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15 Free Social Listening Tools That Deliver Big Results in 2024 [Review]

By Leah Clark Last updated: 17 minute read Marketing Tools

Imagine you’re at a giant party where everyone is talking about your brand, your competitors, and the industry in general. Social listening is like being able to eavesdrop on all those conversations at once.

Social monitoring is a tactic that involves analyzing online conversations about your brand on various channels to determine how customers feel about your business and the overall industry. With today’s complex and volatile consumer marketplace, monitoring is imperative to stay ahead of your reputation and customer perceptions of your brand. Fortunately, the best free listening tools can help automate these strategies and skyrocket your company image.

According to recent data, 71% of businesses find value in social monitoring and believe it provides them with actionable data. More companies will adopt these strategies as the monitoring market is forecasted to reach over $14 billion by 2028.

In this review, we will help you take action by in-depth reviewing the top free social monitoring tools, their key features, and which companies they are best for.

Why Your Business Should Harness Social Listening

Here are a few top benefits of using social listening tools and developing a sound strategy:

  • Handle PR crises better: PR nightmares are a reality for every business, thus making it essential to have an effective crisis management strategy. The best monitoring tools will help you gain customer data to predict potential PR issues and divert or mitigate them. 
  • Improve your content creation: Tailored content is a constant struggle, and the more data you have on what your target audience wants, the better you can create content that will appeal to them. Fortunately, software for monitoring gives you an accurate idea of what targeted buyers want to see from your brand. 
  • Enhance the customer experience: It’s no secret that customer experience significantly impacts your revenue. But to achieve a tailored customer experience, businesses must use social listening tactics and adjust how they approach customers according to the data they find. 
  • Gain a competitive edge: Whether you’re in a saturated market or there are few competing businesses in your sector, social monitoring can help you stay ahead of the game. These tools reveal not only what customers are saying and how they feel about your business but your industry in general, including competitors. In fact, recent data confirms that competitor analysis is one of the top reasons businesses use social monitoring. 
  • Boost your reputation: Maintaining a positive online reputation is a heck load of work, but social listening can make this easier. With such an in-depth understanding of buyers, businesses can implement well-designed strategies to improve how consumers feel and think about their brand. 

Source: Sprout Social

15 Free Social Listening Tools to Rule Them All

1.Answer The Public

Need a simple, web-based social listening software? Answer The Public is the best solution! As one of the best free monitoring tools, Answer The Public allows you to input a keyword and select a search engine, location, and language to find the top questions customers ask about that topic.

This data will help you discover trending content ideas, uncover industry insights, and conduct SEO analysis to improve your online ranking.

AnswerThePublic_free social listening tools
Source: AnswerThePublic

Best For

Small businesses.

Key Features 

  • Competitor Analysis
  • SEO Insights
  • Custom Projects
  • Search Tracking
  • Cost Per Click Data
  • Download Visualizations 

Supported Channels

  • Supports all social media channels 

Pricing

  • Free Plan: Includes 3 daily searches and historical search data. 
  • Individual Plan: $5 p/m or $50 once-off for one user, 100 daily searches, and CPC and search volume data. 
  • Pro Plan: $49 p/m or $490 once-off for three users, unlimited daily searches, and CPC and search volume data. 
  • Expert Plan: $99 p/m or $990 once-off for unlimited users, unlimited daily searches, and CPC and search volume data. 

Our P2P Score: 4.6

Website: answerthepublic.com

2.Buzzsumo

Offering more sophisticated social listening features, Buzzsumo provides opportunities to track and analyze brand mentions, competitor mentions, keywords, topics, and trends.

In addition, businesses can track content published about them by journalists and publications, create custom alerts to stay ahead of customer sentiment, and access data from 15 minutes to five years. Buzzsumo also has a Chrome extension.

Buzzsumo_free social listening tools
Source: Buzzsumo

Best For

Mid-level to large companies.

