This past week I had the opportunity to sit down and receive a platform demonstrate from TalkWalker. Here is my experience.

Before we get into the experience, I feel the need to lay down some base knowledge regarding marketing, advertising, and Social Media. Over the last ten years, there has been a noticeable shift in the avenues marketers use to convey advertisements to consumers. This shift was brought about by first by the introduction of social media, and it’s broadening to include and increase profit growth beyond user paid services.

Social Media has allowed businesses to connect with consumers like never before. Companies can communicate faster than ever, spreading new, announcements, sales, and even issues to consumers as the speed of a click. The downside to this is the over-saturation of the market. More is not always better.

Enter the age of Data as a Service.

Media sites and platforms of all shapes and sizes collect information on anyone that visits. Where you go, what you click on, how long you watch a video or stay on one page. Terabits of this data are collected every day by just about everything we touch. For a small or non-technical company or business sifting through or even having access to the mountain data created can be beyond their capabilities. That’s where platforms like TalkWalker can bring added value and understanding to unexploited data.

Social media analytics platforms, like TalkWalker, have a programmed ability to track keywords or phrases across multiple media platforms and provide information as to the who, where, when, the term is being used, and also the types of feels used with it. This can help answer many questions relating to brand recognition and market penetration. Some of these platforms also can compare your brand to a market competitor, enabling you to devise strategies for expansion.

Getting into the platform.

TalkWalker can best be described as a user-centric media analytics platform fed by opensource data from a verity of social media and traditional media outlets. Geared and advertised as a “Brand” monitoring system TalkWalker offers both a limited free subscription and a tired paid subscription. Although the free subscription is minimal, only allowing for analytics of the last seven days and no continuous account tracking, however, even this enough to provide some much-needed insights into specific search terms.

Within the free version, the user has a substantial amount of control over the filtering of information in relation to the term or phrase being searched. Filtering is handled by a series of preformatted tabs just below the search bar, which can be used to narrow down the returned information from the user’s search. These filters include the traditional Demographic, Language, Devices, and Country/Region most similar platforms include the additional filters of media type and sentiment enable the user to view the overall perception of the search term as it is across one or more media platforms. The other primary user control function involves the display of the desired returned search results. Between key metrics, themes and tags, influences, demographics, world map, and a full list of returned results. These functions enable the user to see where the search term is being talked about, who’s doing the talking, and how they’re talking about it. My overall impression of TalkWalker’s is exceptionally high. TalkWalker provides multi-platform inclusiveness not found in many other free platforms. So much so, in fact, I requested the offered free demonstration of their capabilities.

The organization I work for manages over 20 media profiles across multiple platforms. Collecting data in a timely enough fashion to act on changes in trends can be extremely difficult, and even compiling all the analytics associated in an easily consumable format can be beyond time-consuming. Having a platform that can track all those profiles would significantly reduce the time needed to analyze our data and would enable us to be proactive in our advertising campaigns.

From the start, our correspondence with TalkWalker was extremely professional. Email communication was kept short and to the point and proceeded quickly to confirming a telephonic fact-finding conversation, even to the point of sending a shareable calendar invite and encouraging for additional participants. During the fact find, the TalkWaker sales representative was sufficiently knowledgable about the platform and our organization to be able to ask open ended questions to let us define our use case and for TalkWaker to understand our intent clearly. After the fact-finding, TalkWalker requested a list of our media profiles. The reason for this request was clearly defined and explained as a way for TalkWalker to show the platform using data from our organization to demonstrate our use case to us. The follow-up demonstration was scheduled at the same time, and once again, an email calendar invite was sent at the same time.

As for the demonstration, it was well executed. In addition to the sales representative, TalkWaker also provided one of their technical experts to answer any platform-related questions we had. In just under an hour, we received a comprehensive capabilities presentation of the platform and how we can use it to validate out marketing perception in our region. In addition to this, by including our multiple media profiles, it was quickly demonstrated where and how we are active and where we are not. And with the platforms’ historical data capture, TalkWaker was able to provide additional insight into an annually occurring event that had had a significant effect on our organization.

In the final analysis, whether TalkWaker is chosen or not as a brand focused media analytical tool, it is definitely worth the exploration and time. This platform may not fit for every organization, but it’s tools and especially as a free service warrant the time to use and explore.