BRAND MONITORING in 2018 - dos & donts

Brand Monitoring in 2018 – The Do’s and Don’ts

Brand monitoring is defined as an analytical process concerned with monitoring various channels on the web for gaining

Brand monitoring is defined as an analytical process concerned with monitoring various channels on the web for gaining business insights. Though most marketers are familiar with brand monitoring, the strategies keep evolving with time. In order to gain the maximum benefits from their social media channels, a brand needs to keep aware of (and make use of) the best practices for brand monitoring. In this article, we take a look at how marketers should go about brand monitoring in 2018.

#1 Do make use of content personalization

A trend that dominated the content marketing niche in 2017 was content personalization. This is not just about the content on a business website but content on the social media, as well. Through brand monitoring, you can personalize your content, by analysing metrics such as customers’ engagement. If engagement is low, then you can conclude that your content is generic and does not fulfil the audience’s needs. As a marketer, you need to keep a track of the customers’ response to your content. You can make use of an analytics tool, such as Mentionlytics for helping you out in measuring the required metrics. This will help you craft improved and personalized content for your audience.

#2 Do choose the right platform

Facebook or Twitter? Instagram or Snapchat? A common question that is (still) asked by most marketers is: Which platform should we use? All of them is not the correct answer. This is because it leads to common branding mistakes, such as competing voices. What you do need is to make use of brand monitoring to segment your audience. Once that is done, simply choose the most relevant platforms, according to your consumer market.

For instance, if you compare Snapchat and Twitter, both have similar features (visual content, filters, and timed videos). However, the main difference is the reach and the audience of each platform. Generation Z’s (people from the young demographics) prefer using Snapchat, while Instagram has a wider reach and receives more engagement. Statistics show that 300 million out of the 800 million monthly active users of Instagram users make use of Instagram Stories. In comparison, Snapchat has a user base of approximately 178 million monthly active users. As a marketer, it is important to choose the correct social media platform for marketing your brand. Since most platforms now have overlapping features, you need to identify your audience, monitor your returns, and analyse customers’ response. Making use of these metrics will ensure that you are investing in the right platform.

#3 Do make use of brand monitoring to detect competitors’ social media activity

Marketers utilize brand monitoring in a number of different ways. A trend that is likely to persist in 2018, is to monitor competition metrics along with your own brand’s metrics. This is important because it helps you compare your performance with the competitors. This information can then help you make the necessary improvements needed to refine your marketing strategy. Most marketers use brand monitoring for just analysing the customer’s response to their own content. For opening up more opportunities, you need to monitor the social mentions and activity of your competitors via brand monitoring.

Measuring key metrics such as customers’ engagement for your competition will help you develop a better understanding about of the shared audience. It will give you insight on what the audience likes and what they don’t like, what preferences they have when it comes to content and engagement, and how can you turn them towards your brand. Brand monitoring is incredibly valuable to a brand when used correctly. In 2018, marketers should include brand monitoring in their social media strategy to learn more about their competition.

#4 Do make use of influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is a term that is not unknown to marketers. In fact, influencer marketing has a leading form of marketing over the past few years. We expect it to be no different in 2018 either. From well-known bloggers to Instagram celebrities, there are countless influencers out there that are willing to promote your brand. Now, the question is, how to find digital influencers for your brand? Through brand monitoring of course! Any individual that has a strong following and reach on the social media can be very useful to your brand. What you need to do is to identify such influencers and encourage them to share and promote your content.

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Finding Influencers using Mentionlytics

#5 Do invest in brand monitoring (both a tool and employees)

Brand monitoring is an investment that is worth making. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it costs too much because it offers an excellent return on investment. Even if you use a free brand monitoring tool there is still an investment to be made. This investment is in the form of the learning curve and employee wages that will be spent in using the brand monitoring tool. So, what exactly makes brand monitoring “worth the investment”? Through brand monitoring, you gain valuable insights into your business and industry which directly equates an improved marketing strategy. An effective marketing strategy leads to increased conversion rates and hence, a higher revenue generation. Statistically speaking, 85% of B2C businesses believe that brand monitoring is important for business growth. Moreover, 72% of customers expect to receive a reply from a brand within an hour and will turn away from a business if this expectation is not met. These studies show how critical it is for a brand to keep monitoring their profiles on the social media.

Let us now move on to why you should invest in resources (employees and a tool) for brand monitoring. There are numerous factors that go into brand monitoring, from choosing the right metrics to monitoring the right platforms. A marketer is not and should not be responsible for understanding the technical details involved in the brand monitoring process. This is because the job of a marketer is to analyse insights to take strategic marketing decisions. This is what makes it essential for you to invest in a brand monitoring tool and employees who are equipped (and qualified) to such a tool. The next question is: How much should you invest in brand monitoring? Well, it depends on what you are using it for! If you need a comprehensive strategy to improve your customers’ service and brand image, then you should invest higher. If you just want to learn more about your competitors then the investment does not have to be as high.

Though, what is important is to ensure that a positive return on investment is obtained from your brand monitoring strategy. The average cost of a brand monitoring tool plus the average cost of hiring/training employees for brand monitoring should be less than the total returns generated by this marketing strategy. Brand monitoring tools such as Mentionlytics can minimize the investment that you need to make. The tool comes with powerful features, such as smart suggestions and automated analysis. These intelligent features make use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automatically draw conclusions from your business insights. This eliminates the cost needed for hiring a specialist employee, who can evaluate the gathered information. Mentionlytics will perform the analysis for you!

