Actively monitoring our social media channels is an essential piece of our brand reputation management and PR strategy. We use tools like Mention to track what people are saying about GA, our competitors, and the tech and education industry at large.
This enables us to be active in the conversation—in real time—and engage with happy, neutral, and negative mentions about our brand. Mention is also exceedingly helpful in tracking our PR and outreach efforts.
We use Mention to both identify influencers who have engaged with us, and then track our efforts once we’ve reached out to them. Below, you’ll find a few of our favorite and most useful tips for managing your brand and PR strategy.
1. Actively monitor brand mentions, competitors, and keywords
Understanding the conversations that people are having about General Assembly, our competitors, and relevant topics in the education, tech, business, or design space is key to understanding our strengths and weaknesses as a learning institution and a business.
We use this feedback to assess our brand sentiment and make changes in our products and marketing tactics. Monitoring these conversations also gives us critical insight into our audience’s interests, their likes and dislikes, and issues in the workforce and education that we can help solve.
We use a few tools in Mention to make sure we’re finding these conversations as they happen:
Get creative with your alerts
One of the best things about Mention is that you can monitor so much more than just your brand mentions on social media. We’ve set alerts for our domain name, various classes, industry keywords, and competitors.
So we can monitor who’s talking to us, about us, about our industry, and competitors. Our Mention account managers were essential in helping us set these alerts so we pull in the most relevant and actionable data.
Filter by priority and sentiment
At GA, we get thousands of mentions on a daily basis. So how do we dig through the noise? By filtering through the priority inbox, we’re able to identify platform influencers (marked as important by Mention’s influence-based algorithm) who have a lot of followers, engagement, or a verified account.
Additionally, we’ll filter by sentiment to ensure individuals who have negative feedback, or questions about our programs get answered quickly. While we try to address every mention that solicits a response, these tools help us prioritize our outreach and response efforts.
Key takeaway: Work with your account manager to set the most relevant alerts that will help you accomplish your goals. Use tools to sort a crowded inbox and prioritize your monitoring and audience engagements.
2. Engage your audience in a prompt and on-brand way
Once you’ve prioritized which mentions you need to respond to, you need to make sure that every interaction is on-brand and special. Here at GA, we do this in a few different ways.
Thank users for giving us positive feedback.
Use fun, on-brand language to re-engage dissatisfied customers (when it’s appropriate). For instance, if someone has a technical issue, we’ll send them a message like this:
Key takeaway: Every interaction you have with a user is a chance to impress them—and in some cases even transform a detractor into a promoter.
3. Identify & engage key influencers
A huge part of our outreach and PR strategy is identifying influencers to reach out to about different products and campaigns. Whether it’s inviting notable industry folks to run a live stream, or letting influential women in tech know about an upcoming campaign—engaging our key influencers is essential to successful campaigns.
We use Mention to identify and network with influencers. The platform helps us view all of our mentions in one easy-to-navigate place. When reaching out to tens, even hundreds of influencers, it’s important to be able to sift through responses with ease.
In addition to the display of mentions filtered by our alerts, the statistics tab allows us to look deeper into the metrics that suggest who our most influential followers are. Mention has relevant algorithms that determine the level of influence a user has, making our job that much easier.
After spending time identifying and compiling lists of influencers, it’s rewarding to see all of our attempts and responses in a clear format. A recent example would be our Women on the Rise campaign, which still receives traffic daily.
Here’s an example of one of our influencers, and her post about the campaign we asked her to share with her Twitter audience. You can see two of our included keywords, “@GA” and “ga.co,” are highlighted, which are frequently used together with link sharing.
Key takeaway: Use Mention to identify platform influencers who have engaged with you before—making them more likely to help you promote a relevant campaign or initiative.
Putting this into action
Now that you have a better understanding of how to use social media monitoring to monitor and improve your brand sentiment and PR efforts, it’s time to get to work:
- Set relevant alerts to help you monitor brand mentions, your competitors, and the industry at large.
- Survey your mentions to get a better understanding of your customers pain points. Make sure to address these issues with your product or marketing teams, but also come up with a few on-brand and engaging responses that you can tweak to re-engage/ease dissatisfied customers (be careful, sometimes being fun/friendly is inappropriate/unappreciated).
- Identify a list of influencers who are engaged with your social media channels, who you can regularly network with. Make sure to foster those relationships, so that when you need their help promoting a campaign—they’re game.