coffee-circle-white-bkgrnd-200Shannon is Mention’s Content & PR Manager, where she crafts words, creates strategies, and recruits loyal advocates. She’s based in New York. Get in touch with her at @ShannnonB.

There’s been a lot floating around the web recently on the importance and power of web monitoring and social listening, and for good reason. Listening what you’re community is saying — to you and to each other — is the key to learning about their interests, needs, and how and where they interact with each other, as well as with other brands.

An obvious use of social listening and web monitoring is for brand reputation — to see what others are saying about you — but the uses for this data go far beyond tracking your own name. Rather than just telling you how we use media monitoring at Mention, we’ve asked some of our favorite entrepreneurs, marketers, and community people how they’re using social and web monitoring to improve their brand and marketing strategies.

Want more ideas? Download our guide to social media engagement today!

1. For Building Relationships & Gathering Insights

erin h may 2Erin May @ General Assembly
“At General Assembly, we offer a ton of courses, workshops, and events that our community naturally wants to talk about, which is amazing. The trouble is keeping track of what everyone is saying. We rely heavily on social listening to keep tabs on the @ga conversation, find new friends, insight on what resonates (or maybe doesn’t as much) with the community, and more. Social listening and the tools necessary to be in tune with our community are essential for our business.”

2. For Catching & Fixing Bugs

alex turnbull-smallAlex Turnbull @ Groove

“Social media and social listening is a huge part of our support workflow at Groove. The most important tip I can offer is that when a customer is having a bad time and Tweets about it, don’t treat it as a defensive PR issue (“how can we protect our brand?”). Treat it as a support interaction, and figure out how to solve the upset customer’s problems and turn them into loyal customers again.

Here’s an example where a customer blasted us on Twitter:

groove-twitter-complaints (1)

We reached out to him right away, and followed up with an email to see how we could help:

groove-twitter-complaints-2 (1)

It turned out that he was hitting an edge-case onboarding issue that we didn’t know about. We walked him through how to fix it and got him using the product, and he ended up loving it:


And as a bonus, we found out about (and fixed) a bug in our app! None of that would’ve ever happened if we weren’t listening.”

3. For Building Brand Awareness

Tyson QuickTyson Quick @ Instapage

“Social listening is an extremely important aspect of our brand building strategy at Instapage. We use Mention daily to discover people talking about both our product and the competitions on blogs, forums, videos, and social networks. This creates new conversations within our market that we would otherwise never have!”

4. For Content Creation

Coate4Andrew J. Coate, Community & Content Manager at Kapost

“For us at Kapost, listening leads directly to content creation. The Content Marketing Academy LinkedIn Group we host is an example of that. We created it, not to champion our software and blog posts all the time, but instead to have an environment where we could regularly interact with our community/prospects. Frequently we see questions/topics arise that make us say “we should write a post about that, since we have something to say/ a way to help.

I’m also using a few tools (including testing out Mention) to look at deeper shares of our content or mentions of our brand. As I noticed trends in what gets shared, I use that to educate what to post/create more/less of.”

5. For In Real Life Events

david spinksDavid Spinks @ CMX Summit

“If you run events and you’re not keeping an eye on online channels for mentions and conversations, you’re missing a huge opportunity to build relationships and improve the experience of your attendees. At every CMX event, we have a team responsible for listening to any mention of CMX on Twitter, Facebook or on blogs/media.

We’re looking for great content to share from the community, opportunities to help people in little or big ways, and any complaints that we can address right away. Through encouraging our community to share what they’re learning at CMX Summit and by engaging everyone who mentions us, we’ve been able to trend on twitter every time and create a more engages experience for our attendees.”

6. For Identifying Influencers & Brand Ambassadors

Monica WrightMonica Wright @ Marketing Land & Search Engine Land

“We really like using Mention for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land primarily to identify who is sharing our content when we see a social spike in traffic. It catches a lot of Facebook mentions we haven’t seen in the past, and it highlights influencers without a lot of digging into profiles.”

7. For “Field Research” & Tracking Customer Needs

deniseDenise Chan @ Mailjet

“Using a social listening tool such as Mention has given Mailjet value beyond just day-to-day customer support and PR tracking. The tool allows us to take a step back and see the bigger picture; how customers are using our product and which features to prioritize.

To use a soccer analogy since we’re headed towards the World Cup Finals — listening puts us in more of an offense position. We’re able to insert ourselves into relevant conversations even if customers forgot to tag us or are just starting to explore our product. It’s an active approach and a win-win situation since we hear more of what our customers are saying and are able to then address more of their needs.”

8. For Customer Service & Support

Miguel_madeiraMiguel Madiera @ LightInTheBox

“At LightInTheBox, we know that a big % of today´s customers turn to Facebook and Twitter for customer service needs (some people say 42$ — personally, I think this number is low). As a result, we have a mature culture of Customer Service through social media platforms.

We use social and web listening to keep track of our customers feedback, complaints, and problems in real time, and more important, when they don’t come directly to us or our pages. Mention specifically allows us to help customers, in several languages, whenever they need.”

Why We Should All Be Listening

The biggest surprise to me when collecting these quotes was that each person offered a different use case for social listening. This got me excited about the opportunities that exists for brands of all sizes and professionals of all types.

So tell me, how would you put social listening and media monitoring to work?

Ebook How to maximize your brand engagement on social media

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.

Subscribe to Marketing + Monitoring Weekly

Get hot blog posts, insanely useful resources, and funny gifs every Friday.