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Brand monitoring | Find brand mentions

Brand monitoring | Find brand mentions

Any clue as to what consumers are saying about your brand? Do you have a good brand reputation? Or bad? Brand monitoring - finding brand mentions - is the most effective way to protect your online reputation, find content inspiration and user-generated content, and protect your brand during a crisis. Here’s the how to...

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Talkwalker time lapse graph - brand monitoring tool - Coke engagement split across channels

Talkwalker brand monitoring tool - Coca-Cola engagement split over social media channels.

Why do I need to spend time with brand monitoring?

Imagine the scenario… a consumer shares the great purchasing experience they had with your brand on their Twitter account. They tag you. You find it. Say thanks.

Big win!

Imagine an alternative scenario… a consumer shares their terrible purchasing experience they had with your brand on their Twitter account. They don’t name your brand. You don’t see it. You don’t apologize. You don’t offer help. It goes viral, with other unhappy users joining the conversation.

Big fail!

That, my friends, is why brand monitoring is crucial. You’ll find all your brand mentions - positive and negative - tagged or not tagged - and be able to react quickly and avoid potential damage to your brand’s reputation.

This post is going to walk you through the benefits of brand monitoring. What you should be monitoring, and the brand monitoring tools for the job.

Before I forget, don’t think that you don’t need a brand monitoring strategy if you don’t have an online presence. It doesn’t make you immune to negative comments. Social media is a place where consumers love to share their opinions about everything. That includes complaining about your brand.

There are conversations taking place every day, about you, your industry, your competitors. They’ll happen whether you’re listening or not. It’s your job to find them.

Table of contents

Definition of brand monitoring

Brand monitoring is an analytics process to strategically monitor the reputation, growth, and trends associated with a brand. Monitoring, measuring, and reporting the conversations from various channels - blogs, social media, search engine results, review sites, forums, newspapers - will bring insights into a company, its products and services, and its brand.

Monitoring your brand’s reputation and how it's perceived by consumers will give you a clear picture of what’s being said about your brand, your competitors, your industry. The positive and the negative.

You’ll be prepared should your product launch fail. If a competitor breaks new ground. When a customer raves about your brand. If a crisis looms.

Benefits of brand monitoring

Brand monitoring is an essential part of your business intelligence strategy, regardless the size of your company. Through various online channels, consumers voice their opinions, concerns, complaints, and praise. Finding these conversations will enable you to build on your positive brand reputation, improve your products and services, and be prepared for an oncoming crisis.

What are the benefits of brand monitoring? Take a look...

Identify rights infringement

Brandjacking, phishing, cybersquatting, trademark infringement can seriously damage the health of your brand. An imitation of your logo is not the sincerest form of flattery. There is such a thing as bad publicity.

If you’re lucky enough to have a big, popular brand, they’ll be others looking to exploit your brand and domain.

Monitoring your mentions helps find infringers using tweaked versions of your brand and registrants of similar domain names.

Counterfeit Giorgio Armani

Who?

Trademark your brand, products, logo, tagline, so they remain unique to you. They’re your major assets, don’t lose them.

Create alerts and you’ll receive a notification every time there’s an infringer - a brand bandit - trying to profit from your good reputation.

Use image recognition and video analytics in your brand monitoring strategy, and you’ll catch all those dodgy copies.

Starbucks - brand monitoring - video analytics tools

Protect the reputation of your brand logo with a video analytics tool.

Find user-generated content

Did you read the awesome comments from that consumer? What about the industry influencer raving about your product? Ouch… negative comments about one of your competitors' products.

User-generated content... use it or lose it.

It’s vital you find this free advertising, the impact on your business could be immense. 90% of consumers say that UGC influences their purchasing decisions. Jump into these conversations and gently - I mean it - suggest your product.

Read more about how to get the most out of user-generated content.

Yep, it’s glorious.
Image recognition found this positive post that includes Coca-Cola, but no mention.

Improve product development

Listen to consumers and collect feedback about your products. You’ll learn what they want. Not what you think they want. You’ll discover what your product lacks and be able to improve.

Some brands invite consumers to help with product development. Take Frito-Lay…

Thanks. Don’t mind if I do…

Way back in 2012, US potato chip brand launched a new campaign. The goal of the #DoUsAFlavor campaign was to generate a buzz and increase sales by 3%. A Facebook app was launched inviting consumers to offer up new flavor ideas. The brand promoted across all social channels.

Brand monitoring - Lay's potato chips

Lay’s user-participation contest struck a chord with Millennials.

