1. Tool Categories for (Social) Media Monitoring
The classification of tools is not very simple because many tool vendors use the term “social media monitoring” in their marketing efforts even if the tools are not primarily social media monitors. On the other hand there are tools that have more interesting functionality e. g. media analysis capabilities, but sometimes it can happen that vendors forget to talk about such features. In this article will present criteria for evaluation of the tool offerings and provide tips for their selection.
In the last post of the blog series on Social Media Today, I have defined five categories of monitoring tools. Category one highlighted „Media Monitoring“ indicating tools which are suitable for both traditional online media and social media monitoring. They also support social media engagement, analytics and content automation.
A monitoring strategy should not be reduced to social media. The monitoring strategy of a company must be considered complementary because of the networking of digital media (e. g. online PR, social media engagement, analytics and other neighboring areas). For a company’s strategy, comments not only on their own Facebook page and on other social platforms are interesting but also comments published in online magazines about managing directors, employees, or even on someone else’s products are equally important. This prevails a strong focus of social media monitoring tool vendors on the market but potential risks about communication and also business opportunities for companies are staying out of focus.
2. Application scenarios and evaluation criteria
The first category „Media Monitoring“ arises almost by itself when application scenarios are specified. As part of the evaluation we used three sample projects from practice. One of them may be summarized here. Application scenario for English, German and Spanish Language:
Example 1: Create semi and fully automated weekly or monthly reports and qualitative analysis for the visibility and reputation of as many companies and their products. (Start a project)
The part of analysis should also include: the relevance of topics on online media and social media channels or platforms, theme analysis, benchmarking, Influencer profiling and analysis for all participants in the communication. The following financial and human resource costs should not be exceeded: one to three employees, one to three days training period and up to 6000 euro license cost per year.
Note: The term „semi automated“ refers to the human verification, validation and determination of source relevance and sentiment analysis. The quality of fully automated reports, that is, a pure set-up option that works with less intervention of humans in all the reporting periods, has also been evaluated against the criteria in point 3.
3. Brandwatch Social Media Monitoring Review
To nominate the best tool would be absurd because the class of tools always depends on the specific application scenarios in which a tool is used. If we consider how good the tool’s performance is on the basis of the evaluation criteria, there are indicators that reveal insights for tool selection.
The rating scale ranges from 0 to 100 percent – High degree of performance is characterized by a high percentage. It reflects the relationship between the requirements of the users, the tool-supply and the fulfillment of expectations, as measured by the tools performance on the described scenario.
Brandwatch is the only tool that has fulfilled the criteria 10 and 12 to 100 percent. In general the tool has convinced because of the following:
The implementation of external research models and metrics is possible.
Adaptation to a variety of client profiles.
Unlimited users and search queries.
Accurate detection of tonality / sentiments (tests in English e. g. showed better results than in German).
Integration of Kred score, MozRank, and page traffic with own KPI called ‘Impact Score’.
Powerful and open Crawler system: 80 Mio. sources (+ 2,5 Mio. monthly new sources); In addition customers can also upload lists of pages they want to cover.
The Topic Cloud is meaningful, semantically coherent and dynamic (which means edition via categories and tags is possible).
Data can be analyzed in detail and quickly because of extensive filters and a wide range of chart components.
Dashboard can be completely individualized and is very flexible in many ways. It can be divided by different sharing options with team members.
It has an API that allows the data from Brandwatch to integrate into others systems.
Social Media Analytics of owned and earned media without authorisation (only Facebook and Twitter).
The cooperation with HootSuite allows engagement.
It also offers the best value for money.
In an interview with Susanne Ullrich (Marketing Manager) many questions were clarified e. g. on optimization of the “topic cloud“. Her response: „In the filter section, you can set the number of topics to be displayed in the “topic cloud” according to the metric you want to display. The „burst“ is calculated by dividing the monitoring period into two equal parts. If 30 “mentions” of a topic found in the first half and 45 in the second, then the subject has an increase of 50 % and so the burst value is 50.” It is also interesting that the “topic cloud” can show different metrics such as sentiment in tabular or graphical format by differentiating positive, neutral and negative mentions.
Brandwatch has taken a right step in the field of social media engagement because of its cooperation with Hootsuite. Since October 2013, it is possible to use Brandwatch filters such as sentiment, page type, tags and workflow in HootSuite. There is a clear answer on this discussion if experts in communication need multifunctional tools with Engagement features.
In this category of „media monitoring“ there are only few tools which performed constantly on all parameters of evaluation. Next time, I will present you currently, which tools are still the best choice that meet specific requirements.
I want to thank Dr. Martin Reti, Senior Consultant and Pranav Joshi, Consultant at divia GmbH in Germany, for their kind assistance in the tool evaluation.