Sponsored Content: Awario – Search Engine Land News On Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 15:16:58 -0400 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3 Social listening: what it is, why it matters, and how to do it /social-listening-322126 Tue, 17 Sep 2019 11:30:44 +0000 /?p=322126 What is social media monitoring? Why is it important? What are the best social listening tools? Find out with this quick guide for 2020.

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Boom! Someone just posted a tweet praising your product. On the other side of the world, an article featuring your company among the most promising startups of 2019 was published. Elsewhere, a Reddit user started a thread complaining about your customer care. A thousand miles away, a competitor posted an announcement about a new product they are building. 

What if you (and everyone on your team, from Social Media to PR to Product to Marketing) could have access to that data in real time?

That’s exactly where social listening steps in.

What is social media listening?

Social listening is the process of tracking mentions of certain words, phrases, or even complex queries across social media and the web, followed by an analysis of the data.

A typical word to track would be a brand name, but the possibilities of social media monitoring go way beyond that: you can monitor mentions of your competitors, industry, campaign hashtags, and even search for people who’re looking for office space in Seattle if that’s what you’re after.

Despite its name, social listening isn’t just about social media: many listening tools also monitor news websites, blogs, forums, and the rest of the web.

But that’s not the only reason why the concept can be confusing. Social listening goes by many different names: buzz analysis, social media measurement, brand monitoring, social media intelligence… and, last but not least, social media monitoring. And while these terms don’t exactly mean the same thing, you’ll often see them used interchangeably today.

The benefits of social listening

The exciting thing about social media listening is that it gives you access to invaluable insights on your customers, market, and competition: think of it as getting answers to questions that matter to your business, but without having to ask the actual questions.

There’s an infinite number of ways you can use this social media data; here’re just a few obvious ones.

1. Reputation management.

A sentiment graph showcasing a reputation crisis. Screenshot from Awario.

This is one of the most common reasons companies use social listening. Businesses monitor mentions of their brand and products to track brand health and react to changes in volume of mentions and sentiment early to prevent reputation crises.

2. Competitor analysis.

Social media share of voice for the airlines. Screenshot from the Aviation Industry 2019 report.

Social media monitoring tools empower you with an ability to track what’s being said about your competition on social networks, in the media, on forums and discussion boards, etc. 

This kind of intelligence is useful at every step of competitor analysis: from measuring Share of Voice and brand health metrics to benchmark them against your own, to learning what your rivals’ customers love and hate about their products (so you can improve yours), to discovering the influencers and publishers they partner with… The list goes on. For more ways to use social media monitoring for competitive intelligence, this thorough guide to competitor analysis comes heavily recommended.

3. Product feedback.

The topic cloud for Slack after its logo redesign. Screenshot from Awario.

By tracking what your clients are saying about your product online and monitoring key topics and sentiment, you can learn how they react to product changes, what they love about your product, and what they believe is missing from it. 

As a side perk, this kind of consumer intelligence will also let you learn more about your audience. By understanding their needs better and learning to speak their language, you’ll be able to improve your ad and website copy and enhance your messaging so that it resonates with your customers.

4. Customer service.

Recent tweets mentioning British Airways. Screenshot from Awario.

Let’s talk numbers.

Fewer than 30% of social media mentions of brands include their handle — that means that by not using a social listening tool you’re ignoring 70% of the conversations about your business. Given that 60% of consumers expect brands to respond within an hour and 68% of customers leave a company because of its unhelpful (or non-existent) customer service, not reacting to those conversations can cost your business actual money.

5. Lead generation.

Social media leads for smartwatch manufacturers. Screenshot from Awario.

While lead generation isn’t the primary use case for most social listening apps, some offer social selling add-ons that let you find potential customers on social media. For the nerdy, Boolean search is an extremely flexible way to search for prospects: it’s an advanced way to search for mentions that uses Boolean logic to let you create complex queries for any use case. Say, if you’re a NYC-based insurance company, you may want to set up Boolean alerts to look for people who’re about to move to New York so that you can reach out before they’re actually thinking about insurance. Neat, huh? 

6. PR.

Most influential news articles about KLM. Screenshot from Awario.

Social listening can help PR teams in more than one way. First, it lets you monitor when press releases and articles mentioning your company get published. Second, PR professionals can track mentions of competitors and industry keywords across the online media to find new platforms to get coverage on and journalists to partner with.

7. Influencer marketing.

Top influencers for Mixpanel. Screenshot from Awario.

Most social media monitoring tools will show you the impact, or reach, of your brand mentions. From there, you can find who your most influential brand advocates are. If you’re looking to find new influencers to partner with, all you need to do is create a social listening alert for your industry and see who the most influential people in your niche are. Lastly, make sure to take note of your competitors’ influencers — they will likely turn out to be a good fit for your brand as well.

