Comparing Top Social Listening Solutions – Is NetBase Really Better?

Carol Feigenbaum |
 11/20/17 |
5 min read

When it comes to social listening solutions, everyone is ready to spin a good story – our competitors included. So when comparing solutions like Brandwatch, Crimson Hexagon, and others against NetBase, who comes out on top? It depends on whether you like non-fiction – or a tall tale.

Beware smoke and mirrors

When you have the goods, you don’t need to make exaggerated claims about all your product can do. Sadly, some of our competitors are forced to do just that. They want to wow you with features that ultimately don’t matter.

For example, having the most social post data doesn’t mean it’s the most relevant social data available. One of our competitors boasts eight years of Twitter post history – but why would you need that? Referencing a “trillion+ posts” sounds impressive, but what can they tell you about social consumers right now?

Yes, historical data has its place – but you don’t need to view your brand’s trajectory since the dawn of time. NetBase offers three years of historical data from the most popular social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. That’s more than enough to see your progress from year to year – and across a broad cross section of social users.

Aside from that, it’s far more useful to illustrate how real customers solved actual business problems using your tools. We have several case studies we love to share – because the proof our social analytics tools work is there in the results. You don’t have to take our word for it.

Focus on three simple descriptors

Flowery language and talking in circles might convince some people of the merits of a certain brand – but the true test of a quality product comes when it can be boiled down to a no-nonsense elevator pitch. NetBase is fast, accurate, and easy to use – and whatever else we can say, those three basic tenets remain true.

Not every social listening solution can make the same claim – or back it up. We can.

How accurate are our insights? Out of the box we offer the industry’s most accurate social insights – with no ongoing system training required.

How fast do we deliver data? Faster than anyone else – with more than 40 dashboards and 2500 industry themes at our customers’ disposal.

How easy are we to use? As easy as you need us to be – but if you’re an expert analyst you can go as deep as you like. We have multiple analysis tools designed for users of every sophistication level.

Sparkle versus substance

We don’t typically toot our own horn in this way, but when your customers share why they left another solution to use yours, it does feel good.

But that’s just icing on the cake. Our own competitive analysis tells us other solutions are lacking in many areas. No matter how they dress it up, they can’t disguise their limitations in a side-by-side comparison.

Here are some areas where other top solutions don’t really come out on top:

Fastest time to set-up

Our “topic tuner” eliminates topic set-up, while allowing you to build more complex topics in our simplified topic building interface, or advanced Boolean query builder. Other solutions require lots of fine-tuning to do the same, and include spam or unwanted mentions only after a topic has been created.

Lowest maintenance

Don’t be dazzled by terms like “machine learning.” This technology takes a lot of training before it can “learn” anything. Our natural language processor (NLP) is 87% accurate out of the box, with upwards of 90%+ for behaviors, emotions and attributes. Plus you can fine-tune sentiment for greater accuracy of specific topics. With other solutions you must continuously “clean” topics, weeding out spam and unwanted mentions. Or you’ve got to settle for lower accuracy “buzz monitors” because opinion monitors require ongoing algorithm training – which is time consuming and complicated.

Fastest time to insights

If your data needs a lot of manipulation to be usable, your tools aren’t helping you much. Social media is a landscape of immediacy, and your insights have to be available just as quickly. We’ve got 40+ Best Practice dashboards, 2500 certified themes by industry, the ability to view owned, partnered and earned channels at once, and multiple analysis tools for users of all levels and needs. Other providers’ tools are auto-generated, and can’t be customized or verified – so if you want to look more closely at a specific topic within a theme, you can’t.

Tools are interoperable

You don’t have time to jump from tool to tool – to compare social data against CRM data, for example. We work with a variety of data – like NPS and Star Ratings – bringing customer data and metadata into one place for easy processing and at-a-glance dashboards. And the entire NetBase Suite is designed to function across users and platforms so you can share topics and data for brand-wide advantage. Data and analysis is consistent regardless of the tool being used – so analysts and non-analysts are seeing the same insights. Other solutions can’t say that.

Transparent methodology

If you can’t verify your data, how can you trust it? Unfortunately, many solutions out there expect you to do just that, with opaque analysis methodology. With NetBase you’ll always understand how our NLP codes data. And we provide a list of sources explaining how each tweet/source is ranked.

Flexible pricing packages

We recognize not all businesses have the same needs, so we offer multiple price points for users of all levels and brands of all sizes. If you don’t need unlimited seats, you won’t pay for them. With other solutions, you don’t have that option.

Image analytics are in-house

Image analysis has grown in importance – and will continue to. Our tech supports scenes, objects and memes – in addition to logo identification to evaluate brand sponsorship opportunities and potential misappropriation. While other brands use third party vendors to accomplish this (if they even can), NetBase’s proprietary image analysis technology means we have control of the development of our tool – and we can be flexible to customer needs.

Access to data

Beware the company proclaiming the most complete access to Twitter data. Twitter firehose data is the same for all solution providers, though some solutions’ data is presented sampled. Our firehose users get 100% of the posts available for analysis.

Listen to other users

We could spend all day telling you why NetBase is the best solution for your brand – no matter where you are in your journey. But we’d much prefer you listen to those succeeding with our tools – because they’re the true test of what we offer.

There’s a reason we’re recognized as a top performer in The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Social Listening Platforms, Q1 2016 report, and by other top industry, media and user review sites. But we never expect you to take our word for it. We just hope to save you the trial and error.

Want to see how NetBase works for yourself? Get in touch and we’ll walk you through a customized demo.  

Image from Eric E Castro


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