Sanka Academy

Top 10 Social Media Listening Software: Features, Pros & Cons


Last Update: Nov. 25, 2023


As a business professional, you know the importance of social media listening and monitoring tools. With so many options available, determining the right software for your needs can be challenging.

This guide provides an in-depth look at the top 10 social media listening tools to help you find what works for your business.

Using social media monitoring software is critical for gaining valuable insights into your customers and competitors.

With the right tool, you can track conversations, understand key trends, identify influencers, and ultimately make data-driven decisions to improve your social media marketing strategy.

The following list details the best all-in-one solutions to get you started.

What Is Social Media Listening Software?

Social media listening software allows brands and businesses to monitor digital conversations about their company, products, services, and competitors on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, forums, and news sites.

Using keywords and hashtags, the software tracks mentions, reviews, comments, likes, and shares to provide insights into consumer sentiment, brand reputation, and trending topics.

With an abundance of user-generated content online, social media listening tools help filter through the noise to identify meaningful conversations.

They offer real-time monitoring and historical data analysis to uncover actionable insights.

With social media listening, brands can make data-driven decisions to help improve customer relationships, create targeted content strategies, and gain a competitive advantage.

When used to its full potential, social listening provides a wealth of consumer and market insights that drive business success.

The Top 10 Social Media Listening Tools

To effectively monitor social media conversations about your brand, product or service, you need a robust social listening tool. The top 10 tools are:

Sanka ChannelWave

Sanka's ChannelWave is a dedicated Community Listening and Advocacy tool. It is designed to manage social listening and behavior monitoring effectively.

ChannelWave aims to assist businesses by automating social listening and providing insight into community monitoring.

As a social media listening software, it offers comprehensive solutions to track, analyze, and manage interactions across various social media platforms.

Key Features:

  • Social Listening: ChannelWave enables businesses to listen and track conversations about their brand across various social platforms in real-time, providing crucial insights.
  • Brand Community Toolkit: The Brand Community Toolkit can be used to monitor, engage with, and manage communities around your brand.
  • Employee Advocacy: ChannelWave’s features could also allow businesses to take advantage of Employee Advocacy. This might involve your employees sharing curated, branded content across their social networks.
  • Social Media Engagement: ChannelWave can allow you to manage social engagements through a unified platform that might involve automated posting across multiple platforms.


  • Automation of Social Listening: This can function to automate the process of social listening, allowing businesses to focus on strategy and content creation.
  • Rich Integrations with Social Platforms: While not explicitly listed, the overview suggests that ChannelWave can integrate and function well with social media platforms, given its social listening and engagement features.
  • Simplicity and Ease of Use: Testimonials on the site commend the clean interface and immediate understanding of how to automate tasks.


  • Learning Curve: While Sanka's user interface is straightforward, new users may require some time to familiarize themselves with the platform.
  • Dependencies on Other Platforms: Some of Sanka's capabilities work best when integrated with other platforms, which might require additional setup.
  • Potential Overwhelming Features: Given the broad spectrum of applications and features, some users may find it overwhelming, and it could lead to underutilization of certain capabilities.


Brandwatch is a leading social listening platform used by over 2,000 brands. It is designed to unearth critical business insights from social, public online, and internal conversations.

Through its multifaceted functionality, Brandwatch allows companies to analyze their online presence, track their brand's performance and engagement, respond to customers, gain insights into emerging trends, and much more, all in real-time.

Key Features:

  • In-Depth Social Media Listening: Brandwatch allows you to monitor billions of global conversations occurring across different social media platforms, blogs, news, forums, etc.
  • Sentiment Analysis: It uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to analyze the sentiment of conversations around your brand, helping businesses understand their audience's mood and perception.
  • Image Recognition: Brandwatch uses proprietary image recognition technology to identify your logos, products, and campaigns in images shared across the web.
  • Demographic and Psychographic Insights: It provides insights into the demographics (gender, interests, occupation, location) and psychographics (attitudes, behaviors) of users engaging in conversations about your brand.
  • Competitor Analysis: Brandwatch allows you to monitor your competitors' activities, equipping you to benchmark your performance against theirs.
  • Vizia Reporting Platform: This feature allows you to visualize complex data in a digestible format, making it easy to share insights within your organization.


