Social Media Listening Tools for Tourism Brands

Are you actively listening for people talking about your tourism brand online, especially on social media?

What people say about your tourism brand online, such as on Facebook, Twitter and TripAdvisor can make or break your business or region’s brand perception.

Did you know, according to Jay Bayer’s Hug your Hater’s fantastic book on social customer service found that brands who respond to a complaint on social media sees a 20% increase in advocacy.

However, if a brand didn’t respond to a complaint on social media, they saw a 43% decrease in advocacy!

Therefore you can either choose to be involved or ignore what people are saying about you online and risk damaging your brand!

Following are tips for free and paid social listening tools to make it super easy to never miss when someone is talking about your tourism brand online.


For the average small to medium-sized tourism business, we recommend using the following tools to monitor and listen for people talking about your brand online.

Your Social Accounts Notification Settings – Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

The basics of managing a social media presence is to interact with your community on your social media accounts.

Every social media platform has a ‘Notification’ setting, where you can usually choose to receive ‘push’ messages to your smartphone, email address or just notification updates when you log onto into the platforms.

For each social media channel you are active on, check you have your notifications set up so you never miss when someone comments on a social update you share or mentions your social page.

If you are out and about a lot and not on the social media channel during the day, a push notification to your smartphone may be the best option.

Set up Facebook

For Facebook, on a desktop computer head into “Page Settings > Notifications” and then select your preferred notification options.

Facebook Notifications

Set up Instagram

Head to the Instagram App on your Smartphone. Click on the gear icon in the top right corner of the app and head to “Push Notification Settings” and choose your preferences. Ideally choose to be alerted when anyone comments on a photo.

How to set up IG notifications copy

Set up Twitter

Head to your “Notifications” setting at the top of you Twitter account on a desktop.

Twitter Set Up - Notifications

Third Party Social Listening Tools – Hootsuite

You can also use free third-party tools to monitor what people are saying about your brand on Social Media away from your owned social media channels.

It can be a challenge monitoring Facebook mentions due to privacy settings on people’s personal Profile Pages, but other channels such as Twitter and Instagram are very easy to monitor.

Hootsuite is probably the best know social media monitoring tool.

It’s free to set up an account and is very easy to set up monitoring key phrases and hashtags on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and then reply to customers directly to the relevant social channel they are posting on.

What to monitor

  • Your business or brand name. Not everyone will ‘tag’ your social media account when talking about you on social media, so this is an important one.
  • Relevant ‘phrases’ people are using that relate to your tourism brand. This is most relevant for Twitter.

For example, if you are an accommodation provider in the Barossa, you may monitor the keywords “where to stay in barossa” in Twitter. Then if a person tweets “where to stay in Barossa” you could jump in with a response to find out more about what they are after, and potentially find a new customers.

  • Location Check-Ins. Monitor your check in location on Instagram, as you aren’t alerted to these check ins within the Instagram App.
  • Relevant #hashtags. Either a #hashtag you are asking customer to use or key regional hashtags, such as your #region or #majortowns (most relevant if you are a Destination Marketing Organisation).

Your Blog Comments

If you have a blog on your website, it’s important you respond to all people who take the time to leave a genuine comment (not spam obviously!).

On your blog, you set up to receive notification emails if someone publishes a comment on your individual blog posts. This can be set up in your content management system, such as WordPress.

Third Party Blog or Other Online Brand Name Mentions

There are a couple of tools to use to monitor what is being said about your brand, mainly in blog or online news articles.

Both Social Mention and Google Alerts allow you to choose ‘keywords’ you want to track when they are mentioned online, such as your business name, and you can then elect to receive an email alert when mentions occur.

It’s a good idea to set up a “Google Alert” for your business or organisation name, and elect to receive emails either as a mention happens, daily or weekly.

How to set up a Google Alert for Tourism Brands

Third Party Review Sites

Responding to customer reviews is also incredibly important for building trust and credibility with people.

Make sure you claim and optimise any review website listings for your business, such as listings in TripAdvisor or Google +, and then set up notifications to ensure you are alerted anytime a customer leaves a review, so you can log in and promptly reply.


For most small to medium-sized tourism brands, these free tools are great to find out what is being said about your brand or certain keywords or topics.

However, to centralise monitoring, identify trends and ramp up your social customer service, larger tourism brands, either businesses or destinations, may like to invest in a paid social media monitoring tool.

Many paid social listening tools offer comprehensive social media dashboards that also provide detailed social media analytics, content posting abilities across social accounts and some social customer relationship management.

There are a number of options available, and prices vary depending on size of your business, so do your research and make sure you compare apples with apples.

Some key programs on the market are:

If you think you may be better suited to a paid social listening tool, there some great advice in this article on how to choose a social monitoring tool for your brand.

Over to you

  • Are you actively listening online to what people are staying about your tourism brand?
  • What new listening tools can you try out?
  • Or we’d love to hear if you are using any other listening tools we haven’t listed!

This blog post was original written in August 2015 and was updated in May 2017 for accuracy. 

About the author, Rebecca White

Rebecca is the co-director of Tourism eSchool, and she loves helping tourism businesses grow their bookings and profits by marketing smarter, not harder. She also helps destinations get more bang for their marketing buck with strategic marketing planning.

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