If you have ever Googled your business name just out of curiosity, you’ve done brand monitoring without realizing it. Brand monitoring is precisely the process of looking at how your brand is publicly mentioned in different channels: articles on websites, reviews on blogs, posts on social networks, etc.
It is essential to know what people write about your brand, especially how much they are writing. These opinions can provide valuable insight into problems to correct and strengths to reinforce. It will also help you understand what your target audience thinks of your products and services.
There are different ways of doing brand monitoring. If your interest goes beyond mere curiosity and you intend to use the feedback to improve, then you first need to understand how to measure consumer interest correctly.
Brand Monitoring vs. Social Media Monitoring
First of all, let’s clear things up: social media monitoring happens when you only focus on social networking services (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you name it). On the other hand, brand monitoring is much broader and encompasses all other places where someone might be talking, good or bad, about your products and services, including social media.
Brand monitoring is reserved for more prominent brands that have already conquered an ample space in other communication channels. After all, people might be talking about your business all over the internet.
But social media monitoring should be your priority if you have a new brand and are trying to deal with a younger target audience who are primarily on social media and prefer to communicate through it.
Regardless of the size of your company, however, monitoring social media is always a smart move because it allows you to identify delicate posts before they go viral. It also allows you to identify potential influencers to partner with them and reach larger audiences.
What Should You Monitor?
To get concrete results, it’s not enough to Google your brand name. Brand monitoring is practically a science. You start by tracking your brand or product name mentions, then look for variations or common misspellings. You also need to look into the repercussions of your marketing campaigns. Finally, and perhaps, most importantly, look at how the leading competitors are doing.
There are some key channels that you should be monitoring, both offline and (especially) online. These are the most popular ones that you shouldn’t overlook:
Newspapers, magazines, catalogs.
News sites, articles on virtual magazines, and blogs.
Customers who have had a positive or negative experience are increasingly posting opinions on Quora, Reddit, Imgur, and Discord forums.
Social Media Platforms
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and other channels allow consumers to fully praise or roast your brand for one reason or another.
Online Review Sites
After researching how your brand is rated on online review sites such as Google My Business, Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Foursquare.
While monitoring mentions of your brand on these channels, it’s common to be enraged or disappointed with some negative reviews. But keep your head straight and get over the frustration. After all, you can go further and try to turn the table in your favor.
Here are some practices you can associate with your brand monitoring efforts:
Social Media Activity and Online Presence
Compare social media activity and online reviews (even negative ones) against your competitors to see how you stack up against them in terms of exposure – or how you can improve your online presence.
Try to identify potential influencers you can collaborate with and opportunities for improvement. For example, you can compensate a very popular user who had a bad experience at your business or use the feedback to improve things publicly.
Public Relations Prowess
Detect and manage crises before they grow and go viral. Use diplomacy and great public relations to make this happen as efficiently.
Interact directly with your consumers on social media to improve their customer experience. Has anyone posted a question related to your products on social media or online forums? Answer quickly and in the most personalized way possible.
Take a look at unlinked brand mentions, which is when a website or blog mentions your business but doesn’t link back to your website. SEO software such as Ahrefs can help you with this step. Read more about how to find unlinked brand mentions with Ahrefs.
See What Your Customers Are Saying
The internet has given voice to virtually everyone. This is great, no doubt. But it also gave some people the potential to destroy a brand in a few characters or tweets. This is more than enough reason for you to invest in brand monitoring strategies. Whether it’s good or bad talk, your customers are talking about you, and you need to hear them.
Ignoring your brand’s online presence might have been an option 15 or 20 years ago. Today, it’s simply impossible for you to stay away from those mentions. A potential customer may come across a negative online review and opt for your competitor. A former customer may be disappointed in the way an article mentions your products and will do the same.
Start monitoring your brand today and spare no effort to turn bad reviews into opportunities to improve your services and manage crises.