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What are Brand Mentions & How to Track Them

What are Brand Mentions & How to Track Them

Home Blog Media Monitoring What are Brand Mentions & How to Track Them

Consumers rely on online information and word-of-mouth recommendations more than ever before.

Today, your brand is under scrutiny from the public eye, and you must stay vigilant to ensure your brand reputation remains strong.

One key way to manage your online reputation is to track brand mentions on social media and other platforms.

What does this mean, and how do you manage your brand mentions? This post will answer these questions.

Keep reading, and you’ll learn how to gauge your brand visibility and reputation. You’ll also gain valuable insights to inform your growth strategies and drive business success.

Understanding Brand Mentions

To begin with, what are brand mentions?

Brand mention refers to any time a brand, product, or service is referenced online, whether directly or indirectly. This includes social media posts, blogs, news articles, reviews, and more.

Typically, a brand is referenced with an @yourbusinessname on social media platforms. It can also be #yourbusinessname or just a simple reference to your business name on news articles or blog posts.

You should know that there are two main types of brand mentions:

  • Direct mentions: this is when a brand is explicitly named. For example, “@Nike makes the best running shoes“.
  • Indirect mentions: In this case, a brand is referenced without using its name. For example, referring to the Golden Arches for McDonald’s or mentioning a product without the brand. Indirect mentions include misspellings, taglines, common phrases, and ad callouts.
Mcdonalds brand mention Big Mac

The term ‘Big Mac’ clearly refers to McDonald’s even though the brand name is not mentioned. It’s worth tracking different terms related to your brand. Source

You should know how people talk about your brand online to avoid missing out on important conversations. Monitor online chatter and ask your customers how they refer to your business when discussing you. Learning these details will give you a comprehensive view of your brand image.

How do brand mentions impact SEO and your online reputation?

Note that we’re in a stage where AI is changing everything we do. Today, Google integrates AI into search results. We also have thousands of AI tools popping up.

I believe that brand mentions will significantly impact SEO and your online reputation. One way is by impacting the content AI generates based on what people say about your business online.

Two is by signaling to Google and other search engines that your brand is an authority figure that people trust, which could lead to better rankings for your content, higher traffic, and more engagement.

When your brand is mentioned frequently and positively, it can enhance your brand visibility and authority in search engine results.

You also get more opportunities to actively engage with your audiences and influence how you are perceived online.

Some examples that illustrate the power of brand mentions:

  • secured over 200 high-quality backlinks by automating the process of identifying mentions. They used to identify brand mentions online but did not get a link to their site. By finding such opportunities, was able to boost its domain authority and increase organic traffic to its business.
  • Mentions of a product launch in an influencer’s YouTube video can drive awareness and sales. Think of how Stanley Cups exploded recently and sold out due to influencers’ mentions.
  • Terry Kyle, the CEO of WPX, tracks mentions of his name and company to tackle false reviews and harmful practices by competitors. He also handled a serious outage that frustrated customers and helped them with the situation, which allowed him to protect his brand’s reputation. Terry also analyzes brand mentions to protect his personal and professional reputation and respond to potential PR issues.

These are just a few benefits of tracking brand mentions and their use cases. How you leverage brand mentions online depends on your ingenuity and dedication.

Media monitoring campaign

Importance of Tracking Brand Mentions

We saw a few ways to track brand mentions that can help a business. But let’s dive deeper into why brand mentions matter and its role in growing your brand.

Better Customer Engagement

Monitoring brand mentions across social media and other channels allows you to identify and connect with customers discussing your brand. There are hundreds of conversations about your product and business online without your knowledge.

Tracking mentions allows you to know what’s happening and where and to participate in the conversation when necessary.

When customers discuss your product or service, you can respond with personalized and relevant interactions.

Tracking mentions also helps you gauge customer sentiment and understand their pain points. You can use mentions to identify problems and opportunities, collect positive feedback, and to improve experiences.

