Global social media monitoring enabled by Heartbeat



Marketwired’s Heartbeat is a global social media monitoring and engagement tool powered by Sysomos. It provides real-time metrics for a number of measures, including sentiment, geographic and demographic data, key influencers, and keywords. Reports can be generated in several formats.

Ranges from $550 to $2,200 per month.

Helen Lee, social media lead at The Clorox Company, has been using Heartbeat since May 2011.

How do you use it?
It’s a software-as-a-service based platform so you just log on through Sysomos’ login page, which takes you to the dashboard.

The Clorox Company has many brands, so we have about 10 different “heartbeats” designated to individual brands. When I log on, it takes me to the first heartbeat, which is for Clorox, our biggest brand. 

It’s a massive tool and there are a number of different tabs at the top of the page.

The dashboard tab provides super high-level information, such as percentage of conversations coming from the six main channels it tracks – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, forums, news outlets, and blogs. It also tracks sentiment, mentions within a given time period that you can set, and share of mention between our brand and competitors’ brands that we have set up. 

The heartbeat tab shows actual user conversations that mention your brand across all the channels. This is where I do a lot of work. We have many filters set up so I can filter conversations and use Boolean search queries to get at whatever information I need. For example, as it’s cold and flu season, we now have a filter set up to see conversations about cold and flu that mention Clorox in the same sentence.

There’s also a measure tab. Heartbeat supplies Twitter’s entire data firehose, so the amount of data that comes in can be overwhelming, and this tab helps you get at major themes of what people are talking about.

There are three types of built-in word clouds. One shows how often a specific keyword is used. Another shows relationships between words. A third surfaces key conversations – what the platform is identifying as conversations that may be relevant to us. All of these visual tools help us sort through the massive amount of data to get to the conversations that are important to our brands.

There’s also an influencers section inside the measure tab that allows us to identify influencers who mention our brands in a tweet or blog post.

We can also dig in deeper using the filters I previously mentioned (the same set of filters follow the user from tab to tab). For example, we can identify the biggest influencers who are mentioning Clorox in the same sentence as cold and flu.

One of my favorite features in Heartbeat is Marketwired’s proprietary influencer score. The score takes into account other social media presences the user may have as well as their following and a few other factors. This helps us be much smarter about who we engage with and where.

We haven’t had too many problems at all. If there is a problem, I email our “client success manager,” who is dedicated to our overall business, or our dedicated support person, who is always on call for support questions.

They usually get back to us within the hour or within a couple of hours. Marketwired has world-class support, and it’s one of the main reasons we continue to work with them.


How does it serve your business needs?
Brands must be relevant to their consumers in an engaging way. To be relevant, we have to understand and know what consumers are saying about our brands and how they feel about our brands, products, and campaigns. The best way to do that is through a social media listening platform.

Social is making it possible for brands like ours to start building direct relationships with our consumers – not just marketing at them. The only way we can do that is by finding ways to be relevant in a consumer’s life.

Heartbeat gives us access to Twitter’s complete data firehose so we can go through every single tweet and understand how consumers are talking about us.

Twitter is the biggest channel in terms of volume. I believe a lot of consumers are also talking about our brands on Facebook but because of privacy settings we can’t get to a lot of those conversations.

We recently launched new, award-winning TV spots for our Liquid-Plumr brand.  They’re hilarious and suggestive. While they’re wining awards and have been very well received in the industry, our call center was getting complaints about the suggestive nature of the commercials. 

Heartbeat has been great in helping us get a bigger picture around true consumer sentiment about these ads because it shows us the difference between what’s happening at call center versus what’s happening on Twitter.

Although the calls from the center were negative, we saw that the vast majority of tweets and sentiment across social channels were very positive.

We set up terms and filters to listen for mentions of those TV spots and we can do things like get email alerts when an influencer with a score of seven, eight, nine, or 10 mentions the spot or brand because that mention will have a lot of impact.

We also get alerts when negative tweets exceed a certain threshold – say 10 in an hour. This helps us keep tabs and act if we need to act.

Right now our global insights group is producing cold and flu trackers for Clorox disinfecting products, and during the warmer months we did grill trackers for our Kingsford brand. We use a service called Marketwired Reports and overlay the Heartbeat data that’s coming in for these trackers.

For the grilling tracker, we overlaid search volume, weather reports, and social conversations about grilling. We know that when the weather is good, people buy more charcoal.

If we saw that social conversations about ribs and wings were trending really high the week before Labor Day, and we knew the weather was going to be good that weekend, we might post recipes on our blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages to help us be more relevant.

If we had the budget and we knew the weather was going to be good we might do a promoted Tweet or Facebook post to geographies that had high instance of conversations about grilling.

With cold and flu, we can see where in the country the flu is trending and thus be smarter about what we’re doing. We’re even able to overlay where stock of Clorox disinfecting products are running out in places where the flu is trending and ship more products to those areas.

What are the main benefits?
It helps us stay relevant in real time and helps us be a lot smarter about our marketing.

It’s easy to use and that’s why we went with the system. We previously had different listing platforms but adoption was low because they were hard to use. 

Customer support is great. Marketwired even does annual listening training for our marketing organization. It’s part of our training curriculum for all new hires.

What are the main drawbacks?
I can’t think of any particular drawbacks to Heartbeat per se.

The amount of information that comes in can be daunting, so, even though the tool is so much easier to use than other social listening tools we’ve used, we still have to commit time to sifting through the data to get the insights we need out of the tool.

It’s not a magic wand. You have to go into it with some sort of hypothesis or a question you want to answer and then see if the platform can help you draw that conclusion, but this is par for the course with any big listening platform.

What would you like to see improved/added? 
Because there is so much data, we had to go through every single post to check for sentiment.

Given this data volume issue, we recently signed a contract with Clarabridge, which is a natural language processing tool that will reduce the man hours necessary for cleaning up sentiment so it’s a bit more accurate. It also will lay some metadata on top of it so it will source conversations for us to engage on rather than us going through and finding them.

This is something extra we had to put on top of Heartbeat. If Sysomos had something like it, that would be great.


Salesforce Marketing Cloud: a comprehensive suite of tools for social marketing that includes monitoring, content creation and management, engagement, advertising, automation and analytics. 

Brandwatch: provides social analytics and intelligence. A partnership between Brandwatch and HootSuite was announced in October 2013.

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