Social listening vs Social monitoring

Social Monitoring vs. Social Listening

Explaining marketing terms with hypothetical story time

Imagine you are walking through the hallways, and as you pass by the rows of lockers crowded by students, you hear your name being whispered in hushed tones. People turn to their friends, hands covering their mouths and laugh while giving you painful side glances, and you just know that they’re talking about you. So… naturally, you are desperate to find out. This is your reputation on the line! What could everyone possibly be gossiping about??

social listening


Now I’ll spare you the boring details of exactly what they were saying in this hypothetical teenage drama, but that right there; the wanting to know about your name and reputation among the public, is known as social monitoring

Social monitoring stranger things
Image from Stranger Things TV Series

But here’s some more insight on our encapsulating story… you were running for student body president, and it looks like your competitors have a lot to say about you. You begin to understand that you have to know all the juicy details about the other candidates in your competition in order to strategize your plan. Now that you are thinking beyond your own name and “brand,” you will proactively work on your social listening skills, understanding the bigger picture, and knowing what you have to do next to rise up above the rest. 

So here’s a recap of the definitions

Social monitoring- demonstrates a more narrow lens of how the public feels about your brand image, while taking a more passive approach. You aren’t really doing anything to change people’s opinions or understand further, you are simply monitoring in what ways your company gets mentioned on social media.

Social listening- gives a broader view of your industry as a whole and provides insight on competitors and other businesses in your arena. Listening allows you to actively understand trends among social conversations as a whole, which makes it much more effective in planning a campaign or strategizing new marketing methods for your company.

Tools to help gain insight for your social monitoring and listening strategy

Ok so here’s the deal when doing this kind of research… There is a lot of information out there. Even the number of marketing tools to do your social monitoring is terribly abundant, and sometimes it can be overwhelming. While trying to find the best tools, I have scoured through dozens of websites, and I’m gonna be honest with you… a lot of these tools either use sketchy web addresses, provide completely inaccurate information, or require an insanely high membership fee for really limited features. So after all of that, I am going to give you some of the most reliable sources and tools to expedite your social monitoring research, while giving you the most accurate information about your brand as possible. 

  1. Upfluence

    Upfluence social listening also helps in tracking keywords of your choice and make posts using those keywords in order to stay relevant. Furthermore, it generates a summary page that shows how frequently certain searches have been noticed in articles, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media sites.
    The icing on the cake is that Upfluence also calculates the overall reach and earned media value for each issue.
  2. HootSuite

    After searching through blog posts, reviews, and every article about social monitoring  and tools to understand marketing trends, HootSuite has by far, proven to be the most esteemed of all… and that ranking is definitely not without merit. The cool thing about HootSuite, is that it provides HootSuite apps, which provides free and paid installation of tools for your marketing research; it is like the ultimate app store/ workplace extensions/ marketing hub spot for tools and analytics. 
    With your membership which provides a free 30-day trial, you get access to 4 different options for payment plans, an all-in-one set for organizing your brand’s marketing campaign on every platform of the internet, access to useful articles, and many other features to give you the most insight about your brand reputation and more. In a world where social media management and analytics tools are as complex as ever, finding the right one for you might be difficult. Hootsuite has been in business for almost 14 years and has a monopoly on the market. To compete with such a shark in the industry, SocialPilot entered the market with a distinct value proposition that clients couldn’t ignore. In a nutshell, SocialPilot offers great features and an even better pricing than you could ever think. So, if you’re searching for a social media management and analytics platform, SocialPilot is also an excellent choice.

  3. Synaptive

    YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Blog posts, and even Reddit- all the superhubs of the social media world and trend origins can be tracked using Synaptive. Synaptive is exclusively created for HootSuite, incorporating more than 40 different apps which will completely expedite your marketing research. Honestly, the rest of this article is also just an emphatic encouragement to anyone reading to invest in HootSuite (this is not sponsored), it just genuinely gives you access to so many real tools and resources for free, so definitely worth trying out. 
  4. Mentionlytics

    This tool is great for getting a very straightforward and organized approach towards viewing and understanding your brand’s analytics. As a marketer, this tool also allows you the ability to look into the influencers and top users who are mentioning your company’s name which can help when looking into possible representatives for your influencer marketing campaigns. Additionally, you get live access to tap into people’s conversations about your brand, and the ability to reply to reviews, receive data like sentiment analysis, email notifications, and worldwide searches. 
  5. NetBase Quid

    Want a trusted and verified tool that has been used by major brands? NetBase Quid, is the perfect option, not only because of its vast array of specified features, but it also combines the efforts of 2 companies; NetBase, and Quid products, giving you the ultimate list of options. As opposed to some other tools which are purely for the purpose of collecting and analyzing data, NetBase Quid gives you an in-depth process and strategy towards improving your brand health and also gaining insights on your industry. This massive amount of elaborate technology and tools incorporated into the site make it extremely effective in the process of social listening, especially since the reviews and experiences of past successful brands have helped improve the site even more. Due to the extensive list of features, articles, and data available in NetQuid, I recommend you request a demo of the site, in order to really dive into its features. Once again, NetBase Quid falls into HootSuite’s integrated apps which means your Hootsuite membership can give you free access to NetBase as well.
  6. TalkWalker

    Our next social monitoring and listening tool falls under a similar line of advanced technology like NetBase Quid, however a little simpler, and providing detailed information with less of the educational resources that NetBase offers. TalkWalker is unique in that it provides three different payment plans, varying in Analytics, Research, and Listening, which falls under a yearly quote of $9,000. The key here, is that TalkWalker, like NetBase Quid, focuses on training marketers and team members on practical solutions for social listening. This is important especially if your team members are not quite clear on how to convert simple data, trends, and metrics into consumer insights, and solutions for PR and marketing. The common theme between NetBase Quid and TalkWalker is that they both serve the primary intention of providing products that can teach and aid in understanding the methodology behind social listening vs. just monitoring. 
    There are some free tools available on TalkWalker, especially since it too is available on HootSuite for free. The free version of TalkWalker is meant to track Twitter mentions and on the Internet, which is also an incredibly useful tool that should not be underestimated. 
  7. Mention

    Mention is another efficient website that divides its features into four capabilities ranging from Alerts, Monitoring, Listening, and Publishing. All of these tools are then available for specification and elaboration through a demo with a designated website. Mention is the only tool that is not available for free on HootSuite out of the above sites listed, however it’s pricing options are versatile, and relatively average. Alerts are designed transparently using the boolean coding system which can be altered to advanced methods or kept simple through the websites suggested query options. Publishing is also the only other feature that seems to be different from the other tools. Mention uses insights from monitoring and listening, to cultivate possible posts and content to share on social media. This content is also designed to correspond with the data and sentiments gained from the analytics to create the most appropriate post captions and description. 

Da dada daaaa

And my final remarks…

You better know what these important words mean by now, because we got- a life story, highlighted definitions, and like a billion tools and resources to help you figure it out. Ok also, I hope you can tell from my tone of voice that the tools I have said and the info I have written here are literally for your own good, because I like them, hand picked and researched each on just for you because I know they work. So use them. 

Anyway that’s all. Let me know in the comments what you thought about these tools and if you too, would be as traumatized from the high school drama I wrote about earlier. 

Ok peace out ✌️