Well, this blog is about exploring the best affordable social listening tools and we will, of course, pitch our tool Notifier.
But, don’t get us wrong. We aren’t biased. We are not narcissists.
We don’t claim that Notifier is the best affordable social listening tool because it is our product. We claim it is because we built it to be that way!
We stand by our claim because we have spent weeks researching and comparing it with hundreds of other social media listening tools. During our research, we realized that Notifier is the only social media search tool that provides you enterprise-level features even with its basic plan. Plus, it is the only affordable social media listening tool that has a user-friendly mobile website.
If you are looking for the best affordable social listening tool, we suggest that you must take up its 7-day obligation-free trial and see how it works for you. Do not hesitate to take free trials of other tools too because that’s how you will be able to do an unbiased comparison of all the social media management tools that you believe will serve your purpose.
If you are hard-pressed for time, scroll below to read our detailed analysis of the best affordable social listening tools of 2021 and why we claim Notifier to be the best among them.
Most affordable and free social media search tools do nothing more than what social media monitoring tools do
Yes, you will be surprised to know that a lot of them have been branded as social listening tools but all they do is monitor the web to find out your social mentions. Their algorithms let you track only your brand mentions and not any other keywords related to your business.
These social media monitoring tools do not help you identify the tone of the conversations or alert you when there are too many negative conversations around your brand. They do not help with lead generation for competition tracking. Even the best social media management tools are not designed to help you understand your clientele and their requirements.
Wondering why they are still popular?
That’s because a lot of people, especially the small-size companies and freelancers do not really understand what’s the difference between social listening and social monitoring. They still assume that these terms are used interchangeably.
If you are one of them, here is our detailed blog explaining the difference between social listening and social media monitoring.
Free social media search tools are unreliable
Lots of independent business owners and small-sized companies get tempted to use free social media search tools such as Google Alerts, Social Mention, and Twazzup. But they are almost useless. Anyone who is a bit serious about social listening shouldn’t trust them.
Free social media monitoring tools are highly unreliable because:
- They often give irrelevance searches; results that are not even vaguely related to what you want.
- They have very limited filters, so you won’t get an option to refine the results. You will have to manually dig out the right ones.
- They have extremely limited search capacities, so very often they miss out on crucial mentions.
The basic plan of most of the best affordable social listening tools offer very limited features and searchers
All social media listening tools have a very basic plan, which is ridiculously inexpensive. A lot of people fall for those plans only to realize that they are just traps. You understand their limitations only when you start using them.
Don’t believe us?
Here is a detailed comparison of some of the best affordable social listening tools:
- Brand24’s basic plan costs $50, which is quite affordable. But, you will be surprised to know that it lets you track only 5 keywords! 5 keywords aren’t even enough for brand monitoring. If you truly understand what social listening is, you will realize that this plan is only suitable for businesses that do not have much scope for social media. Notifier offers 25 searchers at just $23! It is enough for even big businesses but we do have a $79 plan that offers 100 searchers.
- Mention’s basic plan costs $25, which is why it is quite tempting. But, it lets you track just two topics of your choice. It may be enough for small businesses but if you really understand what social listening is and how to use it for growing your business, you can figure out that it will not be enough for anyone. Plus, the basic plan doesn’t offer sentiment analysis and it doesn’t include Facebook tracking! That’s ridiculous because sentiment analysis is one of the main features that make social listening better than social media monitoring. And why exclude Facebook when it is the number 1 social media platform in the US? We don’t understand what makes this plan different from the plans that the social media management tools offer!
- Awario charges $24 for its basic plan with just 3 topics for search.
- Buffer’s $35 basic plan is our closest competitor in terms of searchers but it doesn’t provide instant alerts whereas Notifier provides instant even with its $11 plan. We will shortly explain more about this rare-to-find feature of ours.