  • Powerful Analytics: Offering robust analysis tools, Brandwatch provides rich insights from massive volumes of data, which could be influential in strategic decision-making.
  • Versatility: It has a wide range of use-cases, from crisis management and campaign tracking to market research and content strategy.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Brandwatch encompasses a vast range of online sources, ensuring no crucial conversation is missed.


  • Pricing: The cost can be prohibitive for small-to-medium businesses. Detailed pricing structures aren't readily available, requiring a custom quote based on your needs.
  • Learning Curve: Due to its expansive features and capabilities, Brandwatch can seem complex at first, potentially requiring a substantial time investment to master.
  • Limitations in Sentiment Analysis: Sentiment analysis, while useful, isn't always perfectly accurate, especially when analyzing ambiguous language, sarcasm, or slang.


Brand24 is a powerful and user-friendly social media listening platform designed for businesses of all sizes.

It helps monitor and analyze online conversations about brands, products, and competitors across various social media networks, news sites, blogs, and forums.

Key Features:

  • Social Listening and Mentions Feed: Brand24 collects real-time data from millions of sources, delivering a live feed of mentions about your brand or other keywords.
  • Sentiment Analysis: It can determine whether the conversations about your brand are positive, negative, or neutral, helping drive strategic business decisions.
  • Topic Clusters and Context for Mentions: Brand24 groups similar mentions together under one topic, making it easy to discipher major conversation themes that revolve around a brand or keyword.
  • Influencer Score: Brand24 can identify the most influential people talking about your keywords, enabling you to discover potential brand ambassadors or influencers for your brand.
  • Alerts and Reports: It sends custom alerts about your brand activity and prepares analytics reports for deeper insights. Reports can be exported in various formats for easy sharing.


  • Robust Monitoring: Brand24 is praised for its comprehensive social media monitoring across numerous platforms and sources.
  • Ease of Use: The platform provides a friendly user interface that's straightforward, making it easy even for beginners to use.
  • Affordable Pricing: Brand24 offers flexible and clear pricing tiers that cater to a broad range of businesses, including small and medium ones.


  • Limited Historical Data: In lower-tier plans, Brand24 only provides data from the previous 30 days, which can limit long-term trend analysis.
  • No Image Recognition: Unlike some competitors, Brand24 does not offer image recognition technology to identify brand logos or products in shared images.
  • Sentiment Analysis Accuracy: As is common with many social media listening tools, sentiment analysis may struggle to accurately interpret sarcasm or certain languages.


Talkwalker is an AI-powered social listening and analytics tool used by businesses to monitor their online presence, assess customer sentiment, identify trends, and evaluate their performance in comparison to competitors.

It provides real-time insights and metrics across social networks, news websites, blogs and forums in 187 languages.

Key Features:

  • Real-time Social Media Listening: Talkwalker crawls over 10 million online sources, capturing data and mentions about your brand, competitors, and industry to provide real-time insights.
  • Sentiment Analysis: It uses AI-powered sentiment analysis to evaluate whether the online conversations about your brand are positive, negative, or neutral, helping you make informed decisions.
  • Image and Video Recognition: Talkwalker's proprietary AI engine can identify your brand logos, scenes, objects, and emotions within images and video content shared across various platforms.
  • Advanced Analytics: The platform offers in-depth analytics tools and customizable dashboards to measure the impact of your campaigns, track hashtag performance, and analyze your overall online presence.
  • Influencer Discovery and Engagement: Talkwalker can identify potential influencers and brand ambassadors based on influence scores, empowering you to optimize your marketing strategy.
  • Customizable Reports and Alerts: Receive tailored analytics reports and notifications to identify critical brand mentions and stay appraised of your online performance.