8. Research.

Analytics for mentions of Brexit over the last month. Screenshot from Awario.

Social listening isn’t just for brands — it also lets you monitor what people are saying about any phenomenon online. Whether you’re a journalist writing an article on Brexit, a charity looking to evaluate the volume of conversations around a social cause, or an entrepreneur looking to start a business and doing market research, social listening software can help. 

3 best social media listening tools

Now that we’re clear on the benefits of social media monitoring, let’s see what the best apps for social listening are. Here are our top 3 picks for every budget and company size.

1. Awario

Awario is a powerful social listening and analytics tool. With real-time search, a Boolean search mode, and extensive analytics, it’s one of the most popular choices for companies of any size.

Awario offers the best value for your buck. With it, you’ll get over 1,000 mentions for $1 — an amazing offer compared to similar tools. 

Key features: Boolean search, Sentiment Analysis, Topic clouds, real-time search.

Supported platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, news and blogs, the web.

Free trial: Try Awario free for 7 days by signing up here.

Pricing: Pricing starts at $29/mo for the Starter plan with 3 topics to monitor and 30,000 mentions/mo. The Pro plan ($89/mo) includes 15 topics and 150,000 mentions. Enterprise is $299/mo and comes with 50 topics and 500,000 mentions. If you choose to go with an annual option, you’ll get 2 months for free. 

2. Tweetdeck

TweetDeck is a handy (and free) tool to manage your brand’s presence on Twitter. It lets you schedule tweets, manage several Twitter accounts, reply to DMs, and monitor mentions of anything across the platform — all in a very user-friendly, customizable dashboard. 

For social media monitoring, TweetDeck offers several powerful ways to search for mentions on Twitter with a variety of filters for you to use. You can then engage with the tweets without leaving the app. 

TweetDeck is mostly used for immediate engagement — the tool doesn’t offer any kind of analytics.

Key features: User-friendly layout, ability to schedule tweets, powerful search filters.

Supported platforms: Twitter.

Free trial: N/A

Pricing: Free.

3. Brandwatch

Brandwatch is an extremely robust social media intelligence tool. It doesn’t just let you monitor brand mentions on social: the tool comes with image recognition, API access, and customizable dashboards that cover just about any social listening metric you can think of. 

Brandwatch’s other product, Vizia, offers a way to visualize your social listening data and even combine it with insights from a number of other sources, including Google Analytics.

Key features: Powerful analytics, exportable visualizations, image recognition.

Supported platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Sina Weibo, VK, QQ, news and blogs, the web.

Free trial: No.

Pricing: Brandwatch is an Enterprise-level tool. Their most affordable Pro plan is offered at $800/month with 10,000 monthly mentions. Custom plans are available upon request.

Before you go

Social media is an invaluable source of insights and trends in consumer behavior but remember: social listening doesn’t end with the insights. It’s a continuous learning process — the end goal of which should be serving the customer better.

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7 best social media monitoring tools for any business /7-best-social-media-monitoring-tools-for-any-business-316648 Tue, 14 May 2019 11:30:14 +0000 /?p=316648 People have always talked about brands and products. They’ve praised and complained about companies in the dining rooms, by the water cooler, over the phone. With the rise of social media, this previously intangible word-of-mouth has finally become measurable — and thus amplifiable — for businesses. Social media listening, the process of using a tool […]

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People have always talked about brands and products. They’ve praised and complained about companies in the dining rooms, by the water cooler, over the phone. With the rise of social media, this previously intangible word-of-mouth has finally become measurable — and thus amplifiable — for businesses. Social media listening, the process of using a tool to monitor online mentions of a brand (or anything else), gives companies access to that data.

For this post, we’ve put together a list of 7 most robust social media monitoring tools to bring you real-time insights on your customers, market, and competition.

1. Awario

Awario is a relative newcomer to the social media monitoring and analytics scene. Its ambition is to make social media insights affordable for any brand, be it a startup, an international company, or a digital agency. With pricing plans starting at $29/mo, Awario offers Enterprise capabilities (from Boolean search to Sentiment Analysis to Share of Voice) included in every plan.

You can use Awario to monitor mentions of your brand, competitors, industry, or set up queries for the less obvious use cases. For instance, the app lets you identify guest blogging opportunities, discover content ideas, and find industry influencers to partner with. That’s where the tool’s flexible Boolean search mode comes in handy: it lets you create complex queries that will satisfy even the nerdiest of marketers.

On top of social media, Awario covers news, blogs, and the entire web to give you a holistic picture of your brand’s online presence.

Supported platforms

Twitter,  Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, news, blogs, the web.

Customer rating

  4.5/5 (Capterra).

