Brandwatch: What is it? How do I use it?

I’ve been using Brandwatch for quite a few years and over this time many people have asked me what it is and what it does. Below is a short overview of the system and how to get started.

What is Brandwatch?

Brandwatch is a social media monitoring and analytics platform that analyses data across the web based on keywords, phrases and locations. Users of Brandwatch can monitor what is being said about brands, products, competitors, industry and topics by writing queries.


Brandwatch interface

Once this data has been collected, users can then use the analytic tools and features to manipulate this data to get useful and actionable information about what they are monitoring.

Currently, Brandwatch crawls over 70 million sources across the globe in over 25 languages. It’s pretty powerful. 

What can Brandwatch do?

Sources Brandwatch can monitor:

  • Blogs
  • Forums
  • News sites
  • Major social networks

What Brandwatch can analyse:

  • Language – filter data by language
  • Date and time – include data ranges for content
  • Location – look by country, state or city
  • Sentiment – good, bad or neutral feelings
  • Topic – growing trends and common phrases

Information you can produce as a result of this data:

  • Dashboards – simple graphs and word clouds
  • Files –export raw data to CSV format
  • Email alerts – you can get an email sent directly to you when we have a matched criteria

In simple terms,

Brandwatch is all about finding and manipulating data in order to make better informed decisions about your social media and online activity.

It does not manage social media accounts so it cannot replace a social media management tool. However, check out the recent integration with Hootsuite to find out more about social media account management.

brandwatch demographics

Brandwatch demographic summary feature

Although a lot of the system is automated; to get value from this system requires human intervention and regular reviewing. For instance, areas such as sentiment are difficult for a computer to get 100% accurate. If sentiment is an important metric for you to understand, it will take time to review every mention and tag it accordingly.

What you will need to know

Although Brandwatch is an incredibly powerful system, to make the most of it you need a bit of time to write the queries. Once these are set up, you then need to spend more time refining the results to make sure you are getting rid of all the nonsense that is not relevant to your search.  Below are some questions worth considering before writing your queries.

  1. What are the main keywords?
  2. What social platforms is already have set up and what are the urls? (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instgram..)
  3. Any key areas that are associated with these keywords? (sub topics)
  4. Has a hashtag or phrase been set-up alongside this brand or campaign?
  5. Is there any content you should be aware of that is currently supporting this campaign / brand?

What you will get back

Once the first set of data has run for this search you can view some fancy looking graphs that will look something like the ones below.



You will then need to invest some more time to analyse the detail of these data so that they can be refined.

For more information on the platform, head over to their website.  Currently, Prices start from around £500 per month.

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