After submitting a suggestion, consumers received a picture of a Lay’s bag, customized to display the new flavor. Obvs, the brand wanted consumers to share this image on their personal social media accounts.

The campaign ran for 10 months and received 3.8 million flavor suggestions. The Lay’s Facebook page had 22.5 million visits per week.

Three flavors were chosen, and the winner took home $1 million.

Yep.

Did the brand increase sales by 3%?

You bet. Sales increased by 12%

So successful, the brand continues to invite consumers to hunt down the perfect flavor.

Improve customer service and reduce churn

WE NEED MORE CUSTOMERS!

A valiant cry. And, of course, you’re right to have this as a goal. An equally important one is keeping your existing customers happy. Earning their loyalty. Stopping them leaving for one of your competitors.

Your existing customer base is how you generate revenue consistently. Repeat sales, upselling, endorsements. 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers.

To keep them happy - to keep them - you need to listen to their queries and gripes. You have to support them. With social media the ideal platform, consumers will quickly post…

  • Questions about a brand, service, product, feature
  • Issues with a brand, service, product, feature
  • Praise for a brand, service, product, feature
  • Issues with an online/offline experience
  • Praise for an online/offline experience

You really have to interact, guys. Be responsive to their questions and issues. Ignoring them can bring about a negative impact on your brand’s reputation.

99% of consumers believe social can connect people. 78% want brands to use social media to bring them together.

Speak to your customers and ask questions. What do they think of your product? What are their goals? What are their pain points? Don’t ignore them

Your brand monitoring strategy will help you monitor conversations and find questions, complaints, issues, good reviews, bad reviews. This means you can respond quickly and efficiently. Great customer service. Reduced churn.

Check out Dan’s awesome post for more about customer retention and using data to reduce churn.

Fuel your content marketing

Looking for new content to share? Brand monitoring is a great way to find new content to present to consumers. This includes content that features your brand or industry - reviews, influencer posts, vlogs, blogs, listicles, social media content, news articles.

Use this content to inspire your own content marketing strategy. Dig deeper and you’ll learn the terminology and phrases used by your target audience so you can speak their language.

To find this content you’ll need some brand monitoring tools…

Talkwalker Alerts is free and easy to set up. Use Boolean search operators and filters to create alerts, and you can narrow down the types of search results you want to receive.

Free brand monitoring tool - Talkwalker Alerts

Free brand monitoring tool - Talkwalker Alerts.
Set up your alerts in 10 seconds - enter keyword, frequency, language, & result type.

If you’re looking for a more encompassing view of your brand online, you can use a paid option…

Quick Search is our powerful social search engine. It gives you an instant overview of your brand online. It offers extensive coverage of social media networks, news sites, blogs, and forums. Allowing you to…

  • Monitor and find the latest industry trends
  • Find audience demographics
  • Discover conversations surrounding your brand
  • Find the influencers that are talking about you

Working in real-time, you can also enter multiple brands - your competitors - and compare sentiment, with 90% accuracy.

Brand monitoring tool - Talkwalker's Quick Search

Quick Search is a social media search engine that analyzes billions of conversations.

Manage a crisis

Yep, brand monitoring is an essential part of crisis management. While an increasing number of brands appreciate the importance of having a crisis management plan, according to communication services company Burson-Marsteller, only 51% have one.

You can’t avoid a crisis. However, you can minimize the potential damage to your reputation with brand monitoring.

Crisis management with brand monitoring

When a crisis hits - listen, identify, review, respond.

Look. Listen. Learn.

You have to monitor brand mentions to identify how consumers feel about your brand. If you’re struggling to find this information, how will you know if sentiment is shifting towards negativity? If a customer is bad-mouthing your product? If an employee has gone off the rails?

If you need a PR crisis plan - and you do - download my special edition PR Crisis Management eBook. A crisis will be a surprise. You should already know how you’re going to deal with it.

DOWNLOAD MY FREE PR CRISIS EBOOK

PR crisis eBook to help you control a crisis & diminish its power.

Boost sales

You’ve improved your customer support and product development is getting better every day. Brand monitoring will also help you find new sales opportunities.

Use social listening to find consumers talking about a product or service online, that they’re considering buying. They could be asking for opinions from other consumers, reading reviews, talking to your competitors.

If not talking about a particular product, they could be asking about a problem they’re having and wanting a solution. A product that solves their issue.

Find these conversations and jump in. Offer a free demo of your product. Advice on which product they should purchase.

BOOM! You’ve made a sale.

