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How To Choose the best social listening tool

Sentiment analysis, complemented with robust features of a social listening tool, can empower brands to use social listening to great advantage. They can discover key consumer insights and market trends, design targeted campaigns, and track brand awareness and online reputation management for calculated growth. In this article, we showcase the most useful and in-demand social listening tool features that must be present in your social listening platform so you can have the same benefits that the most successful companies, world over, have.

What is Social Media Listening?

Social media listening is both an art and science. It is the process of listening to your customer and audience and goes beyond only tracking your social media channels to respond to the direct messages and threads you are mentioned in. Special features of a social listening tool allow you to eventually collate all the data related to you including your mentions as well as your competitors’, and then analyze this extracted data for sentiment mining. This gives you a very clear view of your brand reputation and awareness. It gives you insights as to which areas you need to increase budgetary spend in, where changes are required, and which areas are relevant to your audience or redundant according to current trends or emerging ones.

For accurate and thorough social listening insights that give you focal points that you can actually use for growth, you need to go beyond vanity metrics of just shares and likes. You need a more granular, detailed, and in-depth analysis platform that can discover topics, themes, entities, and aspects wherever it can dig them out from as it scans thousands of comments and videos. A solution with social media listening tool features that can scan and extract even logos and captions that appear in videos on dynamic social sites like TikTok or Instagram is important for a holistic social media strategy. With capabilities like this, the tool can easily analyze such data for semantic understanding and contextualization when it processes the extracted data for sentiment analysis. Thus helping you to “listen” to your audience.

Which Are The Top Most Favored Features Of A Social Listening Tool?

Video content analysis, logo identification from backgrounds, caption overlay recognition ability, sentiment analysis, speed and accuracy, and natively multilingual capabilities, are some of the most important features of a social listening tool.

1. Video Analytics

In the new-age of video centric marketing, the most vital features of a social listening tool should definitely include video content analysis (VCA) capabilities. This will help you discover and analyze topics, themes, and entities from social media platforms like YouTube, DouYo, Xbiao, Facebook, Tik Tok, Instagram Live, etc, or audio-based data like podcasts, radio, or call center logs. Video content analysis also enables you to extract rich metadata from the overall video or at shot/frame level.You can recognize thousands of people, places, things, and actions in stored and streaming videos while creating your own custom entity labels.

2. Hashtags & Social Mentions Extraction (NER)

Another one of social media listening tool features is the ability to read and understand social media specific characteristics like hashtags, social mentions, and ofcourse emojis and gifs, etc. A social listening platform made for social listening also has Named Entity Recognition (NER) systems under the hood that are built using natural language processing (NLP) techniques and machine learning. This allows the platform to recognize hashtags (#photooftheday) by separating the special character “#” from the phrase “photo of the day”.


Grammatical constructs in NLP help it understand that even though “photooftheday” is written without space, it is still not a single word but a string of four separate words - “photo” “of” “the” “day”. With these tasks running behind, the algorithm will understand that when put together, the symbol “#” and the phrase have a special meaning, which translates to it reading all the trending topics that appear in the social feed. In this, case, its NER capabilities will tell it that the topic is about photographs and they pertain to every single day. And with 797.3 Million mentions of the hashtags, it will understand that this is one of the top hashtags or topics on Instagram.

Social Mentions

Similarly, for social mentions, social media listening tool features with NER help the platform to recognize and extract names of people, businesses, brands, products, locations, or other things of note as entities. This is how it helps you keep a track of your social mentions and those of the entities you have assigned as relevant and important to you. Entities can have aliases as well, or be misspelled. For example, FB, Facebook, FaceBook, $FB. The social listening tool will take into account all these factors.

3. Image & Logo Identification

Equally important among features of a social listening tool, is image recognition and the ability to identify brand logos that appear in the background of a video, even on clothing worn. This feature is especially useful in addition to a video content analysis feature, as it allows the algorithm to capture deeper information through Optical Character Recognition (OCR), that it may not be able to do otherwise, if it relies only on the speech to text transcription of the video content.

This way it creates a thorough and complete analysis of the video content relevant to you. You can know if a video mentions you in good light or bad, even if on a neutral user-generated channel, or if a competing brand talks about you.

