Top 10 Social Media Monitoring Tools for PR Pros – a 2024 List

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PR pros have a complex and difficult task – to increase visibility and improve communications for their clients. But how do you prove the effects of your hard work?

There is one thing that works very well – social media monitoring. A social media monitoring tool can show you the immediate effects of your campaigns in a clear, measurable way.

Want to start monitoring social media right away? Try Prowly and get your first seven days free.

What is a social media monitoring tool?

Social media monitoring tools are software applications that track and analyze conversations online in order to find mentions of specific terms.

You can use them to track your brand name, hashtags, specific campaigns, industry terms and more. They typically come with features such as mention tracking, sentiment analysis, detailed analytics and reporting.

What is social media monitoring?

Social media monitoring is the process of watching and analyzing online conversations.

🎯 The goal is to determine what others are saying about your brand or industry online and then use those insights to create better PR and marketing campaigns, improve your product or service, and more.

What does social media monitoring mean to PR?

Social media monitoring is helpful for all aspects of running a business. From marketing to sales to customer support, everyone benefits from real-time social media insights. But here are some practical benefits that relate specifically to PR professionals:

1️⃣ Identify new opportunities

You can see which journalists and media outlets cover your or your client’s brand and reach out to build meaningful relationships with them. In the same way, you can find journalists who cover the industry but have not talked about you yet – and pitch them to get the conversation flowing.

2️⃣ Track social share of voice

Get an accurate representation of your client’s social share of voice. Unlike overall brand sentiment, mentions of brands or campaigns are easy to track and quantify.

3️⃣ Monitor competitors

Good social media monitoring tools can track many terms at once, including your competitors’ brands and campaign keywords. Use this to get a better understanding of how your or your client’s brand stands against the competition.

4️⃣ Verify strategy

Get immediate feedback about the performance of your PR campaigns. You don’t have to wait months to analyze campaign ROI – simply tap into your social mentions.

5️⃣ Reputation management

Get real-time notifications about negative brand mentions. Solve problems before they escalate into full-blown social media crises.

6️⃣ Turn mentions into business insights

Each mention is a chance to promote your client and boost their social media performance, as well as turn opportunities into closed revenue.

7️⃣ Understand the conversation surrounding your client’s brand and products

No more guessing about how the public feels about a client’s brand, campaign or product. Get detailed insights and sentiment analysis for each mention.

8️⃣ Make more data-driven decisions

Understand your most relevant mentions and find out which campaigns drive results. Invest PR and marketing dollars more effectively.

10 best social media monitoring tools in 2024

Finding the ideal social media monitoring tool can be challenging – with so many different features and pricing plans. Here are some of the very best social media monitoring platforms on the market:

#1 Prowly

πŸ’Έ Pricing: starts at $258 per month in the Basic Annual plan

What is Prowly?
Prowly is a media relations tool built for PR professionals looking to have all their most important apps in one place. With Prowly, PR pros can find journalists, create pitches, send custom emails, and track social media mentions all in the app.

What features does it offer?

You can go from start to finish with Prowly, the tool that lets you manage your entire PR campaign from one spot. You can find journalists, pitch them, and then use monitoring to see the impact of your campaigns in real time.

πŸ‘‰πŸΌ What sets Prowly apart is that it is built for PR.
This means that every tracked mention arrives with relevant PR metrics, such as AVE, sentiment, outlet reach, backlinks acquired for your domain, and more.

πŸ‘‰πŸΌ Prowly can also filter mentions according to region and language and gives you a mention reach for each entry.

If you’re looking for the one tool to give you laser-precise insights about your clients’ campaigns and online presence, Prowly is the right choice.

Who is it best for?

PR agencies and in-house PR teams looking to find relevant media contacts and build relationships with them, as well as pitch them and track the mentions that come up as results of campaign efforts.

Free trial: available for seven days

βœ… Pros: great value for money as you get 10,000 tracked mentions per month in the cheapest plan, the ability to manage PR campaigns from start to finish, detailed analytics and reporting, and the ability to track relevant PR metrics.

πŸ”» Cons: unlike some other tools on this list, it does not offer social media management and scheduling, which PR pros don’t need. On the other hand it offers a range of tools and features necessary to PR tasks.

#2 Metricool

πŸ’Έ Pricing: starts at $18 per month

What is Metricool?
Metricool is a social media management platform that allows you to control your clients’ organic and paid online presence in one place.

What features does it offer?

Metricool has quite limited monitoring features. Unlike the other competitors on this list, it can only track hashtags, and only on Twitter and Instagram. You can track hashtag performance in terms of movements and the audiences that use them.

Who is it best for?

PR professionals that have clients predominantly on Instagram and X/Twitter.

Free trial: available, forever free plan

βœ… Pros: very affordable compared to the competition.

