My Experience Using Brandwatch

We’ve recently started using social media monitoring tool Brandwatch. As a social media agency it is important for us (and our clients) to be aware of what people are saying about our clients and their competitors, to know who is saying these things, and to know where they are saying them. Through monitoring these conversations we hope to discover what both current and potential future customers like and dislike most about our clients, as well as identifying potential future opportunities for our clients to gain ground on, and overtake, their competitors in terms of public perception and ultimately sales.

There are a number of different companies that offer social media monitoring tools, but the price and quality of those services range massively. After reviewing quite a few of these platforms we decided to go with Brandwatch because of their nice, easy to use interface, their reasonable pricing structures, and some of the extra services that they offer - they’ve got a great blog that helps users understand how to use the platform as well as demonstrating why they should be using it. You can also do some really cool things with their API (see 'Tweet Camp' and ‘Social Media Week' below - we’ve got some ideas for projects of our own similar to these, but we need to master the tools first!)

That pretty much covers why we’ve decided to start using Brandwatch, so now I’ll talk about how we’ve found it so far.

Brandwatch offer free training when you open an account with them which is great. Unfortunately for me someone else at the company has used these free sessions, which means that I can’t. I’m not totally alone though, Brandwatch also offer a downloadable user guide (which really helps you get to grips with the Boolean operators and query creation), as well as a series of tutorial videos. Although some of the videos are slightly out of date with the current Brandwatch interface, when you’ve had a play around with the tool its easy enough to figure out which parts of the current interface the videos are telling you you should be visiting.

I’ve decided to test what I’ve learnt so far by monitoring the impact of a press day one of our clients is having tomorrow. I’ve established a baseline of average mentions of the brand over the last month, and will monitor how this changes following the event. The client has also invited a group of influential bloggers to the press day, so I have also created a ‘site group’ that contains each of the respective blogs, and will monitor how the number of mentions on those blogs changes following the event.

One issue I have had in the creation of this ‘site group’ was that some of the bloggers were specifically ‘video bloggers’ so operate solely on YouTube. However, if I tried to add their YouTube channel to the ‘site group’ it would only add the YouTube home page, seeming to suggest that you can only add YouTube as a whole to the ‘site group’, and not individual channels. It is possible to view the number of videos created around the brand, however in this instance it would have been useful to monitor just a select few channels. As I mentioned earlier everything I know about using Brandwatch so far has come from their videos and user guide, so this issue could have more to do with my lack of knowledge rather than a limitation in the tool.

That’s about as far as I’ve got at the moment. I’ll use future blog articles to keep you updated on how I’m finding mastering the tool, as well as any developments that we and our clients make as a result of using Brandwatch.

Paul Shepherd

I've worked in digital communications for around 15 years, and specialised in social media for the past three. Passionate about new technologies, media, and the impact it has on businesses bottom line, I try to bring that passion to every campaign for every brand we work with.