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Free Social Media Monitoring Tools for Law Enforcement

Social media is a bit like a wildfire—easy to start, but incredibly easy to spread once it gets started. It’s no surprise that social media monitoring tools are an essential part of any law enforcement engagement strategy. This is especially true when it comes to protecting organizations and institutions against threats like identity fraud and terrorism. The most important thing to bear in mind is that there isn’t one particular social media monitoring tool that will do everything you need it to do—instead, it makes sense to build up a toolbox of services and use them strategically to find the information you need to keep your organization safe.

Monitoring social media is an important aspect of online surveillance and online investigations. After all, these days, most acts of violence begin in the virtual world and only then, do they become physical.

The purpose of this page is to provide Law Enforcement with free social media surveillance tools. Please contact us if there are any FREE tools we should add. The future of policing will rely, in part, on the ability to monitor social media. Due to the mobile nature of social networks, it enables individuals to communicate, share information and organize in ways not previously imagined. With this said, it also allows for criminals to utilize these mediums for communication, planning and organizing criminal activities. Being able to monitor and analyze social media just makes sense.

Law enforcement agencies have always monitored social media. With the advent of free social media monitoring tools and with the ever-changing platforms and features, it has become much easier to monitor social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Here is a look at some of the best social media monitoring tools for law enforcement agencies.

What is Social Media Monitoring Software?

Social media monitoring software provides functionality for listening, tracking, and gathering relevant content across wide ranges of social media. Social media monitoring products are used by social media, marketing, and communications teams to identify trends, track competitors, and understand customer sentiment. The products can also be used by researchers to gain information on social trends or by media outlets to identify breaking news. Social media monitoring tools allow marketers to personalize content to specific users or demographics, identify thought leaders or influencers, and respond to positive or negative mentions. Many social media products monitor posts in a variety of different languages and countries, allowing businesses to localize advertisements. These products are intended to provide demographic data, understand social media presence, identify negative mentions, engage users, and improve a brand’s reputation. Social media monitoring products often provide information that benefits social media analytics software. Monitoring functionality can also be found within social media management software as a feature or social media suites as either a feature or standalone product. Many media monitoring software products also monitor social media as well.

Social Media Monitoring Tools

It is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of tools.

  • One type of tool is a search engine that users can use to search the full text from the posts on numerous platforms and/or blogs. It ensures users query information in real time or conduct searches over time periods.
  • Another type of tracking tools gives users an opportunity to monitor and be notified when specific keywords or phrases, or certain words are used in the social media. As it’s usually done, updates are sent to the user’s email account when there is an activity related to a particular keyword. This kind of tool can also be bundled with other tracking tools.
  • The third type of the tool does not search for keywords or phrases but rather monitors whether a given person is writing posts related to certain words during a time period or about a particular topic in general.

Those from police who have limited resources or budget constraints consider such tools for basic monitoring. For those who have more resources and time restraints, search engine and keyword-based tracking may be most cost effective tools for investigating cases.

In addition to searching for keywords, these tools allow law enforcement government agencies to receive alerts when there are bursts in network activity. This can be particularly helpful for finding leads in child exploitation cases, monitoring a person’s movements during an investigation, or tracking the popularity of certain topics.

Sophisticated tools that track people’s movements and publicize certain posts require additional investigation resources.

Below are Some of Social Media Monitoring Services

Social Media Tools
  • Talkwalker – is a search engine that simultaneously searches for mentions on different sites and aggregates the results.
  • Reputology – This tool combines search engines, keyword aggregation, and monitoring tools into one. It provides users with real-time alerts and allows them to filter the results according to specific keywords.
  • NetBase  – Alerts allow users to receive an email when there are bursts in activity related to their keyword or topic, such as an increase in tweets, Facebook posts, etc. It can monitor up to three different topics per account. Users can monitor each of these topics separately or all three at the same time. It has both free and premium versions, which includes an additional keyword. Free version provides basic alerts whereas premium version provides alert notifications on keywords, topics, or hashtags related to the social accounts.
  • Synthesio – this tool allows users to monitor keywords from all popular platforms at the same time (applicable to Twitter, Facebook, blogs and others). Synthesio also monitors updates on such platforms as YouTube, Flickr, and LinkedIn. It provides users with real-time notifications regarding keywords and topics related to their account in order to keep them updated on those topics.
  • Brandwatch – is a monitoring tool for brands, which automatically tracks mentions from around multiple platforms and provides alerts on keywords or trends related to the brand. They also have an app to monitor the brand’s activity, as well as check out trends within the company.
  • Mentionlytics – is a tool that provides a chronological list of queries that have been run across different platforms. They automatically parse the results from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and send out alerts.
  • ReviewTrackers – this service offers users the observation of their competitors and finding out what kind of SMM they’re using so they can learn from them.
  • ReputationDefender – is a monitoring tool for brand reputation management, which can scan networks and blogs to determine connections between websites or bloggers and brands in real time.
  • – This tool allows users to follow up several platforms (such as Tumblr, Flickr, Twitter) with the help of keywords and search engines. Users can also create profiles to monitor specific topics.
  • Sysomos – Besides controlling keywords, this tool also monitors specific people. It is most frequently used by law enforcement agencies to conduct investigations based on the location of certain individuals and their interests, such as gang activity.
  • Brand24 – This tool is helpful in creating social profiles to monitor certain keywords. The tool also sends real-time updates when certain keywords appear in a particular platform.
  • Falcon Social – is useful conversations analysis in social media.
  • Radian 6 – is a monitoring tool for mentions of specific entities on various social platforms. Radian 6 provides information about who mentioned an entity and what was said. Users can also receive alerts when there are spikes in conversation about an entity or certain words associated with it on various platforms. A major limitation of Radian 6 is that only one topic or keyword can be searched at a time.