  • Extensive Coverage: Talkwalker's vast coverage of online sources ensures comprehensive social listening, leaving no significant conversation unnoticed.
  • Advanced AI Technologies: Its AI engine offers powerful image and video recognition capabilities, setting Talkwalker apart from many competitors.
  • Intuitive User Interface: The platform is praised for its user-friendly interface, which enables users to navigate and understand its features with relative ease.


  • Pricing: Talkwalker's pricing might be on the higher side for small businesses, with entry-level plans starting at a few hundred dollars per month.
  • Learning Curve: Owing to its expansive features and capabilities, users may take some time to familiarize themselves with the platform fully.
  • Limitations in Sentiment Analysis: Like other social media listening tools, Talkwalker's sentiment analysis could have some challenges with interpreting sarcasm, slang, or languages outside English with high precision.


Awario is a comprehensive social media listening tool for monitoring brand mentions and relevant conversations across social networks, news sites, blogs, forums, and reviews.

It enables businesses to monitor their online reputation, gather customer insights, find sales opportunities, and identify industry trends in real-time.

Key Features:

  • Real-Time Social Media Monitoring: Awario provides real-time alerts when your brand, product, or pre-defined keyword is mentioned online.
  • Sentiment Analysis: With its sentiment analysis feature, Awario determines whether the conversation around your brand or product is positive, negative, or neutral.
  • Competitor Analysis: Awario lets you monitor your competitors' online presence, helping you compare your performance and gain a competitive edge.
  • Influencer Discovery: Awario can identify influential figures in your industry and can help you find ideal influencers to collaborate with.
  • Lead Generation: The Lead Generation module identifies potential customers who are seeking recommendations or expressing buying intent in your industry.
  • Detailed Analytics and Reports: Awario provides in-depth analytics and customizable reports, offering valuable insight into your social media performance.


  • In-depth Monitoring: Awario covers all the major social media platforms and crawls billions of web pages to ensure no significant conversation goes unnoticed.
  • No Mention Limits: The software does not impose a cap on the number of mentions your account can have, which is beneficial for big brands or viral campaigns.
  • Affordable Pricing: Awario offers a range of affordable pricing plans that can cater to both small businesses and larger corporations.


  • No Image Recognition: Unlike some of its competitors, Awario does not offer image recognition to identify brand logos or products in images.
  • Data Visualization: Although Awario provides comprehensive and useful data, some users feel that its data visualization capabilities could be improved.
  • Sentiment Analysis Accuracy: As is the case with many social media intelligence tools, sentiment analysis can occasionally struggle with interpreting sarcasm, irony, and local dialects or slang.

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is an all-in-one social media management platform with built-in listening features.

It offers the opportunity to find, form, and deepen real connections with its audience and also provides insights into brand mentions, conversations, and trends across major social networks.

Key Features:

  • Smart Social Listening: Sprout Social's listening platform analyzes the full context of a conversation. It considers the sentiment, trends, influencers, and competitive insights helping brands build more profound relationships.
  • Social Media Management: This feature allows scheduling, queueing, and publishing posts across multiple social networks from one platform.
  • Robust Analytics: Sprout offers in-depth reporting and analytics to provide actionable insights about social media performance and trends.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Sprout's built-in CRM system helps provide a better understanding of your audience by keeping track of past conversations and interactions.
  • Message Inbox and Tasking: Allows teams to manage messages from all profiles in a single stream, assign tasks to team members, and ensure the right person is responding to each message.
  • Automated Chatbots: Sprout's chatbot builder enables companies to automate certain customer interactions based on specific triggers and predefined responses.


  • User-Friendly Interface: Sprout Social has a clean, intuitive user interface that is easy to comprehend and navigate even for beginners.
  • Unified Platform: The suite offers publishing, monitoring, analytics, and engagement tools all under one roof, eliminating the need for multiple social media tools.
  • Customer Support: Sprout Social has excellent customer service, with a responsive team that provides helpful and timely assistance.