Brand monitoring campaigns

Don’t think for one moment that you can take a quick look at your brand reputation, then sit back and relax. No, no, no.

You have to measure it.

Brand monitoring is about finding conversations, engaging with consumers, crisis management, identifying sales opportunities, etc. Measuring is all about the metrics over a particular time period.

You’ll be asked to prove that your brand reputation is healthy. Prove your brand monitoring is working. Tracking critical metrics will help you improve your brand monitoring strategy, and impress your boss.

My social media metrics guide will walk you through the 20 metrics that matter. What they are. Those crucial to your business. How to find them, and what the results mean.

Brand monitoring feature examples from Talkwalker Analytics

Talkwalker Analytics - social media metrics tool to track and visualize social data.

Okay… you know the benefits of brand monitoring, now you need to know what to monitor.

Online reputation management

Brand monitoring is not only about finding all the nice stuff said about your brand and products. It’s important you find the negative comments too. Protecting your brand reputation is a crucial part of your online brand monitoring strategy.

It’s taken you time and effort to create positive awareness around your brand. You’ve shed blood, sweat, and tears maintaining its good reputation. Allow it to be damaged, and it’ll take time to recover. If it’s not already too late.

You’ve got a funky website and your SEO is cracking. You post regular content that’s well received. But, if a consumer searches your brand and finds negative reviews, shouty comments - happens to the best of us - what you gonna do?

Online reputation management is all about strengthening your reputation and making it unimpeachable. You don’t bury negative comments.

Well you do, but not how you think.

Publish. Publish. Publish.

Generate awesome new content. Find good reviews of your products and share them on your website. Share them on social media. Never ignore a bad comment. Show other consumers that you’re available and listening. Respond to unhappy consumers, and turn that frown upside down.

66% of consumers trust customer reviews 12x more than brand content

Amazon customer review - UGC - brand monitoring

User social proof - customer reviews and testimonials are awesome social proof.

Read more about online reputation management and the ORM tools to help.

Sentiment analysis

It’s all very well churning out heaps of content and collecting brand mentions. But, if you don’t understand the sentiment behind the mentions, you’re flogging a dead horse.

Nice image.

Sentiment analysis as part of your brand monitoring strategy will separate the positive from the negative. Why is this important? Well, if you leave the negative unanswered, it’s going to fester and turn into something nasty.

I’ve got a list of sentiment analysis tools that’ll help you out. Take a look!

Talkwalker sentiment analysis - brand monitoring tool - Coke vs Pepsi vs Dr Pepper

Talkwalker AI-powered sentiment analysis of three leading fizzy drink brands.

Sentiment analysis will allow you to dig deep into the emotion of consumer conversations, on social media, news sites, blogs, forums, and more.

Talkwalker’s sentiment analysis will find and analyze consumer sentiment with up to an average of 90% accuracy. It’ll determine attitude and contextual reactions in tweets, comments, blog posts. It even understands sarcasm and irony!!!

Impressed?

Campaign names and hashtags

Part of your brand monitoring strategy should include measuring the impact of your marketing campaigns by capturing all online mentions of your campaign name. You could find it in conversations in blog posts, news reports, social media comments, press releases, influencer posts.

Identify and analyze these discussions for a clear picture of how your campaign is working. Does it resonate with your target audience? You’ll be able to find what’s working and what isn’t. How you can improve, and what you should stop.

Quick Search word cloud - brand monitoring tool - Share a coke

Quick Search highlights #ShareACoke, a lip-smacking user-generated campaign.

Remember when you used to spend ages looking for your name on a Coke bottle? Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke campaign launched in 2011, when it swapped it’s brand name on bottles, with 250 popular names. The campaign encouraged consumers to share a photo of a personalized Coca-Cola bottle on social media, using the #ShareACoke hashtag. The brand would have not only tracked #ShareACoke, but the campaign name too - share a coke.

Share of voice (SOV)

Monitor how many people are talking about you - brand, product, service, features, CEO - on social media, compared with your competitors. SOV mentions include…

  • Direct - @Talkwalker
  • Indirect - Talkwalker

Analyzing your share of voice is not just about monitoring your own brand, it should also be part of your competitor analysis strategy, identifying how visible your brand is. How relevant your brand is in your industry.

Talkwalker Analytics brand monitoring tool - share of voice

Talkwalker Analytics - brand monitoring - share of voice.
Simulated social media report template.

