In our Social Media Monitoring Tools Comparison 2021, we have compared 8 providers for you based on 157 criteria. You can download the summary of the software comparison as a PDF free of charge.
In 2025, the amount of data will reach the number of 163 zetabytes, says a study by IDG and Seagate. This incredibly large number has 21 zeros. However, the majority of this data is unstructured and therefore difficult to evaluate for marketing and other corporate departments. Monitoring solutions – also known as social media monitoring tools – make it possible for companies to ultimately utilize this data correctly. Social media monitoring tools provide the basis for many marketing processes. After all, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn are where a large part of customers’ lives are played out today. The potential to reach target groups with a brand’s marketing measures on social media is thus known to be great. And not only that.
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Companies are part of the public discussion. This has always been the case – and is also usually desired by companies. A positive mention in a journalist’s article has always helped companies to be well received by their target groups. But for a long time now, it’s no longer just the traditional media that talk or write about companies. At least to the same extent, communication takes place via social media. About companies, with companies and initiated by companies. In the process, the communication is not orderly on one channel, but very broadly scattered: in forums, on portals in Facebook groups, on blogs, in Twitter timelines, Instagram profiles, networking and news platforms such as XING and LinkedIn, or even in comments under articles in online magazines. Companies need to keep an eye on this communication. Of course, to monitor media coverage as before, but above all to identify trends.
Where does a critical issue emerge that you should respond to early? What are the issues and questions customers have around a brand’s business and products? On-board tools such as Google Alerts or browsing the usual forums and specialist sites quickly reach their limits. More and more companies are therefore turning to professional social media monitoring solutions to monitor the various social media platforms and channels. With these, all data sources in marketing can be aggregated, analyses carried out and the results processed for marketing and communication strategies. This enables you and your marketing and communications team to make decisions based on data instead of a gut feeling. Second, you can identify critical issues much earlier and have the opportunity to react before they turn into a real crisis. And third, using monitoring software gives you the opportunity to get even closer to your customers with your suggestions, praise and questions.
Social media monitoring tools create foundations for content and channel strategy
The use of social media monitoring solutions is also very useful in content production for your marketing. Based on the mentions found, conclusions can be drawn to communicate more relevant content and trends. After all, customers tell you what they are actually interested in. Likewise, many monitoring solutions help identify the most viral content and trends that can be used in your own content strategy. To do this, a monitoring tool collects data on millions of sources and evaluates them in an analysis that you define. A monitoring tool can be used, for example, to check on which sources mentions are piling up in order to adjust the channel strategy for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn & Co. based on this. Why have a Facebook and/or Instagram presence if various conversations about the industry take place exclusively on LinkedIn?
Categories of the Social Media Monitoring Tools Comparison 2021
This article is about an overview of different social media monitoring solutions. The team of contentmanager.de has compared 8 commercial and professional social media monitoring platforms for you based on 157 criteria. The investigation covers different categories:
- General information about the provider
- The language of the user interface
- The industry expertise of the tools
- Basic features of the tools
- Coverage of sources and countries
- Scope of analysis functions
- Operating functions for analysts
- Reporting and KPI coverage
- Legal criteria
- Interfaces and integration
- Additional services of the tool providers
- Price approach of the tool providers
Which companies are behind the solutions?
When choosing a suitable software for social media monitoring, the most important thing is the range of functions for the analytics. But it is also important to know which provider is behind the social media monitoring tool. So you should weigh up whether you would rather go for the established company that has several thousand employees and large development teams. For some tasks, however, it can also make sense to rely on a tool provider that does not “also additionally” have monitoring software in its portfolio as a generalist, but rather focuses exclusively on it as a specialist. The current market overview 2021 offers a wide range here: from global conglomerates to small specialists. From solutions that make more sense for enterprise customers to tools for small companies and freelancers.
