When it comes to monitoring Twitter, you probably need a little help. The rapid pace of content being flung into the Twittersphere, means brand and social media managers have to continually search, analyse and select in order to gain the most value from Twitter.
You know what really helps? Having a great Twitter monitoring tool up your sleeve. Twitter monitoring tools help to find the important tweets and separate them from the noise. They allow you to respond much more quickly. be ‘in the know’ and have the chance to react in realtime – just like your audience.
Here are some of the benefits of using a Twitter monitoring tool as part of your social media strategy:
- Listen to customers – your customers are talking about your brand online. Whether they’re asking for help, sharing feedback or talking to others, it’s important you see the tweets that surround your online reputation.
- Find opportunity – by monitoring specific users, hashtags and keywords you can find opportunities for new business, new customers or trends that your brand could join in with.
- React fast – when monitoring Twitter relies on someone logging into Twitter or Tweetdeck and scrolling through mentions, replies become much slower. In a crisis situation, or when your customers need an urgent response, Twitter monitoring tools help you react much faster.
- Manage team work – when everyone’s logging into Twitter separately it can become difficult to assign responsibility and see entire conversations. Some of the tools below will help you to manage your Twitter inbox much more effectively and reply to messages in-app.
Top 5 Twitter Monitoring Tools
For the purpose of this article we’ve narrowed our analysis down to (what we’ve found) to be four of the best Twitter monitoring tools on the current social media monitoring market, plus our own tool, Twilert. We’ve also focused solely on Twitter tools rather than wider social media monitoring tools as we find that Twitter is often the priority when it comes to monitoring online conversations more effectively.
The criteria we used to make our analysis was based on:
- Type of app
- Free trial and plan offerings
- Most desirable features
- Effectiveness of monitoring function
- Any missing features
- Typical customers
- What people say about it online
So without further ado, here is the analysis of the top five Twitter monitoring tools for brands, social media managers, agencies and government bodies. Let us know what you think!
Hootsuite for Twitter Monitoring
Hootsuite is a social media marketing tool, available as a web, mobile and desktop top, for monitoring, scheduling and managing tweets (amongst other social media channels). Hootsuite’s Professional and Team plans offer a 30-day free trial with no credit card required for all of their plan levels.
One of Hootsuite’s key selling points is its free plan. This allows you to manage up to three Twitter profiles for scheduling and monitoring purposes. Once you’ve surpassed this, you’ll need to chose from one of the Hootsuite plans which start from £7.99 per month.
Now on to the monitoring aspect. You might be forgiven for thinking that Hootsuite is solely an auto schedule tool. It boasts a series of impressive features which make scheduling tweets so easy! Hootsuite even has an iOS app designed specifically to send you content suggestions that you can add to your feed.
When it comes to monitoring Hootsuite allows you to add columns so that you can monitor specific Twitter keywords, users or mentions. These can also be grouped into ‘themes’, which is a nice feature allowing you to segregate each list/search/mention column relating to a specific handle or brand.
— vanessabley (@vanessabley) July 12, 2016
In conclusion: Hootsuite is probably one of the best tools for managing AutoScheduling of tweets. Its custom content selector tool, plus its ability to schedule tweets with link shortening means it’s geared up for sharing content rather than reacting to it. Like Tweetdeck, which we’ll go onto shortly, its interface isn’t the slickest when compared to other tools. Saying that, it is one of the cheaper tools for managing multiple accounts so could potentially be useful for agencies and social media managers where quantity is key and where scheduling is more important than monitoring.
Twilert Twitter Monitoring Tool
If you didn’t catch it earlier, Twilert is our monitoring tool. Here, we’ll tell you a little bit about what it does and where it sits against the others tools on the market.
Twilert is a Twitter monitoring tool that sends you alerts when your keywords, hashtags or users are mentioned on Twitter. Twilert offers a 30-day free trial to all users, with the option to upgrade to the ‘Basic’ plan for $9 per month at the end of the trial. For additional features such as whitelabelling, email groups and realtime email alerts, users can upgrade to the Pro or Agency plans.
When it comes to setting up your Twitter monitoring, Twilert allows you to create simple or complex Boolean search strings, which search for users, keywords, languages, location, sentiment and more.
This makes it really easy to drill down into only the information you want to see. Some of the filter options you can use within your monitoring include:
- From, to or mentioning user
- Geolocation search
- Search by language
- Sentiment (positive or negative monitoring)
- Keyword, phrase or hashtag
- Search by verified users only
- Exclude users, retweets, links etc.
The search above looks for the popular hashtag ‘#JournoRequest’ but narrows down the results by filters to include tweets only sent in London, mentioning the keyword ‘women’ and excluding retweets.
