Brand Monitoring Tips & Tricks

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Brand Monitoring Tips & Tricks

  1. 1. Brand Monitoring Tips & Tricks to Help Manage Your Brand Online Prepared by: Lauren Candito, Social Media Solutions Brand Monitoring: Tips & Tricks www.SocialMediaSolutionsLLC.com
  2. 2. Brand monitoring has become an essential task for any individual or corporation. Marketers must understand that conversations are being held on the web with or without our consent, and when conversations start on the web, like a forest fire, they travel very fast and wreak havoc along the way; what might start out as a mere tweet, may turn into a blog post and potentially national news. Why is this Happening? Until recently, information was dispersed and controlled by mass media networks of television, radio and print, where large corporations could control the mass media with the right combination of public relations and marketing. Now, however, the Internet has fundamentally transformed the way in which information is created, distributed and consumed. In additional to marketers losing much of their control of brand image, they are also facing a larger variety of marketing channels than ever before. The modern consumer has developed greater immunity to the constant barrage of advertising messages. Increasingly, consumers are turning to online communities, consumer writers and fringe media as trusted sources of input on everything from what to buy to how to vote. What Marketers Are Saying Marketers and brand managers now struggle with challenges such as: “My brand/product has a lot of negative search results that have accumulated over time and unlike simple word of mouth, these comments never seem to go away.” “We’re launching a new product next quarter and I want to generate pre-release buzz to build demand and create better brand awareness. How can this be done without a huge investment in traditional media?” What Can You Do? Developing a brand monitoring plan should be one of the most important pieces of a company’s marketing strategy, not an after thought. All too often I have seen companies fail because they have not listened to the buzz in the community. All successful brand monitoring plans have two critical pieces: Listening & Responding. Listening Listening is the gathering of online information about your brand. It is simply put, listening to what is being said about your products/services/brand online. There are a variety of tools that help marketers “listen,” but here are a few of my favorites: ‣ General Brand Monitoring • Google Alerts - Google alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results based on your choice of query or topic. You can subscribe to each alert through email and RSS. The alerts track blog posts, news articles, videos and even Brand Monitoring: Tips & Tricks www.SocialMediaSolutionsLLC.com
  3. 3. groups. Set a “comprehensive alert,” which will notify you of stories, as they happen, for your name, your topic, and even your company. • Yahoo! Pipes - This is also a good tool for aggregating and combining feeds into one central repository. ‣ Blog Monitoring • Technorati - Technorati tracks “blog reactions,” or blogs that link to yours. Search for your brand on Technorati, and subscribe to RSS alerts so that when someone blogs about you, you find out. • Backtype - Backtype is a tool for monitoring blog comments, by allowing you to find, follow, and share comments from across the web. Use it to remind yourself where you commented, discover influencers who are commenting on blogs that you should be reading, and continue conversations that you started previously. You can even subscribe to these comments using RSS. ‣ Discussion Board Monitoring • BoardTracker - Along with blogs and traditional news stories, discussion boards are another channel where people can gather in a community and talk about you. Most people disregard discussion boards until they see other sites commenting on information viewed on them. Use boardtracker.com to get instant alerts from threads citing your name. ‣ Other Great Social Media Brand Management Tools • Yacktrack - This service lets you search for comments on your content from various sources, such as Blogger, Digg, FriendFeed, Stumbleupon, and Wordpress blogs. For instance, if you comment on a blog, you can locate other people who are commenting on that same blog post and rejoin the conversation. My favorite feature of this tool is the “Chatter” tab, which allows you to perform keyword searches on social media sites and then notifies you of instances of your brand name. Yacktrack’s search page results also gives you an RSS feed for the search term. • Twitter Monitoring - Using Twitter search, you can locate any instances of your name and decide whether you want to tweet back or ignore them. It really depends on the context and meaning of the tweet. Conduct a search for your name, your company’s name, or various topics you’re interested in and then subscribe via RSS. Twilert is another tool you can use to receive email alerts. • Social Mention is a social media search engine that searches user-generated content such as blogs, comments, bookmarks, events, news, videos, and microblogging services. It allows you to track mentions of your brand across all of these areas. The results are aggregated from the top social media sources, such as Flickr, YouTube, Digg, Delicious, Twitter and more. Like the other services, you can subscribe to your results by RSS or email. Other social search engines include Serph and Keotag Brand Monitoring: Tips & Tricks www.SocialMediaSolutionsLLC.com
