We’ve written before about different tools you can use for social listening – that is, keeping an ear to what the world is saying about your brand or products online. One of the tools we mentioned in that post was Talkwalker, which offers free email alerts when your keyword or phrase appears on the web. Up until now, that service did not include social media sites. So you would get results from blogs and websites that mentioned your brand or other phrases you’re tracking, but not from people talking about you on Twitter or other social networks (for that, we recommended setting up a social listening stream in Hootsuite).
Over the summer, however, Talkwalker announced a new, FREE social search tool. They have long offered a Pro version of social monitoring, but now you can use the free version to monitor your keywords of choice on both the web and social media.
Talkwalker Free Social Search: Who’s Saying What, and Where
When you first go to Talkwalker’s social search site and enter a word or phrase, you’ll be prompted to create a free account. Note: if you already use free Talkwalker alerts for web monitoring, you won’t be able to use that same account to sign into the social search.
Once logged in, you’ll see your social search dashboard, showing results for the past seven days for the search term you entered. The graph in the middle shows the activity within various media types, and the pie chart on the right shows the share of each media type where your search phrase appeared. In the example below, the results include Facebook, Twitter, news sites, blogs and forums.
You can filter your search by media types, countries and language by clicking the “Open Filters” tab at the top of the page. It also shows options to extend your search dates, but seeing anything further back than seven days requires an upgrade to a paid account.
Beneath the graphs on the dashboard, you’ll see a list of every individual post or source that includes your search phrase. Each listing shows a title, image and preview snippet, along with the potential reach and engagement of that source and the social sharing of the article or post.
You can sort this list by several factors, such as engagement, potential reach or when the post was published, among other items.
If you only want to view results from a specific channel – say, Twitter – just click on that section of the pie chart. Those results will populate both on the graph and in the list below.
You can enter additional search phrases in the search box at the top of the page. All of your recent searches will appear in the left sidebar. It took me a few moments to realize that when you click on one of these recent searches, it adds this search result graph to the one you are currently viewing, rather than switching from one to the other. So, you can view multiple search terms at once on the graph by clicking on the phrases in the sidebar (they’ll change color to blue when selected). Simply click the phrases again to unselect them.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when entering search phrases:
- Use Boolean search operators like AND, NOT and OR to narrow your search results
- Use quotes around phrases if you want only results containing that exact phrase
- You don’t have to just stick to your own brand name and campaign keywords in your searches. Why not keep an eye on what people are saying about competitors too?
But Wait, There’s More …
You’ll notice several other tabs across the top of your dashboard, aside from the main Results tab. Here’s a brief overview of these:
- Performance – shows various graphs and metrics indicating the popularity of your search phrase, such as buzz, engagement, reach and sentiment
- Influencers – shows the top sites or channels that used the keyphrase in order of influencer rank, as well as the type of source and the reach
- Sentiment – shows how many posts were positive, negative or neutral
- Themes – provides a word cloud showing other terms that commonly appear with your search phrase
- Demographics – A list of the top countries and languages using your keyphrase, as well as a breakdown by gender
- World map – shows usage of your keyphrase by country on a map
Conclusion: A Great Addition to Your Social Listening Toolbox
Based on our initial testing of this platform, the only real downside is that you can only see the last seven days of activity (in the free version). Also, there doesn’t seem to be any option for auto-emailing yourself the report each week, which means you would need to remember to log in regularly to consistently monitor activity over time.
For being free, however, Talkwalker social search offers a great way to get a quick snapshot of what people are saying about your brand or competitors and find out the general sentiment surrounding a product or campaign. It’s an impressively robust set of reporting and analytics tools that we believe would be valuable to any marketer or entrepreneur.
Have you tried out Talkwalker’s free social search analytics? What are your other go-to tools for social listening? Let us know in the comments!