Back in the day—not too long ago—people couldn’t use the internet for advertisement.
They couldn’t even learn about their customer base by using online tools.
The absolute horror.
How did they survive before the internet?
Fortunately, this is 2018 and you don’t have to go through all the old means to learn about your customers.
It can be simple if you have the right online tools now.
This is where Brand24 enters the picture.
Before we get started with our review of the tool itself, let’s look at some information about Brand24.
What Is Brand24?
Brand24 is an award-winning tool that helps its users track conversations happening around their particular industry. Their focus is on creating a usable tool with great information.
Their customer base seems to think they’ve done an excellent job, as they currently have some notable businesses like Intel, Ikea, H&M and others who use their tools.
The tool itself is fairly young, but its track record is impeccable and its list of features is quite impressive.
Brand24 gives you the needed tools to track down customers by analyzing mentions of your business (or things related to your business online).
Also, it gives access to information about the biggest influencers in your field.
One of the best parts about Brand24 is it actually provides this information in an easy-to-use package with readable dashboards and usable details.
This advantage cannot be overstated and is most definitely not ubiquitous among the internet tools you’ll find.
To demonstrate, let’s get right into the features of the tool.
Brand24 Review: The Tool to Master Mentions, Keywords and Customer Interactions
Start Tracking Your Brand Mentions
One of the best strategies to take for your brand is to keep track of when and how it’s mentioned.
Understanding exactly how others perceive your company poises you to boost its reputation through timed marketing strategies.
Let’s review how this plays out when using Brand24.
There’s a simple, three-step process to start tracking your mentions across social media outlets online.
Step #1: Add Keywords and Hashtags
Add keywords into their input box. Add and track as many keywords (or hashtags) as you’d like.
Step #2: Choose Your Language
Simply choose the language in which you want to track results.
If you’re likely to deal in more than one language, it’s better to put “Any” so that languages (other than your native one) are factored in.
Step #3: Review Your Stats and Mentions
Use the excellent, well-organized dashboard to learn about your brand mentions and keywords you’re monitoring.
From this one dashboard page, you can see a timeline of your mentions, reach, likes, shares and comments. You can also scroll through individual mentions organized by source.
While this is all helpful, the real usefulness comes when you start filtering these results and looking at exactly what you need.
Filter Your Tracking Results
Step #1: Edit, Add and Exclude Keywords
The first way to filter your results is by editing, adding and excluding keywords. If you’re like me, you’ll realize the original keywords are either too specific or too broad and need to change. Brand24 makes this easy.
By going to the project settings page (found on the left-hand menu bar), you can easily change the search results by adding or excluding keywords.
One helpful feature that’s available is the ability to require certain keywords.
If you don’t want to rely on one keyword you’re searching, but also want a secondary keyword to appear in all results, this is a great way to accomplish that.
These features are easy to manipulate, which makes for an enjoyable user experience.
Step #2: Refine Your Mention Sources
You can also refine your mention sources, which helps you if you’re particularly focused on one social media outlet or all but one or two social media outlets.
For example, you can filter out Instagram if you lack an account, or if you solely utilize Facebook as a primary method of social media.
Step #3: Add Custom Notifications
Whenever I use any type of business tool, automation is always top of my list of preferred features.
If a tool can’t complete searches and reports for me, I generally don’t want to waste time or money.
That’s why it’s great that you can customize notifications with Brand24. You only receive notifications for details you care about (and not for things of little interest to you or your company).
You can easily adjust the parameters for these notifications, which is useful to filter out the noise (like receiving new mention notifications).
One notification parameter I find helpful is the ability to change the email addresses each individual notification is sent to. This has obvious applications if you have different managers in charge of different outlets.
With a simple adjustment, Instagram notifications could be sent to your Instagram manager and news mentions go to your news manager.
There’s an infinite number of applications for these custom notifications.
Step #4: Set Up Email Reports
Setting up email reports is closely related to setting up custom notifications. But rather than simply getting notifications, you and your team receive reports on specific aspects you’re able to customize.
