"83% of B2B marketers invest in social media to increase brand exposure; 69% to increase web traffic; and 65% to gain market insights." (Social Media Today) Most, if not all, marketing professionals don't need a statistic like this to emphasize that marketing has drastically shifted in the past 10 years with the introduction of social media.
What is important to note, though, is "just 35% of B2B marketing executives say they can calculate the ROI of their marketing spend most or all of the time. 42% say they can calculate ROI only some of the time, rarely or not at all." (B2B Marketing)
With the constant flow of emerging social marketing resources, there quickly becomes more to manage and more data to uncover. Marketing professionals need to understand not only how to listen and sift through the mound of social data coming in, but how the investment in social media is going to pay off and how to utilize this data to positively influence the effect on business goals.
That in mind, here is a list of the top 8 social listening tools that give businesses the right data they need to align their social marketing strategy with business goals.
1. Social Mention
The free Social Mention scans ("across the universe") for mentions of a particular person or brand on blogs, bookmarks, social networking sites, news, video, and more. Social Mention rates the mentions on what the service calls Strength, Sentiment, Passion, and Reach.
SocialRest is a fairly new player in the social analytics realm, but it solves a problem social teams have been begging for since businesses have been using social networks. CMO's are always looking for ways that their marketing investments drive conversions. SocialRest answers this question for social. This fascinating and beautifully-designed tool (incubated at Capital Factory in Austin and backed by Rackspace's Director of Social, Rob LaGesse) measures the effectiveness of a brand's digital content shared on social and tracks how users convert and influence others to convert because of shared content.
TweetReach is the right tool for your business if you're interested in monitoring how far your tweets travel, as TweetReach measures the actual impact and implications of social media discussions. It is a good way of finding out who are your most influential followers, implicitly guiding you towards the right people you should be targeting when aiming to share and promote online content.
ViralHeat is a social management platform that empowers enterprise businesses to use the social web to listen and learn about customers in order to build meaningful, deep, and relevant business connections across multiple social networks.
Datasift aggregates, filters and extracts meaning from social data and other enterprise data sources and puts it to work - gathering market insight, understanding customers more deeply, measuring results, optimizing campaigns and more. The DataSift platform processes 2 billion social interactions from thousands of sources - in real-time, every day - including Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Sina Weibo, as well as business data from sources such as LexisNexis, going beyond simple keyword searches, allowing precision filtering that allows companies to receive the data that matters while reducing costs.
6. Simply Measured
Simply Measured makes it easy to get all your social media data in one place and create beautiful reports in Excel, on the web, and in PowerPoint. Unlike analytics tools you have seen in the past, Simply Measured is designed to help you save time on reporting, every step of the way from data to deliverables.
With Sysomos, you get instant and unlimited access to all social media conversations. The ability to see what's happening, why it's happening, and who's driving the conversations. And the power to uncover meaning in the data-not only from the tone of conversations, but from advanced sentiment analysis by gender, age and location. Through the use of contextual text analytics and sophisticated data-mining technology, the Sysomos social intelligence engine collects data from blogs, Twitter, social networks, message boards, wikis and major news sources. Then Sysomos integrates all of that data into one, intuitive user interface that allows you to surface the answers that fuel success.
Zoomph is an Influencer Engagement Platform (IEP) designed to maximize your social media reach, depth, and real-time engagement. As a powerful, all-in-one platform, Zoomph incorporates three core modules: curation, analytics, and visualizations. The result? Hundreds of brands across the globe trust Zoomph to help them improve their social media strategies, while identifying, inspiring, and influencing positive engagement.