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3 Situations When Built-In Social Listening Tools Won't Work

3 Situations When Built-In Social Listening Tools Won't Work

Home Blog Social listening 3 Situations When Built-In Social Listening Tools Won't Work

Sometimes, having everything built-in is awesome.
Like a recliner…it’s a chair with an ottoman built-in – how convenient! I can fully relax. And if there was a mini-fridge too? Oh, man…


Or those DVD players built-in to family cars. They keep kids (or adults) quiet and occupied on a long car rides. A necessity!

But sometimes, “all-in-one” or “built-in” doesn’t cut it, and media monitoring is one of those times.

You see, there are lots of businesses trying to monitor social media using just the social media platforms themselves. Or using Google Alerts as their sole web monitoring alerts. Using searches, notifications, and other built-in features to track their brands, find mentions, and engage with their audiences.

Sorry, but that’s not reliable. If that’s been your strategy up until now, there’s probably a lot of conversations about your brand out there online that you’ve never seen.

There are lots of situations where someone can be mentioning you, but you don’t get a notification from the built-in notification system of Google or a social network.
Here’s how that can happen.

Social media campaign

3 situations where built-in social listening tools won’t work

Situation 1: a small site not appearing in Google Alerts

Google Alerts have been known to be buggy and unreliable for years. As far back as 2013, publications like The Financial Brand have openly shared their problems with the tool. Journalists publishing content under their own name daily were talking about only getting Google Alerts for their name once every few months.

To be blunt: Google Alerts won’t monitor your brand with accuracy or effectiveness.
Since it’s tied to Google’s crawlers for news and search, the alerts usually don’t come as soon as your brand mention happens. It’s never been a real-time monitoring tool, but the amount of time between being mentioned and Google Alerts telling you about it has gotten worse and worse over the years. Lots of things are just passed over completely.

Additionally, smaller sites that might not have as great SEO might not be found by Google Alerts at all. Yeah, there’s all kinds of problems going on. With Google Alerts, the smaller the site, the less likely it is to be found. And isn’t the whole point of brand monitoring finding the stuff you couldn’t find otherwise?

Situation 2: being mentioned on social media without a tag

Now let’s talk about the main issue with social media alerts, specifically the ones you get directly from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

You may think that until you’re getting a comment per minute on your latest post, they’re good enough to manage your social media and engaging with your audience.
But the big problem with that is how they only let you know when someone interacts with you directly:

  • Commenting on your post
  • Tagging your profile
  • Sharing your post

What about the people that talk about you without tagging you or directly mentioning your social handle?

It won’t find all that, will it?

Basically, someone has to want you to see their comment for you to see it. If they don’t think about tagging you and having you see it, it’ll be pretty hard to find on its own. That means you won’t see conversations from people who are less social media savvy, are just posting a quick comment, or don’t want to call attention to their post.
And those can be the most insightful comments in the first place. You gotta find a way to find them!

Situation 3: having your products or services talked about

Finally, sometimes people will be talking about things related to your business without actually mentioning its name. Instead, they might mention a specific product or service, store location, feature, what have you.

Like here:

If someone’s talking about the super specifics of your business, like actual products and services and their comments on them, it’s likely crazy useful information for your brand monitoring team.

But if they don’t actually use your brand name anywhere in the post, it’s unlikely an average customer will go out of their way to tag you.

How do you get those brand insights? If you’re only monitoring your company name and only through basic built-in tools, you don’t – you miss out.

So what’s a brand strategist to do?

What does it mean when there are some conversations that your Facebook notifications are just never going to tell you about?

You probably guessed where we were going with this way back in the intro.
There are other tools that can find things your built-in monitoring tools won’t. Since tools like Mention focus all of their efforts on monitoring, and Twitter has about a thousand other things to work on besides their notification system, we can spend time finding ways to discover more conversations.

When you use dedicated monitoring and listening tools, you have way more options when it comes to what you monitor, and you can customize the alerts to fit whatever you need. Want to monitor the specific name of a product even if you don’t have social media handles or a hashtag for it? No problem.

You get to monitor what you want and know that your tools are finding it, no matter the context.

Have your built-in notification systems ever missed anything important for your brand? Share your story and how you ended up finding out about it!

Social media campaign
Brittany Berger

Guest Blogger @Mention