Like every year we have interns on board, organized by the LMU Summer School. What could be more obvious than having the social media monitoring platforms investigated by the digital natives? Enclosed you will find the results of Anya Maves and Yuqiao Li.
Thank you very much for your research!
There is a host of tools for social media making the options seem endless. Hundreds of different tools offers the ability to publish, listen, analyze, report and some even do it all. Due to the overwhelming quantity, our investigation only covers a sample of what is offered, focusing on more well-known tools.
There are many social media management suites which often include some type of monitoring functionality but there is also a more niche market of platforms that solely focus on listening. We looked at services in both categories. The suites tend to come at a lower cost and offer straightforward listening, while more focused platforms tend to have increased comprehensiveness. The selected services were evaluated according to the following criteria: German language support, ability to export results, produce visualizations, enable geographical constraints, perform competitor analysis, have a mobile app, the social platforms they monitor and what size of organization they can support. All platforms were then ranked on their scope and lowest price point.
As mentioned before there are a few services that provide more than just social media monitoring, this includes platforms such as Zoho Social, Agorapulse, Social Report, Hootsuite, Sprout Social and more. In addition to listening to social media channels, there is the capability to publish, schedule content and engage with users. These platforms sometimes may not be quiet as in-depth as services that specialize in monitoring but they come at very affordable price points and often have applications you can add-on for increased adaptability.
Meanwhile, there are also tools that focus purely on monitoring. This includes Buzzsumo, Brand24, Mention, Echobot, Dirico.io, Talkwalker, Sysomos, Sythnesio, Falcon.io as well as others. The functionality they offer is catered to listening and can include websites, forums and blogs in addition to social media. More advanced platforms are able to perform in-depth listening and analyze vast amounts of data through accessing additional databases. Some tools, like Brandwatch, are even able to synthesize share of voice comparison from data. The price for these platforms widely varies so it’s up to the customer to find a solution that works well for their needs and resources.
While most services offer listening on more than one social platform some specialize. Audiense and Tweetdeck, for example, are tools specifically for Twitter. That is not to say they are the same as Audiense is an advanced monitoring tool whereas Tweedeck is integrated into Twitter and comes at no additional cost.
Most monitoring tools offer different scales, and some can be further customized with add-ons. Usually, tools come with three to five plans differentiated by prices and features. Some even have free and paid versions, such as Hubspot, which has their CRM tool at no cost while the enterprise plan is $3,200 a month. However, more expensive plans mean more sophisticated functionalities. Basic plans, generally only monitor a few accounts, while higher-end plans offer advanced features such as website traffic analytics and content strategy. Depending on the consumer, plans and features vary. As the graph shows, most monitoring tools can be used by medium sized businesses. Generally speaking, powerful monitoring tools like Falcon.io and Sysomos don’t suit small businesses or freelancers due to their price and excessive functionality.
With a plethora of options it is important to research to find what will be the best fit, furthermore what we put together is only an overview which can serve as a jumping off point. Luckily, almost all of these services offer free trials or demos of their products for anyone to try. Moreover, many of the popular, as well as the more comprehensive options offer training courses to get the most out of their
platforms. Whether the tools are advanced or basic, these platforms can strengthen your understanding of the online social landscape and provide valuable insights.
Anya Maves & Yuqiao Li
Got even more curious?
Attached is a link where you can try out which platforms are free, supported etc.. Have fun!