Reviewers mention Awario’s affordability, Boolean search, influencer marketing capabilities, and excellent customer support as the main pros.

Pricing

There’s a free trial that lets you test Awario out before settling on one of its paid plans.

2. Brandwatch

Brandwatch is a suite of 3 tools for marketing and PR teams. Its Audiences product lets you find groups of people based on your targeting rules, such as demographic criteria and interests. It lets you better understand your customers by analyzing their social media posts and pinpointing what sets them apart from the general public.

Vizia is a visualization tool that lets you build custom dashboards based on Brandwatch data. Vizia also works with third-party tools, such as BuzzSumo and Google Analytics, to give you a comprehensive way to measure your marketing efforts.

The company’s social media monitoring tool is called Analytics. It comes equipped with image recognition, API access, and analytical dashboards that can be downloaded as PowerPoint presentations in a click.

Supported platforms

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Sina Weibo, VK, QQ, blogs, news, the web.

Customer rating

   4/5 (Capterra).

The tool’s users love its media coverage and customizable dashboards. The biggest con is its cost.

Pricing

Brandwatch offers 3 plans to choose from. There’s no free trial, but you can contact the team for a demo of the product.

3. Hootsuite

If you aren’t looking for an in-depth social media monitoring tool, but would rather opt for something that offers publishing, collaboration, and monitoring features, Hootsuite is an excellent choice.

While the app itself doesn’t monitor sources beyond social media, it offers many useful integrations with tools like Brandwatch and Reputology for your reputation management needs. Some of those are free, while some need to be purchased as add-ons.

Supported platforms

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube. More sources available via integrations.

Customer rating

  4.5/5 (Capterra).

Users love Hootsuite’s user-friendly layout and the fact that it supports all major social networks for scheduling.

Pricing

Hootsuite has a free trial that lets you play around with the tool before you jump on one of its three paid plans.

4. Meltwater

Meltwater is an Enterprise media intelligence tool. While not a dedicated social listening solution (Meltwater also offers PR and social media management capabilities), it includes robust tools for monitoring mentions of your keywords across the Internet.

Meltwater’s strength is the analytics the software provides: it lets you create custom dashboards with metrics that matter to you, from audience demographics to the reach of the social media chatter around your brand.

Supported platforms

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, blogs, news, the web, broadcast.

Customer rating

 3.5/5 (Capterra).

The biggest pros mentioned by users are Meltwater’s coverage and powerful reports, with the main downside being its cost.

Pricing

Meltwater’s social media monitoring package is priced at $15,000/year. For more information, you’ll need to talk to the company’s sales team.

5. Talkwalker

Talkwalker is a perfect social media listening tool for big brands and agencies. Apart from providing you with the latest mentions of your brand and competitors, Talkwalker offers powerful analytics that let you spot trends in the buzz around your keywords. It goes beyond basic reporting by analyzing your audience’s demographics, occupation, and interests. It also builds powerful word clouds that let you identify hashtags that are most commonly used together with your keyword.

On top of tracking conversations across social media channels and the web, Talkwalker monitors print and TV mentions. Image recognition is also available in the Enterprise plan.

Supported platforms

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Flickr, blogs, news, the web, print, TV.

Customer rating

 4.5/5 (Capterra).

Customers mention Talkwalker’s ease of use, extensive coverage, and real-time alerts as the main pros.

Pricing

Talkwalker offers three subscription plans on their website.

6. Tweetdeck

TweetDeck, owned by Twitter, is an all-in-one dashboard for your Twitter activity. It lets you schedule tweets, interact with your feed, manage your inbox, and track mentions of your company (or anything else) on the network.

While the tool’s social listening capabilities are limited to one social network, its search options are pretty impressive for a free app. You can add keywords in flexible formats, exclude certain terms, and filter results by country, language, or date. You can set up as many searches as you need and reply to tweets right from the dashboard by connecting your Twitter account to the app.

Supported platforms

Twitter.

Customer rating

 4.5/5 (Capterra).

Customers love TweetDeck’s column layout, multi-account support, and scheduling options.

Pricing

Tweetdeck is absolutely free.

7. Agorapulse

Agorapulse is another two-in-one social media tool: while the app primarily focuses on social media management, it also offers listening capabilities for selected social networks. Though Agorapulse doesn’t include web monitoring, it’s a great option if you’re looking for a scheduling app that will also notify you of social brand mentions.

On top of publishing and social media monitoring, Agorapulse lets you find influencers and streamline outreach and communication with the help of its inbuilt CRM.

Supported platforms

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube.

Customer rating

  4.5/5 (Capterra).

Users love the fact that Agorapulse combines social media management with social listening, the tool’s ease of use, and its excellent customer service.

