[Updated 4.19.2021] The social media monitoring and analytics market is crowded and always has been. While the space continues to mature and innovate, it’s difficult to keep track of who comes, who goes, who merges and who gets acquired. This by no means is a comprehensive list of every vendor in the marketplace nor has it been vetted, or audited by anybody else. This is just my perspective and my view based on my experience.
In any case, it’s clear that there is a convergence between social media monitoring tools and software that monitors traditional media coverage.
MEDIA COVERAGE TRACKING & MONITORING TOOLS
Outside of market leaders Cision and Meltwater, there are several other players in the space that have innovative and/or easy to use solutions:
- MuckRack: Media monitoring, dashboards, journalist database, article share data.
- Memo: Tracks article data on 3rd party publishers (UVMs, page views, referrals).
- Newswhip: Tracks article share data, Facebook pages; with predictive platform.
- Onclusive: Media monitoring with strong integration with Google Analytics.
- Critical Mention: Media monitoring, dashboards, media contact database.
- Signal AI: AI-driven media monitoring and reputation management.
SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORING & LISTENING TOOLS
I recorded a video last year in 2020 talking about the Forrester Wave’s Top Social Listening Platforms. Unfortunately, not all of the social media monitoring platforms made it into the report, but they all have features and functionality worthy of enterprise deployment.
For the most part, there is little differentiation between the social media monitoring tools in the market today. The functionality differences, scalability and cost are what might attract different buyers to these platforms based on business and technical requirements.
- Synthesio [Acquired by Ipsos]: Synthesio is a sleeping giant if they can figure out how to integrate real-time polling/surveys with social intelligence. Considering that Ipsos is a research firm, I see this happening.
- Pulsar Platform: Pulsar is a very flexible social listening platform and seamless integration with audience intelligence platform, Audiense.
- Digimind: A social listening platform that also integrates Facebook, Instagram and anonymized LinkedIn post-level data.
- Infegy: A social listening platform lead by text analytics and natural language processing. They have also built pre-existing segments of various types of audiences.
- Netbase: A social listening platform with strong data analysis and visualization integration. They acquired Quid a few years ago which is excellent to analyze long form content.
- Zignal Labs: A social listening platform that positions to them selves as being leaders in sentiment and reputation analytics.
- Talkwalker: Social analytics and monitoring platform that has built-in, ready to use command centers. They also have a freemium model for users to test the capabilities.
- Linkfluence [Acquired by Meltwater]. A social analytics and search engine.
- ListenFirst: Social media analytics platform with audience intelligence and influencer identification.
- Keyhole: A social listening, influencer tracking and social media analytics platform.
I don’t think Sprinklr or Khoros belong on this list because social listening & analytics is really not their core competency.
From my perspective, there are two emerging leaders that are beginning to separate themselves from the pack. Cision and Meltwater are two platforms that originated purely for monitoring media coverage and traditional public relations. However, over the last 10+ years they have made significant acquisitions of various software applications that focus solely on influencer analytics and social media listening. Below is a running list of mergers of each company that paints an interesting picture at where the market is headed.
LIST OF CISION ACQUISITIONS
Below is a summary of Cision acquisitions over the last decade. In my research, I came across several conflicting dates but I found this helpful blog post by Frank Strong summarizing the Cision acquisitions over the last decade.
- Cision AB acquired Visible Technologies which is a social analytics company
- A merger between Cision AB and Vocus, which then became the name Cision
It’s important to call out a few acquisitions by Vocus as well, since many of these legacy software applications have shaped what Cision is today. In 2006, Vocus acquired PRWeb (a press release distribution services), HARO (a marketplace that connects journalists and bloggers with expert sources) and iContact (email marketing platform).
- Cision acquired Gorkana, a media monitoring and journalist database
- Cision acquired Viralheat, a social media management firm
- Cision acquired PRNewswire, a press release distribution service
- Cision acquired PRIME Research, a media monitoring research firm
- Cision acquired Bulletin Intelligence, a provider of briefin for corporate and government executives
- Cision acquired Paris-based L’Argus de la Presse, a French media monitoring service
- Cision acquired CEDROM-SNi, a Canadian provider of digital media monitoring solutions
- Cision acquired ShareIQ, a platform that “discovers, analyzes and indexes original pieces of visual content
- Cision acquired Falcon.io, a Copenhagen-based social media platform
- Cision acquired Trendkite, a media measurement software application
- Cision acquired Brandwatch, a social intelligence platform
It’s also important to point out the Brandwatch acquisitions as well.
- 2014: PeerIndex, an influencer analytics platform
- 2017: BuzzSumo, a content and influencer research tool
- 2018: Merged with Crimson Hexagon, a social media intelligence platform
- 2019: Qriously, a service for measuring real-time, location-based public sentiment
LIST OF MELTWATER ACQUISITIONS
Meltwater has been on similar path with company acquisitions, but their journey stated well over 10 years ago.
- Meltwater acquired BuzzGain, a social media monitoring software
- Meltwater acquired JitterJam, CRM software
- Meltwater acquired IceRocket, a real-time social search engine
- Meltwater acquired Encore Alerts, a US based media monitoring company
- Meltwater acquired Cosmify, a data analysis platform
- Meltwater acquired Klarity, a Hong Kong based data analytics platform
- Meltwater acquired Wrapidity, a data extraction and automation platform
- Meltwater acquired Algo, a real-time data analytics company
- Meltwater acquired Sysomos, a social listening platform
- Meltwater acquired Datasift, a social media analytics company
- Meltwater acquired Linkfluence
- Meltwater acquired Klear (an influencer marketing software platform)
The social media monitoring space is ripe for innovation. I will be tracking of up-and-coming vendors, mergers & acquisition and existing platforms as they continue to add new capabilities to their software stack.