#6 Don’t be inconsistent

A common mistake that most businesses make with brand monitoring is to make use of an inconsistent voice. This happens because we receive different results from each social media channel that we monitor and thus, take actions accordingly. For instance, a brand engagement can be high on Facebook and low on Twitter. Consequently, the brand will then look to promote its content more on Twitter. This will result in either producing more content specifically for the platform or re-sharing their content more number of times, resulting in inconsistency.

Remember that customers prefer brands that have a consistent voice across social media platforms. Your audience wants to know, who are they buying from and what exactly to expect. Therefore, it is essential that you maintain consistency. When monitoring various social media channels, it is important to understand that there will be variation in the measured metrics. What you need to do is to maintain a clear and accurate message through all your social media platforms. This will make sure that the social media channels are cohesive and in sync at all times.

#7 Don’t neglect customer relationship management on the social media

A simple rule of thumb for customer relationship management (CRM) is: The better it is, the higher the customer loyalty. While most businesses have perfected their CRM strategy for print media and traditional marketing channels, there are very few that have put much attention to the social media.

Nowadays, though, it is the age of the digital media. If there is one mistake that you do not want to make, it is to abandon CRM on social media. Brand monitoring makes it incredibly simple and easy to manage CRM. Through brand monitoring, you can receive updates about what questions are being asked and how is your brand being perceived. What you should not do is to gather this data and then let it sit at the table for months. From answering questions to sharing (or retweeting) the customers’ response, you should always engage conversation with the customers. Make sure that you respond to everything being said about you, so that the customers know that you are listening.

#8 Don’t keep the customers waiting for your response

One of the primary goals of brand monitoring is to improve customers’ service. Collecting information and insights about your brand are not enough, if you fail to act on them. The main objective of brand monitoring is to find information regarding ongoing messages, so that your brand can contribute in any way possible.

When customers reach out to you on the social media, they are expecting their problems to be solved in quick time. Whether it is a simple query regarding your products or a complaint from an angry customer, you need to respond in a timely manner. Statistics show that when you answer a social media complaint, it increases customer advocacy by up to 25%. Similarly, another study highlights that 54% of millennials, 50% of Generation Xers, and 52% of baby boomers all stopped doing business with a brand because of poor customer service. The bottom line? Customers expect you to respond back to them and do so quickly – if you will not meet this expectation, it will likely turn them away towards your competitors.

#9 Don’t look for good reviews and comments only

Brand monitoring is not just about finding positive reviews and reposting them. When you monitor your brand on the social media, you are likely to come across numerous negative reviews, criticizing questions, and discouraging comments. Though you will prefer not answering these at all, silence is not the right solution. To improve your brand image, address these reviews, questions and comments head-onby providing a feasible solution to the customers.

For instance, if a customer complains about the quality of your product, you can give them assurance that you have noted the issue and will be working on it to improve the product in the future. However, this does not mean that you should answer every single mention that your brand gets – political or religious comments and criticism should generally be left unanswered since anything you say can be damaging to someone in the community.

Don’t hesitate in removing spam posts

Spam posts are something that most marketers tend to ignore when monitoring their brand. If your brand has a good social media platform, it is highly likely that spammers will post irrelevant and unwanted things on your page from time to time. Be it a simple advert promoting their product or a link to their website, these spam posts can reflect badly on your brand social media profile and thus should be removed as soon as possible.

The simple fact here is that these spammers are trying to leverage your followers for their own benefit. This is not only annoying for you (and your customers) but it can turn away genuine posters as well. There is no harm, in removing such posts because you have every right to delete posts that are not relevant to your brand or products. When monitoring your brand, be sure to keep an eye out on frequent posts by individuals that are not your customers or followers – these are likely to be spam posts. Be quick, in addressing and removing such posts from your brand social media profiles.

Mentionlytics – A Formidable Brand Monitoring Tool

Throughout this article, we have stressed upon the importance of choosing the right brand monitoring tool. Our recommendation is to make use of Mentionlytics – our powerful social media monitoring app. Mentionlytics has a range of powerful features on offer for brand monitoring which include social listening, measurement and analysis of key point indicators (KPIs), and influencer search. The tool also comes equipped with a number of intelligent features such as smart suggestions, as well.

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To Sum Up

As we are taking our first steps in 2018, it is the right time to analyse and takeaway important marketing lessons from last year. Brand monitoring is an intricate process that can help your brand in a number of different ways when done correctly. We have highlighted some essential do’s and don’ts in this article that you should incorporate in your brand monitoring strategy in 2018 to maximize its success and effectiveness.

Are you gathering data about your brand from the Web and Social Media?

If not, you can do it instantly with Mentionlytics. Just head to https://www.mentionlytics.com/free-brand-monitoring/ and enter your brand's name to get started for free. You will be amazed by what you could find out about your brand that you never knew it existed.

Seeing this data is possible by performing simple search on Google or Social Media, but it's really hard to make sense of it, by looking it sparingly in this way. This is where Social Media Monitoring tools come into play. You can use a tool like this to automatically gather all this data for you everyday, analyze it, and give you useful insights that you can extremely helpful for your brand.

What's more, you can also get access to the same data for your competitors. Also, you can monitor keywords and phrases related to your industry, and this way you can get very useful consumer insights in real-time. These insights could cost hundreds of dollars to acquire from a research agency.

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About Manos Perakakis

Manos is a PhD candidate at Brunel University, researching User Experience and HCI. He has also been teaching Digital Marketing and Web Design to Bachelor degree students for the past 7 years. Additionally, he has been working as a Digital Marketing consultant and involved in several web projects, such as Mentionlytics. Follow Manos on Twitter