With many consumers sharing their ideas, thoughts and opinions online (in one form or the other), it is significantly important for brands to stay on top of such conversations and measure it in some way.
There are a variety of online monitoring tools out there. Some do a lot of the hard work for the user, by producing detailed reports, marking discussions/coverage/mentions based on their positive or negative influence, measuring audience reach and even comparing the outcomes against competitors . Some, require the user to put in more effort in order to produce more accurate results. These tools are often cheaper or in some cases free.

Without having much experience in using online monitoring tools I have analysed a selection of those available. You will see from the breakdown below that those that do cost offer a better service in what they measure. In my experience; having a clipping or mention marked with a positive or negative influence can be a great time saver and often enabled me to produce stronger AVE reports based of the best coverage.