Imagine a beautiful world where every one of your customers tells you what they think of your brand in complete honesty, and even those who don’t want to be your customers tell you why it is the case.
And even though the truth might hurt sometimes, this scenario is a dream come true for marketers everywhere.
Except, it’s not a dream – it’s the reality we live in.
Anna, we are so sorry you experienced this. Behavior like you reported is not allowed on the Lyft platform, and we find reports like this very concerning. We immediately took action as soon as we received your tweet and a member of our safety team will be in touch soon.
Although tracking brand mentions is quite a simple concept, the tools that do that may vary greatly in price, features, and platforms they monitor.
In this article, you will find the tools which will empower your brand to track, engage with, and analyze social mentions, whatever budget and goals you have in mind.
The true strength of Brandwatch lies in its extremely detailed social data analytics.
Although you can see individual mentions in the pop-up window when you click on statistics graphs, to interact with them you’ll need to go to the social network’s website. That makes liking/responding to mentions quite tedious.
The company offers three platforms:
Each of them has its own unique features.
The Analytics platform examines the data you collect and segments it based on most common words, sentiment, location, gender and so on.
You can see a minute-by-minute analysis of mentions, so you are able to spot even minor changes immediately. Iris AI technology will alert you if it detects an unusual peak in your mentions.
The Vizia platform is devoted to building reports. It allows you to integrate Google Analytics, BuzzSumo, and Hootsuite data and choose what metrics you want to present.
You can share reports with the stakeholders, your colleagues or management by email.
The Audiences platform was designed to carry out thorough Audience research.
It’s basically a database of Twitter users which you can search based on the keywords in bios and recent tweets, location, gender and the accounts they follow.
You can analyze the ongoing conversations of your audience to figure out what they are talking about and who they are engaging with.
In addition, Brandwatch offers unique features such as image recognition, emoji analysis, and smart reports.
As you see, Brandwatch provides you with extremely valuable insights that could guide every step of your social media marketing strategy.
However, if your goal is the day-to-day community management, social support, and lead generation, you’d be better off with another tool.
Platforms monitored: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Sina Weibo, VK, QQ, news and blogs, the web.
Pricing: The Pro plan (which is the most affordable) costs $800 a month with 10,000 monthly mentions.
Mention’s emphasis is on real-time monitoring. Once you set up an alert, you get mentions that date back no more than 24 hours. Historical data is only available in Custom plans.
Mention offers several settings (by date, language, and source of mentions) and a Boolean search mode to design a perfect search query.
Once you set up your alert, you’re able to react to social posts within Mention’s platform and connect a Buffer account to schedule reposts of favorable mentions, for example.
You can tag individual mentions to unite them in one group.
In the Insights center, Mention dissects your social listening data using multiple parameters including sentiment, reach, language.
The tool enables you to customize your reports, thus from the array of metrics you can choose those which you want to include in your automated report.
Moreover, Mention provides users with access to their API, so you can integrate the Insights with other marketing software you use.
Mention aims to be “on the watch” 24/7, so it will automatically send the latest mentions by email or Slack. They also have a mobile app so you can deal with new mentions on the go.
Platforms monitored: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, news and blogs, the web.
Pricing: Free trial available. In Solo plan for $29, you get 2 alerts and a monthly limit of 3,000 mentions.
Keyhole’s main difference from other tools is its limit in platforms it monitors.
It is another tool that puts focus on analytics, however, in addition to mentions analytics, they offer account analytics. But first, let’s talk about brand tracking.
Keyhole lets you interact with mentions without leaving their platform as well as shows you an in-depth analysis of them.
It breaks down mentions by sentiment, gender, location (for the U.S. you can see a particular state), original vs. reposts and source, meaning through which OS or app a mention was posted.
The historical data from Twitter is available on request.
It also identifies the most influential accounts and the most popular phrases, hashtags, and links mentioned with your brand name. The machine learning algorithm will notify you if:
There is a sudden or predicted spike in activity in the conversation.
A user complains about your brand, service or product.
New influential users join the conversation.
A post begins to go viral.
As for account analytics mentioned earlier, Keyhole pulls the data from your own social media account and gives you valuable insights on your most popular posts, most engaged followers, the best time to post and more.
Keyhole is somewhat limited in the numbers of platforms it supports in comparison to other tools, but if you’re pivoting to Instagram, for example, this tool could be extremely useful.