TweetDeck lets you create a more customized Twitter interface to monitor different users, hashtags, search terms, and lists. From one panel, you can look at Twitter content from the groups you want — whether that’s customers, competitors, or employees.

TweetDeck is a great tool to use during events or live-tweetstorms to keep up with live conversations — while also keeping an eye on you or your brand’s notifications and mentions.

Social Mention


Social Mention aggregates all of the blog, microblog, image, and video content related to the search term you provide from a variety of search engines and social networks. This makes it easier to digest and view what’s being said about your brand in one comprehensive view.

Analysis of "inbound marketing" keyword on the Social Mention free social media monitoring tool



TweetReach gives you a free “snapshot” report on the potential reach of any tweet that includes a given hashtag, keyword, or username. With analytics provided by Union Metrics, the tool offers a free signup for which you’ll be able to see who’s talking about which topics, how many impressions you’d get on a post about that topic, and more. TweetReach’s snapshot reports are free for the first 100 tweets, and the company offers paid plans starting at $49/month thereafter.

Zoho Social(2,264)4.6 out of 5Entry Level Price:FreeFavorite

Zoho Social is a complete social media management platform for businesses & agencies. It helps you schedule posts, monitor mentions, create custom dashboards, and more. Zoho Social is from—a suite of 40+ products trusted by over 40 Million users. It includes a powerful set of features—such as, the Publishing Calendar, Bulk Scheduler, and Repeat Post—to empower you with all the social media publishing tools that your business needs. The monitoring capabilities help you track relevant social conversations and respond to what matters. Advanced reporting features help you analyze performance using intuitive graphs, and create unlimited custom reports for you or your clients. If you’re managing a team, Zoho Social’s collaboration features and custom user-roles make it easy for you to bring all the members on board to manage social accounts for multiple brands. Agencies can bring all their clients on to Zoho Social, and manage their social media presence effectively. They can easily add new clients and assign team members to them with a predefined role. Zoho Social is the first tool to track revenue from your social media marketing efforts. Its integration with Zoho CRM help you engage with prospects and generate leads from social media. This integration lets you enrich leads and contacts in Zoho CRM with social data, and help your sales force close deals faster. The integration with Zoho Desk makes Zoho Social even more powerful when it comes to social support. You can create tickets from social media for your support team to see and resolve them from Zoho Desk. 

Hootsuite(3,487)4.1 out of 5Optimized for quick responseEntry Level Price:$49.00Favorite

With over 200,000 paid accounts and millions of users, Hootsuite powers social media for organizations around the world—from the smallest businesses to the largest enterprises. Build your brand, strengthen connections with customers, and drive business results business leaders care about by integrating social seamlessly across your whole organization. With Hootsuite, you can confidently schedule posts across multiple social networks (including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube ), manage organic and paid social content together, easily keep track of customer conversations, break down silos in how you collaborate with your organization, and gain actionable real-time insights from social media to make critical business decisions—all from one intuitive dashboard. Use the Best time to publish view to see the optimal days and times to publish your posts and build awareness, boost engagement, and drive traffic. As the world’s most widely trusted social media management solution, Hootsuite can set you up for success with expert certifications, training, and coaching in social marketing, social listening, and customer care. Push your results further and get more from social faster with Hootsuite.

Why Use Social Media Monitoring Software?

Revenue – Social media monitoring can generate more revenue for your company. Understanding how consumers interact with your social media posts can clue your business in on what to do in order to grow your audience, which translates to more subscribers and therefore more revenue for your business.

Customer Loyalty – Beyond growing your customer base, social media monitoring is also a great tool to manage the customers that you already have. Brand loyalty can be earned from customers if you engage with them on a more personal level, answer any concerns that they might have, and improve your product based on the feedback provided through social media.

Competitor Insights – Social media monitoring can give your business insight into how your competitors are performing. Consumers that may be responding negatively to your competitor’s offerings can be used to promote your own marketing campaigns and how your product offerings outperform the competition.

Brand Presence – One of the greatest benefits of social media monitoring tools is the ability to produce in-depth reports on brand presence. With social media monitoring, you can produce reports with easy-to-understand datasets. Competitive reporting is key to understanding the effectiveness of social media marketing campaigns and the underlying flaws that may be present. Remedying issues and capitalizing on effective methodologies can do wonders for a brand’s presence across social networks.


Social media is important for law enforcement agencies as they can be a great source of information. Social media monitoring tools are used to track social media activity from users in order to receive real-time notifications, insight and actionable data. The main purpose of free social media monitoring tools is always the same: to provide user engagement data and offer social listening, social brand monitoring and audience analytics.

Social media is a great tool for law enforcement agencies. It provides information that can be used to help solve crimes, locate suspects and even identify victims of a crime before they are found by police. Law enforcement agencies use social media monitoring tools to gather the information that has never been readily available to them before including the ability to build detailed profiles of individuals or groups, search across social platforms, monitor conversations happening right now as well as historical conversations and much more.

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