Recently I had to present to about 200 people at a client event a brief “how-to” guide to using Brandwatch Alerts.
It was a scary prospect at first (I’m quite terrified of public speaking), but it made me realise that, whilst there are many varied and wonderful (and quite advanced) ways of using Brandwatch, it is sometimes some of the more basic features that users have overlooked and are not utilising that can be the most powerful.
From a list of the clients I look after, I wanted to see who was actively using Alerts and found there were quite a few who were not.
This in itself is not necessarily unusual; Brandwatch has so much great functionality and flexibility that not everyone uses every part of it, but hopefully this ‘how to’ will show you how easy Alerts are to use and how helpful they can be so that you can get the benefits of utilising such a great feature.
Why use Alerts?
There are many reasons to use Alerts. Perhaps you have a busy boss who doesn’t want to log into the app each day but needs to be updated on the conversation about your brand.
Or you want to know if your competitor is being mentioned, if a campaign is doing well or if one of your key bloggers has been chattering away about one of your products.
Alerts can help you by pinging an email straight to your (or other people’s) inbox, bringing you key insights when you’re too busy to deep dive into the data itself. You can even assign Alerts to people who do not have a Brandwatch log in.
Reputation and community management
Let’s use our own team here at Brandwatch as an example of one way to use Alerts. We like a bit of an ego massage, so it’s great to know when we’re getting positive feedback on the platform or new features, but we are also concerned with when there may be a negative tweet we need to respond to.
In the example below we have created a regular Alert which tells us when Brandwatch is being mentioned.
I can also use the filters to customise exactly what my Alert will tell me, such as mentions of a particular sentiment or topic if I wish. This Alert will now go directly to the email addresses I’ve specified, ‘as it happens’, allowing us to keep on top of what people are saying, in real time.
If you’d rather not have Alerts in real-time, you can select to receive them an intervals that suit you. You could also set up similar Alerts for mentions of your competitors, in case there are conversations you’d want to get involved in (such as potential leads).
That’s a pretty basic use of Alerts, but they can be invaluable. However, if you’re eager to take Alerts to a more advanced level there are plenty more possibilities.
Firstly, you can set a Threshold Alert – this means that I don’t want to necessarily be alerted to every mention, but I do want to know if there has been a significant increase in mentions. This could alert me to a PR crisis or a campaign that has really taken off.
If we look back at the working example here, I’ve selected the “alert on increase” option and specified what kind of percentage increase I’m interested in seeing. If I was really clever, I’d set this up for my competitors too – that way I can keep on top if what is working for them and if they have any emerging crises or news going on.
Now let’s take a look at how to use Alerts to find influencers mentioning us on the two main channels our customers are usually using to talk to us. We see lots of our clients and potential clients conversing with us via our Brandwatch Twitter page, @brandwatch.
Whilst every follower we have counts, it’s great for us to be able to set up Alerts to let us know when certain advocates or tweeters with a large audience are tweeting about us.
Here we have followed similar steps to setting up an Alert, but I’ve used the controls to filter my mentions by Twitter, and I’ve selected to only be alerted if someone with a certain number of followers is mentioning my brand.
Taking this a step further, you could create an Author List of advocates or key influencers who are important to you, and create an Alert so that you’re on the ball with those conversations as they happen.
Focusing on Facebook now, and using one of our shiny new (and rather fantastic) features, Channels, Alerts work in exactly the same way.
Once I’m tracking my brand’s Facebook page, if I was in the community management or marketing team I would want to know what content was working, what do the fans like, what makes people talk about our brand?
Again, I’ve used those wonderful filters we give you on each component, and I’ve selected that I want to be alerted every time a fan posts a comment on the page. These filters can be manipulated in the way the best suits your team to really give you powerful alerts.
So, I hope you’ve found this useful and it has opened up the world of alerts in a tantalising way. If I could leave you with three key takeaways they would be:
- Create alerts for your boss. They may not want to log in and use the app, but your boss will love getting an end of the day report of mentions around a recent campaign you’ve worked on (especially if it’s been well received!)
- Create alerts for Author Lists: They can let you know when the key influencers you’ve got your eye on are talking about your brand
- Create competitor Alerts: Don’t just alert yourself to mentions of your own brand – really keep an eye on your competitors and see what is working for them, and maybe also what is not working so well!