks any topic, any term, any hashtag, or account that will help grow your business”.

For brands who engage the majority of their social activities on Twitter, Twilert can be a cheap, simple way to keep track of particular keywords mentioned on Twitter.

The paid versions of Twillert can also be used as a platform analytics tool and a good resource center for new prospects. 

Conclusions:

By not being aware of the importance of doing social and web listening, companies are missing out on real market opportunities. They are also prone to online defamation since they are not actively monitoring their brand. 

This can happen especially to small companies who think that as long as their products and services are good, nothing bad can happen to their reputation. 

Unfortunately, in the social media world, rumors spread like wildfire. And if there is no fire hydrant around, the firemen can’t do much about it. 

It is recommended that a company engages in social listening before anything else. 

A brand can use free social listening tools to stalk its competitors, scout the market or even create new user-based content.

With the help of sentiment analysis, a brand can find out what is the overall feeling around a certain topic and predict people’s reactions before making a move. 

Marketing and insights professionals know that listening is a precious, unpolished stone of digital marketing. 

With the help of proper tools, any company can set the stage for a successful online presence.

Check out this article for other tools you can use to pump up your content.

Creative Thinker | Content Writer | Sustainability Utopian. Passionate and versatile information scavenger. Funny and witty but also dead serious and determined. Asks a lot of uncomfortable questions.