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Published November 28th 2011

Product Update: Rules

This week we’ve released one of the most exciting and powerful new Brandwatch features yet: “Rules”. Rules allow you to tell Brandwatch how to automatically categorise, tag or classify sentiment for future mentions by setting your filters a certain way.

This is the latest step towards our goal of automating currently manual processes and making Brandwatch as fast and powerful as possible for our users.

Using Rules

Topic Tracking

One of the most simple uses of Rules is to track brands, topics and other key terms within your query. For example, in your brand’s query you could set up Rules to automatically categorise mentions in that query that also include particular products, then track them and compare against each other over time.

In this example below, we are examining Ben & Jerry’s, an ice cream manufacturer. We have opted to search for all future mentions including either ‘phish’ or ‘fish’ (to account for misspellings). Once having selected our search terms, we can then apply the rule to the results, in this case categorising all such mentions as ‘Phish Food’ in our list of flavours.

Of course we could have chosen to instead filter the data by page type, sentiment, number of followers or plenty of other filters, and the action could also have been different.

By applying multiple Rules, we have set it so that all of the Ben & Jerry’s data coming in is automatically classified into some pre-set categories, namely the flavours of the popular ice cream brand. This chart shows how the data is now sorted into different categories thanks to the new Rules feature.

Delegation and Assignment

Another powerful use of Rules is to help you divide up mentions for particular teams within your company, such as customer service or community management. You could tell Brandwatch to automatically assign mentions pertaining to bad service or known product issues to the relevant party in order to ensure they are dealt with as quickly as possible.

Here we have set all negative tweets to be forwarded to a particular user by using the ‘add assignment’ action.

Influencers and Other Uses

Rules can be used to track many more things that before you would have had to do by hand. For example you could track the volume of mentions you get from various Twitter users, divided into groups represented by the number of followers they have.

Here we have used a rule to automatically separate incoming tweets mentioning Ben & Jerry’s into key influencers (>1000 followers), middle players (100-1000 followers) and small fry (<100 followers).

This allows you to track how different sectors of Twitter users are talking about your brand. You can watch their volume of mentions over time, the sentiment from each category or look at the conversations themselves. This means you can get to the most interesting information much quicker.

Taking this a step further you could even use Rules to track individual Twitter users talking about your brand. This would allow you to follow how your key influencers are discussing your brand over time and see how they react to new campaigns and initiatives.

Here we have isolated a Twitter user that regularly tweets about Ben and Jerry’s, and tracked their sentiment over time. You could also see how the topic of an advocate’s tweets changes, or which flavour they discuss most each week.

This exciting new feature enhances the Brandwatch tool in fascinating new ways. We’d love to hear if you have been devising any other interesting uses of the Rules feature. Feel free to let us know in the comments below.


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