Pricing

Agorapulse offers a free trial. After you try the tool, you can pick one of the four available subscription plans.

Conclusion

Social media has become the place where consumers talk about everything — and that includes your brand. As more companies turn to social media monitoring for insights, social media monitoring tools are catching up and becoming more elaborate and affordable. However, don’t forget that the insights the tools provide aren’t everything — it’s the decisions you make and the actions you take based on those insights that will make your brand stand out.

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8 best online reputation management tools for your brand /8-best-online-reputation-management-tools-for-your-brand-308621 Tue, 27 Nov 2018 13:31:37 +0000 /?p=308621 If your brand has an online presence at all, you can’t not worry about its reputation. Today, online reputation management (or ORM for short) is not only applicable to every business; ignoring it can cost you customers and money. Here’re just some of the reasons why ORM should be an integral part of your strategy: […]

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If your brand has an online presence at all, you can’t not worry about its reputation. Today, online reputation management (or ORM for short) is not only applicable to every business; ignoring it can cost you customers and money. Here’re just some of the reasons why ORM should be an integral part of your strategy:

  • Consumers increasingly rely on online research when considering a purchase. 88 percent of buyers research products online before making a purchase (online or in-store); and 86 percent will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative reviews.
  • Leaving brand reputation to chance can lead to a crisis. Monitoring your reputation and reacting promptly will help you avoid crises and full-on disasters, and prevent negative news about your business from spreading.
  • Your brand’s online reputation can affect your site’s rankings. It’s official: Google uses an algorithmic solution designed to de-rank sites that offer poor customer experience.
  • Monitoring your online reputation will give you valuable customer insights: what people love about your product, what they wish they could change, and what they feel is missing.

Now that we’re clear on the benefits of ORM, let’s see which tools can help you facilitate and automate the process.

1.   Awario

Monitor what people are saying about your brand across social media and the web, and spot trends with Sentiment Analysis and powerful analytics.

Awario is a social listening tool that makes reputation management easy. The platform will track your brand’s mentions across the major social networks and the web in real-time and let you respond to them right from the app.

To help you spot mentions that require your immediate attention, the tool offers Sentiment Analysis. The Sentiment graph in the dashboard shows you the share of positive and negative mentions of your business, letting you locate spikes you need to address.

On top of that, the tool helps you spot copyright infringements and find people stealing your content. To get started, just create an alert with an extract of your copy in quotes to make the app search for an exact match.

But the real power is in Awario’s competitor analysis capabilities. If you create monitoring alerts for your competition, you’ll be able to listen in on what their customers are happy or unhappy about, and learn from your rivals’ mistakes. Furthermore, you can compare mentions of your brand (in volume, sentiment, reach, and a number of other factors) to competitors’ and see where you’re winning and where you’re lagging behind.

Pricing: Awario offers 3 plans: Starter for individuals ($29/mo), Pro for SMBs ($89/mo), and Enterprise for agencies and big brands ($299/mo). If you go with an annual plan, you’ll get 2 months for free. To try Awario before you settle on a paid plan, sign up for a free trial.

2.   Reputology

Monitor and manage online reviews of your local business in real-time.

Reputology helps local businesses track their online reviews. Apart from the common review platforms like Google and Facebook Reviews, Reputology monitors industry-specific review sites, be it real estate, hospitality, or healthcare. Of course, you can also respond to these reviews from the app.

Reputology works particularly well for multi-location businesses that want to keep reviews of each of their locations in one place: it lets you drill down on why certain locations are not doing as well as others, and measure your brand’s overall reputation across locations.

The best bit is, the tool integrates with Hootsuite. The integration lets you monitor and manage your reviews in the same dashboard where you keep your social media accounts – super handy if SMM and review management are both done by the same team in your company.

Pricing: Reputology charges from $10 to $49/mo for every location. You can sign up for a free trial before you settle on a plan.

3.   GoFish Digital Complaint Search

Search over 40 complaint websites for negative reviews of your business.

GoFish Digital’s Google-powered complaint search is a handy way to check on your brand’s health. It lets you perform searches on over 40 websites to see if anyone’s filed a complaint against your business (remember, these reviews might potentially start ranking in Google for your brand name!).

From there, you can see which reviews are the most popular, see your brand’s ratings, and respond to complaints on most websites the platform monitors. On some of the sites, you’ll be able to flag or remove reviews if they don’t reflect the reality.

Pricing: Free.

4.   SEO SpyGlass

Monitor your backlink profile and prevent spammy, low-quality links from ruining your rankings.

SEO SpyGlass is different from the other tools on this list. While it’s not specifically designed to track a brand’s overall reputation, it helps you monitor and manage the biggest factor of your reputation when it comes to SEO: backlinks. With a whole new backlink index, recently launched in beta (the public release is happening any day now), the tool claims to have the most up-to-date link index on the market.