Platforms monitored: Twitter, Instagram, forums, news sites, and blogs.
Pricing: Free trial available. In the Going Solo plan for $44, you get 3 keywords and 3 social media accounts with 5,000 mentions a month.
4. Social Mention
If you’re not ready to invest in brand tracking, but you need something better than Google Alerts, Social Mention is the best choice. And it’s free.
When putting in your brand name, you can choose what sources you want to monitor and the language(s) of the mentions. You can see the mentions either chronologically or sorted by source.
In addition to real-time mentions of your brand, Social Mention also shows you:
Statistics such as the “strength” of your brand (the likelihood that it will be discussed on social media).
The overall sentiment analysis.
The “passion” behind mentions (the likelihood that one account will mention it repeatedly).
Top keywords and hashtags associated with it.
How many unique authors are talking about it.
The top authors based on the number of mentions.
This is a good tool if your brand is not quite big yet, and you just want to make sure that you’ll know whenever someone mentions it.
Tip: If you need social listening analytics such as location, demographic data or influencers for free, but don’t need to see individual mentions, try Talkwalker’s free solution.
Platforms monitored: Twitter, Reddit, Flickr, Google News, blogs.
Some tools focus on real-time brand tracking and engagement, some collect social data and analyze it – Awario does both. (Disclosure: I work at Awario.)
From the get-go, you get a lot of opportunities to fine-tune your tracking, you can:
Choose what platforms and countries you want to monitor.
Add negative keywords.
Choose the date range of mentions.
Choose how often you want to be notified of new mentions.
The users are notified of new mentions by email or push notifications.
If that isn’t enough, you can go to the Boolean search mode which allows users to create elaborate queries. It is especially useful if you have a brand name that is a common word.
This tool looks for mentions across social media and the web from the moment you set up an alert. All the mentions are shown in the feed, from which you can like, upvote, and reply to them without having to leave the tool.
You can group mentions by author or conversation and filter them by date, sentiment, and reach.
This proves to be extremely functional when, for example, a person with a large social media following posts something negative about your brand.
The sooner you find this mention and respond, the sooner the unfortunate situation will be mitigated and potential PR crisis averted.
This fucking “detox Tea” company are using an image of an eating disorder survivor, without her permission, to promote their bullshit product. This is so unethical, just like everything else about these bold, evil companies. They have no morals. This is so gross. @skinnymeteapic.twitter.com/dvLIn4Ab3r
You get both real-time monitoring and historical data, which means you get access to the posts mentioning your brand name that had been published even before you started using the tool. You can export this raw data in CSV.
Now, let’s talk analytics. Awario uses a number of metrics to analyze gathered mentions and gives you the following insights:
The number of mentions.
The overall reach of mentions.
The breakdown of countries and languages (if you choose to track your brand in more than one country and more than one language).
The breakdown of the sentiment of mentions.
The topic cloud with the words commonly associated with your brand name.
Most influential and active users who mentioned your brand.
If you decide to monitor several keywords (for example, yours and your competitor’s brand name, your products’ names, etc.), you can compare them in the Alert Comparison tab.
You can also see influencers who mentioned your brand in the Influencers tab.
All of this information can be exported in a nice-looking report, either via a shareable link or in PDF.
The flexibility of the tool allows you to go beyond tracking your brand mentions and carry out a wide range of marketing activities such as market research, content curation, link building, and so on.
It even has a social selling module titled Leads that uses predictive insights to find people who’re asking for recommendations about a product similar to yours or looking for an alternative to your competitors.
Local search is probably more visible than it has ever been since the advent of Google Maps. Yet, paradoxically, there’s almost no consumer-facing innovation taking place. There’s Google, Yelp, Facebook (somewhat) and a range of specialized vertical apps and sites, some of which have simply survived but aren’t thriving.
Little or no ‘horizontal’ innovation. Part of the lack of “horizontal” innovation in local is likely the result of venture capital not wanting to fund anything that goes up directly against Google. The company may appear to many investors now like an insurmountable juggernaut in local/mobile search.
Any new local-consumer startups, therefore, are likely to appear in specific industries or otherwise offer specialized use cases. Such is the case with Hotspot Law, a new legal search site that hopes to bring ZocDoc-style appointment scheduling to the legal profession. It also seeks to provide a more reliable and cost-effective flow of leads to consumer attorneys.