Key Features 

  • Competitor Analysis
  • Backlink Monitoring
  • Keyword Monitoring
  • PR Campaign Monitoring
  • Daily Alerts
  • Chrome Extension

Supported Channels

  • Supports all social media channels 

Pricing

  • Free Trial: Access to all paid plan features for 30 days. 
  • Content Creation Plan: $199 p/m or $1,908 per annum for one user, unlimited searches, two alerts, content analyzer, trending feeds, and question analyzer. 
  • PR & Comms Plan: $299 p/m or $2,868 per annum for everything in the Content Creation Plan + five users, unlimited searches, five alerts, Slack integration, media reports, and coverage reports. 
  • Suite Plan: $499 p/m or $4,788 per annum for everything in the PR & Comms Plan + ten users, unlimited searches, ten alerts, a Chrome extension, and a YouTube analyzer.  
  • Enterprise Plan: $11,988 annually for everything in the Suite Plan + 30 users, unlimited searches, 50 alerts, granular location search, and premium access to new features. 

Our P2P Score: 4.8

Website: buzzsumo.com

3.Google Alerts

While there are various types of social monitoring tools, Google Alerts stands out as one of the simplest to use. This free tool allows businesses to configure alerts for specific keyword mentions.

Google Alerts will monitor the web and update you in real time wherever your targeted keyword is mentioned across online publications. Because this tool is so simple, it is best for small companies.

Google Alerts
Source: Google Alerts

Best For

Small businesses

Key Features 

  • Website Monitoring
  • Keyword Tracking
  • Alerts and Notifications
  • Email Alerts 

Supported Channels

  • Google search engine

Pricing

  • Free!

Our P2P Score: 4.4

Website: google.com

4.Hootsuite

Hootsuite considers itself “the most powerful social listening tool around“, and it certainly has the features to back this up. Ideal for mid-level to large companies, Hootsuite collects and analyzes data on what customers feel, think, and say about your business.

You can monitor mentions for keywords, hashtags, content, trends, and updates from a custom dashboard. You can also measure risks and opportunities based on competitor analysis and pull reports for in-depth customer analytics.

Hootsuite
Source: Hootsuite

Best For

Mid-level to large companies.

Key Features 

  • Keyword Monitoring
  • Hashtag Monitoring
  • Custom Feeds
  • Custom Dashboard
  • Content Publishing
  • Content Analytics
  • Ad Campaigns 

Supported Channels

  • Google My Business
  • Reddit
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • And more. 

Pricing

  • Free Trial: Access to all paid plan features for 30 days. 
  • Professional Plan: $1,188 per annum for one user, 10 social accounts, unlimited posts, post scheduling, and contact management 
  • Team Plan: $2,988 per annum for everything in the Professional plan + three users, 20 social media accounts, and competitor tracking. 
  • Enterprise Plan: Contact Hootsuite for a custom quote

Our P2P Score: 4.9

Website: hootsuite.com

5.Brandwatch

As the name suggests, Brandwatch helps you an eye on your business and reputation. You can configure real-time data alerts on keywords, hashtags, and brand mentions to stay ahead of what customers say about your company.

Brandwatch also provides robust data on your customers, business, and market while helping you discover the best influencers to work with and manage and create tailored social content.

Brandwatch
Source: Brandwatch

Best For

Small to mid-level businesses.

Key Features 

  • Real-time Analytics
  • Customer Sentiment
  • Data Alerts
  • Historical Data
  • Social Box Integration
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Management

Supported Channels

  • Supports all major social media channels 

Pricing

  • Contact Brandwatch for a custom quote. 

Our P2P Score: 4.8

Website: brandwatch.com

6.Brand24

Brand24 is a dedicated social monitoring tool that helps you gain a complete understanding of your online sentiment and how to grow your reputation.

Small to mid-level businesses can count on hashtag monitoring, crisis detection, brand mention tracking, competitor analysis, and in-depth analytics.

While this tool is easy to use, it offers valuable functions, and businesses can also generate whitelabel reports.

Brand24
Source: Brand24

Best For

Small to mid-level businesses.