  4. 4. It’s also a smart idea to listen to conversations about your competitors. For example, if the Marriott had a Google Alert setup for “Sheraton” they could listen online for customers who get frustrated with their Sheraton experience enough to blog about it, and they could engage those frustrated bloggers, and possibly gain new customers. Talking Back Once you have set up an effective monitoring plan, and you have listened to what the community is saying, it is time to talk back. Here are some guidelines for communicating with online users about your brand. ‣ Respond quickly to criticism. If you don’t respond quickly to criticism, you can lose control of the conversation. ‣ Admit your mistakes. Why is this so difficult for brands? When you mess up, the only—and I mean ONLY—acceptable response is to take full ownership, explain what went wrong, and share your action plan for fixing the mistake. ‣ Empower your employees to become problem solvers. As a customer, there is nothing worse than having a full-on collision with bureaucracy. We’ve all been there. “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I’ll have to check with my supervisor.” Or worse, “I’d like to help, but we have a policy against that.” Tim Ferriss, author of the bestseller, “The 4-Hour Workweek”, tells his employees and contractors, “Keep the customers happy. If it is a problem that takes less than $100 to fix, use your judgment and fix the problem yourself. This is official written permission and a request to fix all problems that cost under $100 without contacting me (p. 105).” ‣ Exceed your customers’ expectations. Every customer problem is an opportunity to create a new amazing experience. But it’s not enough to meet their expectations, you have to exceed them. Anything less is merely restitution. Conclusions Understanding brand monitoring and its impact on your business is critical. Static websites are no longer the pinnacle of communication, as today’s consumer seeks engagement and two-way conversations. As consumers are increasingly empowered to take control of brands online through user generated content, blogs, forums etc, marketers must adopt new ways of approaching brand management and marketing their products/services. If you would like additional information on Brand Monitoring, Interactive Marketing, or Social Media, please contact Lauren Candito at Lauren@socialmediasolutionsllc.com Please visit http://www.SocialMediaSolutionsLLC.com for additional insights into the interactive realm. Brand Monitoring: Tips & Tricks www.SocialMediaSolutionsLLC.com
  5. 5. About the Author Lauren Candito is a interactive marketing & social media expert that utilizes her deep understanding of the interactive realm to develop results driven interactive campaigns & online marketing strategies for her clients. She understands the importance of engagement and interaction, and pushes companies to reach outside of traditional marketing barriers to develop their interactive/online strategies. Lauren is a skilled strategist who incorporates a variety of social media tools into her strategies, and tailors each strategic approach to her client’s needs & goals. Lauren has obtained her MBA degree in International Marketing & Business Strategy, and has numerous years of experience working for global corporations, intimate interactive agencies, and small business ventures. Lauren takes an ambitious, self- directing approach to the social media environment, developing measurable, long- term online strategies for her clients. Lauren has an amazingly high level of energy and enthusiasm that is balanced with a great understanding of business analytics and a detail-oriented management style. She has a proven passion for learning and naturally exceeds expectations. Her excitement about interactive marketing resonates in every campaign she develops & implements, resulting in successful implementation of client strategies, and the development of cutting-edge marketing techniques. Twitter: @LaurenCandito LinkedIn: Lauren Candito Skype: Lauren Candito Jabber: Lauren.Candito Brand Monitoring: Tips & Tricks www.SocialMediaSolutionsLLC.com

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