In today’s fast-paced media landscape, it’s essential to make sure you are getting all the info you can about your brand and how it’s being received. At any given time, there are sure to be both brand evangelists and detractors in the conversation.
While it used to be enough to let the dialogue unfold on its own, companies are expected to be much more responsive today. You don’t have to intervene in every situation, but the option should be there. And that means tracking your mentions!
The very word “Mentions” comes originally from a Twitter feature, so it’s no surprise most people start there. However, Twitter is only one component of complete media awareness. It’s critical to adapt to whichever platforms are hosting the discussions relevant to you.
Let’s look at a few ways to do it:
1. Set Up Google Alerts
One of Google’s most useful products is also among its simplest. Google Alerts gives you the power to design your own customized news feed and have it delivered directly to your inbox as breaking events warrant. It used to be for the average newshound, but log in today and you’ll find it gives you one-click access to search your own name and email address. Handy!
2. Track Your Hashtags and @Mentions
Although Twitter isn’t the top social media network for B2B, it’s by far the place where joining the conversation is easiest. There are many different social media management programs, like Hootsuite, you can use to track your @mentions. In particular, keep an eye out for any hashtags that are associated with your brand or an upcoming event. This is where complaints show up!
3. Monitor Both Inbound and Outbound Mentions
To get a complete picture of what’s going on in the media, be sure to keep track of both inbound and outbound mentions of your brand. Just as links to your site are an integral part of your brand visibility, mentions of your brand from trusted, authoritative sources are a good measure of how well your PR efforts are gaining traction. Mentions should always be growing over time.
4. Expand Your Efforts with Meltwater
For a comprehensive approach to mention tracking, you’ll need to go beyond the common and look for a purpose-built solution. Meltwater is one company that provides specialized media intelligence tools for large-scale tracking across platforms; Cision is another. Naturally, though, you should only commit to a hefty solution once there’s routinely too much to track with lightweight tools.
5. Analyze the Type of Mention, Not Just the Origin
When visitors come to your site, you want to know what they’re doing, not just where they came from. The same is true of media mentions. Monitoring is useful, but long-term trend analysis is crucial if you are going to get real insights out of the effort. Be sure that mentions are actually being cataloged so that results can be compared on a monthly or quarterly basis.
6. Use Open Site Explorer to Review Inbound Links
Although mentions and links are separate beasts, one usually shows up in the company of the other. You can use this to your advantage with a tool like Moz’s Open Site Explorer, which helps you pinpoint new links to your site as they emerge. Your inbound link portfolio will give you a good handle on what people are saying and help you cultivate SEO results, too.
7. Use Awario for a Potent Mid-Level Solution
If you’re not ready to plunge into the deep end with Meltwater, then Awario may be right up your alley. Awario has a more compact profile, but it’s packed with powerful features including the ability to track across Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. It also correlates each mention with the calculated social reach of the person speaking. A free 14-day trial makes it easy to get started.
8. Try Social Mention for a Free Alternative
Social Mention is a tool that has three great advantages on its side. First off, it captures mentions from social networks outside the “Big Three,” like Digg and YouTube. Second, it’s a keyword-focused solution that doesn’t require you to do any intelligence gathering before you jump in and get the information you want. And third, it’s completely free to use.
9. Augment Google Alerts with Mention
Mention is a tool that lets you set up custom alerts in a way anyone who has used Google Alerts will be familiar with. However, it also extends functionality through the ability to monitor your mentions in real time and reply directly within the app. There’s a one-click report generating feature so you can keep an eye on trends. Pricing is modest, and it comes with a 14-day trial.
Did We Mention (See What We Did There)? Media Monitoring is the Key to Making a Great Impression
It’s never been more vital to keep an eye on your mentions – and there’s never been more potential sources of them careening around the Web. A quick response to any mention, whether it happens to be negative or positive, can skyrocket brand sentiment for the commenter and those who witness it. Defusing a potential complainer is worth the time and effort.
With the right tools and the right mindset, mention monitoring can become another valuable tool in your ever-growing marketing toolkit. Start out with narrow objectives and you can find the right software that will get you where you need to go without getting overwhelmed. Then, explore and experiment to make your brand even more responsive than ever.