There seems to be an endless number of media/social media monitoring companies. After reading loads of professional and user reviews, I narrowed my search to Mention and Brand24. I used both platforms for a few weeks before making my decision. While Brand24 offers many of the same features and is less expensive, #2 below was a deal breaker for me. I now have an annual "Company" plan with Mention. Here are my pros for Mention:
1. Exhaustive monitoring (I haven't found anything Mention has missed on social media, blogs, news sites, videos, corporate sites, etc)
2. Ability to interact with posts inside the app. (You can like, follow, etc. inside the app. This is where Brand24 came up short – if you want to interact with a post, you have to click and go out of the app to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc)
3. Notification speed (alerts flow in continuously throughout the day. Often the mention will have posted only minutes ago before the alert is issued)
4. Unlimited source blocking (as far I can tell)
5. Influencer scoring (via Klout for Twitter, Majestic for websites, and an internal system for Instagram)
6. Straightforward and attractive UX/UI
7. Listening analysis, competitive analysis, insights and reports (I haven't used all of these yet)
8. US-based account management and sales for US customers
9. Easy set up and maintenance
10. Boolean searches!!
While Mention offers the best in many areas, there is room for improvement:
1. You need to upgrade to a company/custom plan for Boolean searches. Without this, you can only exclude five words/terms for each search/alert. Unless you have a VERY unique company name and product category, you will spend a lot of time reading through irrelevant searches. You need Boolean, trust me! It would be nice to have one standard plan that includes Boolean.
2. The spam filter takes a long time to work – it's a long game. You'll need to identify a lot of spam (here spam means irrelevant to your search, not traditional spam) over a long period of time for the Mention algorithms to begin knowing what to automatically exclude from your monitoring. So it's a nice feature to have, but not something you can quickly rely on.
3. If you have multiple accounts on the same social platform (e.g., two Twitter accounts) it requires three clicks to like a post or follow an account. First you need to click "like", then select the account want to use for the like, and then confirm by clicking "Save". The last step should be eliminated to save time.
4. For some reason, posts with video often won't load, so you have to click out of the app for those.
5. You can't receive alerts specific to the accounts you follow or have on a list (to my knowledge). It would be great to set up alerts only from accounts you have followed or have on a Twitter list, for example.
6. Occasionally the interface becomes unstable/unresponsive. In most cases, a simple page reload will clear up the issues.
7. The sentiment analysis appears to be rudimentary, likely based on the presence of certain words, rather than attempting to determine context.
8. I don't think support is available on weekends, and while there are account managers in the US (Eastern Time Zone), I believe the hardcore tech support staff is only located in Paris and likely only available during normal working hours in the Central European Time Zone.