  • Pricing: Sprout Social is often considered more expensive compared with other social media management tools, making it potentially less suitable for small businesses.
  • Limitations in Customization: Some users have noted that the solution lacks customization options for reports and dashboards.
  • Limited Integration: While it covers most of the main social networks, integrations with certain other platforms like Pinterest and Snapchat are lacking.


Agorapulse is a powerful social media management platform designed to help businesses effectively manage their social media profiles, engage with their audience, publish content, and monitor social mentions.

By combining publishing, listening, engagement, and detailed reporting features, Agorapulse serves as a one-stop solution for businesses looking to streamline their social media activities.

Key Features:

  • Unified Social Inbox: This feature consolidates all comments, mentions, and messages from your social profiles into a single, manageable stream.
  • Flexible Publishing Options: Agorapulse supports scheduled posting, queueing, and bulk uploading of posts across all platforms.
  • Social Media Monitoring: Users can monitor keywords, brand mentions, and competitors across social media, blogs, and the web to gain meaningful insights.
  • Competitive Analysis and Reporting: Agorapulse provides detailed reports and competitor analysis to measure and improve your social media performance.
  • User Profiling & CRM: It lets you identify and categorize your most engaged followers, thereby enabling you to cultivate relations with potential brand ambassadors.
  • Team Collaboration: Agorapulse fosters smooth team collaboration with features like task assignment, user-level privileges, publishing approval workflows, and more.


  • Comprehensive Tool: Agorapulse packages scheduling, listening, reporting, and team collaboration into one accessible platform.
  • Highly User-Friendly: The platform is lauded for its clean, intuitive interface that ensures a smooth user experience.
  • Robust Customer Support: Agorapulse has a responsive customer support team that's noted for its fast and helpful responses.


  • Expense: While offering a comprehensive feature set, Agorapulse could be considered expensive for some users, especially those just starting off or running small businesses.
  • Limited Sentiment Analysis: Agorapulse lacks a built-in sentiment analysis tool, so users have to assess sentiment manually.
  • Some Integration Limitations: While it covers major platforms, the lack of integration with Google My Business and LinkedIn Company Pages may limit some businesses.


Mention is a leading social media listening tool used by over 4,000 brands and agencies worldwide.

It allows you to monitor online conversations across social networks, news sites, blogs, and forums in real-time.

It is a powerful yet affordable social listening tool ideal for brands wanting to gain valuable insights into online conversations about their business.

With custom alerts and in-depth analytics, Mention provides an easy way to closely monitor what people are saying about your brand across the social web.

Key Features:

  • Multiple Language Monitoring: Monitoring of over 4 billion online sources including major social networks, news sites, blogs, and forums in over 40 languages.
  • Customizable Alert Settings: It enables you to notify whenever there are new mentions of your brand, products, competitors, or industry keywords.
  • In-depth analytics: This provides insights into volume trends, influencers, sentiment, location, and more.
  • Competitor Analysis: This feature allows you to see how you compare with industry rivals.
  • Hashtag tracking: It allows you to monitor trending topics and see which hashtags are most relevant to your brand.
  • Influencer Identification: Mention helps you identify potential influencers in your sphere who might be beneficial in expanding the reach of your brand.


  • Broad Coverage: Mention’s wide monitoring covers numerous social networks, blogs, news outlets, and forums to ensure all mentions are captured.
  • Great User Interface: It offers a clean, intuitive, and user-friendly platform that is easy to navigate even for beginners.
  • Excellent Alerts System: Mention sends actionable alerts that let users interact directly with mentions right from their inbox.


  • Limited Historical Data: Mention provides only two years of historical data, which might limit some in-depth analysis and trend identification.
  • No Built-In Publishing Tools: Unlike some similar platforms, Mention does not provide built-in tools for publishing or scheduling social media posts.
  • Pricing Structure: Some users find Mention's pricing structure to be on the higher end to access more advanced analytics and multiple mentions.