What’s particularly handy isn’t the data itself though – it’s the analysis the app is capable of. It lets you analyze the authority of each of your links (aka InLink Rank) and measure the Penalty Risk of your backlinks to prevent potential search engine penalties (both algorithmic and manual).

On top of that, the tool offers a Domain Comparison module that lets you compare your link profile to competitors’ to see which aspects of off-page SEO you’re rocking, and which ones you need to work on to catch up.

Pricing: Paid plans start at $124.75 per license. There’s a free version available with a limited number of backlinks to analyze.

5.   Grade.us

Real-time social media monitoring with data-rich, customizable reports.

Grade.us is a tool that lets you win more positive reviews from happy customers by automating multi-channel review acquisition campaigns via email or text messages. The tool also monitors new reviews about your business, with a way to respond to them from the app.

For agencies, Grade.us offers white-label reports that reveal trends in the volume of your reviews and let you measure the ROI of your ORM efforts.

Pricing: Grade.us offers 3 plans: Professional ($90/mo), Agency ($200/mo), and Enterprise ($1500/mo). There’s a free trial available if you’d like to test the tool before you commit to a paid plan.

6.   Brandwatch

Perform in-depth brand reputation analysis and create powerful, data-rich reports.

Brandwatch is a powerful social listening and analytics tool. With Enterprise-level features like image recognition, trending topics and API access, it is also one of the more costly ones.

The tool offers demographic analysis of the people who’re talking about your brand, including gender, interests, occupation, and location. The platform’s social media coverage includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and local social media sites like Sina Weibo, VK, and QQ.

For those of you who’re ready to invest into a data visualization platform, Brandwatch has a handy tool called Vizia. Vizia lets you visualize your Brandwatch data and combine it with insights from Google Analytics, Buzzsumo, and Hootsuite for a holistic analysis.

Pricing: Brandwatch is an Enterprise-level tool. Prices start at $800/month, with custom Enterprise plans available on request. The tool doesn’t offer a free trial.

7.   ReviewTrackers

Keep track of online reviews and encourage happy customers to review your business.

ReviewTrackers does exactly what the name implies – it monitors online reviews of your business across 100+ sites. You can set up email alerts to get notified about important reviews, and build powerful custom reports tailored to your needs. On top of that, ReviewTrackers aggregates your customers’ feedback and shows which aspects of your business customers tend to mention the most.

The platform also offers a mobile app to let you track and respond to reviews on the go.

Pricing: ReviewTrackers’ Professional plan is offered at $49/mo; Enterprise costs $59/mo. The tool has an Agency plan too, with pricing available on request.

8.   IFTTT

Set up automated alerts when your brand gets mentioned online.

IFTTT can help you with a million things, and keeping track of your online reputation is one of them. The service lets you create simple, automated tasks that all follow the “if this then that” pattern. You get to decide what this and that stand for.

For reputation management, the service offers a number of helpful integrations. You can track brand mentions on Reddit, receive email alerts or Slack notifications when your company gets mentioned on specific websites, and automatically thank Twitter users for sharing your content.

The tool is also available as a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices.

Pricing: Free.

Take Charge

The 8 tools above will help you take charge of your brand’s online reputation. Whichever platform you settle on, don’t expect them to do all the work for you: check on your monitoring dashboard to spot unusual spikes and respond to reviews (good or bad) promptly. And while dealing with negative reviews is an art of its own, remember that speed and a little humility can go a long way :)

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6 of the best social listening tools for 2019 /6-of-the-best-social-listening-tools-for-2019-306767 Tue, 23 Oct 2018 11:30:46 +0000 /?p=306767 In your personal life, reading people’s minds is a questionable superpower; but the business benefits of being able to listen in on people’s thoughts are infinite. And while social media monitoring isn’t exactly about reading people’s minds, it’s as close to it as it gets. Social listening gives you access to what people are saying […]

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In your personal life, reading people’s minds is a questionable superpower; but the business benefits of being able to listen in on people’s thoughts are infinite. And while social media monitoring isn’t exactly about reading people’s minds, it’s as close to it as it gets.

Social listening gives you access to what people are saying about your brand, industry, or competitors across social media and the web – often without them being aware of you listening. If you know how to word your queries and filter the results, you’ll end up with the most authentic, unbiased insights you can get as a business.

In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best social media and web monitoring tools to help you gain and act on those insights in the coming year. Let’s roll.

1. Awario

Affordable social listening and analytics with Enterprise-level capabilities.

Awario is a relatively new tool that (finally!) makes social media and web monitoring affordable for businesses of any size: with plans starting at $29/mo, Awario offers a lot of capabilities that you’ll find in Enterprise-level tools.

