Top 5 media monitoring tools for media research and social media


1. Media Monitoring Tools: Categories

The classification of monitoring tools is not that simple, because many tool providers use the term social media monitoring in their marketing - even if they do not primarily monitor social media. This goes so far that you sometimes even forego the presentation of interesting functionalities. In this article, we develop standards for assessing the tool offerings and give tips for selection.
In the last post in the blog series, we defined five categories for monitoring tools. Category one outlines "Media Monitoring": that is, tools that are suitable for both classic online media monitoring and social media monitoring. In addition, they support social media engagement, analytics and content automation. The following picture illustrates this classification:

Media Monitoring - Tool Categories

A monitoring strategy must not be reduced to social media. The monitoring strategy of a company must be considered complementary due to the networking of digital media (online PR, social media engagement, analytics and other related areas).

For the Strategy of a company Comments on your own Facebook page or on social platforms are interesting, but also comments in, for example, online magazines about managing directors, employees or even third-party products. The tool provider market has a strong focus on social media monitoring. However, this does not take into account possible risks but also opportunities for companies.

 2. Application scenarios and evaluation criteria

Category 1. “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 can be summarized here:

Application scenario: Example 1

Creation of semi and fully automatic weekly or monthly reports and qualitative analyzes of the visibility and tonality of as many companies, products and objects as possible as well as their range of topics on online media and social media channels and platforms (including benchmarking, tracking and influencer analysis). The following financial and human resources should not be exceeded: one to three specialists, one to three days of training and a maximum of 6000 euros in license costs per year.
The term "semi-automatic" refers to the human review, validation and determination of the source relevance as well as the tonality. The quality of fully automatic reports, ie a pure set-up solution that works without human intervention, was also evaluated using the criteria under point 3.

All media monitoring tools were configured with three queries for the analysis. The tools were supposed to collect data from across the web over the same period, which we then filtered and analyzed using the tool features in conjunction with our own study models. The queries were configured with the support of the tool providers and were intended to cover the communication areas from various industries and companies.
For example, one of the queries has the following general form: Company 1, 2 or 3 plus product 1, 2 or 3 BUT NOT Company 4 plus product 1 or Company 1 plus product 4.
According to this scheme, all published articles and contributions should be recorded by the tools. B. Company 1 has occurred in connection with Product 1, but not the contributions where e.g. B. Product 1 was named, but company 1, 2 or 3 did not appear.

3. Evaluation results

Choosing a top 1 media monitoring tool would be presumptuous. The class of a tool always depends on the specific application scenarios in which a tool is to be used. However, if we look at how well the tools performed on the basis of the evaluation criteria, we can see indications that facilitate the selection of tools for monitoring projects:

The rating scale ranges from 0 to 100 percent - a high degree of fulfillment is indicated by a high percentage. It reflects the relationship between the requirements of the user, the tool offer and the fulfillment of expectations, measured against the actual performance of the tools within the specified scenario.




Brandwatch was the only tool that met criteria 10 and 12 100 percent. Thus, it is very well suited for the implementation of external investigation models and metrics. It also offers the best value for money. In terms of determining the tonality, the tool was below average. However, tests in English showed better results.

In an interview with Susanne Ullrich from Brandwatch, questions could be answered, e.g. B. can optimize the automatically generated Topic Cloud. She said: “In the filter section you can set how many topics should be displayed in the Topic Cloud (maximum 30) and according to which metric they should be displayed. The “burst” is calculated by dividing the investigation period into two equal parts. The comparison of the hit volumes in the two halves is the burst. "
If 30 mentions of a topic occur in the first half and 45 in the second half, then the topic has an increase of 50 {9b52994b348c57b27601a6a90c0faca975f2bb4f7fc64fe641344d2c676678bb} or a burst value of 50. The topic cloud is also interesting can be displayed according to sentiment, colors, as a table or graph over time.

Each topic can be zoomed in and individual terms can be manually deleted from the Topic Cloud. Each individual topic can also be displayed as a graph over time in order to examine certain terms more closely. ”It is also possible to create individual tag clouds using tags and categories. The “Impact Score” from Brandwatch is very useful and best practice. This is a key performance indicator that was taken into account for the evaluation of the influencer analysis (criterion 4).
This indicator “can be applied to mentions, authors and pages and reflects how often the mention, author or page was seen and shared online.” The tool also calculates with a wide range of different metrics, such as Credit Score, MozRank or the number of visitors to an online source, the reach depends on the type of post.