Key Features 

  • Hashtag Monitoring
  • Crisis Detection
  • Sentiment Analysis
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Influencer Score
  • Whitelabel Reports 

Supported Channels

  • Supports all major social media channels 

Pricing

  • Free Trial: Access to all paid plan features for 14 days. 
  • Individual Plan: $99 p/m or $948 per annum for one user, three keywords, 2,000 mentions a month, and basic AI functions. 
  • Team Plan: $179 p/m or $1,788 per annum for unlimited users, seven keywords, 5,000 mentions a month, basic AI functions, and updates every hour. 
  • Pro Plan: $249 p/m, or $2,388 per annum for unlimited users, 12 keywords, 25,000 mentions a month, real-time updates, and advanced AI functions. 
  • Enterprise Plan: $499 p/m, or $4,788 per annum for unlimited users, 25 keywords, 100,000 mentions a month, real-time updates, and advanced AI functions. 

Our P2P Score: 4.7

Website: brand24.com

7.Keyhole

Keyhole is another top free social listening tool designed for large companies. Unlike many of the tools we have reviewed, It takes monitoring features to the next level.

First, brands can leverage AI-driven customer and competitor analysis, configure real-time updates for brand mentions, and discover predictions for their reputation.

Next, you can keep tabs on industry updates and aggregate data from all your accounts from one dashboard.

Keyhole_free social listening tools
Source: Keyhole

Best For

Mid-level to large companies.

Key Features

  • Hashtag Monitoring
  • Keyword Monitoring
  • Influencer Monitoring
  • Tag Automation
  • Content Scheduling
  • API Access
  • Whitelabel Dashboards 

Supported Channels

  • Supports all major social media channels 

Pricing

  • Free Trial: Access to all paid plan features for 7 days. 
  • Individual Plan: $79 p/m or $756 per annum for three social media profiles, one user, five keywords, 3,000 mentions a month, and unlimited publishing. 
  • Team Plan: $149 p/m or $1,428 per annum for five social media profiles, three users, five keywords, 10,000 mentions a month, unlimited publishing, influencer metrics, and competitive analysis. 
  • Pro Plan: $249 p/m or $2,388 per annum for ten social media profiles, unlimited users, five keywords, 25,000 mentions a month, unlimited publishing, six months of content data, and analytics for all social media channels. 
  • Advanced Plan: $449 p/m or $4,488 per annum for 25 social media profiles, unlimited users, five keywords, 50,000 mentions a month, unlimited publishing, influencer metrics, competitive analytics, and historical data.  

Our P2P Score: 4.9 

Website: keyhole.co

8.Talkwalker

From custom alerts, personalized dashboards, and alerts for brand mentions to customer sentiment analysis and visual analytics, Talkwalker is one of the best free social listening tools for companies of all sizes.

In addition, Talkwalker provides comprehensive demographics so you can understand your audience better than before and analyzes online conversations across 30 online networks and 150 million websites in loads of different regions and languages.

Talkwalker
Source: Talkwalker

Best For

All businesses.

Key Features 

  • Custom Reports
  • Custom AI Alerts
  • Custom Dashboards
  • Social Benchmarking
  • Sentiment Analysis
  • Influencer Identification
  • Predictive Alerting 

Supported Channels

  • Supports all major social media channels 

Pricing

  • Contact Talkwalker for a custom quote.

Our P2P Score: 4.8

Website: talkwalker.com

9.Sprinklr

Sprinklr is the best choice for large businesses looking to gain insights into customer sentiment across all major channels.

This software provides custom data on competitors, market trends, content trends, location, and media mentions. Firms can expect this data in real-time and explore historical data from a wide range of sites for an accurate idea of reputation growth.

Also, Sprinklr stands out because of its impressive portfolio of companies like McDonald’s, Microsoft, and Lenovo.

Sprinklr
Source: Sprinklr

Best For

Large businesses.

Key Features 

  • Conversation History Search
  • AI Alerts
  • Content Insights
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Visual Insights
  • Location Insights
  • Media Monitoring
  • AI Updates 

Supported Channels

  • Supports all major social media channels 

Pricing

  • Contact Sprinklr for a custom quote.

Our P2P Score: 4.9

Website: sprinklr.com

10.Twilert

Social listening on Twitter has never been easier than Twilert. Offering automated customer support, simple brand monitoring, easy configuration, and in-depth Twitter analytics.

Twilert helps all kinds of brands stay ahead of their presence on this social platform. You can monitor users, exclude certain keywords, and search for tweets in specific locations or languages with one tool.