Buffer is a popular social media management tool used by over 2 million brands to schedule social media posts and track key metrics.

It is an easy-to-use, affordable social media management tool ideal for individuals, small businesses, and midsize companies looking to efficiently schedule and analyze their social media posts.

However, larger enterprises may require a more robust solution with additional capabilities.

Key Features:

  • Content curation and scheduling: Easily find and schedule social media content for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Buffer’s intelligent content suggestions and curation features help you discover the best content for your audience.
  • Analytics and reporting: Gain insight into your social media performance with Buffer’s analytics. See key metrics like engagements, impressions, clicks, and more. Buffer offers customized reports to track your most important KPIs.
  • Team collaboration: Work with your team in Buffer to schedule posts, respond to comments, see each other’s schedules, and analyze results together. Manage social media as a team with Buffer.
  • Integration options: Connect Buffer to your favorite social media tools like Hootsuite, HubSpot, Zapier, and more. Buffer integrates with hundreds of apps to streamline your workflows.


  • Easy to use interface: Buffer is known for its simple, intuitive design. The platform is easy to navigate and ideal for users of all experience levels.
  • Affordable pricing: Buffer offers a free plan as well as paid plans for individuals and businesses at reasonable price points.
  • Reliability: Buffer is a trusted, reputable social media management tool used by major brands. You can rely on Buffer for an optimal user experience and customer support.


  • Limited advanced features: While great for basic scheduling and analytics, Buffer may lack some advanced features needed by enterprise businesses.
  • No social listening capabilities: Unlike some competitors, Buffer does not currently offer social listening or monitoring features to track brand mentions and engage with audiences.
  • Static posting options: Buffer mainly focuses on scheduling social media posts in advance. It does not provide options for live or more spontaneous posting and engagement.


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Hootsuite is one of the most popular social media listening tools. It allows you to connect multiple social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn to a single dashboard.

From there, you can monitor mentions, engage with your audience, and analyze trends.

It is a great all-in-one social media management tool for solopreneurs, small businesses, and agencies looking for an easy, cost-effective way to monitor social conversations, engage with followers, and track campaign results.

Key Features:

  • Stream: See all your social mentions, messages, and posts in one place. Filter by network, hashtag, location, or language.
  • Analytics: Gain insights into your audience and campaigns. Track metrics like impressions, engagements, and click-through rates. View reports on trends, topics, and influencers.
  • Scheduling: Easily schedule social media posts and updates in advance. Hootsuite lets you plan, preview, and publish to multiple networks.
  • Monitoring: Set up custom streams to track industry trends, brand mentions, competitors, and key influencers. Get alerts for important updates.


  • Supports a wide range of social networks in a single platform.
  • Offers robust monitoring and analytics features at an affordable price.
  • The intuitive interface has a short learning curve. Easy to set up and use.


  • Can be overwhelming for small teams or businesses to manage multiple social profiles.
  • Missing some advanced features like social CRM and employee advocacy found in enterprise solutions.
  • Limited historical data and unable to drill down into granular metrics. Reporting capabilities are basic.

In summary, Hootsuite However, larger organizations may require a more comprehensive solution with additional capabilities.


So, social media listening tools are critical to any modern digital marketing strategy. Whether you're looking to gain insights into your audience, monitor brand mentions, or track trends, there are many software options to choose from.

The tools we've covered offer a range of capabilities at different price points. By evaluating your needs and budget, you'll be able to find a solution that helps you better understand social conversations, engage with your community, and make data-driven business decisions.

Social media is constantly evolving, but with the right listening tool, you'll have your finger on the pulse of what's relevant to your brand and industry.

The key is choosing a platform that fits your needs so you can focus on what really matters: building meaningful relationships and delivering value to your customers.

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