Best Brand Monitoring Tools: SproutSocial vs BrandWatch vs Mention vs TalkWalker & More

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In today’s digital landscape, managing and monitoring your brand’s online presence is crucial for success. With the rise of social media and the influence of online conversations, businesses need effective brand monitoring tools to stay on top of their reputation. It also helps you recognize when your brand is being referenced in the news or as a source. Let’s explore and review the best brand monitoring tools available, examining their features, pros and cons, pricing, and winners for each category. I even personally tested them to see how they work to provide some personal experience insights.

For Media & PRFor Small BusinessesEasy To UseAdvanced AnalyticsSocial Media ManagementEnterprise Level
prowly logo 250brand24 logomention logobrandwatch logosproutsocial logo 125talkwalker logo
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6 Reasons You Need Brand Monitoring Tools

brand monitoring tool on a mac desktop screen
Brand monitoring tools have many advantages allowing you to keep an eye on your brand’s online presence.

I have been using monitoring tools for years. It’s an efficient way for me to stay on top of what’s being said about WeRockYourWeb on the internet and catches things that free tools like Google Alerts doesn’t pick up. It’s sort of like cyberstalking yourself (or, in this case, your brand).

Here are six more compelling reasons you should consider brand monitoring tools too:

  1. Protecting and Managing Your Brand Reputation: By monitoring social media platforms, news websites, blogs, and forums, you can quickly find and address any negative mentions or conversations about your brand. Promptly addressing such issues helps protect your brand’s reputation and mitigate potential damage.
  2. Customer Sentiment & Feedback: Track and analyze customer sentiment and feedback across various online channels, forums, review sites, and more. By understanding how customers perceive your brand, you can gain valuable intelligence to improve products, services, and customer experiences. Monitoring customer feedback in real time allows you to respond promptly and engage with your audience effectively.
  3. Competitor & Market Analysis: Keep a close watch on your competitors’ activities and market trends. Being aware of competitor mentions, campaigns, and customer sentiments provides valuable info into their strategies and allows you to benchmark your brand against industry peers. This can help refine your own marketing efforts and potential opportunities for growth.
  4. Influencer Identification & Engagement: Influencer marketing has become a prominent aspect of brand promotion. Brand monitoring tools help identify influencers relevant to your industry or niche. By noting their mentions and engagement with your brand, you can assess their impact and effectively engage in influencer marketing campaigns to expand your reach and build credibility.
  5. Crisis Management & Rapid Response: In the event of a crisis or negative publicity, brand monitoring tools act as an early warning system. They provide real-time alerts and notifications, enabling you to act in a timely manner. By monitoring conversations and sentiments during crisis situations, you can stay on top of the narrative and minimize the impact on your brand’s reputation.
  6. Data-Driven Decision Making: Brand monitoring tools collect vast amounts of data regarding your brand’s online presence, customer sentiment, and market trends. By analyzing what you find, you gain actionable insights to drive informed decision-making. This can guide marketing strategies, product development, and overall brand positioning, leading to more successful business outcomes.

Best Brand Monitoring Tools

Let’s take a look at the top tools in different categories, depending on your needs. I personally use Prowly but have used Mention previously for WeRockYourWeb.

For Media & PR: Prowly

Prowly monitoring dashboard with "Prowly" as the keyword to track and widgets showing mentions, domain reach, reach, sentiment in default setting.
Screenshot of Prowly’s mention dashboard using Prowly as the keyword.

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Prowly is a comprehensive PR and media relations software that offers a range of tools to streamline PR activities and effectively manage media relations. It helps PR professionals create and distribute press releases, build media lists, monitor media coverage, and analyze PR campaigns, in addition to monitoring your brand’s online presence. Prowly simplifies the PR process and improves communication with journalists, influencers, and stakeholders.

I really like the dashboard, which is customizable to drag and drop the widgets around to fit your preference. I had the option to delete, add more, or adjust the settings for each of the widgets too. Another plus, it has the domain authority built in, so I don’t have to go track that down in another place. I also get email digests with new mentions delivered to my inbox every day!

Prowly’s pricing structure may not be ideal for all budgets, especially for small businesses or individuals with limited PR needs. However, if you are interested in bundling with SEO tools, they offer a significant discount if you subscribe via SEMrush (their parent company).

User-friendly interfaceExpensive
Media database and contact managementLimited social media integration
Monitoring and coverage analysisNot as advanced reporting as other tools
Story pitching and media outreach
Collaboration and workflow management
Tracks multiple countries and languages


  • Starting at: Starts at $479/month for the essentials bundle (5 search queries, 50,000 mentions, 2 users)

For Small Businesses: Brand24

Brand24 mentions dashboard with Brand24 as the keyword showing snapshot of mention and reach chart and the most recent mentions with preview of each and filter of sources
Example of Brand24’s mention of itself as the keyword.

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Brand24 is an excellent choice for small to medium-sized businesses. It offers real-time monitoring, allowing you to stay updated on brand mentions as they happen. It also provides sentiment analysis, helping you gauge the overall attitude surrounding your brand.

The affordable tool offers competitive analysis to track your competition’s online activities. Additionally, Brand24 helps identify influencers who are talking about your brand or industry and has an intuitive interface that makes it user-friendly and easy to navigate.

When using Brand’s monitoring dashboard, I was a fan of the ability to filter the mentions by source (web, social media, blogs, forums, etc.) and see a preview of what the mention was before visiting the site. It’s also neat to see how much traffic a website that mentions you gets too, but I didn’t see the ability to see the domain’s authority score.

