SMToolbox: Real Time Insights and Media Analytics From Zignal Labs



Zignal Labs is four and a half years old and started by analyzing political trends before moving into marketing. The team has grown to over 80 staff, and they have expanded from San Francisco, to Washington DC and increasingly operate globally.

One of the major aims of the tool is to make monitoring easy to set-up and manage. Enterprise monitoring can can complex quite quickly and the focus is on simple to use dashboards and filters. The tool is constantly being updated with new releases almost weekly.

Where Does Zignal Labs Excel?

There are a number of social media and news analytics tools for enterprises. Some of my favorites include BrandWatch and Synthesio. Thus I was keen to look at where Zignal Labs excels. There are a number of areas where I think Zignal Labs excels:

  • Ease of use
  • Team sharing and team dashboards
  • Sources including broadcast and Lexis Nexis
  • Trending story analysis
  • Alerts and filters
  • Influencers
  • Language translations
  • Geo analysis and languages

Ease of Use

The focus on making the tool easy to use is clear from the interface design. You start with a well designed dashboard as shown below. You can drag and drop the widgets around the screen.

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There is no limit to the number of dashboards you can set up. You can also set up team and individual dashboards to meet individual preferences and needs.

In the News Room you can dig into the stories as shown below. There is an extensive range of filters as you can see on the left hand side to allow you to focus in on specific channels or stories.

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Team Sharing

The tool is designed to help you work with your team. For example, the ability to save a story, add your comments and share with your colleagues, including a nicely formatted email to your team.

As a general point I think tools can improve the support they offer to team working and it is good to see these features in Zignal Labs.

Sources including Broadcast TV and Lexis Nexis

Zignal Labs get Twitter data from Gnip as do tools such as Brandwatch and they have location data down to city. The tool doesn’t currently provide Facebook data which is a bit of a gap as Facebook is the dominant social network currently, however, the team are in discussions with Datasift for Facebook data which they hope to add to the tool shortly. The team also crawl 20m top blogs for data from the blogosphere.

One of the nice features of Zignal Labs is the inclusion of sources such as Broadcast TV and 30,000 Lexis Nexis sources.

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It also allows you to view the Broadcast and to clip a relevant section that you can share with your team or manager.

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The Zignal Labs team also focus on the need to understand real time data. Financial services companies were early adopters as they needed to understand trends in real time. This real time focus is a big differentiator in the media monitoring space.

Trending Story Analysis

On trending stories they show list of stories but I really like the tabbed version of trending stories. The top tabs (see image below) allow me to see the influencers who are making it trend, the topics/issues in the trending story, the top tweets, a word cloud and analytics for the story such as say the gender breakdown of sharers.

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Linked to trending is the ability to show the sequence of shares using a Spidey chart. This allows you to see who first shared an article, who retweeted it next etc. The closest I have seen to this feature is the early Ripples tool on Google Plus.

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Alerts and filters

The alerts process is sophisticated and simple to use. There are a wide range of  filters (see the right hand column of the image below) such as topics/issues, source (e.g. blogs, twitter etc.), country, language, sentiment etc. Thus you can really focus in on the alerts you want such as say negative sentiment about a topic from blogs in the U.S.

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Influencers are critical these days. They have the power to promote your brand or to damage it. Hence, you need to identify them and monitor their activity as it relates to you. The tool will identify influencers in a number of ways such as:

  • most active social authors
  • most active sites
  • most influential authors
  • most shared sites

These are shown below.

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 13.28.02.pngThe tool also has an influential filter on story search e.g. search for most shared stories on a topic  which are written by a predefined influencer list or shared by a predefined influencer list.


The tool has NLP technology that assesses sentiment and you can pull up various dashboards such as the one below.

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There is clearly a degree of subjectivity in judging sentiment and hence I like the fact the tool allows you to change the sentiment manually as shown below.


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Geo Analysis and Languages

The tool will allow you to focus in on specific countries and cities. However, the feature I really like is the ability to translate content such as in a Tweet on the fly into 147 different languages. previously I have found myself looking at a tweet in French or another language about my brand and trying to work out what it says or using Google translate. With Zignal Labs it translates the content on the fly within the tool.

Competitive Dashboard

The tools competitive dashboard is strong with nice, simple summaries for each competitor such as share of voice and sentiment.

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Search Capability

The tool provides full Boolean search capability as you would expect. However, if you have ever built sophisticated queries you will know this can get complex quite quickly. Zignal Labs have an easy to use search builder tool as shown below.


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If you are looking for an enterprise grade analytics tool that provides real time analytics and promotes effective team sharing then it is worth taking a look at Zignal Labs.