How to measure your share of voice

  • Count all direct/indirect mentions of your brand across all your social media channels

  • Count all direct/indirect mentions of your competitors’ brands for the same period of time

  • Add up all the mentions, divide by the total, multiply by 100 = social SOV percentage

Monitor competitor brands

Brand monitoring helps you keep track of your competitors and their online performance. Perform analysis on their brand keywords, and listen to what consumers are saying about them.

  • Any big complaints?
  • Are their customers happy with their purchasing experience?
  • Are they launching something new?
  • Any opportunities for you to engage with unhappy customers?

Ahrefs is the best brand monitoring tool for tracking backlinks and search results. You’ll be able to find out which keywords your competitors are ranking for in organic search, and whether they’re outranking you. Plus, how much traffic this is bringing them.

Ahrefs - SEO backlink checker - brand monitoring

Ahrefs - SEO backlink checker.

Monitor what your competitors are doing. The campaigns they’re running. Events attended. Webinars. Content they’re publishing. What’s working for them? Are you doing it too? Find inspiration from their strategies, and learn from their mistakes.

competitor grid - competitor analysis spreadsheet

Simulated competitor analysis template for Coca-Cola.

Remember when you did SWOT analysis for your brand? Now do it for your competitors. For each of your social media channels, track...

  • Are you missing countries that your competitors are targeting successfully?

  • Do they work with influencers that would also work with your brand?

  • Who are their followers?

  • What are their engagement rates compared to yours?

Brand monitoring tools - Talkwalker competitive benchmarking

Talkwalker - competitive benchmarking with social media analytics.

Check out my competitor analysis guide for more details on SWOT, audience demographics, PEST analysis, and more.

Audience

I’ve a handy guide on consumer behavior analysis that’s going to help you out.

You need to do more than just analyze age, gender, and geography. You need to go deeper and monitor behavior, perceptions, sentiment, mindset. Then target these characteristics. You might find that two people in two different demographics display similar behavior, so they’re perfect for your campaign.

Model of consumer behavior - analyze and identify consumer decision-making process

Model of consumer behavior.

Product names

Don’t bank on consumers always naming your product, even when they are talking about your brand. For instance, I have a Galaxy Note 10. You know what the brand is, but I’ve not mentioned it.

It means that you have to monitor your product names along with your brand names. At Talkwalker, we monitor our brand, along with Quick Search, Talkwalker Alerts, and Free Social Search.

Use brand monitoring to find issues with a product by using search terms that along with your product, include phrases like…

  • Issue with…
  • Don’t waste your money on…
  • How to fix…
  • Problem with update...

Product features

Similar to above, where your product isn’t named, consumers may discuss product features or functions that they need. Or, that they are unhappy with.

Monitor discussions with key features and functions that your brand offers.

  • I want chicken pieces with the taste of 11 herbs and spices.

  • I need a social listening tool that offers highly-accurate sentiment analysis.

  • I’m looking for image recognition tech. Any suggestions?

Influencers

Influencer marketing is huge. It’s value increasing daily, due to the popularity of social media. Instagram being the mothership.

40% of consumers state that they would buy a product after seeing it used by an influencer.

A comprehensive brand monitoring strategy would include monitoring results from your influencer campaigns. How?

First up, set your SMART goals - specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-based. Increasing brand awareness is too vague, and it’s hard to monitor and measure. Increasing your Twitter followers by 35% over the next eight months is SMART.

Although 53% of marketers struggle with measuring the performance of their influencer campaigns, with the right influencer marketing platform, it’s easy peasy.

Place a value on each mention and engagement you get. You can then convert your campaign results into tangible ROI.

Check out Dan’s post on how to build and measure your influencer marketing strategy.

Metrics for your influencer marketing strategy - brand monitoring

Influencer One will help you monitor your campaign ROI in real-time.

Key executives

This will depend on how active your C-level is. How much they’re in the public eye. If you have a CEO that’s active in your community, uses social media regularly, you should monitor their name. Positive mentions can be acknowledged and you can use the content for your brand marketing.

You’ll need damage control for anything negative, to lessen potential harm to your brand’s reputation.

Elon Musk is a highly visible person. So much so, that he’s become part of Tesla’s marketing strategy. He knows how to work a room, regularly posting on social media. Whether he’s musing about space travel, electric cars, smoking weed on camera, or manufacturing ventilators during the coronavirus, he’s someone to watch. Carefully.

Okaaay.

Branded keywords

These include your brand name, slogan, tagline, catch phrases. For instance, Nike would track “Just do it”. KFC would track “Colonel Quality, Guaranteed”. Remember to add any news ones that you create for new marketing campaigns.

Do consumers use variations of your brand name? An example would be Marks & Spencer, Marks and Spencer, M&S. Track those too.

