So many metrics, so little time.

Measuring your social presence in 2018 is about so much more than likes and shares though. Sure, even if seeing those “like” notifications make you absolutely giddy, you need to turn those moments into action.

For example, do you know what your top-performing posts look like so you can recreate them time and time again? Are you capitalizing on those instances when someone in your industry shows your social content some serious love?

Oh, and do you know how people land on your profiles in the first place? If you don’t know the answers to these questions quite yet, don’t freak out.

With so many social media monitoring tools out there, it’s not so tough to wrangle your most important metrics without breaking a sweat.

Why You Need Social Media Monitoring Tools

There’s a reason why marketers today embrace a data-driven approach to social media rather than blasting off posts and tags at random.

With the help of monitoring tools, question marks such as the best times to post or figuring out how to get in front of influencers don’t have to be total mysteries.

Rather than revamp your entire social presence, social media monitoring tools clue you in on your strengths and what to do to grow your audience and influence by the numbers.

We’ve broken down 12 tools across all of the top social networks to help you do just that. If you want to know how to get your brand noticed via social and how to capitalize on the moments that matter the most, any combination of these tools are fair game.

Here are 12 social media monitoring tools worth considering:

1. Sprout Social

Sprout’s comprehensive social dashboard represents an all-in-one tool for monitoring your social presence from top to bottom.

Not sure if your profiles are growing in sync? Want to know which posts are receiving the most love and where? With Sprout, there’s no second-guessing your social media metrics.

Rather than bounce between the likes of Facebook Insights or your Twitter feed, Sprout aggregates your activity in a single, central hub. The ability to work within one solution is a must-have for brands juggling multiple profiles. The end-result is gathering more data while also saving some serious time.

Social media monitoring means keeping a close watch on the types of content to get you in front of more eyeballs, by the way.

Features such as the Sprout’s trends and listening report provide invaluable insight into what’s on the minds of your audience. This allows you to tack on appropriate hashtags and keywords to your content to ensure you’re speaking your audience’s language with every post.

2. Simply Measured

Simply Measured’s full funnel social monitoring are next-level in terms of analytics. Offering serious sentiment analysis, you can see at a glance how fans and followers perceive your brand and your content in addition to how many people you’re reaching.

Digging deep, Simply Measured also aggregates a word cloud of top hashtags and key terms broken down by location. This is especially important for brands with an international reach.

Perhaps one of the most notable features of the platform is the ability to track the performance of your Instagram stories, too.

And hey, did we mention that Simply Measured is a part of Sprout Social?

3. Buzzsumo

Breaking down trending topics in your industry shouldn’t have to be a guessing game. With the help of Buzzsumo, marketers easily monitor the sort of blog posts, listicles and breaking news that followers want to see.

For example, just plug in any given topic or brand to see how their content translates to social shares via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest.

In addition to monitoring sharing metrics, Buzzsumo influences your social content strategy. While you don’t need to copycat what your competitors are up to, analyzing their top-performing content is an essential piece of content curation.

4. Reputology

Reputology’s namesake is all about monitoring and protecting your brand’s reputation.

And in a day and age where 88% of people use reviews to make purchasing decisions, having a pulse on that reputation is more important than ever. Given how easy it is to boost reviews via social (think: both good and bad), the ability to zero in on customer feedback is crucial.

Reputology essentially aggregates reviews and comments on your business in real-time to help brands respond in a timely manner. The chance to take action quickly could mean the difference between a lost customer or a PR nightmare.

Reputology’s tool definitely beats digging through tags and review sites, especially given all the avenues people have to sound off on your business.

5. Mention

Mention lives up to its namesake as well, providing an incredibly robust dashboard of (you guessed it!) social mentions.

For bigger brands winning lots of attention, this social media monitoring tool helps businesses cut through the noise and drill down to the interactions that matter the most.

Reserved for bigger brands in the social space, Mention also helps you spot influencers and likely advocates in your industry.

6. Socialbakers

Socialbakers’ platform boasts two monitoring tools for Instagram: one for personal accounts and a second exclusively for businesses. The first monitors popular hashtags, filters and photos for your audience, while the business platform hones in on competitors running Instagram ads.

Through the use of AI, brands determine which of their paid posts are performing best as well as the campaign performance of competitors. Serving as both a social media monitoring tool and a competitor analysis tool, monitoring your paid social strategy is crucial to squeezing the most out of your marketing budget.

7. Brandwatch

Brandwatch not only does the legwork of tracking social mentions, but also provides insight on how to respond to those mentions in real-time.

Given that social users expect a speedy response from brands, the ability to break down who’s shouting you out is a game-changer. Brandwatch’s tool helps you capitalize on influencer mentions and resolve customer concerns in a snap.

Beyond mentions, another awesome feature of Brandwatch is the ability to highlight the performance of your brand’s visual content by the numbers. As more and more emphasis is put on social imagery, understanding how to recreate your most popular photos is huge.

8. Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck offers a free and simple dashboard to monitor your Twitter presence. Rather than having to jump between tabs, you can keep all of your notifications and mentions confined to a single screen.

Ideal for those interested in light weight, free social media monitoring tools, Tweetdeck is a great starting point for smaller, Twitter-focused brands.

9. Google Alerts / Google Analytics

Back when social media monitoring tools were few and far-between, Google Alerts was the go-to for picking up on social mentions. Even today, the ability to package your mentions into a simple email synced to your existing Google account helps detect shout-outs that otherwise might go unnoticed.

Speaking of Google, setting up social reports in Analytics is a smart move to see how your social referrals stack up against your total traffic. The more you understand what drives social traffic to your site, the better you fine-tune your content strategy.

10. Brand24

Brand24’s monitoring tool hones in on both social mentions and the total potential reach of your posts. Again, the purpose of any social media monitoring tool should be to ultimately determine how to grow rather than let your presence stagnate.

In a marketing era dominated by influencers, Brand24 helps brands determine which people shouting them out have the most clout. With a built-in algorithm to assign scores to influencers, brands instantly know which engagements to prioritize.

11. Likealyzer

Serving as a “plug and play” tool, Likealyzer provides a quick overview of your brand’s Facebook page performance. The tool basically assigns a grade to your profile based on factors such as how often you post, your brand’s imagery and whether or not your profile is 100% complete.

Although certainly not the be-all, end-all of your social monitoring, Likealyzer aggregates a surprisingly detailed checklist to see where your page stands. If nothing else, the tool serves as a fine starting point for conducting a Facebook audit.

12. Keyhole

Another tool for plugging in terms, Keyhole provides real-time tracking of hashtags, accounts and specific URLs relevant to your brand on Twitter and Instagram.

Like other social media monitoring tools mentioned, it’s easy to quickly export your tracking data and see a word cloud of relevant tags you could roll out in future posts. Also, Keyhole breaks down top influencers based on specific hashtags or terms, giving you a sort of “who’s who” for any given keyword.

Which Social Media Monitoring Tools Are You Using?

Mentions, shout-outs and everything in-between.

Keeping track of these pulses doesn’t have to be so daunting when you have the right tools on deck. By knowing what people are saying about your brand’s content and responding in a timely manner, you ultimately set yourself up to grow your social presence faster.

We’d love to hear from you, though. Which social media monitoring tools do you consider to be your go-to’s? Do you mind hopping between multiple platforms or try to stick to just one? Let us know in the comments below!