Monitoring your brand

Media Monitoring… what is it all about? Do we really need it? In short, the answer is yes you most certainly do need it.

Media Monitoring ‘… provides clients with copies of media content, which is of specific interest to them and subject to changing demand; what they provide may include documentation, content, analysis, or editorial opinion, specifically or widely. These services tend to specialize their coverage by subject, industry, size, geography, publication, journalist, or editor. The printed sources which could be readily monitored greatly expanded with the advent of telegraphy and submarine cables in the mid- to late-19th century; the various types of media now available proliferated in the 20th century, with the development of radio, television, the copier and the internet. Though media monitoring is generally used for capturing content or editorial opinion, it also may be used to capture advertising content.’ From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If you a serious about managing your brand, delivering something your customers want and talking in the right language then media monitoring/ monitoring your brand can help you tailor your messages, your brand and ensure you are accurate, efficient and timely in everything you say and do and crucially what your customers want.

It is so important to know what is being said about your brand, industry, competitors, stakeholders and most importantly what your customers might be saying about them. We are in a New Media age where anyone can have their say quite publicly via twitter and Facebook et al. Customers can complain, comment or praise their new pair of trainers and tell everyone about the experience they had with a named travel agents. This sort of ‘real life’, customer experience and feedback, if not handled in the right way can be detrimental to a brand/ service. Why would you go and buy a product that had received 90% negative reviews?

Here are 4 key benefits of monitoring your brand/ service:

1. Building Relationships with both the Media and Customers

Social Media is now a growing tool for both journalists and customers. Journalists will utilise Social Media to stay on top of the news, get leads and build relationships and their community. This is a first hand opportunity for brands to target key journalists who are following their brand and approach them for a face to face meeting and build a relationship with them. This in turn may then lay down the foundations for future coverage of campaigns and stories as that relationship has been created. In future, journalists may call you if they need a story.

Customers will utilise Social Media to stay in touch with their favorite brand and keep up to date with latest news. This allows brands to monitor and manage discussions, content and how their approach is resonating with their target audience.

Social Media is an opportunity for brands to constantly improve their customer service as they can find out what conversations people are having about their brand, identify any positive or negative comments and address them.

2. Identifying key influencers

Identifying key influencers to your specific brand will be unique each and every time. There may be mentions of your brand in forums, via tweets or blogs and by looking through those post mentions, commenter count and post volume will prove invaluable in determining what people are saying about your brand. There may be one particular key influencer and it may be worth identifying them, targeting them and even getting in touch. They could act as very powerful consumer ambassadors for your brand.

Influencers can also change dependent on the situation and type of audience they attract. Grading influencers in terms of their level of influence is also useful, reflecting them as a high, mid or lowpriority. A lowpriority might move to a high priority if a blog post attracts a lot of commentary. The key to tapping influencers is being flexible and knowing they can change constantly and of course this is where monitoring comes in.

3. Crisis Management

Crisis communications strategies are largely a big part of what a PR professional will offer as part of their service. However, it is not very often that a PR will have to execute a crisis communications plan. In the traditional space, it was few and far between, but social media gives customers instant access to a real-time complaint channel.

Creating a presence on social media networks won’t stop this type of conversation from happening, but will enable brands to make the conversation a two-way street. So, what type of metrics can you measure in a crisis? You can look at conversation at the start, middle and end for benchmark comparison, and evaluate response on a cause-and-effect spectrum.

4. Competitive Monitoring

It is important for brands to know how they are measuring up to the competition. Adidas will always know what Nike is doing and vice versa. Monitoring industry conversation is the first step in identifying who the competition is and ensuring you are on top the game.

It isn’t common for someone who you may have initially ‘thought’ was your competitor to then realise you have others you may not have previously identified. Media monitoring can help you identify these key competitors and further define what is successful and what’s failing. Knowing competitor efforts can affect not only what a brand does in the future, but current efforts. You can see where the consumer is, and what efforts they react positively and negatively to. Brands like to see competitor efforts for consumer validation, trends and market research.

So if you would like to build a relationship with the media and your customers, identify your key influencers, ensure you have a crisis communications plan in place and stay on top of what your competitors are doing, maybe you should think about Media Monitoring.

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