What about spelling mistakes? Talkwater, Tallwalker, Talk Walker. Track ‘em.

Event hashtags

You’ll want to track what people are saying about your event - before, during, after. Obvs, I’m presuming you create hashtags for your events.

If not… WHY NOT?

Every year, Social Media Week holds a conference.

Join us for #SMWONE, a Worldwide Virtual Conference.

They track the hashtag.

Brand monitoring tool?

I hear ya…

Talkwalker’s Free Social Search is free and makes hashtag tracking, child’s play. With unlimited searches, you enter your brand, campaign, or hashtag to measure the impact on your social media channels.

Features include…

  • Event performance -real-time insights from tracking event hashtags

  • Hashtag tracking - find the best for your content, and track yours and your competitors’

  • Campaign tracking - track the impact of your campaigns - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, news, blogs, forums, review sites

  • Brand protection - monitor your brand’s reputation by tracking mentions, sentiment, engagement reach

Free Social Search - free brand monitoring tool

Free brand monitoring tool - Free Social Search - to search for your company, brand, competitors, hashtags, industry, trends, keywords.

Industry-specific keywords

There’s a lot of conversation out there and it won’t all include mentions of your brand or products, but is related to your industry. It’s vital that you listen to these to learn about consumers. What they want. What they need. What they love, and what they hate.

You’ll find out what’s trending. Identify new opportunities. What your competitors are talking about, and more.

What are your industry-specific keywords? I’m kinda assuming you know, and I won’t have to tell you. If I was to list some of Talkwalker’s, they would include…

  • Social listening
  • Social media analytics
  • Social media
  • Social media marketing
  • Digital marketing
  • And a whole lot more...

Quick Search word cloud - brand monitoring industry keywords

Talkwalker’s social media search engine - Quick Search.

To increase traffic to your website, create marketing campaigns or produce blog content on trending keywords in your industry that you find.

Best practices for brand monitoring

You know what to monitor. You’ve got the tools for the job. You’re set.

Woah! Hold your horses...

There’s a few best practices I’d like to remind you about, so you get the most out of your brand monitoring strategy.

Alerts for negative mentions

Don’t you feel just great when you find a positive comment about your brand? You say thanks. You share that jewel of user-generated content with your team, on your website, on social. While it’s best practice to respond quickly, if you were a bit slow, it’s not a biggie.

On the other hand, a negative comment is time-sensitive. You must act fast. Set up Talkwalker Alerts to ensure you find issues in real-time. Identify negative comments and catch them before they go viral.

Talkwalker Alerts - brand monitoring for negative mentions

Talkwalker Alerts - free brand monitoring tool.

Know when to shut up

While it’s tempting to react when someone complains about your product, sometimes you’ll be in danger of exacerbating the situation. Or, it’s an issue that’s too hot to handle.

Learn when to walk away.

Collect the positive feedback, and always respond and try to help consumers with genuine complaints.

In addition, some issues may be too sensitive to respond to. It’s important for your team to identify these conversations and brand mentions, and understand which ones they should engage with and which ones they should leave alone.

DOWNLOAD FREE SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGING CHECKLIST!

You can’t wing it on social media. It’s not a rehearsal. Fail, and your brand will be lost in the crowd.

Listen and learn from your competitors

Monitor your competitors and analyze their marketing strategies. Find out what’s working for them, and what isn’t.

How do they engage with consumers? What tone of voice and language are they using? Does it resonate with their followers?

What do their customers like about them? What don’t they like?

How do they respond when they receive negative feedback? Calm and reassuring or brash and dismissive?

Answers to these questions and more, will help you improve your brand marketing strategy.

What next?

It’s all very well having a comprehensive brand monitoring strategy and collecting heaps of brand mentions. But, what are you going to do with the results? Will you…

  • Just like a positive comment or engage with a thank you?

  • Delete negative comments or engage?

  • Offer solutions to unhappy customers in public, or take it offline?

  • Share posts that feature your brand and credit the author?

You need a plan so your team understands how it should react to certain situations.

I’ll refer you to 11 steps to PR crisis management again, as it details how to build a crisis response team and determine your responses.

Takeaway

Brand monitoring is a crucial part of our job. You’ll understand how consumers feel about your brand, products, and services. How they feel about your competitors. You’ll find new sales opportunities and content to share with your audience and inspire content creation. Your brand reputation will be protected because you’ll always be one step ahead of a crisis.

To help, download my exclusive PR crisis management eBook…

PR crisis ebook