As a media monitoring app, we’re always looking for new ways to educate our audience on the value of listening to what’s being said about your brand and relevant conversations around the web. Who’s better to seek advice from than the people on the ground, listening to and engaging with their audiences everyday.

As part of our Field Guide series, we’ve asked some of our favorite marketers to share with us (and you!) their top tips, tricks, and tools for media monitoring. Here’s what they had to say.

Brian HBrian Honigman @ BrianHonigman.com

Media monitoring involves three separate yet related considerations:

1) Listening intently across a wide spectrum of channels for all mentions of your brand.

2) Gauging the overall sentiment of these mentions.

3) Stringing together multiple snapshots of brand mentions to follow trends.

Media monitoring is essential for gauging the sentiments surrounding your brand. Use those insights to inform strategies on how to curb negative sentiment and spur positive sentiments.

In 2010, researchers from Harvard showed that you could gauge the mood of the entire country using Twitter alone. Then in 2011, Jell-O applied that knowledge to respond to negative user sentiment by releasing coupons for their products. This to me is the ultimate media monitoring case study.

Pay close attention to conversations in which your brand is mentioned, then check to see if any other related terms pop up. When certain words appear continuously, flag these words as ones to watch for, but don’t be fooled into thinking you can guess based on words you think might be using.

When it comes to social listening — on Twitter especially — account for various spellings of your brand names or products. Rapid-fire social media sites like Twitter are rife with misspellings, especially when it comes to proper nouns that might get butchered by auto-correct. Just look at the Twitter search results for “Diet Coke and Mentors.”

One really exciting application of media monitoring today is how analysis of trends and keywords surrounding customer sentiment might inform content creation. This is especially true of micro-content initiatives surrounding events.

When large shared experiences are going on (World-Cup, VMA’s, etc.), the online energy can get almost effervescent. If brands can gauge where that excitement is and create quick-turnaround content catering to that feeling, it can experience huge social lift.

OldaSEMOlga Andrienko @ SEMRush

Media monitoring is the process of tracking how often a brand is mentioned online and what its audience is saying about it. Media monitoring can help you to:

  • Locate where your target audience is
  • Handle negative feedback
  • Turn your target audience into customers
  • Get to know customers better
  • Turn customers that like your product into brand ambassadors
  • Improve overall marketing strategy

How a brand presents itself should coincide with what its audience is saying about it. Listening to what people are saying about your brand is key.

To monitor our brand, we use:

  1. Mention
  2. Talkwalker alerts
  3. Hootsuite
  4. Google Analytics
  5. Quora

We use Mention for tracking mentions from blogs, forums, and Facebook. As a community manager, I absolutely love Facebook tracking. No other tool I know of provides it. Plus, Facebook mentions often get lost.

I also have a separate alert set up in Talkwalker.com/alerts. This is a free tool that is similar to Google Alerts. You won’t find a full list of mentions there, but it is very accurate for a free tool.

Hootsuite helps a great deal with social listening on Twitter. If you are not using Hootsuite and do not plan on starting, my advice would be to go to Twitter and set up a query in Advanced Search. Remember to include your branded keyword and exclude your Twitter handle. You’ll be able to see all the tweets that have mentioned you but are not visible in the Notifications section.

Google Analytics reports provide several options for media monitoring. I use them for Google+ social listening. Go to Acquisition -> Social  -> Data Hub Activity.

Quora not only provides a great source of knowledge about specific brands, but about specific topics that will definitely help smart marketers adjust their strategies accordingly.

Tools help marketers locate mentions and identify users who talk about their brands online. Once you have tracked your mentions, you should contact those users/bloggers/influencers. Engage with people who mention the brand and save time by preparing some key messages.

Make a list of phrase templates, outline popular FAQs, create a custom “high -five” image for a loyal clients who share blog posts regularly.

Examples:

  • Thanks for the feedback! Much appreciated!
  • We appreciate all your patience and support while we deal with this issue!
  • Glad you liked the article! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
  • Our apologies for the inconvenience! We’re doing everything we can to fix the issue!
  • Happy to hear you’re using _______ ! Let us know your thoughts! 🙂

Almost any negative feedback can be turned into a positive experience. If people are willing to share their disappointment, they are often ready to change their mind. They want their problem solved. It is crucial to reach out to anyone who complains with the right message at the right time. And media monitoring helps me do that.

Denise01Denise Chan @ Mailjet

Media monitoring is the act of collecting and responding to what your customers are saying about you at an individual level and as a collective whole. At Mailjet, we use media monitoring to gather product feedback, collect customer support queries via social media, and to identify opportunities to educate on email strategy and best practices.

For our needs, we use Mention and Google Analytics, and have found most relevant mentions on Twitter, news articles, and forums. My favorite discoveries are the mentions that come through email newsletters created using Mailjet, which filter into our Mention feed. It’s a neat way to see what our users are creating in real-time.

In terms of workflow, we’re always “listening.” During the day, our marketing team always has the Mention window open and running in the background while we’re working on other projects. Our team is split into different time zones, with me in the U.S. and others in Europe, so I’ll use Mention’s “assign task” function to assign Europe-related mentions if they come in while I’m in the office and it’s after hours for Europe.

Take the time out to flag or file all of your mentions — it’ll pay off. We always try to end the day with “inbox zero,” which ensures we answer all of our customers and helps make for a less stressful experience when we open our inboxes the next morning.

The most surprising thing I’ve found with media monitoring is that a large amount of customers actually forget to use the @ sign when trying to tweet at us! It’s extremely helpful that media monitoring tools help pick up these tweets that would have otherwise been lost.

garrett moonGarrett Moon @ CoSchedule

I tend to think of media monitoring as monitoring the conversation about our brand, whether we were original recipient or not. For us, social media monitoring is about keeping an eye on what customers are saying about our tool. We use it for gathering feedback, reaching out to users for support, and just keeping a good balance on our brand image.

We monitor the basics: Our social feeds, mentions of our domain name, key guest posts, and a few relevant hashtags. Adding more right now is tough to fathom.

We have two community managers who monitor our feeds and support channels each day of the week. They tend to bounce back and forth between email support and social media.

The most valuable use of media monitoring is the ability to engage and build community. By engaging with mentions, we are able to make personal connections and even friends with our community. For as long as you can, reply to every mention and tweet regarding your brand. This is a practice that “doesn’t scale,” but it can do a lot for your brand when you are first getting started. We’ve kept it up for awhile, and it has really paid off.

Sometimes brands don’t feel like they have all that much to monitor. I get it, but the thing is that monitoring and engaging with those who mention you will be the drivers for meaningful interactions down the road. You have to start somewhere, so get going before it even feels practical.

Your turn

How are you using media monitoring to listen to and engage with your audience? Please share your tips in the comments below!

Guest Blogger @Mention

Shannon Byrne is the Content & PR Manager at Mention where she crafts words, creates strategies, and recruits loyal advocates. She’s based in New York. Get in touch with her at @ShannnonB.

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