Crisis Management and Competitive Analysis

Tracking brand mentions helps you respond rapidly to PR crises or negative publicity.

Monitoring spikes in volume or changes in sentiment can help you anticipate emerging issues and mitigate damage. For example, Brian Swichkow received backlash from Reddit users when it was discovered that he used Reddit to market his clients stealthily.

In response, Brian was notified via a brand mention notification about the storm created on Reddit. He then joined the conversation, clarified his position, and won over a few people.

It’s worth noting that the conversations have since disappeared, but this still stands as a good example of using brand mentions to handle negative PR crises.

Also, tracking competitors’ mentions provides useful benchmarking to adapt strategies for better results.

Influencing Trends and Behavior

Tracking and analyzing brand mention data over time can give you insights into shifting consumer interests and behaviors.

You can capitalize on rising trends and learn about declining ones. You could even use brand mentions to reveal new target demographics and identify critical influencers shaping opinions.

By cleverly tracking your brand, analyzing brand sentiment, competitors’ brands, and the brands of key influencers, you can tailor your messaging and initiatives to drive engagement and sales.

Tools for Tracking Brand Mentions

Ultimately, successfully tracking brand mentions involves using the most effective brand mention tools. Let’s explore a few options.

Google Alerts

If you’re looking for social media monitoring tools but don’t want to spend money, setting up Google Alerts is a simple and free way to track brand mentions.

Google Alerts

This is a free service by Google that allows you to track keywords of your choice.

All you have to do to monitor brand mentions is add your brand name and other keywords to the Google Alerts form, add your email, and you’ll start getting regular ‘alerts’ or reports when the keyword is mentioned.

Use Google Alerts to track trends and brand mentions


Mention’s platform is a leading brand monitoring tool that tracks mentions from over 1 billion sources across news sites, blogs, online forums, review sites, X/Twitter, Facebook, and more.

Mention dashboard

It provides real-time alerts, sentiment analysis, and reporting to help you identify brand mentions and understand the impact of your brand mentions. What makes it powerful is that it can track mentions from obscure sources to ensure that you never miss a key conversation.

And there are more advanced functionalities:

  • Sentiment analysis: No need to scour every mention to learn what people say. A tool like Mention can analyze social media posts and other content to provide the most important information—what people feel about your brand.
  • Content publishing and scheduling: You can post to multiple platforms from a single dashboard. You can also respond to comments on Mention’s platform to get a cohesive view of your content online.

You can easily manage your brand reputation with Mention’s social listening, competitive analysis, and comprehensive reporting features.

Analyzing and Responding to Brand Mentions

Brand mentions are only helpful if they help you learn how your audience feels.

You need to analyze positive or negative sentiment via their comments, blog posts, articles, and forum content to make key decisions.

Brand mentions reputation management

Nature’s Path responds to a disgruntled customer’s X/Twitter post. Tracking brand mentions makes it possible to answer and clarify your position. Source

Mentions can be categorized as positive, neutral, or negative.

Positive mentions present opportunities to thank customers and showcase your brand’s strengths.

Negative mentions require prompt action to address concerns and mitigate reputational risks. Neutral mentions still offer chances to engage and make a positive impression.

Personalization is key when responding to mentions. While automation can help manage high volumes of mentions, canned responses often miss the mark. Your best bet is prioritizing time and effort towards critical or harmful mentions with manual responses.

Use reactions such as ‘likes’ or emojis for positive mentions that don’t need elaborate responses from you. And avoid engaging with speculative content altogether.

Consider the context and tailor your reply while maintaining a consistent brand voice. For example, a detailed complaint on social media warrants a direct, empathetic response, while a casual brand reference needs a simple thank you.

Aim to respond to every mention when possible.

Quick actions turn passing references into deeper connections. Response time is also important – social media conversations move fast. You should also prioritize monitoring those platforms where engagement occurs the most.

