A version of this post first appeared at Aiken Web Solutions in November, 2013.
When it comes to digital marketing, it’s much more than just having a website, some social media activity, and perhaps an email newsletter. Not everything that interests you is going to happen on your particular properties and within your earshot.
In fact, there might be things happening on the web and social media that directly involve you, but you won’t know about them unless you’re listening. I’m actually amazed at how many businesses don’t even pay attention when people are speaking directly to them on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. It’s amazing how often direct pleas and engagement are ignored, let alone some of the more hidden or hard to find stuff.
You need to keep your ears too the ground and make sure you know what people are saying to you, both when they are saying it to your face, as well as when they are telling the rest of the world about you. In addition to monitoring your own online presence and properties, you can use tools like Talkwalker Alerts, Social Mention, or Mention (to name a few) that can give you updates whenever someone is talking about you.
Here are 5 reasons why it’s important to put a strong brand monitoring program in place:
1. To see what people are saying about you
When people visit your business, they walk away with an impression. And even if they don’t tell you, they might go to the web to tell others what they think. Whether they love you or hate you, they might talk about you on Twitter or Facebook. Or they might even write a review of your business on Yelp, letting others know why they should or shouldn’t give you money. Most likely they won’t tell you that you’re talking about you, so you need to find their comments for yourself. It’s important to know what they are saying so that you can respond appropriately.
2. To see what people aren’t saying about you
If you monitor the web and don’t find anyone talking about you, that says something. Sure, they’re not badmouthing you, but they’re also not singing your praises. Perhaps you aren’t doing a good enough job promoting yourself, or not making a good enough impression on your customers. You want them to talk about you, no, rave about you. You want them shouting your name from the mountain tops. If they aren’t, perhaps you need to up your game. While you don’t want negative reviews, you certainly want the positive reviews.
3. To know what changes to make
No one likes getting negative feedback. We don’t want to be told that our products are horrible or that our employees are rude. It hurts. But when you monitor your brand online and find that you’re getting negative feedback, you need to listen. What if the feedback is legit? What if multiple people are making the same observations? Perhaps you can use this feedback to make appropriate changes. And you can also reach out to those people and let them know you are taking their criticism seriously, rather than getting defensive or starting a flame war. Listen to what they say, and take a hard look at how you’re doing business. You just might need to make some changes.
4. To know what your competitors are doing
Don’t just monitor your own brand; monitor your entire industry, including your competitors. You don’t want to operate out of a posture of fear and constant competition, but knowing what others are doing can be extremely helpful as you seek to move your business forward. Plus, you also want to know what people are saying about your competitors. Think of it as military intelligence. If customers are unhappy with some aspect of your competitor’s business, you can take advantage of that information.
5. To know how to respond
Don’t let people talk about you without at least finding a way to respond. If someone is shouting your praises, thank them! Find a way to engage them and bring them back to your business. They might become some of your best brand ambassadors. If someone is criticizing you, you also need to respond. You can apologize to them even if you don’t think it’s your fault. You can tell them you’re sorry that they had a bad experience, then reach out to them offline and try to make it right. Customer service is perhaps the most important aspect of social media, and one that is tied directly to marketing.
So be active online. Monitor your own properties, and find ways to monitor what people are saying about you elsewhere on the web.
What tools do you use as part of your brand monitoring program?
5 Reasons You Need to Monitor Your Brand Online