Brandwatch Analytics Review & Rating
Brandwatch Analytics is a great social media analytics choice for digital marketing professionals employed by mostly larger businesses and enterprises. While it’s not overly difficult, the tool (which starts at $1,000 per month for 10,000 mentions) is aimed at professionals who prefer a data-driven user interface (UI) over one that’s more visually oriented. While it doesn’t provide the combined publishing and analytics capabilities of Sprout Social, our Editors’ Choice for SMBs, and can’t quite match the depth of Synthesio and Sysomos, our Editors’ Choices for enterprises, Brandwatch Analytics is robust enough on the data analytics front to be worth a close look for numbers-oriented organizations.
This tool is not only a capable analytics platform, but also includes additional features, such as an extensive social listening and influencer identification toolset. The platform has also bolstered its audience analytics over the years by adding Brandwatch Insights Central (a free repository of analytics dashboards) and a social query engine called Query Wizard, as well as launching its Brandwatch Audiences product.
Versions and Pricing
All of this functionality comes with a hefty price tag, however, which puts Brandwatch Analytics firmly in the midsized half of the small-to-midsized business equation as well as larger concerns and and enterprises. Since we originally published our review, Brandwatch Analytics has increased their pricing, which now starts from $1,000 per month for 10,000 mentions. The company wouldn’t provide us with exact pricing from there but said costs go up in relation to volume. Pricing can also be set based on queries (the company would not provide exact information on this, either.) You can get in touch with Brandwatch’s sales team to get a quote for your business but it’s a shame that pricing information isn’t more clear.
While this is comparable with our Editors’ Choices for enterprises, it’s easy to see how costs can add up. For a marketing professional who is just learning the social ropes or for an SMB looking for an all-in-one publishing and analytics app that won’t break the bank, there are easier Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions that cost less, such as Sprout Social. That said, for an enterprise brand that has the right combination of online products or services (and a social media or database guru on staff), Brandwatch Analytics could be well worth the investment.
Features and UI
We’ve always liked the Brandwatch Analytics UI and it’s as straightforward and usable as ever. There are minimal graphics and design elements. Across the top horizontally, the header contains project-related controls and settings, as well as drop-down menu informational components such as Brandwatch Notifications, Help, and Account Preferences and Settings. This is also where you can access Brandwatch Insights Central. The dashboard is multilingual and available in more than 44 languages. Running down the navigational menu on the left-hand side are the main working components, including Alerts, Dashboards, Data, Reports, and Tools.
While Mention and Sprout Social have a central dashboard from which accounts are managed, Brandwatch Analytics has a dashboard for each network source within a project. The Data menu drills down to separate tabs for Channels, Groups, and Queries. Queries are saved searches that gather internet data based on keywords you specify; you set queries up once. Channels are actually the network of dashboards and groups that you can set up by using your queries. They are good for comparison purposes, and they assist in benchmarking over time and finding Share of Voice.
The Tools menu is huge; this is where most of the
Next, you’ll find the Reports tab. There are three types of reports: the Snapshot Report, the Twitter Channel Report, and the Benchmark Report. The Snapshot Report provides an overview of project statistics. The Twitter Channel Report gathers all Twitter data, including all activity, hashtags, and mentions as well as most impactful influencers and tweets. The Benchmark Report gathers and aggregates historical data for the project and alerts; this is where custom alerts are set up to be sent via email.
Since we last reviewed Brandwatch Analytics, the company has added a number of new features designed to make gathering and analyzing data. The company has added Explore and Entities, two features which work in tandem to visualize your data. Explore lets you apply dozens of pre-made filters on your data sets, where you can view insights with the click of a button. These insights are delivered in a word cloud presentation. Entities automatically classifies your mentions and sorts them by emoji, hashtag, location, organization, and people. If you are not a technical person, then you may find the new Dashboard Wizard to be exactly what you were looking for. This Dashboard Wizard gives you pre-made use case dashboards. This, along with the addition of a basic Quick Search option, makes the solution a lot more user-friendly.
Setup and Ease of Use
We set up Facebook and Twitter pages for our test business and an email account to service them. We populated each new social media account with tweets, retweets, and mentions. Brandwatch Analytics gave us an account populated with dummy data. The accounts were not swarmed with activity but there was enough activity to test features.
