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A Strategist’s Social Listening Shortlist (Part II)

Article by Madeline Stone and image by Allie Barberan

Welcome back to our series on social listening. In part one, we discussed why social listening is a crucial part of a brand’s social media strategy, how to build a social listening query, and how to draw insights from your search. Now we’ll look at the different social listening tools out there and help you determine which one is best for your business and brand goals.

A robust social listening strategy starts with investing in the right social listening tool. Native searches of your brand keywords on social platforms won’t get you the same results or easily synthesize the data the way a social listening tool will. Social listening tools synthesize data from social media platforms through access to a firehose API, which is a steady stream of all available data from a source in real time.

Social listening tools make reporting easy by collecting data from your social listening query into a streamlined dashboard, which will help you easily spot trends and monitor your brand’s reputation. Some tools will even automate trend reports for you and send them to your inbox on a regular cadence.

A quick search for social listening tools reveals that there are a lot of platforms out there – and it can be difficult to figure out which one is right for your brand. We’re taking the guesswork out of your search with a roundup of our favorite social listening tools. Ready to find the best one for your business? Let’s go!


Brandwatch’s Consumer Intelligence platform is one of the leading social listening tools used by some of the world’s biggest brands, including Delta and Unilever. Brandwatch is powered by state-of-the-art AI to help you garner insights faster. It has official firehose access to Twitter, Tumblr and Reddit and is compliant with Facebook and Instagram, allowing you to keep your finger on the pulse of social conversations in real time.

What sets Brandwatch apart, however, is its dataset. Brandwatch has access to conversations from 100 million unique sites and access to 1.6 trillion historical online conversations, dating back to 2010.

Best Fit: Large national or global brands that are looking to stay ahead of their competitors.

Sprout Social

While Sprout Social started as a social media management tool, its platform has grown to offer deep social media listening and analytics. Sprout’s social listening solution uses AI and machine learning technology to sift through millions of data points to deliver trends, insights, and key learnings for your brand. Its core features include consumer and audience analysis, sentiment research, and competitor comparison, all of which can help you keep a close eye on evolving conversations surrounding your brand.

Best Fit: Mid-market to enterprise-level companies looking for an affordable and intuitive social listening solution.


What started as a news clipping service is now an extensive media monitoring and analysis platform that looks at online news, social media, print, broadcast, and podcasts. Meltwater’s social listening tool captures brand mentions across social media in real-time and provides a 15-month rolling archive for a clear view of your brand’s reputation over time. Meltwater will even automatically design and deliver daily, weekly, or monthly social listening reports to your inbox.

What makes Meltwater stand out from its competitors, however, is that its social listening capabilities also factor in editorial media, TV, radio, and podcasts for a comprehensive analysis.

Best Fit: Brands looking to track earned mentions across social media and traditional media.


Unlike other social listening tools that offer both management and listening, Infegy is focused solely on consumer intelligence. Infegy’s powerful social listening software takes in massive datasets from a multitude of sources, including social media, blogs, forums, and even TikTok, and converts them into quantifiable, structured, and usable data. Its machine learning technology can even go beyond the typical sentiment analysis categories of “positive,” “negative,” and “neutral” to discern specific consumer feelings like trust and anticipation. While the breadth of data that Infegy provides can initially feel overwhelming, its intuitive user interface makes it easy to understand the analytics and insights.

Best Fit: Brands seeking a deeper understanding of consumer behavior and audience analysis.


Talkwalker analyzes brand mentions across all major social networks, including full firehose access to Twitter, as well as discussions on news sites, blogs, forums, and more. Talkwalker prides itself on being able to protect a brand’s reputation through automated alerts, customized crisis dashboards for real-time brand listening, and smart spike analysis for advanced issue detection. It even integrates with Hootsuite to allow for instant response during crisis moments. Beyond crisis management, Talkwalker is unique in that it offers “visual listening” with image and video recognition technology to allow brands to get a truly comprehensive understanding of their perception.

Best Fit: Enterprise-level brands looking for a crisis management solution.

Now that you’ve decided on the social listening tool that best fits your needs, it’s time to kick your social listening strategy into high gear. If you’re interested in building a social listening plan together, Mythic can help you strategize the best ways to monitor your brand’s social presence and cultivate your brand’s reputation. If you like what you saw and want to know how you can partner with a team that's brimming with creative ideas, reach out to our CMO, Taylor Bryant (, and get a conversation with Mythic started today.

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