was the only tool in the area of engagement and CRM that met our expectations 100 percent. Countless workflow functions make community management really efficient. And across 12 (!) Social media channels or platforms. However, incorrect values were measured on Google+. The tool also offers very good source coverage and very good filter options. The data obtained can be edited using very sophisticated widgets. The tool seems oversized, which did not have a negative impact on the rating. The user guidance is not successful - the overview of the functions is easily lost. In return, the calculation of the influencers is surprisingly easy, Lien Brusselmans from Engagor explained, for which the three influence indicators the following factors are taken into account: 1. "[The] Most popular: the Twitter / Facebook users that generated most retweets / likes with their posts about the topic." 2. "Most interactions: the Twitter / Facebook users that generated most replies / comments with their posts about the topic." topic. " 3. "The Top posters: the Twitter / Facebook users that posted most often about the topic."

Engagor shows the usual weaknesses in determining the tonality and in the semantic context of the topic cloud. The price is proud of 1,500 euros per month for annual contracts. However, Engagor offers an extensive range of tools for this, which enables, for example, CRM integration.


The German-French company Radarly GmbH offers a tool that makes it possible to manually feed sources. As the relevance and completeness test shows, this is also necessary in practice. The filter options offer a very good visual separation of the topics and other elements, so that different monitoring sub-projects in the same project are very well separated and at the same time everything is visible at a glance.

Linkfluence Like its competitors, it has its own influencer recognition system called the “Notoriety Score”. Ralph Teuber (Manager) and Oliver Tabino (CEO): “Notoriety Score is a Linkfluence figure. It describes what influence and what attention the corresponding hit could generate. It can take values between 0 and 9, with 9 standing for the highest influence. For Twitter the value is based on the number of retweets, for websites and blogs on the frequency with which the URL was used on Twitter and Facebook (also urls). In Facebook from a mix of likes, comments and shares. The value references the respective research project. That means: Identical hits can have different Notoriety Score values in different projects. "

The “benchmark features” are an interesting idea. However, the tracked Google Plus profiles are not (yet) fully recorded. But that's a general problem as Google+ doesn't readily support profile tracking.


Talkwalker scores very well in the evaluation. The decisive factor is the very easy operation, the very good source coverage and the coherence of the automatically created Topic Cloud. At first glance, it shows information in percent on the virality of a post and much more. Almost all of our criteria are met very well. The tool also impressed with the quality control of the tonality with an acceptable error rate. We took around 200 samples. In addition to calculating influence based on likes, prominence and Klout score of the authors and sources, the inclusion of Alexa data a very plausible way for the range analysis.

In combination with the tool's report functions, this means that meaningful analyzes can be created almost completely automatically. Both the quantity and, regardless of that, the quality of the hits are right at Talkwalker. In the case of deductions, the profile tracking capacities of the cheaper tariff and the integration options for external examination models and analysis metrics were available. 40 profiles are only offered from 900 euros per month and unfortunately not for all social media channels.

UberMetrics Delta

UMD has a very good, automated report solution and very good source coverage. For calculating the reach of online media are very classic IVW data included. The tool also enables a link analysis. The virality of a post is visualized as a network. Another special feature of the tool is the breadth of the source coverage across the media types. Ubermetrics manages to cover social media channels and platforms as well as TV, radio, online and print media very well under one roof.

The radio and TV news reports are transcribed and made available in text form. Heard for tonality analysis Ubermetrics Delta to the best variants. The “Topic Cloud” feature was improved during the relaunch (2014). The tool can be used in all categories (as an all-rounder, as a web monitoring tool or as a social media monitoring tool) at the “top level”, whereby the link and tonality analysis in connection with the range measurement and report function represents a unique set of instruments.


Each Monitoring project seeks specific results. At the same time, the requirements of users and customers must also be taken into account. It is therefore important that users have the option of configuring the tools in such a way that proven studies from opinion and market research can be individually implemented or modeled. No final recommendation can be made at this point. In addition to customer-specific requirements and monitoring goals, other aspects must be taken into account on a case-by-case basis, such as B. the location of the tool provider and user. This raises further questions such as: B. with regard to different legal regulations, for example with regard to data protection.

In the long term, only those tools that are set up as an “open system” will be able to keep up with the rapid developments in digital communication. ie tools that offer the user individualization options via their user interface but also enable the implementation of external analysis metrics and the connection of other programs.

However, it cannot be entirely ruled out that the tool provider market will continue to split. There will then be a warehouse that relies on closed “all-inclusive” solutions with little flexibility. On the other hand, there are providers of open systems that allow far-reaching adjustments, but also place great demands on users.

Many thanks to Dr. Martin Reti (Divia GmbH), who acted as proofreader.

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