You can use the tool to monitor mentions of your brand, competitors, industry, or even set up complex Boolean queries for the less obvious use cases. For instance, Awario lets you detect plagiarized copies of your content, find linkless brand mentions that you can turn into links, and monitor new backlinks to your site.

The platform also offers a social selling tool, called Leads, as a free add-on to all users. The tool uses predictive insights to find people who’re asking for recommendations about a product like yours or looking for an alternative to your competitors.

Supported networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, Reddit, news and blogs, the web.

Benefits:

  • A Boolean search mode to set up flexible queries and improve the accuracy of the results.
  • An Influencers report outlining the most influential people talking about your brand, competitors, or industry.
  • A free Leads add-on for sales prospecting on social media.
  • Enterprise-level analytics such as sentiment analysis, location and language breakdown, and unlimited historical data available in all plans.

Pricing: Awario offers a free trial that lets you fully test the app out. Pricing starts at $29/mo for the Starter plan, with 3 monitoring alerts that let subscribers find 30,000 new mentions per month. Awario’s most popular Pro plan costs $89/mo with 10 alerts and 100,000 monthly mentions. Enterprise is $299/mo and includes 50 alerts and 500,000 mentions. If you choose to go with an annual plan, you’ll get 2 months for free.

2. Agorapulse

Social media management and monitoring for a growing business.

If you aren’t quite ready to invest into a standalone social listening or reputation management platform, Agorapulse is an excellent 2-in-1 option: it offers both the scheduling and monitoring bits. The tool will find @mentions of accounts you connect as well as comments on your social media posts, plus allow you to search for keywords of your choice across Twitter. The tool also lets you identify influencers within your social media audience and assign conversations to your team in a mouse click.

While Agorapulse doesn’t offer web monitoring, it’s a great choice if you’re mainly interested in social mentions.

Supported networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube.

Benefits:

  • The ability to tag important mentions.
  • Being able to assign conversations to team members.
  • Audience insights that let you identify influencers and brand ambassadors.
  • A built-in CRM that lets you create lists of prospects and influencers.

Pricing: Agorapulse has a free trial if you’d like to test the app out first. The pricing starts at $49/mo for the Small plan, which comes with 3 social media profiles and a single user. Large is their most popular option at $199/mo, with 25 profiles to manage and 6 users. Agorapulse’s Enterprise solution is $299/mo with 40 profiles and 12 users.

3. TweetDeck

A handy tool for managing several Twitter accounts and monitoring mentions.

TweetDeck is Twitter’s official social media dashboard that lets you manage your Twitter presence as a business, particularly if you have multiple accounts that you regularly post to. The tool’s column layout lets you add in several
“streams”: feeds from people you follow, trending posts, direct messages, and mentions of any keywords of your choice.

For the latter, TweetDeck gives you access to Twitter’s search functionality, with the ability to narrow searches down using language and location filters, negative keywords, and date ranges. You can then engage with mentions on behalf of any of the Twitter accounts you connect to the app.

Supported networks: Twitter.

Benefits:

  • Built-in Twitter search filters, such as location, language, and negative keywords.
  • Twitter scheduling capabilities for multiple accounts.
  • A neat column layout that lets you keep your feeds organized.

Pricing: Free.

4. Keyhole

Real-time hashtag and keyword tracker for Twitter, Instagram, and the news.

Keyhole is another 2-in-1 social media tool: it lets you both automate your posts and track keywords or hashtags across Twitter and Instagram. On top of that, you can monitor brand mentions across blogs and news sites. The tool comes equipped with analytics, too, including sentiment analysis, keyword clouds, and mention maps that display which countries your social mentions come from.

Keyhole’s higher-tier plans also include premium features like tracking industry influencers, unlocking historical mentions, and getting API access to Keyhole’s data.

Supported networks: Twitter, Instagram, news and blogs.

Benefits:

  • Social media management capabilities.
  • Powerful analytics, such as sentiment analysis, keyword clouds, and mention maps.
  • API access available in higher-tier plans.

Pricing: Keyhole’s Basic plan costs $49/mo and comes with one keyword search and 5,000 monthly social media posts. The tool has 4 other plans, with the $599 Corporate option being the most popular with 10 searches and 250,000 posts. The highest-tier Enterprise plan can include a custom number of searches and posts, with pricing starting at $1,000/mo.

5. Mention

Real-time social media monitoring with data-rich, customizable reports.

Mention is another social media and web monitoring tool. Its focus is on real-time search – setting up an alert will give you results from the last 24 hours. Historical data is available upon request under the Custom plans.

Apart from social listening, Mention lets you discover Twitter and Instagram influencers by running quick keyword searches. The tool then lets you add influencers of your choice to lists, save your lists in CSV, and import them into your CRM tool.