Brandwatch Consumer Research
Brandwatch was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Brighton, UK. Brandwatch says it employs 500 people and has 2,300 customers. USP (according to its own statement): “With Brandwatch, clients can bring structure to billions of consumer conversations to make smarter, more data-focused decisions. Customers get access to real-time data from over 100 million online sources and a historical archive of over 1.5 quadrillion posts back to 2010. Powerful AI-driven tools support analysis.”
Cision Communications Cloud
The solution is a product of Frankfurt-based Cision Germany GmbH and has been on the market since 2017. According to the company’s own data, the number of employees is 4,500 and 80,000 customers use the tool. USP (according to its own statement): “With the Cision Communications Cloud, we offer PR and communications professionals the only cloud-based solution that maps the complete PR workflow. Beyond media & social monitoring on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit & hundreds of online forums & review sites incl. histor. Data, the platform can be used to play out PR campaigns and media analysis.”
Mynewsdesk is the monitoring solution from Mynewsdesk GmbH, available since 2003. The company, which has offices in Stockholm (Sweden), Munich and Leipzig, says it has 180 employees and 5,000 customers. USP (according to its own statement): “We can do everything with one tool. All-in-one PR platform with media intelligence including newsroom integration on the client side.”
pressrelations GmbH developed the monitoring tool NewsRadar and has been on the market since 2002. The company has offices in various countries. The German Brüos are in Düsseldorf, Berlin, Hamburg and Leipzig. In addition, pressrelations GmbH has offices in Austin/Texas (USA), Dublin (Ireland), Moscow (Russia), Singapore, Sofia (Bulgaria), Stand (Switzerland), Vienna (Austria) and Zurich (Switzerland). According to its own information, the company has 200 employees. 700 customers use the monitoring solution NewsRadar. USP (according to its own statement): “NewsRadar enables the monitoring and analysis of content and key figures from classic and social media in a single tool: Print, Online, TV, Radio, Social Media, Podcasts – both Earned and Owned Media.”
Talkwalker is the eponymous monitoring solution from Luxembourg-based TALKWALKER Sàrl. Talkwalker has been on the market since 2009. The company says it has about 500 employees. Talkwalker also counts 2,000 customers. USP (according to its own statement): “Talkwalker was recognized as a Leader among the Top 9 Consumer Intelligence Platforms in The Forrester New Wave. AI-Enabled Consumer Intelligence Platforms, Q3 2021.”
Ubermetrics Technologies GmbH is headquartered in Berlin, but also has a branch office in San Francisco (USA). With 50 employees, the company supports its 300 customers who use the monitoring solution, which has been in existence since 2011. USP (according to its own statement): “We seamlessly integrate social media monitoring, press reviews and media analytics.”
The company behind the solution is VICO Research & Consulting from Leinfelden-Echterdingen. The company employs 60 people and has 6,000 customers using the solution. USP (according to its own statement): VICO Analytics captures social media data and news as well as ratings & reviews from online stores, where a large part of the communication often takes place. It has versatile data analysis and coding features for quick insights as well as deep analytics. It also offers flexible data extraction via exports, reports, alerts and API interfaces.
Also based in Berlin is Webbosaurus GmbH, which launched its solution in 2009.
English as user interface language standard, German not for everyone
Software is usually purchased centrally and then used for all markets in which a company is active. However, they are then used in the local (marketing) teams. This is where language barriers can arise. It is therefore advisable to compare the languages spoken by the main users with those that the providers have integrated into their software. All software solutions in the market overview offer English as the language of the user interface. Only one provider does without a German-language user interface.
Industry specialization only concrete for half of the providers
The requirements for a social media monitoring solution can vary greatly depending on the industry. We therefore asked the providers in which industries they are particularly strongly positioned with their social media monitoring solution. Four of the eight providers were unable to identify a clear focus. Among the remaining participants in the market overview, a concentration on the automotive industry is particularly noticeable. There are also individual differences in the medical and B2B sectors, as well as in industry. One provider, on the other hand, sees its focus in social media monitoring primarily in retail and e-commerce.