We were set up with three basic queries for our business to test the project features. Brandwatch Analytics lets you build dashboards from Facebook, Instragram, and Twitter. One new addition is the ability to harvest data from Reddit, which Brandwatch tells us they are the first to legally obtain. It monitors hundreds of other video sites, blogs, forums, and news sites from which you can glean data through building queries and creating rules. Brandwatch users can also track their own Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter channels as well as those of competitors. This lets them analyze their channel metrics, topics, followers,
Brandwatch Analytics slices and dices data using more technical language and with greater flexibility than Mention or Sprout Social. As we moved through our setup process, the UI guided us with specific examples (and reasons why it should be done as shown) in pop-up message form. It also supported setup and deployment with a comprehensive library of “How-To” articles and videos. The company recently added Brandwatch Community as well, which is a discussion and feedback platform forum.
We tested how well Brandwatch Analytics found mentions on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We also tested how well it sent associated alerts, assigned responses to team members, formulated reports using the data, and provided competitive analysis. Brandwatch Analytics pulled in all mentions very quickly, and we were able to assign responses to team members when setting up rules. Our assignments landed as expected in our email inbox. We set up our competitive analysis by adding queries for competitors and then created a customized dashboard from the queries.
Brandwatch Signals, a real-time analytics component within the Alerts section, automatically alerts specified email recipients to potential crises, emerging social data trends, influencer spikes, and changes in sentiment. It’s a handy automation feature of the platform and one of the best alerts of the bunch to getting a jump on mitigating and diffusing an emergency situation.
Data Analysis, Reporting, and Monitoring
Brandwatch Analytics’ latest feature updates to the platform have given it an even more rock-solid listening and monitoring toolkit for social brands. The new Insights Central marketplace of prebuilt dashboards is available from the top navigation bar and takes you to a repository of project and social research. It’s one of the most extensive free selections of social data of all the tools we tested. The dashboards are designed for use cases that include tracking purchase intent, influencer marketing, campaign measurement, and more. Since our last review, the company has added a host of other features. Emoji are creeping into business life and Brandwatch has answered customer demand by adding emoji analysis. You can also look at logo mentions, which monitors for uses of your company’s logo.
The Query Wizard is a complex social search builder that uses natural language instead of Boolean logic for less experienced social marketers or business users. To use the Query Wizard, you first create a query. Then you choose whether to track a brand or a campaign hashtag, and the language and locations from which to pull data. You then fill out nicknames and details for the brand you’re tracking, specific products and associated hashtags, specific media sources to check, and any words you’d like to exclude. The Query Wizard will build the query while giving you a block of Boolean logic, without writing any pseudo code. It’s similar to the “teach-Boolean-as-you-go” querying experience of a tool such as Crimson Hexagon or Talkwalker, and a major improvement to Brandwatch Analytics’ social search experience. When we first tried the Query Wizard, we thought it was an incredibly beneficial addition to the platform; we’re glad to see it’s just as effective as ever.
Also new is the ability to download reports straight into a Microsoft Powerpoint presentation. When we tested this feature, the reports were pretty basic-looking but effective. It looked just like a report that a human put together manually. Having the ability to quickly put together a presentation before, say, a meeting is a very welcome feature.
Finally, the aforementioned Brandwatch Audiences, which is built on PeerIndex‘s social influence data science algorithms, is designed to arm social marketers with easy access to cross-referenced audience breakdowns, influencers, and trending data. You can build a custom audience from scratch based on a specific account’s followers, on keywords, or on specific demographics to create live dashboards with unlimited searches and filtering. The PeerIndex’s Influence Graph maps any queried user’s interactions and assigns influencer scores based on engagement. This kind of mapping is a major influencer identification improvement and really cements Brandwatch Analytics’ influencer discovery and categorization chops.
Enterprise Social Listening and Brand Analytics
Brandwatch Analytics is a very capable and powerful analytics, social listening, and influencer identification tool that can deliver a litany of social data insights. The company’s Resources and “How-To” guides go a long way toward minimizing the time it takes to get up to speed. Importantly, it can be integrated with other social tools such as Hootsuite for stronger combined publishing and listening capabilities.
Brandwatch Analytics has a long list of integrations but some of the most recent additions add support for Conversocial and Salesforce as well as Domo, a powerful business intelligence (BI) tool, among others.
Despite bolstering its feature set, Brandwatch Analytics falls short of an Editors’ Choice to better enterprise listening tools, prices out most SMB budgets, and won’t work for shoppers who are looking for combined social publishing and analytics. Also, we were disappointed in its newer, more vague pricing structure. Yet, Brandwatch Analytics, with its improved toolset consisting of Brandwatch Audiences, Insights Central, and Query Wizard, can still be a deft social analytics, listening, and influencer identification tool for the right enterprise brand to use to make sense of its social data.