Almost a year ago Web Analytics World published an initial product review of Brandwatch, a social media monitoring tool. It’s a quick and easy tool that you can use to monitor any brand mentions across forums, blogs, websites, Twitter, and Facebook. If you think about the simplicity of “Google Alerts” but add in a team of people who make sure your search terms are everything they should be, as well as more available data sources – you get Brandwatch.
You can set Alerts based on Thresholds
Most social monitoring tools offer the ability to set alerts based on mentions – Brandwatch has a nifty little interface where you can set alerts based on surges in volume. You can also filter Alerts to be source-specific; if you only want to know if there’s a surge on Twitter, for example, you can create that filter.
This is a great feature for marketers or team leaders that can’t be logging into software all day and need to receive real-time alerts if something is going awry from a PR standpoint.
Hashtag Detection for Twitter
Another nice feature is to pull over the hashtags used with brand mentions. Sometimes brand marketers struggle to use hashtags that are meaningful to their audience and relevant to their products. In the Twitter tab of the dashboard, there’s a top hashtag report module.
Competitor Brand Analysis
If you create a new query for all of your competitor’s brands, you can create a new custom tab that will allow you to understand how your online “buzz” compares to theirs. In the query below, I created two different searches – one for “waworld” and one for “web analytics world” (which I abbreviated as WAW). As you can see, the Twitter handle gets significantly more volume of mentions than the full company name:
A few final thoughts
Regardless of how attractive a dashboard can be when you first log in, it’s important to remember the role of critical thinking in any analytics engagement.
The three hidden gems I mentioned above were discovered with particular analysis questions in mind:
- What if I get a surge or a drop in mentions?
- How do I stack up against the competition?
- Which hashtags should I use (or am I using the right ones)?
Those were my questions when looking at Brandwatch and were the first stage in my journey to finding this functionality. Always approach any analysis with curiosity and an objective in mind before logging into any analytics platform. That’s how you find surprise functionality. Happy analyzing and happy hunting!