Twilert
Source: Twilert

Best For

All businesses.

Key Features 

  • Geo-Targeting
  • Whitelabel Reports
  • User Grouping
  • Search History
  • AI Alerts
  • Brand Monitoring

Supported Channels

  • Twitter

Pricing

  • Free Trial: Contact Twilert to sign up for the free trial. 
  • Solopreneur Plan: $9 p/m for five alerts, up to 3,600 emails, weekly, daily, and hourly scheduling, and standard support. 
  • Professional Plan: $19 p/m for 20 alerts, up to 172,800 emails, weekly, daily, and hourly scheduling, 50,000 tweets per alert, searchable history, and standard support. 
  • Agency Plan: $97 p/m for 100 alerts, up to 864,000 emails, weekly, daily, and hourly scheduling, 50,000 tweets per alert, searchable history, 10 users, and priority support. 

Our P2P Score: 4.5

Website: twilert.com

11.Sprout Social

Sprout Social is one of the top platforms for marketers, and there’s no surprise why. To start, this tool relies on AI and automation to track millions of conversations across various topics.

Next, you can configure filters for your data, analyze custom analytics from one unified dashboard, and generate reports to share with company stakeholders.

Not to mention, Sprout Social also allows you to set alerts for crisis management, uncover vital audience trends and characteristics, and determine customer sentiment.

Sprout Social_free social listening tools
Source: Sprout Social

Best For

Mid-level to large companies.

Key Features 

  • Audience Analysis
  • Competitor Comparision
  • Sentiment Research
  • Consumer Research
  • Industry Analysis
  • Crisis Management
  • Trend Identification 

Supported Channels

  • Supports all major social media channels 

Pricing

  • Contact Sprout Social for a custom quote.

Our P2P Score: 4.9

Website: sproutsocial.com

12.Meltwater

Designed for brands of all sizes, Meltwater is about managing your reputation, PR, media partnerships, social media presence, and sales intelligence, among other capabilities.

Meltwater provides brand mention tracking in real-time, crisis management strategies, in-depth data on your target audiences, custom reports and historical data for up to 15 months.

If you’re looking for a complete tool to handle every aspect of how customers perceive your brand, Meltwater can help you!

 

Meltwater
Source: Meltwater

Best For

All businesses.

Key Features

  • Custom Alerts
  • Automated Reports
  • Image Analytics
  • Custom Dashboards
  • Sentiment Analysis
  • Data Exporting 

Supported Channels

  • Supports all major social media channels 

Pricing

  • Contact Meltwater for a custom quote.

Our P2P Score: 4.8

Website: meltwater.com

13.Exolyt

Exolyt provides solutions for social monitoring on TikTok for businesses of all sizes. You can track and measure your TikTok mentions, video trends, hashtags, influencers, and campaign performance.

In addition, Exolyt will reveal market trends in your niche and insights into your audience, and you can compare your reputation to competitors in real-time. T

aking it a step further, businesses can also get an AI summary of what their customers say about their brands, evaluate influencers before establishing partners, and so much more for a healthy TikTok presence.

 

Exolyt
Source: Exolyt

Best For

All businesses.

Key Features 

  • Sentiment Analysis
  • Related Hashtags
  • Comments Monitoring
  • Creator Insights
  • User Generate Content 

Supported Channels

  • TikTok 

Pricing

  • Free Trial: Access to all paid plan features for 7 days.
  • Basic Plan: Completely free for one account, one hashtag monitoring, one influencer campaign, hashtag analytics, and sound analytics. 
  • Essentials Plan: €250 p/m (approx. $273) for everything in the Basic plan + 50 tracked accounts, 50 tracked hashtags, 10 influencer campaigns, 3 social listening projects, industry insights and comment monitoring. 
  • Advanced Plan: €600 p/m (approx. $655) for everything in the Essentials plan + 300 tracked accounts, 300 tracked hashtags, 100 influencer campaigns, 15 social monitoring projects, influencer database and sentiment analysis. 

Our P2P Score: 4.6

Website: exolyt.com

14.YouScan

Only targeting the pockets of established enterprises, YouScan stands out as one of the best free social listening tools focusing on visual insights.

