Consider these 10 features when choosing your social listening tool

Posted on 3 min.

There is no such thing as the perfect solution to all, but a German academic assessment shows you a great way to select the one that fits your needs best.


Social listening and media monitoring are not just nice to have options anymore. They are must-haves if you want to understand your market and your competition, and thanks to the continuous hard work of tech companies in the last decade, there are tons of tools to choose from that will do the job for you.

But how well will they do it and which tool with suit your needs best? The professors and students at the Media Department of Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences are well aware of the difficulty, in fact in a recent study, they decided to investigate: they evaluated a great number of tools to help you choose and provide an overview of the market.

All the social listening tools that were selected for the study are relatively easy to use, which means they don’t require the user to go through a complex training in order to get meaningful results. Based on this only, 67 social listening tools were selected, but then the writers of the study wanted to further narrow their scope and give detailed evaluations only of the ones they found best. So they set up a list of six criteria that all had to be met to be selected into the next stage. As a minimum, the tool

  • is able to analyse text in German;
  • has a German or English language setting available;
  • is available in a web browser;
  • cannot be specific for a single industry;
  • must cover at least three out of the following five platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube;
  • can be used without any programming skills.

Based on these, only 24 out of the 67 tools were qualified to go into the next stage, where the Darmstadt Uni team established a scoring system and gave each tool a ranking. The tools could get a maximum of 25 points, and were scored based on the quality and/or quantity of the following aspects:

  • user friendliness (logical visualisation, easy to understand, provides some kind of tutorial for beginners),
  • analysis capabilities (e.g. filters, quick overview, sentiment analysis, trend analysis),
  • quantitative indexes,
  • types of text it can analyse,
  • information provided about opinion leaders (users, websites etc.),
  • length of time periods assessed,
  • alerting function, report creation,
  • data export and import, ability to clean up incorrect data,
  • integration capabilities,
  • customer support.

And the best tools are…

We’re very happy to report that Neticle got a score of 24 out of 25, which means a shared first place with Ubermetrics.

source: Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences

The Darmstadt team points out that almost all 24 tools had some kind of sentiment analysis or at least offered the option of manually assigning sentiments to the mentions that the tool has found. Also almost all had data cleansing and alerting functions, two thirds had filtering functions, but only very few had real-time capabilities.

The study emphasises that there is no such thing as the perfect tool in general, but the perfect one for your specific needs might just be out there. They point out the importance of the availability of a free demo on the website: this way you can try the tool yourself and decide whether it has what you’re looking for.


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