Monitoring mentions of your company’s brand name is one of the “little things” that can make a big difference. The benefits of brand name monitoring are considerable:
- You can diffuse upset customers before they go on an “Internet review rampage”
- You can leverage recent press mentions
- You can gain insights into your branding
With an assortment of cheap or free tools, brand name monitoring is an easy. Here’s how you go about it.
First, Here’s What You Need To Monitor
Monitoring your brand name is a good place to start, but there’s more you should do. In addition to your brand name, be sure to monitor:
- Branded products or sub-brands
- The names of key executives and salespeople (more on this below)
- Your website address (without the www)
- Your Twitter and Instagram handles (without the @)
- Any variations of your brand name that consumers might use which are ‘unofficial’
NOTE: Monitoring the names of key executives and all salespeople is good business. If someone is badmouthing an employee because of an interaction they’ve had with your company, you need to know about that. Likewise, if an employee or executive is drawing attention to themselves somehow, your company can benefit by finding out as soon as possible.
Second, Here’s How You Do It
Brand name monitoring tools all work the same way. First, you enter your keywords (aka brand and people names). Then, you setup some sort of alert (usually an email) to go to the right person whenever a mention is found. The more popular your brand, the more mentions you’ll have to sift through.
Google Alerts is free, and it used to be great. Now, it’s not good at all. It’s often slow to find mentions, and it misses a lot. Only use this tool if you can’t afford something better.
Rankur has a pretty decent monitoring plan for business that’s (currently) just $24. You’re limited to 30 searches, but that should be enough to keep track of brand names and key personnel for most smaller companies.
Trackur is a slightly more expensive tool, but it provides sentiment analysis in addition to mention tracking. Depending on how many mentions your brand receives, sentiment analysis could be a big time saver. Instead of looking into every mention, you’ll be able to zero in on complaints without a lot of busywork. Plans currently start at about $100/month.
Brandwatch is an enterprise grade mention monitoring tool that includes some nice dashboard features, reports, and (depending on budget) an account rep for you to boss around. Expect to spend enough on this tool to lease a heavily optioned Escalade (or three).
Shameless Self Promotion: Spork provides brand name monitoring services using a tool (not listed) that’s awesome, fast, and effective. If you hire us to provide marketing services, we’ll take care of monitoring for you as part of our fee.
Third, Some Tips and Tricks To Make Brand Mention Monitoring Easier
Here are a few tips we’ve picked up monitoring mentions for our clients over the years.
- Most monitoring tools will let you exclude specific domains from your search results. This is a great tool for reducing the amount of fluff you see daily.
- Make sure you have a plan for mentions that show a key employee is looking for work. Whomever is reviewing mentions should know that resume listings are sometimes simply old data that’s recently been re-discovered.
- When you find a bad mention, engage the consumer positively and try to take the conversation offline. Something like this: “My name is Jason, I work at Spork, and I’m really sorry to hear about your bad experience. My office number is 877-228-4708, and my email is jason[at]spork.com – would you be open to speaking with me directly so I can make things right?“
- When you encounter a really, really upset customer, odds are good they’re going to mention your brand name everywhere they can think of. The sooner you can calm these people down, the less damage they can do.
- When you find a mention of your company in a news article or blog post, pass it on to your marketing team so they can leverage it. Maybe they can ask for a link, or offer an interview for a follow-up story, etc.
Brand name monitoring is some of the lowest hanging fruit in online marketing. It’s simple, cheap, easy, and it works. If you aren’t doing it already, today is a great day to start.