8 Best Tools for Tracking Brand Mentions
Brand mention tools are various pieces of software that do exactly what you might expect: they allow you to monitor your brand mentions, a key indicator of your brand’s reach and performance on various platforms, including social media such as Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, news sites, or even internet forums. They let you sort of listen in on the public comments and conversations about your brand, and this in turn can inform your brand strategy. But it’s about more than just tracking brand mentions for quantitative measurements of your brand’s impact. You can take part in any such conversation and get your side of the story out, engaging directly with your users, shoppers, or commentators.
But that is not all. Ideally, in addition to letting you track your brand, monitoring software also tracks what people are saying about your competitors, which is not only important for your brand-building strategy, but can inform your sales strategy as well. It can also be used to track keywords, so it can also be indispensable in keyword research.
As you can see, brand monitoring tools can definitely be useful, and could well prove to be vital. So, without further ado, here is our pick of the best tools for tracking brand mentions.
Awario is a deceptively simple premium tool that lets you know in real time if any of your chosen keywords is being used on the web: simply enter the keywords you are interested in, exclude the ones you don’t want to clutter up your workspace, and wait for the notifications to come in.
Awario covers all the big players in social media, and more: video websites such as YouTube and Vimeo are included, as well as news sites, blogs, and forums, bringing countless media sources to your fingertips. You can respond to comments and posts about your brand within seconds. But it’s not all about the number of mentions and real-time conversations. Awario also has an advanced suite of reporting tools, converting raw data into rich reports with just a few clicks.
Brandwatch is another premium tool, and a market leader that lets you in on the chatter from tens of millions of online sources. Aside from reporting tools, Brandwatch also provides you with the ability to compare your performance to that of your competitors, follow and assess mention trends, and review and optimize influencer campaigns. It also offers a dedicated set of crisis management tools, from unusual activity notifications and negative mention reports and communication tools for your staff.
A completely free if simple tool, Socialmention’s interface is basically a search field. You only need to enter a keyword, and it will aggregate the data from major social networks, including YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. It also identifies associated and related keywords, and metrics such as the ratio of positive and negative mentions and reach.
Another premium tool, Mention offers a complex system of alerts using conditional logic, which allows you to use Boolean operators and eliminate mentions you are not interested in. Doing that requires little knowledge of formal logic, though: Mention has a very user-friendly interface. You can also choose to block specific sources if you want to have an even narrower focus.
The service also has a customizable and optimizable data stream: you can tag mentions by priority, and therefore better organize your mentions for easier reporting. Mention provides you with rich reports on your own, but also the competing brands, as well as general industry topics or specific products, all at a glance.
If you are primarily concerned with the major social platforms, perhaps Sprout Social is the choice for you. The platform prides itself on its ability to automate data collection and analysis, freeing your time and effort for actual action. It offers a very user-friendly interface for its analytics tools, as well as the resources to compare your brand’s performance to that of your competitors.
In its efforts to concentrate on social media, Sprout Social offers specialized tools dedicated to gathering and analyzing data from Pinterest, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as cross-network analysis. It also has mechanisms for scheduling and publishing on social media, bypassing various time-consuming manual tasks.
Hootsuite is a social engagement platform, a tool primarily designed for cross-network posting and publishing. However, it also allows you to track brand mentions as well as avail yourself of several other brand monitoring tools. This also includes social media in real time: with Hootsuite, you can follow brand mentions as they happen and respond to them if needed. You can also filter mentions by keyword, sparing yourself from being bogged down with clutter.
This should go without saying, but, if you are an amateur user or a beginner, you might want a free and easy option for getting notifications of mentions in certain cases. While it may be argued that, according to the old adage, if the service is free, you are the product, there is no denying that a great deal of Google’s services is free for the end user – and potentially useful.
Google Alerts is a notification service that sends you emails when Google finds new results related to your chosen keywords. It covers web pages, scientific articles, news websites and blogs, but it is not as useful if you are looking for a way into social media conversations.
Talkwalker’s alert system is a great alternative to Google Alerts, if you, for whatever reason, dislike Google and don’t want to use their products. It lets you know whenever your brand is mentioned on blogs, forums, and news websites, but it also includes social media. Unlike Google Alerts, it offers conditional logic operators and other filters to let you cut through the clutter. The best of all? Talkwalker is free.
There is a plethora of online services you can set up to monitor your brand mentions. Which one is right for you, though? Well, that depends primarily on your budget. If you want customizable, filterable data streams and slick reports offered by the likes of Awario and Mention, you will have to fork out for them. No surprise there. But if you are only just beginning, why not try one of the free services, such as Talkwalker, Socialmention of Google Alerts? You can use them without it costing you a penny, and see if the insights they provide prove useful for your brand.