Overall though for the price, it’s a good value and for small businesses with limited budgets, it’s a entry-level starter option that is easy to use.

Real-time monitoringLimited reporting options
Sentiment analysis
Competitive analysis
Influencer identification
Intuitive interface
Reasonably priced


  • Starting at: $49/month for the Plus plan, with higher-tier plans available.

Easy To Use: Mention

mention screenshot of feed for "We Rock Your Web" as the keyword showing 2 recent web results and domain authority and inbox on the left side’s dashboard showing recent mentions for “We Rock Your Web”.

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Mention provides comprehensive brand monitoring across a wide range of online sources. It provides detailed monitoring across various online sources, allowing you to track brand mentions across platforms like social media, news websites, blogs, and forums. Mention also offers real-time alerts, ensuring you stay updated on brand conversations as they happen, and provides sentiment analysis. Additionally, it has competitive analysis, allowing you to monitor your competitors’ online activities.

One limitation of Mention is that some advanced features are only available in higher-priced plans. While the core monitoring features are available in lower-tier plans, certain functionalities may require a higher subscription tier. They do offer a free trial, so you can give it a test drive before committing, and have affordable options for small to medium businesses.

What I love about mention is its simplicity. As the name suggests, its primary function is to monitor mentions of brands, so that’s its bread and butter, but they’ve added other social media publishing capabilities and other tools over the years. Like Prowly, I appreciate having the domain authority score, and like Brand24, I can see a preview of what was said. Its pricing is reasonable, too, so if you want something basic, I’d recommend Mention.

Comprehensive monitoringAdvanced features available in higher-priced plans
Real-time alerts
Sentiment analysis
Competitive analysis
Lowest priced option
Free trial available


  • Starting at: $49/month for the Solo plan (2 alerts, 5,000 mentions, 1 user)

Advanced Analytics: Brandwatch

Screenshot of Brandwatch's mentions for "UK cost of living crisis" as the keyword showing total mentions and volume over time.
Example of Brandwatch’s mentions for “UK cost of living crisis” as the keyword.

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Brandwatch stands out with its robust analytics and reporting capabilities. It offers artificial intelligent analytics allowing you to dive deep into the data and to better understand the big picture. It also provides advanced consumer insights to uncover the nuances of customer sentiment toward your brand. Brandwatch has extensive sources to gather information from various platforms and channels.

This tool might be challenging to learn at first, but the platform offers a wide range of features and functionalities that may require some time to fully grasp. However, they offer various resources to help you understand, and they have good customer service and support.

I wasn’t able to try out this tool because it requires you to book a demo, but I did watch a demo overview, and from what I read on their features, it is indeed quite robust on the amount of data you can get. So I can see how the tool might be useful for bigger consumer brands or companies who are looking for more than just mentions, but insights on consumers themselves.

For a reasonable price point, you get a lot of bang for your buck and a step up from other basic monitoring tools.

Powerful analytics and reportingNo free trial is available
Advanced sentiment analysisLearning curve for new users
Extensive data sources
Includes a social media management tool
More affordable than competition


  • Starting at: $79/month for Individual plan (3 keywords, 2,000 mentions, 1 user)

Social Media Management: Sprout Social

Example of setting up a custom report in the "listening" dashboard showing impressions, engagements, post link clicks and ability to filter by source.
Example of setting up a custom report in the “listening” dashboard.

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If social media management is your focus, Sprout Social is the ideal tool. It allows you to streamline your social media efforts along with media mentions by providing tools for scheduling posts and engaging with your audience all in one place. Sprout Social also offers excellent customer support, ensuring that you receive assistance whenever you need it. In addition, Sprout Social provides collaboration features, allowing teams to work together seamlessly on social media campaigns and activities.

I’ve used Sprout Social previously for social media publishing, and at its core, that’s what the tool was for originally. Over the years, they’ve added the mention (aka “listening” feature, which unfortunately is a premium tool, but from what I can tell, it has all the similar features as the other monitoring tools with a focus more on social monitoring (their sweet spot).

Sprout Social is relatively higher priced compared to some other social media management tools. But the higher cost could be worth it to bundle your social media tool, and media mentions in one tool.

Social media management and monitoringModerately expensive
Excellent customer support
Collaboration features for teams to work together
Custom reports
Free trial available


  • Starting at: $249/user/month for the Standard plan (5 social media profiles, 1 user)

Enterprise Level: Talkwalker

talkwalker screenshot jpg
Talkwalker screenshot of what to expect in their monitoring tool.

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Talkwalker is another advanced brand monitoring tool designed for large enterprises. It offers a suite of tools and features to monitor brand mentions, track social media campaigns, analyze sentiment, identify influencers, and stay informed about industry trends. Talkwalker enables users to monitor social media platforms, news sites, blogs, forums, and more, providing real-time data and advanced analytics to drive data-driven decision-making.

It does come with a steeper learning curve and complex setup and does not offer a free trial (must schedule a demo).

Extensive coverage of social media platformsCan be overwhelming for new users
Enables users to benchmark their performance against competitorsExpensive
Collaboration featuresNo free trial


  • Custom pricing based on specific needs but starts around $11k/year

Other Ways To Track & Manage Social Media

Brand monitoring tools offer an array of features and capabilities to meet diverse needs. There are a variety of options depending on what your objects are. If you want to manage your social media on top of monitoring your brand, you should also consider tools that specialize in that, and we have a review of the best social media management tools. If you’re not convinced, learn how you can effectively leverage social media tools for your brand.

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The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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