Taking care of your brand means using the art and science of brand surveillance.
We speak of vigilance.
We speak of commitment.
We speak of an endless appetite for information.
Fortunately, for anyone interested in brand monitoring, it has never been easier to monitor, analyze and optimize the conversation around your brand. With these tips and tools you have got off to a good start.
Bonus: Download a free guide Learn how social media listening can help you increase sales and conversions today. No tricks or boring tips – just simple, easy-to-follow instructions that really work.
What is brand surveillance?
Brand monitoring is looking for mentions and discussions about your brand. This applies to all types of media: from Twitter to TV spots to cheeky car stickers.
It is a holistic view of what is said about you in the world, but also about your industry and your competition.
Brand monitoring vs. Social media surveillance
Social media monitoring is part of brand monitoring. As you may have guessed, it only focuses on the social media reporting that is relevant to your brand.
This can include monitoring for brand or product mentions (with or without tags), related hashtags and keywords, or industry trends.
Check out all these people talking about crocs. Though none of them tagged @Crocs, Twitter is a twitterer about the most controversial soft clog in the universe.
Hopefully Crocs is looking for untagged brand names, or they might miss out on all this oddly affirming hot chatter.
This includes watching conversations about your competitors … all conversations that are really relevant to your company. (Are you a spy now ?! Fun! It's lucky you look so good in a catsuit.)
Social media monitoring is a way to track valuable social indicators and measure brand awareness. This information is very useful for tracking ROI or testing social campaigns. However, you can also use this key data to identify trends and insights.
Brand monitoring vs. Social listening
… Which brings us to social listening. Once you've actually got all the important data from your social media monitoring, you'll start thinking about what all of these mentions mean.
Social listening is the practice of analyzing the information you get through social media monitoring. What is the general mood online? How do people feel about you
For example, millions of people post doggos on Instagram … but do most of them like doggos? Further studies show: yes.
Once you know how people feel, you can develop an action plan. Social Strategizing could be a better way to think about it: now that you know what you know, what will you do about it?
… And can doggos be involved in any way? Ask for a friend.
Brand monitoring vs. social mentions
A social mention is essentially a loss of name.
Someone mentioned a person or brand on social media. It can be positive ("@SimonsSoups are delicious!"), Negative ("I would not feed my bird @SimonsSoups!") Or somewhere in between. ("@SimonsSoups are wet.")
Set up a stream on your Hootsuite dashboard to track these juicy drops of names. You don't want to miss an opportunity to reply or post again … or take revenge, I think, if you feel lively. (e.g .: "Birds actually LOVE our soup.")
Why is brand surveillance important?
If you're a monk or Tilda Swinton, you may have reached a level of enlightenment, which means that you don't care what others think about you. For most brands, however, reputation and public awareness are important.
Maintain your reputation
Brand monitoring keeps you up to date and is ready to get involved in problems (or increase praise!). If someone tweets a compliment but you don't notice it, has it happened at all?
If you keep an eye on the conversation, you can react immediately. Take a cue from the official PopTarts account that a fan reacted hastily and perfectly to the brand to suggest a product with a TacoBell flavor.
I hope it was worth it Dillon pic.twitter.com/ITEZVV5I3C
– Pop-Tarts (@PopTartsUS) March 10, 2020
Analyze customer sentiment
You want to know not only whether people are talking about you, but also how they are talking about you. Brand monitoring allows you to measure your heart rate to see how customers feel and evaluate social mood.
Although, unfortunately, you can't send a middle school style note that says, "If you like me, circle one, yes / no / maybe," this may be the next best thing.
PS: Watch out for sudden dives or mood peaks and make sure you find out the source. If something you've posted has caused a sudden drop in brand sentiment, you may have a PR crisis in your hands. In this case, our guide to coping with a social media crisis may be worth reading.
When doing brand surveillance, pay attention to more than just tagged social mentions. You also want to recognize and respond to these comments under the radar.
Add a search stream for your brand name or hashtags to your Hootsuite dashboard so you don't miss a single conversation about yourself.
Source fresh content
Has anyone written a story about you or posted an Instagram story about how they wish they could marry your brand?