πŸ”» Cons: only useful for hashtag tracking, supports just Twitter/X and Instagram.

#3 Hootsuite

πŸ’Έ Pricing: starts at $99 per month but social listening is only available in the Enterprise plan, which does not have publicly displayed pricing

What is Hootsuite?
Hootsuite is a social media management and analytics tool that businesses and agencies can use to schedule posts and analyze their overall social media performance.

What features does it offer?

Like some other tools we’ll cover in a minute, Hootsuite lets you get mentions directly on your dashboard. From there, you can reply to them immediately and engage with them. There are AI analytics in place, spotting negative comments and questions and urging you to respond promptly.

πŸ‘‰πŸΌ One unique feature is that you can integrate other social media monitoring tools if you don’t like Hootsuite’s.

For example, you can connect Brandwatch and Talkwalker and use them for listening while Hootsuite does the management and analytics.

Who is it best for?

PR and social media marketing agencies that use scheduling, analytics, management and listening in their day-to-day work.

Free trial: available for 30 days

βœ… Pros: unified dashboard for mentions that allows you to respond directly from the app.

πŸ”» Cons: you have to go for the Enterprise plan to get access to social listening.

#4 BuzzSumo

πŸ’Έ Pricing: starts at $199 per month

What is BuzzSumo?
Buzzsumo is a media database that lets you get in touch with over 700,000 journalists. Thanks to advanced analytics, you can spot which journalists are likely to pick up your stories and give you media placements. On top of their media database, they have a range of other features, including media monitoring.

What features does it offer?

πŸ‘‰πŸΌ With Buzzsumo, you can monitor your brand mentions, specific keywords, topics, products, and campaigns, as well as those of your competitors.

One thing that makes Buzzsumo unique is that you can set up alerts for influencers, journalists, and authors and get notified as soon as they post or publish.

Also, you can get notified about new backlinks to your website, with a little twist. If someone mentions your brand but does not give you a backlink, you can use Buzzsumo to get in touch and ask for a link.

Who is it best for?

PR and marketing agencies looking to increase visibility for their clients.

Free trial: available

βœ… Pros: a great mix of features for PR and marketing use cases, backlink notifications, and outreach.

πŸ”» Cons: might get expensive if you need to track a large number of terms for your clients.

#5 HubSpot

πŸ’Έ Pricing: starts at $800 per month for the Marketing Hub

What is HubSpot?
Hubspot is a sales CRM, a content management system, and a marketing hub which allows businesses to run all of their operations from a single dashboard. As a part of its Marketing Hub, it offers a social media management tool as well as an option for tracking keywords.

What features does it offer?

The biggest benefit of Hubspot’s keyword monitoring is how well it’s connected to the rest of the Hubspot setup. When a new mention of your keyword comes in, social media and sales teams get an alert. Mentions are tied to specific accounts in the CRM.

πŸ‘‰πŸΌ This allows you to get precise analytics and show which keywords, mentions and accounts bring in the most revenue.

Who is it best for?

Companies that are already deeply embedded in the Hubspot ecosystem and use all of the other tools in their tool stack.

Free trial: not available

βœ… Pros: detailed analytics, deep integration with the sales CRM.

πŸ”» Cons: quite expensive, but might be more useful if you’re already using Hubspot for sales and marketing.

Looking for a tool that gives you social listening tailored to PR needs?

#6 SproutSocial

πŸ’Έ Pricing: starts at $249 per month but social monitoring is only available in the Enterprise plan, which does not have publicly disclosed pricing

What is SproutSocial?
One of the most popular tools for social media management, SproutSocial launched a feature for social listening to stay competitive with social media monitoring companies. However, this social media tool does not toy around with monitoring – it brings a range of advanced features.

What features does it offer?

With SproutSocial, you can track your brand mentions on a global or campaign level. You can use it to not only identify sentiment but also dig into customer preferences and behavior to determine who your target audience really is. Competitive research is a separate feature in the tool, allowing you to add competitors and track your share of voice in your industry.

Thanks to advanced AI algorithms, you can not only identify trends but also find influencers in your industry to connect to.

Who is it best for?

PR agencies that dabble in social media marketing and management, in-house marketing teams.

Free trial: available for 30 days

βœ… Pros: an advanced toolset that combines management with monitoring.

πŸ”» Cons: even if you don’t need the management features, you still have to pay for the Enterprise plan just to get access to social media monitoring tools.

#7 Buffer

πŸ’Έ Pricing: starts at $6 per month for one channel

What is Buffer?
Buffer is primarily a social media management tool that has a large variety of features for social media managers. However, there are also some features that PR professionals can find handy, and you can find them in the Buffer Engage tool stack.

What features does it offer?