Pricing for the Zignal Enterprise platform starts at around $ 18,000 a year. Depending on data needs and features required, the Zignal Labs platform may suit both the dynamic enterprise brand and the regional public relations budget. To request a demo of Zignal Enterprise and learn more, visit Zignal Labs.

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SMToolbox: Engage Consumers through Real-Time Social Content with Livefyre Studio


Have you ever wanted to see all of the social content that’s being posted about your brand and then utilize that content for your marketing efforts?

Welcome to Livefyre Studio, a social content marketing platform that allows companies to engage consumers through real-time user generated content, conversation, and social curation. Marketers can sift through the social rubble, organize and aggregate the content, and display it on their websites, mobile apps, and digital marketing collateral to increase traffic, engagement, and ROI. And because not everyone is a developer, one of the best parts about Livefyre Studio is that you don’t need to know how to code to make the platform work for your brand. 

Let’s open the toolbox and find out what Livefyre Studio can do for your brand.

Meet the Dashboard

Livefyre’s robust dashboard allows users to choose from a multitude of functionalities from within the Studio. From here, you can easily see all of the content across all of your social platforms and collections, moderate that content, create Collections, and then build your apps, which can then be embedded on your website or mobile app to increase brand awareness and recognition. 

Livefyre Studio dashboard

Discover, Collect & Curate Content

Livefyre Studio’s platform allows users to spend less time managing content and more time engaging with their community of social users. From the dashboard, users can curate and moderate social media content that’s posted about their brand in real-time, all in one place.

To build your collection of content, you’ll first need to establish which platforms you want to pull content from. 

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Facebook Pages are all included, and you can aggregate content from as many or as little of the platforms as you’d like. If you’re looking for more than just social media posts, try searching for content via apps and networks on Livefyre Studio like Comments, Reviews, Live Blog and Chat. 

Livefyre Studio content curation

Once you’ve selected which social platform you want to pull content from, utilize the automated rules functionality to pull in the exact content topics, posts, and pieces you want to highlight.

Curate by content containing specific keywords or hashtags, content posted by a specific user or influencer, and even content by geo-targeted location. You can even search and find content posted by verified users, so marketers are really able to identify their key influencers who are helping to drive their brand’s engagement.

All in all, Livefyre Studio’s advanced curation functionality assures marketers that they’re only collecting user-generated social content that they want to include in their collections.   

Livefyre Studio content curation

Design Your Social Experience

Within a couple of minutes and a few button clicks, you’ve collect mass amounts of social media content from multiple social networks, and now it’s time to design your social experience. 

Depending on what type of marketing campaign you’re using this for, you have a couple of different options as to how you want to display your social content. Maybe you’re a local brand running a scavenger hunt, so you want to be able to show your consumers social content posted by location.

That’s easy—just use the Map functionality:

Livefyre Studio map configurationThis organizes your social content by location and displays it on a clean map. Users can then click on the individual posts by location to see each piece of content. 

During the design stage, the map configuration can be completely customized to your liking. Change the theme of the map to light or dark, match it to your brand’s color scheme, and make it the perfect size to fit your website or mobile app. Speaking of mobile, Livefyre Studio caters to all devices, so don’t worry about your map not scaling to a mobile device:

Livefyre Studio map configuration on mobileWhat if location is important, but you want to dedicate an entire page of your website to social users who are posting and engaging with your brand? Not a problem. Just design and build a Media Wall to showcase all of the great content that’s being generated around your brand, and use the same type of customization (theme, brand color, embed size) as you did on the map configuration without writing a single line of code. 

If you find that something just doesn’t look right after publishing, just go back to Livefyre Studio, make your changes, re-publish, and watch your changes instantly update.  

Livefyre Studio media wall configuration

Happy Engaging

With your Map and Media Wall configurations built, it’s time to embed your stream of social content onto your website or mobile app—or include them in your digital marketing materials—and start reaping the benefits of your social engagement. After launch, you can refer back to the Analytics section of the dashboard to learn what type of content is generating the most engagement and use that data to drive further success of your brand’s social content. 

With so much social conversation going on, it can be hard to sift through the noise and collect the content that’s relevant to you, but that’s a thing of the past thanks to Livefyre. 

About Livefyre

Founded in 2009 with offices in San Francisco, New York, London, and Sydney, Livefyre was named a leader among social depth platforms by Forrester Research and has helped more than 1,500 brands like AOL, CBS, FOX Sports, NASCAR, Sony PlayStation, Sports Illustrated, Bravo, and Universal Music Group jumpstart their content marketing efforts. Livefyre has been named one of the best places to work in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times two years in a row and was also named Corporate IT Software Company of the year by the World Technology Network in 2013.

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