Online brand monitoring is a business necessity. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the internet has become the main point of contact with our customers. So how to properly monitor the brand? What should you pay attention to? What mistakes should be avoided? We will tell about it in this article.
What is brand monitoring?
Brand monitoring is a branch of social listening – that is, monitoring data flowing from the Internet and drawing conclusions from it that will shape the company’s image strategy. Since the explosion in social media popularity, we have access to a vast body of knowledge about customer preferences and behavior. The analysis of this data allows both corporations and small businesses to better adjust their business strategies to the expectations of consumers.
Brand monitoring therefore consists in analyzing the data that relates directly to the image of a given company among consumers. Statistical analysis of online statements on given topics allows you to obtain information in a few moments that required costly focus research just a few years ago. Now, it’s just a few clicks away to find out how we stand out against the competition.
How to listen to the voice of the client?
Of course, this is not all: thanks to brand monitoring, we can find out where the most talked about us is (both online and in the real world), how our marketing activities are received and what topics are most often talked about in our industry.
Modern social listening tools – such as SentiOne – allow you to analyze any topic in terms of emotional attitudes. Advanced AI algorithm is able to recognize whether a given statement is positive or negative. We can therefore analyze the mentions of your latest marketing campaign and find out what internet users think about it.
Just another click and we will also find out which keywords are most often used in relation to the campaign. In this way, we will identify which aspects of the campaign were taken away from the heat and which completely missed. We click again – and we see demographic data. Who turned out to be the target group?
It all sounds complicated. Yes, the detail of the data shared by social media platforms allows you to carry out analyzes for long hours, from any angle that we are able to come up with. Fortunately, this does not mean a lot of effort and resources. On the contrary – thanks to automation, we can receive reports and analyzes on any topic weekly, daily, even hourly, if we need such accuracy.
Brand monitoring – best practices and common mistakes
How does brand monitoring work in practice? What should you watch out for and what should you avoid?
First of all: under no circumstances can we limit our monitoring to just a few channels. In today’s internet, it’s easy to forget that there are communication platforms other than Facebook or Instagram. This is a big mistake! Our clients are not monolithic – we can find them everywhere. A decent monitoring strategy assumes collecting data from as many sources as possible, from social platforms (not only Facebook, but also, for example, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit …), through industry websites, to blogs and even discussion forums!
This means, of course, choosing the right software. The number of sources monitored is one thing – the data processing capabilities are another. Why do we need access to tens of thousands of mentions when we have to analyze all of them manually? The software we choose must be able to process the found content: keywords used, hashtags, sentiment (positive / negative), etc. Automatic reporting is also welcome.
It is a serious mistake to ignore the lessons we can learn from monitoring. If, according to the data, consumers talk about us on Twitter and we do not use this channel for marketing – this is a missed opportunity to reach the customer! If negative mentions of a competitor’s product indicate a missing feature we offer – why are we not using this in an upcoming marketing campaign targeting competitors’ dissatisfied customers?
Brand monitoring and skilful use of the data it provides opens up a wide range of possibilities. We can regularly review negative reviews about us to find out what our weaknesses are. We can observe trends in our industry – or mass culture – to create RTM campaigns. We can keep an eye on the competition so that they never take us by surprise.
Real-time brand monitoring – how to prevent a crisis
Most importantly – we can also watch the mentions of our own brand to detect and react to potential image crises.
There are many potential indicators of a growing image crisis. A sudden jump in the number of mentions about us is one of the most important – if it is not related to the launch of a new campaign or the launch of a new product. This is where automated sentiment analysis comes into play. Are the new mentions negative? If so, what keywords are the most frequent?
We are not able to predict the image crisis. A defective product or a serious error in accessing the service will sooner or later happen to anyone. The only thing we can control is how we respond to the crisis. Brand monitoring gives us the advantage of time, allowing for an almost immediate response.
In some cases, we may even be able to stop a potential crisis before it escalates – if social media mentions a bad experience with our brand starts appearing, we will be able to apologize and offer compensation right away.
We can also react to mentions containing particularly sensitive keywords. The selection of these terms is an individual matter for each industry; for example, brands in the beauty industry may want to monitor slogans such as “animal tested” and “side effects”.
Modern brand monitoring solutions enable automatic “monitoring” of our mentions around the clock. If they discover a sudden spike in mentions or a brand association with a sensitive topic, they will automatically notify the right people such as the brand manager or customer service team.
Is brand monitoring worthwhile? Of course!
As you can see, modern brand monitoring is an indispensable tool for any company that is present on the Internet. Since the pandemic forced us to go online almost completely, it is hard to imagine a brand that would not be able to take advantage of the benefits of social listening.
Our verdict is therefore obvious: if you are not already monitoring the brand, it is worth considering. This is one “magic bullet” that will deal with both research for marketing campaigns, image / competition analysis, and save your company from escalating potential image crises!