Whether or not you agree with this saying, “the customer is always right,” they should always, at least, be listened to.

Be it a raving review or a negative tweet, you should be aware of all important conversations surrounding your brand and respond whenever necessary.

Many companies think online conversations matter only to their marketing teams. But your customers are the source of your business. Their opinions matter, not just to PR or marketing, but to every team – from product development to sales. Keeping track of these conversations is therefore incredibly important.

But sifting through irrelevant posts on multiple channels is overwhelming, and can be a huge time drain.

That’s where brand monitoring comes in.

What is brand monitoring?

Brand monitoring is an umbrella term for tracking conversations about your company, product, industry, on the web or social media, by monitoring specific keywords. It’s sometimes referred to as social media listening or web monitoring.

Apart from the most common use cases like social media or crisis management, brand monitoring can help attract, acquire, and retain customers when used strategically.

In this blog post, you’ll learn five ways your company will benefit from monitoring your brand, and why you should start doing so right now.

Get step-by-step instructions to build an effective monitoring strategy with our free checklist

5 reasons your whole company benefits from brand monitoring

1. Improve your marketing impact

Marketers have to be more relevant and targeted than ever. And customer information is key. Demographics, intent, sentiment, likes, and dislikes –  the more you know, the more personal you can be. Brand monitoring gives you those insights into customers.

Some specific ways monitoring helps maximize your marketing efforts:

  • Listen to your customers: The best kind of marketing needs to speak to your customers’ core interests. The simplest way to know what they want? Listen to their discussions.
  • Know who your customers are: Targeting is impossible if you don’t know who you’re marketing to. Find your target customers by looking at the demographics of discussions around your brand and industry.
  • Go where your customers are: Picking the right channels is essential for marketing, be it for a Twitter chat or paid social campaigns. By monitoring conversations around your brand, you’ll learn on which platforms your customers are most active, and where you should invest the most.
  • Monitor market trends: If you’re Apple, you’d want to know what Samsung is doing. In addition to your own mentions, monitor your competitor’s.
  • Track campaign impact: Find out when your brand is mentioned in the news and see how well your marketing campaigns are performing by measuring mentions before and after campaigns.
  • Find influencers: Reach out to top influencers talking about your brand or industry to maximize the reach of your campaigns.

Keywords to monitor

  • Your brand, product, or service name (e.g. Apple, iPhone, Macbook, Genius Bar)
  • Variations and common misspellings (e.g. Apple.inc, Applle)
  • Industry-specific keywords (e.g. iOS, Android)
  • Competitors names and products (e.g. Samsung, Galaxy 6S)
  • Campaign names and keywords (e.g. Apple Music trial, Apple Reuse and Recycling)

2. Create a customer-centric product

As smart as your marketing may be, you can’t sustain your business with a poor product.

Customers no longer just sit and wait for products we decide to produce for them. They want their say. They don’t want to settle and will look for the best choice. They read and write online reviews and speak up or on social media.

And those are all opportunities to learn from them, collect product feedback, and build a better product.

Some concrete ways your product team can benefit from monitoring:

  • Keep track of product and feature requests: You need customer insights. Document feature requests online to guide product development strategy.
  • Monitor live feedback: Getting live feedback about your product is critical. Customers often find problems before you do.
  • Monitor launches: Your team works hard on launches; find out how your audiences are reacting and measure the reach and performance of your launch.
  • Benchmark against competitors’ products: You can’t beat the competition if you don’t know what they’re doing. Listen to what your industry think about your competitors. 
  • Monitor specific demographics: If your market spans multiple languages or countries, filtering mentions by language and country can tell you a lot about how well you’re localizing your product, and explore new markets to target.

Keywords to monitor

  • Brand and product name
  • Product launch name (e.g. iPhone 7, iOS 10)
  • Competitors’ product names
  • Feature names
  • Product functions (e.g. Voice recognition, geolocalization)

3. Improve your customer support and retention

Attracting customers is just half of the work. Keeping them happy and loyal is what keeps revenue coming. Customer success includes listening, reacting, and supporting – all of which you can do with a brand monitoring tool.

How your customer support or community management team can benefit from monitoring:

  • Track social support inquiries: Many customers turn to social media for support. A monitoring tool will keep track of these mentions, and make sure no customers are left hanging.
  • Monitor social media channels from one place: Most brands use multiple social channels. It’s much easier to have one instead of five different accounts to manage, especially if you have a small team.  
  • Collaborate efficiently: Monitoring tools often offer team collaboration features. Assign mentions to the best person for each query to ensure quick responses.
  • Evaluate customer satisfaction: Get a general idea of how happy your customers are about your brand and products with sentiment analysis.
  • Identify at-risk customers: Unhappy customers are unlikely to buy from you again. Identify them at the early stage and offer help.

Keywords to monitor

  • Product and brand name
  • Variations and common misspellings
  • Product/brand name + issue/problem, e.g. iPhone 7 + broken, iPhone 7 + not working
  • Industry-specific keywords

4: Increase sales

If all other teams are leveraging brand monitoring successfully, you’ll have impactful marketing for a customer-centric product that has exceptional customer support. Your brand and product will speak for itself, and your sales team will naturally reap the benefits of their hard work.

But brand monitoring can be used to generate leads and speed up closing in the following ways:

  • Identify sales opportunities: People often discuss a product online before buying. Find sales opportunities by profiling those discussions.
  • Connect and engage with customers: If done well, offering valuable help when a customer is making a decision will help close the deal.
  • Find potential resellers: A lot of companies look for great products to sell to their customers. Research resellers for your product, and find out whenever relevant conversations pop up online.  
  • Convert competitors’ customers: Unhappy customers of your competitors are more likely to buy from you. Monitor their discussions and engage when the opportunity is right.

Keywords to monitor

  • Product and brand name
  • Competitor name + alternative
  • Competitor name + problem
  • Industry-specific keywords

5: Leading C-Level Strategy

Apart from overseeing brand monitoring strategy, you can monitor your overall brand performance or industry trends, and use the data collected to make informed decisions.

Here are four ways you can leverage monitoring to guide your strategic decision-making:

  • Monitor brand reputation: Have a clear idea of your brand’s perception. Keep an eye on brand sentiment, and look out for online crises.
  • Track industry trends: Discover what’s new and benchmark your brand against your competitions.
  • Improve team communication: Stay on top of how team members are working together with the collaboration features.
  • Measure performance: Evaluate marketing and PR campaign impact, or customer support efficiency, etc.

Start monitoring

A lot of companies think brand monitoring is reserved for tech-savvy marketing teams with elaborate PR campaigns. But the truth is, every department – in companies of all sizes – can benefit from more customer insights.

With the right tools and strategy, your teams can build a better product, improve your customer service, and close more deals in no time.

Want to make sure you have a solid monitoring strategy? We want to help:

brand monitoring

Joei is a Content Marketer at Mention, where she turns dry, uninspired content to engaging narratives. Or at least she tries to. Is usually eating otherwise. Connect with her on Twitter @joeei.

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