These reports are another great way to automate this process so that you can spend less time filtering through search results and more time using the data that Brand24 supplies you.
Step #5: Add Additional Mention Sources (TripAdvisor, Yelp and Facebook Fan Pages)
Finally, you can even add additional mention sources if you need to analyze the content and community of other websites.
This is one of my favorite features of Brand24 and one that I think sets it apart. You can easily monitor posts on Yelp, TripAdvisor and Facebook Fan pages to see how your reviews are doing.
Many people rely on website reviews, so monitoring them is essential to maintain a positive reputation with your audience.
Monitor and Interact with Your Mentions
If you don’t interact with the people who mention your brand, you might as well not use Brand24.
This is where it becomes relevant to improving your business and increasing customer satisfaction.
Step #1: Filter Mentions by Source, Sentiment, Influencer Score, Location and Date
Want to interact with the people who mention your brand? Filter mentions by source, sentiment, influencer score, location and date.
Obviously, this doesn’t put you in direct contact, but it does help you decide who to contact and in what way to target.
One of the most helpful filters here is the Influencer Score, which shows exactly how much influence that person has over the community.
While Brand24 doesn’t give specific information about how the Influencer Score calculates each person, it does say it’s a measure of authority.
It seems, based on the type of user that’s usually ranked high on the influence score metric, that this directly relates to the number of followers and people who read their posts.
By combining this with other filters, you can find people who have high influence over your community and target them according to the source.
Step #2: Mute Authors/Sites to Hide Spam Mentions
Another extremely helpful filter is the ability to mute authors or hide spam mentions.
This helps save the extra time it takes you to scan comments that generally have no weight.
Filtering out users who regularly leave spam mentions will help you stay focused on what you seek—useful, meaningful mentions.
Step #3: Engage with Your Audience
Audience engagement is the ultimate goal here, so it’s no surprise there’s an easy link to engage people or followers who post particular comments.
These links could take you to social media profiles or news site where an article was posted.
Step #4: Customize Your Charts
From the dashboard, you can also customize your charts to show specific data like comments, likes or interactions.
You can specify sources to show only particular sites, and you can even filter by time frame. These filters help you customize your engagement as well as understand overall trends.
Step #5: Quickly Check for Negative and Positive Mentions in the Quotes Tab
Finally, you can scan through positive and negative feedback in the quotes tab to see what the community says about your business.
Tweaking your keyword settings is crucial to make these quotes relevant for your particular purposes.
Export Reports of Your Mentions
Step #1: PDF Reports
There are several ways to export your mentions from Brand24 into a report for use outside of the tool itself.
Exporting is especially useful for those who want to demonstrate Brand24’s results in presentations.
You can easily export mentions into PDF and attach a brand logo, comments and color schemes.
Step #2: Excel Data Exports
For an even more technical look at your data, export your mentions as an Excel sheet—perfect for technical analysis and presentation.
Step #3: Download Customized Data Infographics
Downloading an infographic-style report is not only easy, but also a visually pleasing and interesting way of breaking down data.
This style report is also perfect for presentations and general overviews, as the data is not quite as technical.
Step #4: Create a Widget to Embed on Your Website
Finally, you can even create a custom widget to embed on your website to show recent mentions and positive testimonials to new customers as they visit your website for the first time.
Track Your Most Popular Mentions and Your Top Traffic Sources
There are several different locations on Brand24 where you can track popular mentions and traffic sources.
Using this feature is a great way to understand exactly where your most influential mentions originate and how they affect your standing with the public.
The Analysis Tab
The first detail you should look at in the analysis tab is most popular mentions.
This is very useful for looking at who mentions you at a high level to better understand how that affects your brand.
Far from just being a list of tweets, the most popular mentions tab also shows crucial data points about your mentions that can help you get the most complete picture possible.