Through AI, businesses can analyze text, images, and videos for brand mentions, hashtag mentions, and targeted keywords across all major social media sites.

This tool will help you analyze customer opinions, track customer perceptions, detect potential PR crises, assess competitor market performance, and leverage essential industry trends and forecasts.

YouScan
Source: YouScan

Best For

Large businesses.

Key Features 

  • Brand Management
  • Crisis Management
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Market Research
  • Trend Analysis
  • Influencer Marketing 

Supported Channels

  • Supports all major social media channels 

Pricing

  • Starter 3 Plan: $3,588 per annum for tracking three text-based search queries, up to 30,000 monthly mentions, a custom dashboard, AI alerts and insights, trend detection, and sentiment analysis. 
  • Unlimited Plans: Contact YouScan for a custom quote. 

Our P2P Score: 4.5

Website: youscan.io

15.Owler

In contrast to many other free social listening tools, Owler takes a specialized approach to competitor analysis. This platform hones in on tracking your competitors’ reputation and overall brand perception to help your business gain a competitive edge.

Also, Owler delivers real-time updates on industry changes and trends, as well as features to discover qualified leads, set sales triggers, and automate customer communication to optimize engagement.

Owler_free social listening tools
Source: Owler

Best For

All businesses.

Key Features 

  • Competitor Analysis
  • Real-time Alerts
  • Industry Updates
  • Trends Updates
  • Targeted Lists 

Supported Channels

  • Google Chrome
  • Slack
  • Salesforce
  • HubSpot
  • Microsoft Teams

Pricing

  • Community Plan: Completely free to follow up to five companies, and access standard search features and a Google Chrome extension.  
  • Pro Plan: $420 per annum for unlimited companies, competitor analysis, advanced search and filtering, and a Google Chrome extension. 
  • Max Plan: Contact Owler for a custom quote. 

Our P2P Score: 4.5

Website: owler.com

Final Thoughts on The Top Free Social Listening Tools

Social listening tools will help your brand dominate the market by analyzing customer conversations and helping you grow your reputation. Out of all these fantastic platforms for social listening, our top choice for small businesses is AnswerThePublic. This software is simple to use, affordable, and will help small businesses get started with basic social monitoring without a complicated setup.

For mid-level companies, our favorite tool is Keyhole. This solution will help mid-level businesses analyze a wide range of customer data across all major social sites while offering affordability and ease of use.

Finally, for enterprises, we recommend Sprinklr. Sprinklr is tailored to established companies and understands how complicated social listening can be for these businesses. As such, large brands can expect a full-fledged suite for social monitoring, custom dashboards, and many more sophisticated functions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can social media monitoring and listening impact brand reputation?

Social media monitoring helps brands track public perception, detect issues, analyze sentiment, benchmark against competitors, engage customers, gather feedback, identify influencers, inspire content, manage reputation, and provide customer service—all of which can significantly impact brand reputation.

How can I monitor my social media for free?

To monitor your social media for free you can use tools like Answer The Public, Owler, Exolyt and Google Alerts. For more sophisticated features, you can opt for a free trial with social listening and monitoring solutions, such as Sprout Social, Keyhole, Buzzsumo, Talkwalker, Brand24, Brandwatch, and Meltwater.

How do I start social listening?

The best way to start social listening is by investing in the top software for your business. Working with these tools will help you automate social listening and stay ahead of digital conversations across every major social channel. There are tools designed for companies of all sizes, and accommodate different budget's and social listening requirements.

How can I improve my social listening?

Improving your social listening requires you to understand your audience, market and competitors, track and analyze the right data and most importantly, invest in the right social listening software. While there is a wide variety of tools available, it's vital to find the perfect option for your company size, social listening goals and requirements and budget to stay ahead of your reputation and customer perceptions.

References

FinancesOnline: 39 Relevant Social Media Monitoring Statistics in 2024: Data Analysis & Market Share

Mordor Intelligence: Social Listening Market Size & Share Analysis – Growth Trends & Forecasts (2024 – 2029)

Industry Dive: The State of Social Listening in 2022