What tool do you use to monitor sentiment about your brand — good and bad — on social media and why?

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC recently published #FixYoungAmerica: How to Rebuild Our Economy and Put Young Americans Back to Work (for Good), a book of 30+ proven solutions to help end youth unemployment.

1. Raving About Raven Tools

I use Raven Tools’ social monitor feature to track how my brand is being perceived by the general audience. You set up a search for a word or phrase and Raven searches more than twenty sources for it. Raven automatically assigns a sentiment to each mention (positive, negative, or neutral), but you can change it upon review.
Lawrence Watkins, Great Black Speakers

2. Start With Sprout Social

We have been using Sprout Social for quite a while now to manage five of our Twitter accounts and two Facebook accounts. They make it pretty darn easy to track keywords associated with your brand, and monitor influences that we might want to reply or retweet. It also has the ability to schedule messages so we don’t have to always sit there, monitoring our feeds.
Seth Kravitz, Technori

3. Radian6 Tracks Sentiments

Radian6 has tools such as the river of news, sentiment tracking, real-time responding, and corporate communication for social networks. They monitor each tweet by identifying specific words that have sentiment by positive, negative or neutral. For example, the word “love” would be positive and “hate” is negative, but when you have mixed sentiment, it becomes neutral due to contradicting terms.
Lane Sutton, Social Media from a Teen

4. Hashtags Are Accurate

Monitoring the use of our hashtags is a great way to measure brand sentiment. We love watching our Twitter followers share their #levolove! Hashtags are a unique way to connect and engage with our community members, and the feedback we receive from them is a constant reminder of how we are positively affecting women’s lives.
Caroline Ghosn, The Levo League

5. Scambook Works Well

Our site, Scambook, is a wonderful litmus to gauge how happy your customers are with your brand. Ideally, you won’t appear at all on the site, but if there are people out there who feel that your service is lackluster, it’s a great resource for feedback and keeping your customers satisfied. There is nothing more important in business that happy customers.
Andrew Bachman, Scambook.com

6. Bottlenose Measures Influence

Besides Klout and good, old-fashioned talking to customers, we have also started to use the tool Bottlenose. In addition to showing how we’re influential and what is trending, they offer an interesting “sonar” graph that allows us to see what is being said about Modify and when (by hour, day, week and month). We learn which of those terms are related to trending topics and how they affect us.
Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

7. Go With Google Alerts

I use multiple methods to monitor sentiment about my brand, but I couldn’t do anything without Google Alerts. I have a huge number of alerts set up (as RSS feeds, so I can process them quickly) for employee names, misspellings of the company name and other phrases that people might post about, so that I don’t miss anything.
Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting

8. Social Mention for Many Platforms

Andrew SchrageThe software I recommend to track social media sentiment is something called Social Mention. It’s similar to Google Alerts but focuses solely on social media. It tracks sentiment, passion and reach, and also provides a breakdown of top hashtags and retweets. It’s free and monitors more than a hundred social media websites.
Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

9. Look WhosTalkin?

WhosTalkin? is definitely not as robust as some of the other social media monitoring tools listed here, but it’s worth checking out to examine who’s talking about your business and your competitors. WhosTalkin? is super easy to use and completely free, and the results are organized quite well.
Natalie MacNeil, She Takes on the World

10. Try Out Hootsuite Pro

Our social media team is two-people strong — dividing and conquering four Facebook pages and five Twitter accounts. Hootsuite Pro ($5 per month) helps the social media team collaborate in creating and scheduling content updates. The tool is quick to pick up and master, and can help in managing your brand presence and sentiment from multiple pages.
Justin Beck, PerBlue

11. Tweetdeck for Immediacy

Using Tweetdeck, we can see all mentions of our brand in real time and reply immediately. People are pleasantly surprised when they tweet about a business and get a reply from that business right away.
Josh Weiss, Bluegala

12. Bird’s Eye View via tweetfeel

If you really want to gauge consumer sentiment on Twitter, tweetfeel is a great tool to get an overview on brand or product sentiment. It recognizes certain sentiment keywords and analyzes then by giving you a positive and negative percent of the word (brand or product) you are analyzing.
Pablo Palatnik, ShadesDaddy.com

13. Citysearch for Local Stores

When we launched our brand, we needed a tool to show newcomers to the area that we could be their premier hair care providers. Every time a customer places a review on Citysearch, our team receives an alert. These reviews allow us to constantly provide the best customer service. Over 92 percent of the reviews have have positive. The negative reviews helps our team develop proactive ways to earn our brand five stars.
Nancy T. Nguyen, Sweet T

14. Automated Sentiment Is Not Accurate

Automated sentiment is often hilariously inaccurate. If you really want to know where your brand stands, have a human review the posts. If you have more posts than a human can handle, you’re better off tagging a statistical sample set of posts for sentiment and context rather than trying to figure this out based on a machine algorithm.
Allie Siarto, Loudpixel