πŸ‘‰πŸΌ The biggest advantage of having Buffer in combination with your social media tracker is that you can respond to comments as they come in.

Buffer sends real-time notifications to your dashboard where you can see them and respond to them from the app, instead of logging into each individual social media platform.

There is some sentiment analysis because the tool can alert you if you get a sudden avalanche of negative comments or questions. However, there is no detailed sentiment analysis or the reporting options that you can find in dedicated online monitoring tools.

Who is it best for?

Social media marketing teams that already use Buffer for management and scheduling and find the monitoring feature to be a nice extra.

Free trial: not available for the Engage part of the tool

βœ… Pros: easy to use, you can respond to comments from Buffer.

πŸ”» Cons: the features are rather basic compared to the competition.

#8 Synthesio

πŸ’Έ Pricing: not disclosed publicly, but our research shows it starts at $1,200 per month

What is Synthesio?
Launched by the market research firm Ipsos, Synthesio is a popular tool for tracking social media mentions.

What features does it offer?

There are three different types of data that this tool can capture (social-declarative, digital behavior, and digital surveys). There is also a Noise Reducer that filters the mentions you get so you can only see the most relevant ones for your brand and campaigns.

πŸ‘‰πŸΌ In combination with its parent company Ipsos, Synthesio provides AI-based trend detection.

Who is it best for?

PR agencies with lots of skilled professionals on board and a sizable budget for PR tools.

Free trial: not available

βœ… Pros: easy to use, plenty of customization options.

πŸ”» Cons: customers complain about the look and UX of the dashboards, and the sentiment accuracy. Plus – the tool is quite expensive.

#9 Quid

πŸ’Έ Pricing: not disclosed publicly

What is Quid?
Previously known as Netbase, Quid Monitor is a suite of Quid products dedicated to social media monitoring and analytics.

What features does it offer?

πŸ‘‰πŸΌ Quid offers the typical tools to monitor social media: real-time analytics and detailed reporting with visualizations and dashboards.

You can look into not just mentions, but also the people behind those mentions. Then you can filter and sort them according to sentiment.

With features such as individual campaign monitoring, as well as disaster alerts, it’s a good choice for PR agencies and in-house teams.

Who is it best for?

PR agencies and social media marketing teams with a dedicated PR person.

Free trial: not available

βœ… Pros: granular content monitoring and analysis of social mentions.

πŸ”» Cons: can be quite difficult to use for beginners, often misses mentions from some platforms (e.g. TikTok and X/Twitter).

#10 Brand24

πŸ’Έ Pricing: starts at $99 for 2,000 mentions per month for one user

What is Brand24?
Brand24 is a social media listening and monitoring tool hailing from Poland. It offers a range of social media tracking tools, as well as detailed analytics that help PR professionals analyze the effectiveness of their campaigns.

What features does it offer?

Once you set up your most important keywords, you can have them show up in your mentions feed listed one by one. Alternatively, there is a discussion volume chart where you can see more context behind each mention.

The influence score assigns a numerical value to each mention to determine how important it is to your client’s brand. You can also use sentiment analysis to understand how their customers feel at scale. To top it all off, there are advanced filters and reports, making it easy to aggregate and understand campaign data.

Who is it best for?

PR agencies and larger businesses with strong PR and marketing teams.

Free trial: available for 14 days

βœ… Pros: a great mix of valuable features.

πŸ”» Cons: if you want real-time updates and you need to track many brands and terms, it becomes more expensive.

Social media monitoring FAQs

πŸ’¬ What are the most valuable social media monitoring features for PR professionals?

It depends on your clients’ needs. However, here’s what you should look for: real-time notifications, the ability to set up custom alerts and notifications, great analytics and reporting, as well as coverage of your clients’ most relevant social media networks.

πŸ’¬ Why is social media monitoring important for PR?

Because it’s an effective way to prove the results of your campaigns. Mentions are a tangible way to prove campaign performance across different platforms.

πŸ’¬ Is there a way I can monitor social media for free?

Yes, tools such as Prowly have generous free trials that allow you to see how media monitoring works in practice. However, if you want to do it without a tool, you’d have to go about it manually – which costs a lot in terms of time spent.

You can also do basic social listening with Google Alerts, which is a free tool. You can find out more about Google Alerts and its alternatives in these articles:

Start monitoring social media conversations

Social monitoring tools are one of the most valuable assets PR specialists have at their disposal.

These social listening tools can not only track conversations and provide real-time insights about brand mentions. They can also help PR agencies win a seat at the table by giving accurate information about campaign performance, backed by real data.

And if you want to have it all in one place, there is no tool better than Prowly.

Find journalists and reach out to them, create pitches and then use social media monitoring software to track the results of your campaign. And all of that in a single tool.