If you’ve perused on our influencer marketing platform reviews, you may be familiar with Influencer One, the software solution created by Luxembourg-based tech company Talkwalker. Long before they entered into the influencer game, though, the business made a name for itself with their social media listening and analytics platform. The company, TalkWalker, named their analytics platform TalkWalker analytics, and that might be the last mundane thing they’ve ever done.
That’s because in the decade since they launched, Talkwalker has been absolutely killing it with their high end, comprehensive software solutions. Encompassing technologies like AI-powered image and video recognition, Talkwalker’s been the engine of data-driven social media marketing efforts by some of the globe’s biggest brands. Adidas, Duracell, US Bank, Hong Kong Airlines, and Glo Skin Beauty are some of the 2,000 brands on Talkwalker’s roster of clients.
And they’ve been growing right alongside their clients. Since the company launched in 2009, they’ve expanded to over 300 employees in 6 offices around the world: Luxembourg, Germany, France, Singapore, and two in the U.S. Perhaps this is because of the depth and breadth of the software’s capabilities. As a social listening tool, Talkwalker monitors, ingests, and indexes billions of data points daily, from all the major social channels, as well as over 150 million websites, forums, and blogs. As mentioned, they’ve also worked in image and video recognition tools that make it possible to “listen” for appearances of your logo in—you guessed it—images and videos. Image recognition is nothing new at this point, but to parse out visual data from videos is, and Talkwalker’s the only analytics platform to do this so far.
What’s truly differentiating here is Talkwalker’s ability to listen to what people are saying beyond the digital world. Yes, social media’s where most of the conversations are happening these days, but print media, radio, and TV still exist. The video recognition extends to analysing TV and radio. And to give brands a truly holistic view into what’s being said about them, Talkwalker has partnered with LexisNexis to offer insights based on what’s being said in newspapers, magazines, and trade publications around the world.
Of course, all the data in the world doesn’t mean anything if it’s not presented in a clear way that brands and marketers can make sense of. As you’ll see in The Details, working with Talkwalker shows that there’s a not-so-fine line between data and analytics. With data, you get numbers and information. With analytics, you get actionable insights and real business intelligence for better decision making.
Quick Jump Summary:
Talkwalker works on a subscription basis, billed annually, with three different levels of service. The primary difference between each level is how many results you can receive—a single result being any post, article, tweet, or document that’s retrieved based on what you’re listening for. The higher up in service you go, the more features are included, though any single feature available in a higher-level plan can still be added on an a la carte basis for an extra fee. The one exception to this are the advanced integrations (which includes the listening function for print and broadcast media), which are not available at all with the Basic plan.
- Basic, $9,600/yr — Includes 10,000 monthly results from social and web data, unlimited users, unlimited search queries, all analytics and reporting, dedicated customer success manager, support, and training. Image recognition, historical data, and the AI engine are available as add-ons.
- Corporate, Custom Pricing — Includes 100,000 monthly results and all of what’s listed above. Optional add-ons are the same as above, plus the option of adding advanced integrations.
- Enterprise, Custom Pricing — Includes 1 million+ monthly results, all of what’s listed above, and Image Recognition. The remaining options are all available as add-ons.
The problem with naming this section “The Details”—at least as it pertains to this review—is there’s just no way you’re going to get all the details. There are too many to list here, at least while I’m working on a flat-fee-per-review basis. Suffice it to say, if you have an idea what kinds of features you’re wondering, “Does Talkwalker do that thing?’ the answer is “Yes, it does that thing.”
Setting up the different topics you’ll listen for can be complex, with its reliance on boolean arguments and the choice to filter results in dozens of different ways. Oddly, it’s easier to set up a topic based on image recognition than keywords. That’s the bad news. The good news is that this is why all customers get a dedicated Success Manager. No one’s left to their own devices to figure out what to listen for, or how to listen for it.
Topics can be just about anything you can think of—monitor for your own brand or competitors, or both—and refine the results down by social channel, websites, images, more keywords, and beyond. By default, the platform combs through the last two years of data, with anything prior to that available with the Historical Data add-on. Customers will be hard-pressed to find a scenario where Talkwalker won’t find them relevant data for exactly the sort of things they’re listening for.
With the topics set up, all that’s left to do is comb through the piles of data and analytics Talkwalker provides you with. The platform comes pre-loaded with what they call IQ Apps, essentially dashboards that are analysing the data with different objectives:
- Brand Intelligence — This is what all brands want out of social listening: a way to understand what conversations are happening, and what the sentiments around those conversations are. You’ll see a clean breakdown of statistics around mentions, engagement, etc., and can drill down into any data point to uncover the content or comments behind that data. This isn’t just social data: Talkwalker’s also pulling from over 150 million websites and online forums. And, with an add-on integration, you’ll also see how your brand is being covered by print and broadcast media.
- Crisis Management — Whether a consumer is talking trash on your brand on social media, or you’re getting some really bad press, this app lets you stay on top of these kids of PR crises.
- Hashtag Tracking — Track the performance of your hashtags—whether for campaigns or not—to see what’s working for your brand.
- Social Channel Analytics — Get in-depth insights across all your social channels, and understand how your performance stacks up against competitors.
- Competitive Intelligence — Go deeper into your competitors’ strategies and content, and see what’s working for them. You can also see where they’re going wrong, and use all this information to inform your own marketing going forward.
- Campaign Monitoring — Exactly what it sounds like, this is a way for you to take advantage of the advanced data and analytics offers by monitoring your campaigns in real-time.
- Content Analytics — This allows you to go deeper into your content to understand how it’s performing, which audiences are engaging with it, and how you can optimise your future content.
- Influencer Networks — This is an exceptionally cool feature, where you’ll get a visual representation of influencers and creators within a certain topic, and who is amplifying that topic. In this way, you’ll find people who are creating content featuring your brand (whether you know of them or not) and be able to get a granular view into their network of followers. This can help show how well influencers you’re working with are performing, while also introduce you to influential creators you might not have found otherwise.
- Custom Dashboards — Working with your Success Manager, you can create custom dashboards to serve you with analytics not otherwise covered by the IQ apps.
Outside of the purpose-built analytics the IQ apps and custom dashboards provide, you can also just take a holistic view of all the data that Talkwalker’s pulling down and reporting on. Here you can see the overall performance, sentiment, demographics, and content for each of the topics you have set up. One of the cooler features found in here is something called the Virality Map. For any piece of content that Talkwalker analyzes, it creates a kind of dynamic map, showing where in the world the post was seen on and on which channel. With it, you can get a sense of how the content travelled throughout the world. It’s just one of many ways that Talkwalker gives you an unparalleled view into your brand’s social presence (and beyond).
With over 10 years of experience and over 2,000 customers and counting, it’s safe to say that Talkwalker is at the top of the social listening game. This isn’t Hootsuite or Sprout Social, which are fine for smaller business looking to manage their social presences. Talkwalker is Enterprise-class software, even at its lowest tiered subscription plan. With its listening engine hitting all major social networks, 150 million websites, print and broadcast media, plus an image recognition that can find a logo even in the background of a video, there’s almost nothing the platform will miss. If your brand appears anywhere in any media, Talkwalker will find it and give you the kind of insights that define business intelligence.