Why and how you need to monitor your brand, company and product mentions online
Every business decision and consumer purchase decision involves some degree of online research. Buyers and purchasing managers as well as business managers and professionals will always research a new potential supplier, vendor or partner. Investors will do the same. Consumers browse online to find any potential alternatives and compare various products, services, brands and offers. The information they find will make the difference between choosing one brand over another or one company over another. Little pieces of information have huge impact on prospects and new customers.
Think about how you make your recent purchasing decisions when you bought something online or offline. Unless it was a impulse purchase in your neighborhood, chances are you’ve done some type of research whether you are aware of it or not.
Businesses of all size and type have to be involved to a certain degree in what is said online about their products, brand, events, experiences, customer service, etc. There are many different strategies and tactics companies can use to manage their brand activities and of course there are activities which are outside the company control however the businesses can have a certain degree of impact, influence and also they need to be proactive to respond to certain brand mentions or company name mentions wherever they appear online.
While there are many approaches and activities for brand managers, marketing managers, business owners… the very first step is brand listening. What is brand listening? Brand listening is the process of monitoring your brand mentions, product mentions, company mentions… on a continuous basis.
It is important to have an ongoing or continuous process because stepping into looking for your brand mentions on a part time basis from time to time is not working. Why? Because your mentions appear online daily and everyday brings a new opportunities, issues, conversations which can be important and critical for your business success.
Where to look for your mentions?
This is an important question. Based on your business there are some industry specific channels online where your target market engages, talk about experiences, ask questions, share information… On the other hand there are millions of online platforms and media channels like social media channels, news, RSS, forums, discussion boards, Q&A sites, press releases sites, consumer reports… and regardless of your business type and industry your name can appear anytime.
So, brand monitor online on an ongoing basis and covering millions of channels sounds like impossible or a waste of time and you’ll always have the possibility of missing important information for your business…
Fortunately there are tools and services you can and you should use to take care of brand listening and monitor your mentions successfully. Before we go into how let’s talk about why you need this!
Here are some examples:
1. Customer is complaining online. Since you are able to find this conversation you are able to respond and engage the customer and resolve the issue on time. Handling customer complaints on time can convert unhappy customer into a happy customer and advocate. You are able to turn around this conversation from hurting your business into your advantage. What if you were not able to find this conversation on time?
2. Customers talk about how great your business is and their great experience with your business. You are able to see this conversation and take it to the next level by sharing this discussion and contributing even more information to this discussion showing how your business is different. You can even use this as your reference and case study…
3. Mentions can reveal some unexpected information and opportunities as well as issues such as copyright infringement, competitors twisting information about your company, employees sharing info… and just about anyone can read this information including your existing customers, new customers, prospects, investors, employees, your local community…
What is the best way to monitor your company mentions?
There are many different ways to track your mentions daily however these are the top brand monitoring services you can use without wasting time and money on expensive services you don’t need: Brand Jot, Google Alerts, Social Mention and Topsy.
In addition there are many other alternatives but they will specialize in monitoring only a small range of online channels so you need to use various services which means wasting time daily on browsing and looking for information from many different sources and there is a chance you’ll miss important information for your business. For example there are many service for monitoring only Twitter mentions.
Google Alerts is the oldest service which allows you specify your keyword and you’ll receive email with all the mentions daily. The weakness of this service is that does not include any social media mentions. For example you are not able to see your latest social media mentions from Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and this is very important. This means you need to use this service along with other services and tools.
Social Mention and Topsy allow you to search a keyword in social media. These services do not include other mentions like forums, websites, news, press releases… They are free but sometimes they are not reliable so you can miss important information from various sources.
Brand Jot is brand monitoring service which includes both the social media mentions as well as any other mention of your company and brand online. Just like Google Alerts service you’ll receive daily email with links to all your brand mentions from the last 24 hours. This email service offers the benefits to review the titles of all your mentions quickly without wasting time on browsing around and visit the links of interest by clicking the link in your inbox. The email reports will include your mentions from blogs, search engines, forums, news, local events, ecommerce sites, professional networks, product reviews, consumer reports, social media and more…
As a summary, tracking and monitoring your latest company and brand mentions and activities online is a complex process which requires ongoing focus and includes millions of sources online where your company can be mentioned daily. At the same time it is so important that cannot be ignored. It is crucial to organize your brand monitor system in a way that does not takes hours of browsing online and does not cost a fortune to do that and you still receive daily insight for your online brand mentions.