Mention comes with data-rich reports available out of the box, but the real power is in the Insights Center where you can build your own custom reports and automate delivery.

Supported networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, Reddit, news and blogs, the web.

Benefits:

  • Tags that let you organize your mentions.
  • Influencer discovery and management.
  • An ability to build your own custom reports and automate delivery.
  • A Slack integration to send the latest mentions to your Slack channels.

Pricing: Before settling on a plan, you can test-drive Mention with a free trial. The $29 Solo plan includes 2 alerts and 3,000 mentions. Starter is offered at $99/mo and comes with 5 alerts and 5,000 mentions. There’s also a Custom plan available on request.

6. Brandwatch

Social media measurement and in-depth analytics for the Enterprise.

Brandwatch is one of the most powerful social listening tools in terms of analytics – but it’s also one of the more expensive ones. On top of the monitoring aspect, Brandwatch offers image recognition, demographic data about your audience, trending topics in your niche, API access, and dashboards that can be exported into customizable PowerPoint presentations.

Brandwatch also has its own data visualization platform called Vizia. The tool lets you visualize your Brandwatch data, plus combine it with insights from a number of integrations (including Google Analytics, Buzzsumo, and Hootsuite).

Supported networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Sina Weibo, VK, QQ, news and blogs, the web.

Benefits:

  • Demographic data including gender, interests, occupation and location of your audience.
  • Image analysis that lets you find images containing your brand’s logo.
  • An ability to add preferred sites to collect mentions from.
  • A possibility to identify trending topics in your industry.

Pricing: Brandwatch is an Enterprise-level tool. Their most affordable Pro plan costs $800/month with 10,000 monthly mentions and 30 days of historical data. Custom Enterprise plans are available upon request.

Before you go

As more and more brands are turning to social media for market research, customer insights, competitor analysis, and even sales, social listening tools are getting increasingly powerful and affordable.

Whichever social media listening tool you settle on, don’t forget that the monitoring itself isn’t worth it if you’re not going to act on the data. Engage with the people mentioning you on social and make use of your social listening tool’s analytics to spot trends and adapt your marketing, customer service and product strategies – before your competitors do.

The post 6 of the best social listening tools for 2019 appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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How to use brand mentions for SEO, or the linkless future of link building /use-brand-mentions-seo-linkless-future-link-building-290344 Tue, 30 Jan 2018 12:30:27 +0000 /?p=290344 Google has used links to determine the authority of websites since its early days: the idea of webpages casting “votes” for other pages by linking to them is at the core of the PageRank algorithm. This led to the rise of numerous manipulative link tactics. Google reacted with the Penguin update and manual penalties; link […]

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Google has used links to determine the authority of websites since its early days: the idea of webpages casting “votes” for other pages by linking to them is at the core of the PageRank algorithm. This led to the rise of numerous manipulative link tactics. Google reacted with the Penguin update and manual penalties; link schemes evolved to outsmart the algorithm. New Penguin updates followed. The story went on for years, until it no longer made sense.

First, publishers started to associate links with a risk of getting penalized. Today, many of them (think Wikipedia, The Next Web, Entrepreneur, Forbes and numerous others) simply nofollow outgoing links: They don’t want to be seen as “endorsing” every site they link to or even contemplate what the algorithm might make of it. They’re playing it safe, and you can’t blame them. But what good is the system if the biggest players stop casting their votes?

Second, the internet is changing. PageRank’s idea of the web being a graph of pages connected by hyperlinks, which represent relationships between these pages in a very limited, binary way (link = trust; lack of link = lack of trust), is somewhat outdated. The web today is so much more than links and pages — it’s a full-blown ecosystem where relationships can be expressed in a million ways. Unlinked brand mentions and the sentiment behind them may be the timely replacement for a site authority signal the internet needs.

In this post, we’ll take a look at how unlinked mentions may be used by search engines for ranking and how you can track and amplify these mentions to boost your SERP presence with a web monitoring tool like Awario.

The evidence

So what makes us think search engines use linkless mentions for ranking?

1. Google and Bing have said it

Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes mentioned in his keynote at Brighton SEO in September 2017:

If you publish high-quality content that is highly cited on the internet — and I’m not talking about just links, but also mentions on social networks and people talking about your branding, crap like that. Then you are doing great.”

Duane Forrester, formerly senior product manager at Bing, pointed out at SMX West 2016 that unlinked mentions can be as strong a signal as backlinks, confirming that search engines can easily identify mentions and use them to determine site authority:

“Years ago, Bing figured out context and sentiment of tone, and how to associate mentions without a link. As the volume grows and trustworthiness of this mention is known, you’ll get a bump in rankings as a trial.”