All solutions have the basic functions on board
Anyone looking for monitoring software in marketing management first looks for certain basic features that should be included on the platforms. So rather a look at the duty than directly at the freestyle. The good news is that, by and large, all tools offer the basic features that our editors asked about. All of them offer a preview function, an integrated search function and are multi-client capable. A whitelabel option is only possible with half of the providers. All solutions are SaaS approaches.
Providers cover most of the sources queried
In social media monitoring, it is important to include as many sources as possible when analyzing topics & co. for marketing. Accordingly, we asked the providers which sources their solutions cover. We are pleased to report that the majority of providers – around 63 percent – include all but one of the sources queried in their social media monitoring. Only three providers have integrated fewer than 8 out of 10 queried sources into their social media monitoring solution.
Almost every provider can monitor almost worldwide
Anyone who decides to use professional monitoring naturally wants to make sure that they really keep an eye on everything. At least everything that is relevant for the company. Therefore, the source countries also play a major role in the selection of a suitable provider. Decision-makers should be clear beforehand which countries they want to cover and clarify with the provider whether the particularly relevant industry and trade media can be monitored. The providers in our social media monitoring tools comparison cover almost all countries worldwide.
The analysis functions are the real treasure of the solutions
Finding communication is one thing. But an important part of professional monitoring is also aggregation and, above all, analysis. This is the only way to draw strategic conclusions and identify trends early on. That is why we have placed a clear focus on this area in our market overview. With all solutions, influencers can be identified, the total buzz volume can be displayed, and the channels can be viewed separately. All social media monitoring tools also provide information on who the author of the post/comment/hit is. Virality can be measured by almost all providers. Only one social media monitoring tool provider does not provide any information on this. Information about demographic data is provided by five out of eight providers. For geographic data around search results, almost all solutions provide information.
The analyst can draw on a wide range of features when using the tool
A monitoring tool is not a no-brainer – at least not if you want to take full advantage of its capabilities. It is necessary to deal with the matter and the range of functions intensively. Of course, it is best to appoint someone within the team to take over the function of an analyst and to build up the corresponding competencies. He or she then has a whole range of useful features at his or her disposal within the tools to extract the best insights and results. For example, individual sources can be deleted/excluded from the results in all tools. Manual tagging of search results is also possible with almost every provider. Only one social media monitoring tool provider does not provide any information on this. For daily work with a monitoring tool, it is relevant to what extent the search period can be precisely narrowed down. This option is available with all tools.
The preparation of the results is important and possible with all providers
After analyzing the search results, it should be possible to present them clearly and without much effort. The tools have a wide range of features on board: from prefabricated to customizable templates, from reports that can be created via drag & drop and then automatically sent to the company by mail, many features are standard with all social media monitoring tools providers. Nevertheless, there are differences, for example in the possibility of archiving or the searchability of reports. Various providers offer archiving. However, half of the providers surveyed have not integrated this function.
Most tools offer extensive interfaces
Controlling and embedding the social media monitoring software is an important aspect of being able to use the tools properly. Interfaces play an important role here. Most of the social media monitoring tools in our comparison have APIs to connect the software in the company. However, three of the eight providers provide no or limited information on the scope of the interfaces of their social media monitoring solution.
Providers with many additional services, implementation support standard with all of them
The majority of social media monitoring tool providers offer companies a number of additional services. In our market overview, we asked, among other things, whether the providers offer their own implementation support. This is the case with all social media monitoring providers. Likewise, seven out of eight providers offer face-to-face training to introduce the social media monitoring tool to employees. Online training is even available from all providers.
There are hardly any differences in contract terms, but there are differences in minimum budgets.
When selecting a suitable monitoring software, there is of course no getting around the cost dimension. With a starting price per year, the providers range between 400 EUR and 10,800 EUR. Some providers negotiate the conditions also in principle individually and have therefore no indication. The minimum contract period is 12 months for most providers. You should factor in initial setup costs. Costs for setting up the social media monitoring software can be up to EUR 4,500. The good news for those in the selection process: Three providers offer a free trial version of their tool.