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Published March 26th 2015

Launching Signals: Know About Emerging Crises and Trends Before Anyone Else

“Reputation, reputation, reputation! Oh, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial.” – Othello, Shakespeare

We all care about our reputation, even if we don’t want to admit it. But for brands, reputation can be the difference between success and, well, failure. That’s why today we’re launching Signals…

According to Weber Shandwick, 63% of a company’s market value is attributed to its reputation, so clearly it’s a high priority for brands. We all know of the many examples of brand crises and reputation mishaps, usually prompted by an ill-advised social post or something offline moving in to the online world like a customer complaint or protest.

Whilst many of those may blow over in time, research shows that the first two hours of a crisis are critical to how much of an impact it has on a brand’s reputation.

Prevention is better than cure, of course, but the likelihood is that all brands will face a potential threat to their reputation at some point, and it’s essential that when you do, you act fast to limit the damage.

And the best way to do that is to know about an emerging crisis as soon as it starts, not once it’s become a full-blown PR nightmare. Enter Signals.

Always in the know

Launching today, Signals alerts you to emerging crises and trends as soon as they start, so that you can step in and take necessary action before it escalates.

Signals, built on our powerful social data platform, is powered by the most sophisticated automated intelligence around. It constantly analyzes your social data and when it detects significant or unexpected changes, alerts you to it in real-time – for example, when there’s an emerging new hashtag, a story being shared or a sudden increase in chat from a specific location.

When a story is identified, it’ll send you an email giving context around the issue (see an example here), such as volumes, related topics and mentions, so that you can evaluate the need for escalation and action even when you’re on the move. You can also click through to a Signals dashboard with a more in-depth breakdown for further exploration. Plus, you can set up Signals to email your colleagues – even if they don’t have a Brandwatch login – as well as set the priority level that you want to be notified of.

Signals dashboard

Clearly, knowing about an emerging issue as soon as it starts can give you a head start and allows you to start on the four phases of crisis management, preparing a response or nipping the issue in the bud before it goes wider.

It takes just seconds to set up and then does all the hard work for you, so you can be safe in the knowledge that you’ll always be in the know about issues, even when you’re not logged in to the app.

Think of it as like having an analyst trawling through your data 24 hours a day, but in robot form.

Signals perfectly complements our already powerful custom Alerts, as now you can be notified about both the issues you can predict (say, a brand issue that is always bubbling away under the surface, or particular topics you’re concerned about) and those issues that you can’t predict and can take you completely by surprise, so you’ll always be in the know no matter what the issue.

Because you don’t know what you don’t know (and by the time you do it’s too late!)

Beyond crisis management

Signals also has plenty of other use cases, besides just dealing with an emerging crisis. We’ll be going into these in a little more detail on the blog over the coming weeks, including how our own PR team are using Signals, but here are just a few of the ways you can use Signals:

  • Trend discovery – perhaps people start using a new hashtag when talking about your brand that you want to jump on, or people within communities you’re interested start talking about a topic you can get involved in. Signals can help you discover emerging trends so that you can better engage with your audience and broaden your reach.
  • A daily digest of your Query – Even when you’re not experiencing a crisis, Signals can still give you updates through the day on any significant stories around your brand, so you can stay in the know even on days you don’t log in to the app. This can also be a great way to keep senior colleagues up to date with what’s going on, automatically.
  • Stay ahead of competitor and industry news – Use Signals to be alerted to breaking news in your market or industry so you can always stay one step ahead.

Get Signals now

Signals is available to all Brandwatch Analytics customers as part of the standard subscription.

Want to find out more about Signals? If you’re not already a customer, click here to request a demo of Signals and see Analytics live in action.

If you’re already a customer, you can find Signals in the Alerts section from today. If you need help, have a read of the user guide.

You can also find out more about Signals in our free webinar on 7th April with our VPE Product Strategy, Glenn White – sign up here.

And there’s more…

This is just the beginning of the journey for Signals. As with all of our products and features, we don’t just stop once something is launched. Our ongoing innovation means our products just keep getting better and better.

Our vision for Signals is that over time it will evolve into a set of incredibly useful features that will make it an essential tool for ongoing brand, crisis and reputation monitoring and management. Watch this space.

If you have any feedback on Signals, please do let us know – we want to know how you’re using it, what you like and if anything could be improved so we can continue to develop it even further.

Signals. Always in the know.


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