The legal vertical has a quite a few competitors, including Avvo (Internet Brands), LegalZoom, FindLaw and several others. Despite this, Hotspot Law founder Felix Shipkevich believes he’s solving two unsolved problems in the legal vertical.
“The legal market is in dire need of an upgrade,” argues Shipkevich.
Making direct connections with lawyers. “Once you’ve finished searching online, you have to start calling,” he said. “You don’t get to speak directly to attorneys, you typically talk to a gatekeeper.” He points out that this process of getting to a lawyer is time consuming for people who need legal help. “None of these [completing] platforms directly connect the consumer with an attorney.”
Shipkevich, who is an attorney and faculty member at Hofstra Law School, said he was inspired by ZocDoc and the way it enables direct connections between doctors and patients. Similarly, he wanted to remove the friction in lawyer-consumer matchmaking. Shipkevich explained that also sees Hotspot Law as a way to make “justice” more accessible to consumers.
Why you should care. Legal lead-gen is costly.Shipkevich believes that existing legal sites and ad solutions don’t serve lawyers particularly well either. “PPC advertising can be extremely expensive; in New York it can be $60 to $80 per click.” He adds that “Yelp is expensive. Sometimes it takes $2,000 to $4,000 to bring in a case.”
He wants to solve that problem with simplified reasonable pricing for lawyers who may be struggling to find clients. But he also sees Hotspot Law evolving into a platform to help attorneys manage existing clients. Currently the site only operates in New York, with plans to expand geographic coverage in the coming months.
For the time being Shipkevich will need to rely on SEO for discovery but over time he hopes to build a branded consumer destination. It will be very challenging given the current structure of local SERPs. One has to admire the ambition and chutzpah.
About The Author
Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He researches and writes about the connections between digital and offline commerce. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google+.
About one year ago, everything changed for me and for our community.
A tragedy that struck home so hard it shook us to our core.
A dear friend, brilliant mind, adored father, respected colleague … the list goes on, left us in a way that hits straight to the heart and wakes you up like very few other events can.
I certainly woke up that day. That alarm screamed as loud as it could and I still hear it to this day.
I know I wasn’t alone. So many of my peers experienced similar emotions, sensations, and reactions.
We Could No Longer Ignore the Problem
Sadly, this wasn’t the first tragedy we’d encountered that year – we lost other friends and colleagues as well.
But we knew we couldn’t stand to lose any more amazing people.
We couldn’t look away. We couldn’t just carry on anymore.
So we started talking.
I have been blown away by our internet marketing community. Many of us have never even met face to face and yet the comradery, the friendship, the support among us run rampant!
Never before have I seen a group of people come together so quickly and so openly as when we were forced to face this tragedy.
Groups were formed. Calls were made. Texts were sent. Face-to-face get-togethers were had. Columns like this one were created.
And the best part of it all? It didn’t stop!
We saw the need to stay connected. We recognized that we are a family that needs to support each other. And, perhaps most of all, we saw that we were not alone in our struggles.
It has been amazing to see the openness and honesty that has become so commonplace over the past year. I have seen people that once felt they couldn’t risk being seen without their mask on break down and lay themselves out in the most vulnerable ways.
I include myself in that list. I have become more able to reveal myself to the world around me. That has only been made possible by others sharing in that journey with me.
In leading up to this piece, I knew that I wanted to really find a way to focus on the positive changes that our community has seen because of Jordan Kasteler.
I wanted to honor him in a way that really brought some form of good to this incredible loss that we all experienced due to his passing.
Where Are We Now? Thoughts from Our Community
I reached out and asked a few people in our community if they would share some words of how they have been changed for the better as well as how they have seen our community as whole making changes to support each other over the past year.
Here is what they had to say:
“Working days, nights, and weekends was normal for me a few years ago. However, at that time I couldn’t say that I was really happy. I didn’t understand at the time that my work-life balance was completely off, and I now know that that could have developed into something truly horrifying.
I eventually reached such an emotionally unstable point that I hit a time where one week I was super productive, but the following week I felt hugely demotivated and absolutely miserable. (I know this is a familiar story with many others as well, I hear people telling similar stories and sharing similar experiences regularly.)
Over the past while, I have been working diligently to save myself from this emotional trap. This new focus has led me to investing more time into things that are not related to work and putting more time into the things that help to create a happier life for myself.
I can see that more people in our community are becoming more aware of the need to make this sort of a switch to their schedules and priorities as well, which is brilliant to see!”
