Meltwater Group is a “software as a service” (SaaS) company based on a research model funded by the Norwegian Computing Center. In March of 2015, Meltwater Group launched a new SaaS media intelligence program with impressive capabilities. The new platform—simply called “Meltwater”—observes social media to identify trends, connect clients with key influencers, and engage with consumers. Since its creation fourteen years ago in Oslo, Norway, Meltwater has expanded throughout the world. The company currently has offices in Europe, North America, Asia, Australia, and Africa, and boasts tens of thousands of clients worldwide.
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- Submission process
Meltwater organizes its media monitoring according to four principles: Listen, Understand, Engage, and Benchmark. The company offers a variety of products to these ends:
- Meltwater News is an online intelligence service that searches for relevant keywords in a number of news sources. It includes the following: Meltwater Buzz, a social media measurement tool that allows clients to track and analyze user-generated web content and compare their media exposure to that of other companies, and Meltwater Press, a media contact database and online email distribution service. Clients can use the Press tool to find journalists and distribute company press releases.
- Meltwater offers a 12-month subscription package for $15,000, which includes access to Meltwater Buzz, one-on-one consultation with the company's highly competent sales agents, and support capabilities for up to ten users. The Press media contact and email distribution features are available for an additional $5,000 when purchased with the 12-month subscription. Unbundled, Meltwater Press costs $7,000. This means that Meltwater offers three packages: a 12-month Subscription to Buzz with access to Press for $20,000 a year, Subscription to Buzz without access to Press for $15,000 a year, and Press alone for $7,000 a year.
- The Meltwater dashboard offers extensive analytics, including sentiment analysis, word clouds, number of hits and reads, top publications, exposure over time, and geographic locations for preeminent influencers. Clients may generate a dashboard with default analytic widgets, or design their own from scratch. Keyword searches are easy to refine and results are sent daily or weekly to the client's Meltwater inbox. These analytics allow clients to target their exposure by geography and industry. The dashboard offers all reports "at a glance," but each report contains even more information when accessed on its own. All dashboard reports are easy to export into different file formats and share with other users.
- The press release submission process is simple. Clients who have paid for the Press feature-whether through the bundled subscription or on its own-have access to the expansive contacts database and an email client. Clients attach their release, which should already be search engine optimized, and send it to whichever contacts they choose.
- For all prospective clients, Meltwater offers a free online demo. Agents guide clients through a demo version of their company's dashboard, complete with relevant keyword searches and sample data analysis.
- Meltwater does not restrict the number of search terms or the amount of results pulled, which makes it ideal for large companies with heavy and variable monitoring needs.
- Meltwater stores approximately 250 million blogs and publications in its database, which clients can access at anytime.
- Meltwater offers media coverage from 185,000 global sources, with more available by request at no additional charge, as the company uses a proprietary source database.
- Meltwater offers webinars, e-books, and social media reports to all clients. Webinars and e-books are sorted by topic, and social media reports guide clients as they devise their own outreach.
- Meltwater offers in-house translation for seventeen languages. The website is also accessible in languages other than English
- Meltwater offers a help center for all registered clients. A limited help center is available to anyone without login information and it includes a page of Frequently Asked Questions, organized by product.
- Meltwater offers a mobile app for Apple and Android phones that lets clients track their media coverage on the go.
- Online demo
The following are possible drawbacks of using Meltwater:
- The online demo is accessible only through speaking directly to a customer service representative over the phone. From there, representatives initiate screen sharing. The process is complicated and easily thwarted by iffy phone or Internet connections.
- Meltwater does not offer assistance with search engine optimization or press release distribution. Both are entirely the client's responsibility.
- Customer service is slow and imprecise. New clients may have difficulty connecting with the appropriate department or even reaching a representative in the first place.
- While the Meltwater website is well designed and fairly easy to navigate, it is also populated with meaningless buzzwords and graphics that are visually stunning, but exceptionally vague. The website may be especially jarring for prospective clients unacquainted with the new platform.
- There is no pricing or product information available on the website. To discuss the subscription or enroll in the service, new clients are required to connect with a customer service representative over the phone. However, calling the number listed on the website requires that prospective clients wade through automated menus. For the best chance at personalized service, new clients ought to submit a detailed email through the website's form and wait for a phone call. This may take a few days, as emails are routed and rerouted through the system.
- The Meltwater website does not list an email address, nor does it offer 24/hour support or a live chat. Clients are at the mercy of busy service agents' schedules, with no help available after hours or over the weekend.
- According to a variety of customer complaints, the new Meltwater media platform is prone to glitches.