Twilert’s second main feature is its email alerts. These allow you to have your results emailed to you as often as you need – whether that’s in realtime, hourly, daily or weekly. For Twilert’s Pro and Agency users, there is also the option to collate all of your search history to return to at a later date.
Twilert is only available through the web app (with email alerts sent to whichever devices you select) and it doesn’t offer an in-app feature to manage your responses to the results you receive. However, a simple click on ‘reply’ and you come to the tweet within Twitter so that you can reply straight away.
The greatest twitter tool has to be @twilert Why? Because it emails you in real time awesome targeted business leads. That’s why I use it.
— Mark Shaw (@markshaw) October 16, 2016
In conclusion: Twilert’s realtime email alerts offer an advantage as they help users to stay on top of tweets, find opportunity and respond to brand mentions without having to log in to a tool or remember to open an app. This ensures a speedy response and the chance to jump on a trend or new business lead before anyone else. For a comprehensive monitoring and scheduling tool, Twilert is probably too niche, but for capturing tweets at the right time, it does the job excellently.
Tweetdeck for Twitter Monitoring
Perhaps one of the most well known Twitter monitoring tools, Tweetdeck allows you to search and select specific tweets and organise them into columns for easy view. Tweetdeck is only available for Twitter (meaning it can’t search within any other social media channel) and can only be accessed by either the Mac app or the Chrome extension browser, both of which are free.
Tweetdeck’s main appeal is that it allows you to scan multiple streams of information and Twitter searches within one window. Tweets can also be favourited, replied to and retweeted directly from within the interface. In terms of monitoring, Tweetdeck allows you to setup columns to monitor brand mentions, brand replies, activity and searches by keyword, hashtag or user.
— Israel in Boston (@IsraelinBoston) October 5, 2016
In conclusion: Tweetdeck is simple and free which makes it a great catch for businesses of all sizes. If you use Tweetdeck well, it will be difficult to ever miss a tweet that matters and replying to users becomes simple. However, Tweetdeck has been scaling back its products and service as each year passes and with only two versions left, one of which seems to be reported as crashing fairly often, many of its users have questioned the Twitter tool’s longevity.
Respond by Buffer
Boy were we excited when we heard the news that one of our favourite social scheduling tools Buffer was releasing a monitoring tool. Respond by Buffer focuses on the customer service aspect of Twitter monitoring. It has one dashboard for all of your social media mentions, allowing you to manage each customer enquiry in a single inbox.
Respond offers a 14-day free trial following a submission of their request form but done away with their freemium model shortly after launch. Unfortunately their pricing structure is not publicly available (according to tweets, the pricing page will be released along with Respond V2 at the end of this year).
Respond comes with some great features which allow you to monitor Twitter support easily such as Slack integration, multi-user accounts and the ability to assign tweets to specific members of your team. All customer service tweets get stacked up in an ‘inbox’ where you can reply to users, archive tweets, assign tweets to team mates or set a reminder to follow up at a later date.
— Sharon Callix (@SC707Tweets) October 9, 2016
In conclusion: Respond is by far one of the best customer service tools for dealing with incoming questions or user issues. It allows you to see all of your incoming tweets, respond quickly and ensure you manage any crisis situations as they arise. However, in terms of Twitter monitoring, Respond is only really geared up to allow you to monitor and manage incoming enquiries. When it comes to monitoring Twitter as a whole, you’ll likely need a second tool to allow you to track competitors, search by keywords and find opportunity for your brand.
Mention is a comprehensive monitoring tool that allows you to monitor your brand online, including across Twitter, Facebook and Google. Mention has web, desktop and mobile apps where you can setup alerts, view results and respond to mentions.
Mention offers a free trial to all users and has a free plan that allows you to monitor one alert (i.e. one keyword or phrase). After this, it offers a solo plan for $29 per month (2 alerts, 3,000 mentions and 2 users) and a starter plan for $99 per month which offers more alerts, more users and a bunch of other features including analytics, advanced search and tagging.
Mention has a ton of great features that you would want from a monitoring tool, including the ability to add boolean search strings and the ability to respond to tweets from within the dashboard, when you upgrade to one of its custom plans. It’s also super simple to setup, so monitoring your brand name or a key hashtag is simple.
Dear @Mention, I love your platform, your approach to customer service & our lovely new account manager, Brittni!
— Jenn Cloud (@jenncloud) October 13, 2016
In conclusion: the more you use Mention the more you see how many great features and nuances it has to help you media monitor across the web, such as its ‘influencer dashboard’ which allows you to track the tweets you really want to see. It’s not always the simplest tool to use, due to how many different features and aspects it has but if you’re looking for a tool that can monitor and analyse your web coverage, it’s a great choice.
Monitoring Twitter – over to you!
We hope you found this guide useful and if you have any feedback or questions make sure you tweet us @twilert – we’d love to hear from you! You can also give our tool Twilert a go using our 30-day free trial.