For example, you can see the approximate number of viewers, where mentions originate, how many likes they have and how many interactions there are.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of what this tab offers, but it does represent a spectrum of information you can acquire on this well-organized dashboard.
Second, you can also view most popular authors. While this may have overlap with the last tab, it’s useful in its own right. From here, you can see which authors have the most influence on your brand and how their community responds.
This is perfect information to use for a campaign launch to use high-level influencers to boost your brand’s reputation.
The Sources Tab
The sources tab is divided into subcategories just like the analysis tab—by authors and pages.
The Author page reveals exactly which influencers talk about you with the most influence. In addition to a simple list of which authors are the most influential, they provide data on those authors as well.
This data includes details like the reach, influencer score and the number of keyword mentions. With data like this, you can easily break down which authors are the most beneficial for your brand and target them.
Similarly, the Page tab lists the most influential sites where these mentions occur, but also accompanied by helpful data.
You’re able to view your number of mentions on each site, number of site visits and influencer score.
Again, this data is extraordinarily helpful when deciding which sources to target for promotion campaigns, advertisements, etc.
How to Use Hashtag Tracking to Spot Sales Opportunities
One advantageous use of Brand24’s tracking tools is the ability to track hashtags to spot sales opportunities on social media.
This is a very simple process with Brand24 and is the exact same idea as tracking a keyword. Instead of using a keyword, you simply put a hashtag into the box.
Once you do this, you can watch for the results, or set up a notification alert for posts containing the hashtag mentioned online.
This is clearly very practical to keep up with trends and can be used in any field. By keeping up with conversation trends, you can spot sales opportunities as they arise in your field, then jump on them before your competitors do.
Compare with Your Competitors
Another application of this tool is to compare all of the data Brand24 supplies about your business with the same data about your competitors.
Add some keywords for your competitors, and you can monitor exactly how many mentions they receive, where they originate and whether they’re positive or negative. Simple as that!
You can even compare to each of your performance on certain platforms like Facebook, Yelp or other websites.
By fully understanding the conversation around you and your competitors, you set the stage to handle them better when it comes to selling your business to potential customers.
One valuable integration you can make on Brand24 is to connect your Slack account.
This is perfect for a marketing team that all needs access to the data that Brand24 supplies.
You can also apply filters so that only certain mentions get uploaded into the correct channels.
For example, you might have news mentions sent to one Slack channel and social media mentions sent to a different channel for a different team to handle.
Brand24 Plans and Pricing
Brand24 has several different pricing options depending on your needs, but even the most basic account gets access to 50K mentions/mo.
If you’re a larger company with more conversations and mentions, there are advanced options to help with that as well. You can purchase up to 1 million mentions per month.
Each sequential upgrade also gives you access to more features, but the recommended Premium plan is $99/mo and gives you 400K mentions/mo.
Competitors and Drawbacks
I think Brand24 is a fantastic tool, but there are certain aspects others may find a drawback, depending on how they want their tool to work.
One of these potential drawbacks? The lack of integration with SEO tools or any type of SEO support.
For larger companies, it’s better to have two tools: One for analyzing mentions and a second for SEO.
But some smaller companies may want to have one tool that does both. And who could blame them?
Brandwatch, a very similar tool, offers slightly more in the way of audience analysis that I feel partially fills smaller businesses needs.
Of course, my recommendation to anyone is to use two separate tools. But if you’re in a situation where you cannot use two tools for one reason or another, Brandwatch may be a better option.
Whichever tool or tools you end up using, definitely try the free trials before committing.
It’s clear that Brand24 is an excellent tool.
It gives business owners a real edge when it comes to analyzing conversations about their business and understanding the influencers that shape those conversations.
In whatever business stage you find yourself and your company, Brand24 will help you understand your audience and seize opportunities that arise to make sales in that community.
You won’t regret it.
Yassir Sahnoun is a content strategist, writer and co-founder of WriteWorldwide. He helps SaaS businesses with content strategy and SEO. You can learn more about Yassir at YassirSahnoun.com.
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