4. Real-time Analytics

Being able to get real time information on trending data is a very important asset. With such features of a social listening tool, you can see the change in trending data, as soon as they occur. This means as soon as there is a negative mention, or a sudden spike in your social mentions, you can immediately be notified and take action. Keeping a close tab on real time information is not only important for online reputation management (ORM), but also to make key decisions on product diversification, new audience outreach programs, or new store locations. This can also mean social media benefits in the work environment for better employee-employer relationships, and human resource insights from channels like Xing, LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, or Bark.

Checkout how Real-time sentiment analysis & social listening works.

5. Speed & Accuracy

Social listening tools should also be able to handle millions of API calls per day. It should also easily scale from 1 to 10,000,000 and to 100,000,000 documents and beyond. For example, Repustate is able to return a speed of 60 millisecond with 90% accuracy based on tests conducted alongside competitors like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft.

6. Multilingual

Multilingual capabilities are also one of the features of a social listening tool that are of utmost value. This is especially critical in case of a brand that has customers in multiple countries speaking multiple languages. True multilingual sentiment analysis means that a platform will read the data in the native language and not resort to translations. This increases the accuracy level of the results. Native-reading social listening platforms recognize unique lexicons, phonology, morphology, and syntaxes and decipher words of a language along with industry jargon, with more precision. Case in point, Repustate’s social media listening AI engine understands 23 languages natively, which is why our accuracy levels beat even Microsoft Azure and Google Comprehend.

7. Tonality & Emojis

Social media sentiment analysis tool features should also include native language reading abilities so that its Text Analytics API can complement the platform’s emoji-reading power. Only then can it actually step up for social media lingo. If the platform uses translations for languages, it is not able to recognize and capture tonality and sarcasm. This results in false positives and hence wrong overall sentiment data. For example, the algorithm may read the tweet “Great! There’s traffic again” !:unamused:, as a positive emotion if it cannot decipher emojis, whereas a really good social listening tool will equate the word “traffic” as negative based on its training. It will further analyze the emoji and understand that this is sarcasm = negative, even though the phrase has the high-polarity positive word “great”.

8. Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment analysis is an AI-powered task that helps you understand your social audience better. It helps you interpret your demographic behaviour, user engagement, brand mentions, and identify the nuances in emotions present in comments and videos. Repustate’s social listening platform performs emotion analysis using the aspect-based sentiment analysis (ABSA) model, which gives a very comprehensive view of what consumers say they like and dislike about you or a competitor brand on social media.

9. Integrated Reporting Dashboard

The features of a social listening tool you choose must also include an intelligent customer sentiment dashboard where you can see insights in the form of charts, graphs, and tables. This gives you a better understanding of your data and quick insight into your current performance and trending data. You can predict the emotional motivations of your customers and study the patterns in your mentions. You can even use the data to find a relevant influencer or brand ambassador with the right followers, without falling for vanity metrics such as likes and shares.

Most importantly, the dashboard should allow platform-based data segregation so you can have information about your different social channels separately. Also, its specific social media listening tool features will allow you to set alerts for sentiment on any social channel you want to keep tabs on.

Benefits of Social Listening

Social listening helps you understand what motivates your customers, what prompts their brand loyalty, and what changes from your end are likely to turn potential customers into actual buyers. With a platform with stellar social media listening tool features, you can identify marketing and product trends that you can strategize over and incorporate in your advertising and brand campaigns. Social listening also allows you to focus on the kind of content that will resonate with your audience and give you the highest possible return on the time, effort, and money you spend on a campaign.

Insights can help you find the perfect social platform to connect with and have the most engagement with your consumers and this results in easy brand amplification and content outreach. Through the unique features of a social listening tool, you can also know important statistics about your competitors, how active they are on social media, how they engage with their audience, and how they are different from you and in what context.

Discover More: Benfits of Social Listening

Parting Notes

Great social media listening tool features that help you harness the advantages of customer insights from video-heavy social channels like Youku, TikTok, Xing, YouTube, or DouYu as easily as text based ones like Twitter or Facebook, can be a game-changer for a company. With a social media listening tool that has inbuilt video content analysis capabilities as well, like Repustate does, you can be sure that you will be able to track and take advantage of every chance to deliver a great brand experience for your product or service. Repustate’s VCA solution possesses the most advanced named entity recognition (NER) capability for social media, recognizing and extracting information from hashtags, social media abbreviations and slang, emojis, making it especially fit for social listening.

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