Monitoring your brand is important.
If only just to ensure that you can effectively manage your brands reputation.
It’s difficult offline, but it gets a lot easier online.
When people have a bad experience with a service some bring they might blog about it or maybe share it on social media – that’s if it’s been extremely bad.
That’s why you need to have a system in place that will allow you to react to these situations quick.
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If left untended they can quickly spiral out of control and create a PR nightmare for your business.
In this post I am going to show you a number of tools to help you monitor your brand better. I have included a variety of systems at different price points to cater for your budget and the level of features that your business may need.
Brand Monitoring Tools
Google Alerts has had its ups and downs over the years.
In-fact it went through a period of time where it barely worked at all, which was covered by Danny Sullivan here.
It does seem to have improved a lot recently although the tool hasn’t seen any new development.
That being said, it’s still quite handy for quickly and easily setting up alerts for keywords and you can use advanced search operators which is helpful.
- All or the best – choose how many results
- Choose how often you get updates (as-it-happens, daily or weekly)
- Choose multiple result types including news, blogs, videos, discussions and more
- Deliver alerts to your email address or an RSS feed
- Refine your search query with advanced search operators
Social Mention is a real-time social search engine that allows you to pick up mentions of your brand or specific keywords on blogs, news sites, microblogs, social media sites and more.
This is a great free tool that pulls out some very useful data although I have found that overall the data seems to be slightly limited when it comes to Twitter although there are other tools that can help you monitor that easily.
I get a lot of good results when picking up mentions through Facebook which is something other tools seem to struggle with.
All in all, it’s a very handy tool and it’s free.
- Useful analysis tools (e.g. sentiment analysis)
- Get a breakdown of the frequency and individual authors talking about your brand
- Support for email alerts
- Support for RSS feeds
- Support for CSV/Excel exports of mentions and different pieces of data
- Advanced search functionality
- Support for multiple languages
Topsy is an incredible monitoring tool that is completely free to use.
The platform seems to lean more towards Twitter which means this platform would definitely complement Social Mention.
What’s also great about this system is that it searches every tweet ever sent and has an archive of every tweet since Twitter launched in 2006, that’s something that not many companies actually have access to.
Topsy was also bought by Apple for $200 million towards the end of 2013.
- Social analytics tool to track keywords, usernames and domain names mentioned on Twitter
- Social trends tool to identify the most popular, tweets, links, photos and videos
- Date filter allowing custom search dates
- Advanced search function
- Helps to identify influencers
- View individual mentions on Twitter with the ability to reply, retweet and favourite from within Topsy
- Support for email alerts
- Monitor links, tweets, photos, videos and influencers
Hootsuite is not primarily known as a brand monitoring tool. Its primary function is to help you manage your social profiles.
The platform supports multiple social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Google+ (pages only until Google release their profiles API), Linkedin and more.
You can expand the functionality with the handy app directory and there are also mobile apps to help you when you are on the go.
Hootsuite allows you to setup tabs for each of your social accounts and then add streams within them.
You can then add a number of different types of streams (as shown in the picture above).
The one you want is the search stream, you can then monitor mentions of your brand in real-time and reply/favourite/retweet as appropriate.
If you go for the pro account you get the option to use teams which can make managing your brand mentions very easy with the ‘assign to team’ option.
- Social analytics
- App directory with a wide range of tools to extend functionality
- Monitor your mentions from mobile devices
- Support for teams in pro account
- Complete social management platform
Price: free and pro accounts start at $5.99/month
Mention is a feature packed brand monitoring tool.
There is a free account available to get you started, although you can have a free trial of the pro or enterprise level accounts for 30 days without the need for handing over your credit card details.
Each account comes with its own quota so you can easily monitor usage and upgrade if/when you need to.
In the enterprise account you will get access to a team’s feature with a built in task management system. You can also monitor your teams activity and share an alert externally to someone who isn’t a team member.
I also quite like the Google Alerts import function which makes it very easy to migrate all of your alerts.
- Support for multiple devices
- Support for teams (enterprise account only)
- Sentiment analysis (pro and enterprise accounts only)
- Data export (pro and enterprise accounts only)
- Collaborative tools (enterprise account only)
- Add Facebook and Twitter account to react through the Mention platform
- 1 month data storage
- Google Alerts import functionality
- Real time social alerts
- Web alerts updated daily
Price: free with premium accounts available and a 30 day free trial
Talkwalker starts at a much higher price point than the brand monitoring tools I have previously listed, but it’s easy to see why with the amount of features you get access to.
Especially the support for monitoring print, TV and radio – that’s impressive!
You can use Talkwalker as a fully-fledged social management platform and also use it as a powerful influencer research tool.
If you have been featured in an article you can also find engagement and influence metrics along with an approximate # of views that an article will get. Powerful stuff.
If you get the opportunity, take a free trial or take a look at the live demo.
- Support for monitoring print, TV and radio
- Customisable email alerts and RSS feeds
- Monitor Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages
- Over 150 million websites crawled and indexed
- Automated reporting
- Twitter firehose access (monitor tweets in real-time)
- Track specific websites
- Identify social influencers
- Sentiment analysis
- Manage social media profiles including G+ pages
- Built in team functionality.
- Comparison tool
Price: starts at 480€/month
Brandwatch is another very powerful tool. If you’re looking for a solid enterprise level brand monitoring solution, this is a great fit.
I’ve found the platform to be useful for a number of applications such as influencer research and even content planning.
When you add a query to track a site you get a lot of data to look through which includes a topic cloud and by tracking your competitors you can find the topics the topics they talk about most at a glance.
You can easily track your own Twitter and Facebook channels alongside your competitors to see how you are standing out.
One thing in particular that I really like about how the Twitter data is visualised is the differentiation between the activities of the ‘owner’ (the Twitter account you’re monitoring) and the activities of their ‘audience’.
With other tools separating tweets from the account you’re tracking and tweets from the audience can sometimes be difficult.
With a lot of these tools I generally find the interfaces quite cumbersome because of the level of data, but I find the Brandwatch interface very straight forward to use and I quite like the aesthetics. That’s a personal thing though.
Brandwatch makes a lot of data available to you so it’s well worth getting a demo to see for yourself.
- Currently supports Facebook and Twitter
- Powerful Boolean search string feature
- Support for 27 different languages
- Historical data
- Locational data
- Sentiment analysis
- Topic clouds
- Custom email alerts
- Powerful charting functionality
- Full data export functionality
- Full access to real-time Twitter data
- Unlimited users
Price: starts at £500/month
Monitoring your brand is important.
If you don’t then you could potentially get yourself into some trouble. Monitoring allows you to resolve potential issues before they get out of control – which does happen in the world of social media.
Which brand monitoring tools have you found to work quite well?
We would love to hear more in the comments below.