Please note, we have not included the details of Brandwatch here because of two reasons; it isn’t an affordable social listening tool and it hasn’t displayed its plans, pricing, and features on its website. If you want to know about its plans, you have to contact them and share your business details. They will contact you back with a plan that they believe will be suitable for you. We don’t know why Brandwatch has kept so much secrecy around its pricing.
Most social listening tools charge a whopping price for real time updates
Social media listening works best when the conversations are responded to in real time. The more you delay, the more impatient your audience gets. When you delay, you give them and your haters more time to roast you. The same is the case with lead generation. If you take time to approach the leads, your competitor will do it instead.
To reap maximum benefits from social listening and social media monitoring tools, you have to participate in real time and this is possible only when you get real time updates. The creators of the social media management tools have realized very well that most businesses will be willing to pay any amount to get notified in real time, which is why they charge you so much for it.
Honestly, it takes a lot of hard work to configure your tool to track and share updates within seconds. Our team took months to come up with this feature and we absolutely see no reason why someone should be giving you free access to it. But we did!
Instant notifications are included in all our plans, even the very basic $11 plan. Notifier can alert you within 30 seconds whereas other tools such as Brand24 take 15 minutes even for real time updates. This is one of the main reasons why we have claimed that Notifier is the best affordable social listening tool.
They charge you for data download
Neither the best affordable social listening tools that we know nor the enterprise-level ones offer data download for free. You can only see the results and your social media progress in their dashboard. If you want to export the data for internal use or for sharing it with your clients, etc., you will buy their advanced plans.
When we were designing our pricing plans for Notifier, we too wanted to charge people for data download but then we asked ourselves if that is the right thing to do. When someone has already paid for the searchers, should he/she really have to pay just to download it? Shouldn’t people have complete control over their data?
Data storage should be charged because it occupies cloud space but data download should be free. Notifier is probably the only social media management tool that offers free data download even with our basic $11 plan.
They aren’t mobile-friendly
Some of the best social media management tools are compatible with mobile devices but they are ridiculously expensive. A majority of the tools, however, work best only when used on personal computers. This isn’t a problem with many businesses. But if you are an on-the-go professional, having the flexibility to access your social media performance reports anywhere and on any device can make your life easier!
Notifier is fully compatible with almost all devices. Whether you want to conduct a social media search or view the performance of your latest social media campaign, you can do it right from your phone. Our user-friendly, clutter-free, well-organized dashboard eliminated any guesswork and learning curve.
What makes Notifier the best affordable social listening tool
- Notifier is the only affordable social media monitoring tool that offers boolean search, whole word search, and string search in its very basic plan. These advanced searches and filters can help you get the most relevant results, thereby saving your time and effort.
- Unlike other affordable social media management tools, Notifier offers instant and unlimited alerts for your social media search. As we have mentioned above, instant alert is a premium feature. Most of the affordable social media listening tools do not offer it. Don’t you think Notifier deserves the top position in the list of best social media management tools?
- Notifier’s basic plan offers the maximum number of searchers. We have already shared the comparison above.
- It is the only tool that doesn’t charge you for downloading YOUR OWN DATA.
- Despite being counted among the best affordable social listening tools, Notifier doesn’t miss out on any important feature that the enterprise-level social media management tools have. Plus, it is an ever-evolving tool. We keep updating it frequently to provide maximum value to our clients. Updates are always free for our existing clients.
- A mobile-friendly dashboard is definitely something significant that makes it better than the other best social management tools that you might have heard of.
- We don’t have too many plans that offer too many different things. Such plans are confusing. It isn’t easy to figure out what’s included and what’s excluded in each plan. For your convenience, we have just three plans and all of them offer almost the same thing. The only thing that varies is the number of searchers.
Interested? Try it for free!
We are offering an obligation-free one-week trial. The trial will help you understand how our tool works and what it can do for you. If you are looking for the best affordable social listening tool for your business, you must take the trial. For any queries or suggestions, you can contact us anytime!