2. Google’s patents have said it

Google’s Panda patent also refers to mentions, aka “implied links,” as a signal that could be equal in weight to the good old backlinks:

“The system determines a count of independent links for the group (step 302). […] Links for the group can include express links, implied links, or both. […] An implied link is a reference to a target resource, e.g., a citation to the target resource, which is included in a source resource but is not an express link to the target resource. Thus, a resource in the group can be the target of an implied link without a user being able to navigate to the resource by following the implied link.”

3. Google’s Search Quality Guidelines have said it

Search Quality Guidelines is a document used by Google’s quality evaluators who rate web pages in SERPs; based on the ratings, Google develops changes to their ranking algorithm. From these guidelines, we know that reputation (aka the public opinion about a brand) matters for rankings.

“For Page Quality rating, you must also look for outside, independent reputation information about the website. When the website says one thing about itself, but reputable external sources disagree with what the website says, trust the external sources.”

4. It helps Google tell the good from the bad

A few years ago, negative reputation could actually help some not-so-conscientious online merchants rank in Google, as bad reviews generated links and buzz around the brand. But when stories like this hit The New York Times, things weren’t funny anymore.

In response to that story, Google incorporated an algorithmic solution to down-rank merchants that provide poor user experience. Not surprisingly, Google won’t say exactly how the solution works. One thing they did mention is their “world-class sentiment analysis system,” though it’s not completely clear whether it’s being used in the algorithm.

What does this mean for your SEO strategy?

The bad news is, you’ve got one more thing to track and optimize. The good news is that mentions are much easier to get than dofollow links and will likely pay off equally well. The even better news? If you already have a link-building strategy that’s working for you, you can continue using it to win mentions and stop stressing about publishers nofollowing your links (or not linking to you at all).

Here are two things to include in your SEO strategy in 2018.

1. Track brand mentions

In addition to a backlink checker, you’ll need a monitoring tool to find mentions of your brand and product across the web. Mind that a lot of apps only look for mentions on social media, so make sure the one you choose is good at digging up mentions that come from around the web (think review platforms, forums, blogs and news sites). Awario, with its own web crawler, is really good at this. You can sign up for a free 14-day trial here.

To get started, simply create an alert for your brand (if you’d like to track backlinks alongside, create a separate alert for your website URL). You’ll see your feed populate with mentions in a few minutes. From there, use Awario’s Reach metric to see the authority of every resource that mentions you, be it a website or social media user. You can sort your mentions by Reach to see the most influential posts first.

On top of that, Awario has a sentiment analysis system, so you can quickly see the sentiment behind every mention, filter mentions to react to the negative ones quicker and, most importantly, aggregate the data to see which sentiment dominates your brand’s mentions (sentiment is used by Bing and likely Google, remember?). To do this, jump to the Dashboard module and examine the sentiment graph to make sure you’re doing well with your reputation. You can click on any point on the graph to see the positive or negative mentions from any day.

Keep an eye on how your mentions and their Reach grow and how the overall sentiment of the buzz around your brand changes.

2. Keep growing your mentions

Link building isn’t just about links anymore. A lot of the same principles apply to building unlinked brand mentions, and there are also new, exciting tactics to try. Here are a few to get you started.

  • Reviews: Encourage and track customer reviews for your brand, and make sure to respond to the negative ones. Depending on the type of your business, platforms to track for reviews will vary: TripAdvisor and Yelp for restaurants, G2 Crowd for SaaS apps and so on.
  • Social selling: Social media is the place to go if you want to build brand awareness, get the conversation going about your business, and even do sales. Skeptical? Here’s a good post that explains the benefits.
  • Social customer care: Customers turn to social media to complain and ask questions about brands, and you want to be there to grow their trust and loyalty. Not only is this good for business, but the happy customers are likely to keep spreading the word about your brand, which can help SEO. Here’s a guide to get you started.
  • Competitor monitoring: Just as with backlinks, it’s important to track mentions of your competitors to see what they’re doing to grow awareness and learn from their tactics and mistakes. The benefits are infinite; here are the major ones.
  • Influencer marketing: In addition to your brand monitoring alerts, use Awario to track mentions of industry keywords. This will not only help you understand your audience better, but it will also find influencers to market your products through (use the Influencers report for that). Remember, as with backlinks, it’s not just quantity that matters — the more authoritative the person mentioning you, the more weight the endorsement has. Get started with this post.

One last thing

Links aren’t obsolete yet. They still matter, but the amount of buzz around your brand and its sentiment is no less important. And if you think about it, it makes sense. You want people to be talking about your business and saying good things about it. Is it any wonder search engines are putting this “buzz” into a quantitative metric so they can give searchers the results other people trust and love?

The post How to use brand mentions for SEO, or the linkless future of link building appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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