Let's say it's positive, now you have new content to share in your stream. All you had to do was watch and wait for it to float by like a juicy carp (I played a lot of animal crossing, okay?).
The ode from dancer Mark Kanemura to Carly Rae Jepsen caught her attention and earned a share from the singer (a share with 97,000 views now and counts). Who knows who in a wig could be lip sync for your brand if you're not looking?
Watch your competitors
A look at your competition to see what is right and what is wrong is part of a holistic brand monitoring.
The lessons from their victories or successes can also be yours. As the old saying goes: keep your friends close and your competition on your Hootsuite dashboard.
Brand monitoring: what to track
You have an overview of all important channels – print and digital publications, social media platforms, broadcast media, online forums and rating sites.
But what are you looking for exactly?
Mentions of your brand and products
This is the most obvious and important element to look out for: direct mentions and tags of your brand name or your products. Are people talking about you? What do you say? Did they mention you?
Look for posts or content that use your brand name (plus variations or spelling mistakes!) Outside of a direct tag. Hashtags or marketing slogans can also be found on this search list.
Managers or other publicly available employees may be somewhere else in the center of public relations … and you want to be ready.
When the CEO of LeCroix made a non-colored comment, the internet struck. If that were the CEO of your brand, don't you want to know what people were saying? You can't put the ghost back in the bottle (or the bubbling Pamplemousse water back in the can, so to speak), but you can activate the damage control as soon as possible.
Check out your site’s analytics to track incoming links. This could lead you to a reference on the Internet that you didn't even know was there.
Industry experts and technical jargon
No brand is an island (that's the saying, right?). Is there a crisis that could affect your reputation? Can you piggyback a trend topic?
The discussions in your industry can also affect you – positive or negative! – So keep up to date with the bigger conversation.
If you work in the fitness industry, you definitely don't want to miss this trendy Bloomberg post on the future of gyms. This is a clear opportunity to deal with a topic that is extremely relevant to your company. (This shouldn't be an arm-day joke – whistle? Do you understand? – but I don't regret it.)
???????? Is this the new normal?
The gyms in Hong Kong have been reopened with new # Covid_19 # socialdistancing and security measures such as glass partitions. More @business: https://t.co/JQ1OsTVBau pic.twitter.com/5bC8ynkGUB
– Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake), May 18, 2020
10 brand monitoring tools
In earlier times, brand monitors had to search newspapers and intercept every city barker to keep up with things manually. Thank goodness we live today with a variety of digital brand monitoring tools available.
Hootsuite Streams lets you track mentions, keywords, and hashtags on multiple platforms in one place. Civilized!
2. Hootsuite Insights from Brandwatch
Do you want more of this hot Goss? Hootsuite Insights delivers real-time data from 1.3 trillion social posts. Save keywords and Boolean strings to discover trends and patterns, and visualize brand sentiment with word clouds and gauges.
3. Google Alerts
Select your keywords and get email notifications when they're used anywhere on the web. It's like Google is your email pen pal … though one that's a little superficial: no analysis here!
Source: Google Alerts
4. Google Search Console
It's pretty simple, but Google Search Console is good for tracking search traffic and performance so you can track these inbound links at a glance.
Use BuzzSumo to find out which of your content has been shared on social media: just enter your domain to see where it showed up online. This is also a good tool to find influencers for your industry.
Would you like an SEO review of your blog or a list of keywords used by your competition? SEMRush is on the case.
Check out all the incoming links and anchor text for interesting insights into who's talking about you (and more importantly, what they're saying).
I'm sure broadcast and print media would love to think about every release and show, but there are only so many hours a day (and you probably use it to play Animal Crossing, I understand!).
LN's news desk tracks brand names in traditional media and even analyzes what is found in them.
Mentionlytics is a complete web and social media monitoring solution. Use it to discover everything that is said about your brand, your competitors or any keyword on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and all web sources (news, blogs, etc.).
Bonus: You can also view your Mentionlytics results on the Hootsuite dashboard.
With Hootsuite, you can easily monitor keywords and conversations about your brand on social media, so you can focus on leveraging the insights available. Try it for free today.