“In the past year, I have noticed a massive shift in our community not being ashamed to reach out and ask for help, advice, or just a kind word. I feel like masks have been dropped, and people are not embarrassed to discuss what make them “real”; I love it!
I think many people used to feel they had to have public persona that was acceptable, and now they know we all have issues and it is OK to talk about.
I have a picture of Jordan out that I see every day. I moved past the guilt and the pain when I looked at it, and he is now a daily reminder to stay present with my friends as much as I can.
And, it is a reminder to me to stay focused on my well-being as well. I tend to overwork and do too much for everyone and end up exhausted. I take steps now to take care of me more than ever before.”
“Though I’ve been in the industry for years, I’m still a somewhat newer member of the SEO community. Call it fear of rejection, social anxiety, whatever, I’ve always been nervous to put myself in a position to be judged by my peers.
It really wasn’t until I was invited to an amazing Facebook group made up of a small close-knit group of industry peers focusing on supporting each other through the day-to-day struggles that I realized that nearly everyone shared the same fears, anxieties and experiences that I have.
What a relief it is to know there is a place where we share what we are feeling and have so much empathy! Finally I have a place I can turn to where people understand me.
Even if I don’t share as much as others, I have peace of mind knowing there are people there ready and willing to listen and help, where there’s no judgement, just open arms.”
“We’ve definitely made a lot of progress over the past year as a community. However, if I’m being completely honest, we still have a long way to go. I’m still hearing about issues of bullying. I’m seeing people piling on people they disagree with on Twitter.
While, thankfully, these are in the minority, the polarization and black-and-white thinking needs to stop. The judging and assuming needs to stop. The trolling and “mob mentality” needs to stop.
We need to stop fighting each other and start lifting each other up – treating everyone like human beings. Nobody is perfect, but I hope we will continue to see more people be able to let go of their hate and negativity to accept love and positivity into their lives. I know that will continue to be our aim with Friday Focus – to remind everyone that they are not alone in their struggles.
Ultimately, though, I am so happy to be a part of something so positive in our community – and it’s great to see so many others jumping onboard, too.”
Kim Krause Berg:
“It’s easy to assume that your peers are generally doing better than you, making more money than you, and are super successful in every way. It is only in the past few years that I realized this is baloney.
I respect people who remove their masks and show who they really are. We are people with lives and struggles, heartache, depression, and pain.
In the past year I have opened up more and made new friendships as a result. We have more in common with each other than we might think.”
“Over the past year I’ve seen an incredible shift in our community.
Social media itself breeds an environment where we see only the best of our peers and post the best of ourselves and being in marketing, needing to be on social media, needing to market ourselves on social media and seeing only the best version of those trained in presenting the best version of themselves – one can feel very alone in difficult times. Compounding that we face an often isolated profession where even sitting beside someone, we are focused on a screen and all they contain.
Sadly, we all know too well what that leads to, and over the past year we collectively recognized that we are human. That those around us are human. That others need support and perhaps most importantly, that we do too.
We finally heard the words spoken all too often after those tragic events, “If only they had asked for help.” And we took it upon ourselves to do so.
We finally knew to listen, to watch and to find out how those around us were doing, lest we face the loss of another friend who we would have dropped everything for, ‘If only they had asked for help.’
The community has grown it’s heart and soul over the past year.
There is still a lot to do. There are still many who don’t know where to turn. Many who don’t know who to talk to. But each time we reach out and each time we talk about challenges openly, share our own and listen to theirs … each time we do that, the community grows it’s heart a little more.
It has been a incredible year of change. While we will forever mourn the spark, the now burning fire keeps us all warmer.”
“One thing that has changed dramatically in our industry over the last year, is that as individuals, we’ve become a lot more vocal about asking for help when we need it.
I think most people are more than willing to help each other. They just have to know that someone needs help. Now that people are starting to open up more about their personal struggles, the community is able to better support them.”
I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you – whether I know you in person, whether I know you online, even if I don’t know you at all –- thank you for being here.
Thank you for caring and sharing and being a part of the positive change that we are all working so hard at creating.
Keep being a force for good in our community.
Together we will make a difference.
This piece is written in memory, honor, recognition, and gratitude of Jordan Kasteler. For all that he gave us, shared with us, taught us and left us with. We are eternally grateful.
***PLEASE DO NOT STRUGGLE ALONE! Reach out, ask for help and know that you are valued. CLICK HERE for a list of phone numbers for Suicide Hotlines around the world.***