Managing your brand reputation online may seem like it is out of your control. At the end of the day, you can’t really control what is coming out of people’s mouth. However, you can keep an eye out for what people are saying and adjust your actions to take advantage of it. This is called brand monitoring. Brand monitoring allows businesses to listen to what people are saying about them online.
Why Should I Monitor my Brand Reputation Online?
The internet is a place where people gather to share how they feel. They don’t have to be right, respectful, and can spread misinformation if they want. The same applies to what is said about your business. Somebody on the internet has said something about your branding, products and customer service and it is out there for the world to see. The ultimate goal is to have everyone say positive things because other potential customers are looking for reviews and opinions. With social media so prevalent, it is easy to be influenced by friends and families, making brand monitoring extremely important.
Where Should I Monitor Online?
The internet is massive and you are able to monitor in many places. The most common place to monitor is Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These social media platforms are popular and typically have users sharing their favourite places to eat, shop and hangout. Monitoring Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will give you a good idea of what people think of your brand. You can then look into Reddit threads, YouTube comments and customer reviews. On Reddit and YouTube, you can follow and subscribe to content about your industry or brand to find what people have to say. Finally, you can also refer to publication and news outlets. When an outlet covers your brand, it makes monitoring much easier, particularly when they have a share button and a comments section.
How do I Monitor What is Being Said Online?
There are a couple different ways to monitor what is being said about your brand online. One of the more common methods is to use Google Alerts. Google Alerts allows you to set up notifications for just about anything. Some terms to have Google alerts set up for include your business name, website address, product names, competitors and common misspellings of any of these.
Some parameters available on Google Alerts are:
- How often to receive the alerts (every day, in real-time)
- Sources (blogs, news, videos, discussions)
- Language (region or country)
- How many alerts (only the best results or all of them)
You can also monitor your brand reputation online by using Talkwalker Alerts. The benefit of Talkwalker is that searches can be specific, so you can combine keywords using AND, OR and NOT.
Hootsuite, the popular social media management tool, is another way to monitor your brand online. On the platform, you can create streams in which you can monitor your mentions, keywords and competitors.
Some other tools to monitor brand presence on social media is Social Searcher and TweetDeck. Social Searcher is great because it scans a multitude of social media sites including Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Flickr, Dailymotion, Vimeo and more. TweetDeck is a browser-based tool that allows you to monitor certain hashtags or profiles. The benefit of TweetDeck is that it is easily accessible as it is a browser extension.
Value of Brand Monitoring
The value of brand monitoring is you can anticipate threats and opportunities to enhance your SEO, brand image, products and marketing communications. For example, let’s say you own a restaurant. If you find people online are praising your desserts, you may put up signs advertising, or curate social media posts showcasing the dessert. Not only will you be able to communicate with potential customers about a product that is loved by your current consumers, but will find people engaging with the post because you already know there is a conversation about your dessert online. Once you monitor what is being said online, you are able to fine tune your marketing communications to better align with what consumers are saying.
Brand monitoring also considers your mentions on other articles providing a great opportunity to improve your SEO via backlinks. If an article mentions your restaurant’s amazing dessert, you can ask the writer to link back to your website. This will improve your SEO as Google recognizes other sites linking back to your website, illustrating the value you provide for others. Furthermore, it will improve website traffic and make it easier for anyone who read that article and wants to find you.
On the contrary you can also monitor the negative things that are being said about you. For example, you may notice someone mentioned the waiter was rude. Because you have been monitoring the mentions, you will have the opportunity to respond directly, and remind your staff on how to treat customers. Sometimes a person might just want to spread misinformation. With online monitoring, you actively know it is being spread and can create social media posts that highlight great customer service or share reviews that mention great customer service to combat the misinformation.
Eventually, you will get to a point where you know where to check for your customers. You may find your customers like to talk about their experiences on Twitter so you can focus the attention there. Moreover, you will also learn how they talk so coming up with certain keywords to track them will be easier.
Brand monitoring can seem overwhelming. However, after you set up your monitoring tools it becomes easy and is just a matter of keeping track of it. Once it is set up, utilize your marketing efforts to expand and emphasize the positives while addressing the negatives. The end result should be you having stronger control over your brand reputation and a better understanding of your consumers.
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