For some businesses, this could be social media mentions in Facebook groups. For others, it could be on social media channels like Instagram or Reddit.

Media monitoring tools like Mention allow you to customize alerts and automate initial responses while reserving the most meaningful mentions for personal attention.

With the right balance of automation and human touch, you can scale your brand mention responses efficiently. The payoff is invaluable – increased brand loyalty, reduced public relations risks, and deeper consumer insights.

How to Leverage Mentions for Growth

Brand mentions can be a powerful tool for marketing and business growth if utilized strategically. Here are some ways to leverage positive and negative brand mentions:

Marketing with Positive Mentions

Marketing with positive mentions

Use positive brand mentions on your website to drive social proof. Source

  • Feature positive customer mentions, testimonials, or reviews in your marketing materials, such as websites, ads, social media, and sales collateral. Always get permission first. This type of content acts as social proof and can drive further sales as it builds trust. Positive brand mentions can be powerful on pricing, checkout, and other areas where conversions matter.
  • Share and promote positive third-party content mentioning your brand. This will lend credibility to your business and establish you as a trustworthy organization.
  • Use positive mentions in PR efforts to showcase your reputation and strengthen media pitches. This should help you gain more attention from journalists, influencers, experts, and others who significantly influence relevant communities.
  • Turn satisfied customer mentions into case studies and user stories. Track positive brand mentions and reach out to the creators to dive deeper and learn more about their interactions with your product and business.

Turning Negative Mentions into Opportunities

The reality is that you can’t avoid negative mentions at times. However, you should be able to turn most negative brand mentions into a learning experience or even a positive one with the right strategies. Let’s explore a few here:

  • Address customer complaints directly and promptly when you encounter them – don’t delay. Solve issues to turn detractors into promoters. People just want to be heard and will often forgive a poor experience if it’s sorted out well.
  • Analyze negative mentions to identify areas of weakness and improvement opportunities in your business. Do you see patterns or themes in your negative comments? Do people complain about customer support response time or pricing? Use negative brand mentions to improve your business.
  • Respond professionally to inaccurate or unfair criticism to mitigate damage. Avoid the temptation to snap back, be condescending or rude, or respond in any other way than polite and professional.
  • Seek feedback from dissatisfied customers to understand their perspectives. It can take courage to ask unhappy customers for more information, but the process often provides valuable insights.
  • Offer resolutions like refunds or coupons to dissatisfied customers when appropriate. This builds goodwill.

Proactively managing brand mentions allows you to amplify positive signals in the marketplace while mitigating negativity.

Get More Backlinks via Unlinked Mentions

In an ideal world, whenever someone talked about your business, they’d add a link to your home page. However, more often than not, your brand will get mentioned on multiple platforms like blogs, news articles, and social media, but won’t get a link to your home page.

The difficulty lies in finding such opportunities. This is where a tool like Mention can help.

A brand tracking tool can find and compile any mention of your business online, whether on blogs, forums, or social media. Simply contact the websites about you and ask them to add a link to your product or home page.

You could frame it as offering readers a benefit where they could find your brand more easily. Many of these sites will respond and happily link to your business. This way, you’ll get more backlinks, boost your domain authority, and increase organic traffic.

With the strategies shared here, you can leverage brand mentions for your overall growth and success.

Media monitoring campaign

Start Tracking Your Brand Mentions for Growth and Success

Tracking brand mentions should be an integral part of any marketing strategy.

Monitoring your brand mentions will give you great insights that can shape messaging, identify new opportunities, and allow for more effective customer engagement.

When you aren’t actively tracking mentions, you’re missing out on a dynamic feedback channel that could significantly impact your growth.

Use Mention to help find brand mentions and track your brand reputation online. This powerful technique and asset can help you grow—start monitoring your brand mentions today!

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Syed Balkhi

Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site. With over 10 years of experience, he’s the leading WordPress expert in the industry. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on his social media networks.

Founder & CEO @Awesome Motive