Social mentions reveal a lot about your brand performance. Learn how to monitor your social media accounts with our comprehensive social mention guide.
Over the past decade, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn have transformed the digital marketing industry.
Today’s business owners miss out on new opportunities if they are not on social media.
Having a presence on social channels is only one part of the puzzle, amongst other reputation management services, however. Your social media posts and user-generated content can do a lot for you, but to get the most out of these channels, you must check brand mentions in social media and track data with social media analysis.
How can you use social media management tools to your advantage? In this guide, we will explore the role of mentions on social media channels, identify the key components of a social media strategy, and introduce our favorite social media monitoring and social listening tools.
Let’s get started!
What Are Social Mentions?
Any time someone name-checks you, your brand, your company, or an executive in your firm, that’s a social mention (i.e., a brand mention on social media).
Obviously, positive mentions indicate a healthy brand voice within your target audience. Negative social mentions, by contrast, indicate potential issues with your social presence, including poor customer experiences, customer insights, negative news items, or social content that is simply not providing the engagement you need to grow your brand.
Every time you are mentioned online, your audience generates a signal that can be interpreted. When you take the time and effort to track mentions of your brand on every social media platform you use, you are gaining valuable intelligence. Key metrics and brand sentiment analysis reveal trends that can be leveraged.
Tracking mentions is an essential tool in the modern online marketing landscape. Every digital marketing manager knows that where and how people mention a brand can provide the data needed to expand your social media reach — or reveal the issues that are keeping you from achieving your business goals.
Developing a Comprehensive Social Media Strategy
With a social media strategy, you or your business are able to leverage the power of social channels in order to improve brand recognition, trust, and engagement. There are several components associated with this strategy:
Every social strategy begins with defining your goals, or what you want out of your social presence. Do you want to expand into a new market? Do you want to grow your customer base? Do you simply want to provide information to help people gain brand awareness? Each of these potential goals influences your next steps as you develop your social media presence.
Learning Your Audience
In online marketing, your target audience is the group of consumers who are most likely to take the next steps on their purchasing journeys. Without knowledge of this audience, you are “in the dark” in terms of consumer preferences, demographics, and pain points.
When you understand your audience, your social media engagement is more tailored to the unique needs of your followers. This is a cost-saving solution that helps you get the most out of your social advertising budget.
Selecting Social Media Platforms
With literally hundreds of social media platforms to choose from, it may be overwhelming to decide which channels to use to grow brand awareness. Each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses.
First, find out what platforms your audience is on, then decide whether you have the resources needed to create and manage the content on those channels. Facebook is one of the best platforms for general audience engagement, while LinkedIn is often better suited to B2B marketing. YouTube can be used to share product and service insights or to provide entertainment for your followers. Twitter is ideal for quick messaging.
When you spread your social media accounts across platforms, you gain competitive advantages. Each of these platforms can serve as a foundation for generating leads, creating relationships between you and your customers, and supplementing the power of review sites in building your brand in the digital environment.
The bulk of your social presence is the content you share on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. It is this content that helps to generate each social mention; as followers engage with your brand, they are apt to like, comment, and share with others.
Your content should incorporate the specific keywords and hashtags you’ve previously identified. There are a wide range of tools available to assist with this part of the content development process.
If you have available staff who can create content, that’s great. Otherwise, you may consider hiring a freelance writer or guest posters to help you build your digital presence.
Content Marketing and Publishing
Now that you have developed content, including direct messages, it’s time to publish it. It’s a good idea to schedule posts for publication based on the platforms you’re using. For example, engagement on Facebook is improved if you schedule posts one or two times per day, while Twitter activity improves when you are able to post as many as 10 times a day.
Social media content marketing is a form of public relations. On social channels, you can build a strong and visible brand by keeping the content flowing, which also increases the frequency of social mentions. Use your social content publishing schedule to supplement the activity you use on your RSS feed and email marketing initiatives.
Analyzing Social Media Activity
It’s no secret that people talk in the online environment. What they’re saying in the form of social mentions can have profound impacts on how your brand is perceived.
Every social mention reveals something about your consumer preferences. Whether it’s a single mention suggesting a new product or service or frequent social mentions highlighting the strengths (or weaknesses) of your business, these mentions serve as a powerful learning tool.
A social mention tool allows you to track social mentions, including where they’re coming from, what they mean, and how you can modify your own feeds to address emerging issues. By tracking social media mentions, you may be able to avert a PR crisis by giving you the information needed to respond quickly to reputational threats.
Every social media monitoring tool is different, and each will have its own set of tools and data sources to help you understand your audience better. In a section below, we will share some of our favorite tools used to track social mentions across platforms.
Social Media Mentions: Monitoring vs. Social Listening
Tracking activity on your social channels is divided into two areas with similar, yet distinct, goals:
Social Media Monitoring
Social media monitoring is the practice of watching the activity on your social media channels. This can include mentions related to you or your brand online, conversations among followers, comments, likes, and shares of your content, and more.
Monitoring allows you to identify emerging trends and improve areas of your business operation based on customer insights. Monitoring is also a powerful tool for generating new leads, giving you the ability to capitalize on opportunities as you grow your business.
Similar to monitoring, social listening is the strategy by which you analyze activity on your social profiles as well as the channels used by your competitors. Armed with the data sources collected by social listening tools, you gain a better understanding of your audience, your market, and your competition.
Our Favorite Social Media Monitoring Tools
There are literally hundreds of social media monitoring tools available for individuals and business owners. Each social media monitoring tool offers different features and functionality. Some of these tools require an expensive subscription, while others exist as a free service.
Here are some of our favorite tools used to track social media mentions of your brand and to keep tabs on your social presence:
Boasting an “all-in-one” social media management platform and a wide range of social monitoring features, Sprout Social is considered a leading software solution. Find mentions across platforms, understand sentiment analysis, and track keywords to unlock the potential of your social media activity.
Sprout Social pulls from a range of data sources and incorporates this data into a single stream. This facilitates the analysis process, offering valuable insights that can be turned into actionable initiatives. Even if you are a small business owner, Sprout’s social mention tools give you a competitive advantage.
Anyone who is looking to monitor and improve their online reputation is probably already aware of Google Alerts, but for those who aren’t — that’s why we are mentioning it here.
Google Alerts is a free tool that allows anyone to set up notification alerts every time their email, name or search term is found within Google’s search environment. You can monitor your business online or set alerts for your name or for the names of your top executives. It’s pretty straightforward to use; to track brand mentions in social media, you just input your brand’s name, and Google will send you an email notification whenever your business is mentioned on the web. It’s easy to cancel anytime; go to Google’s Alert settings to discontinue the tracking of your business mentions.
Trackur is a well known tool from Andy Beal, who is an authority in the online reputation management space. This tool is heavily focused on monitoring social media feeds and offers instant notifications when your name, brand or keyword is found across any of the major social networks.
In addition to alerts, users also have access to analytics reports and tracking, which allow you to pretty much monitor and manage your own reputation online. There is a free basic plan is available and advanced paid plans start as low as $27 per month.
Naymz is yet another tool that helps check company mentions in social media. What makes Naymz different from other services is its RepScore, which rates your influence across other major social networks and the ability to compare your rankings with other leaders or experts within your industry.
Outside of social media, this brand monitoring tool also allows you to track Bing and Yahoo brand mentions. The basic plan is free, and paid premium plans start at $12 per month. Of course, you can cancel anytime the service is no longer needed. Your internet reputation and brand online is increasingly tied to your social media presence; it makes economic sense to monitor these channels for negative feedback, negative content, or negative reviews.
BrandsEye is one of the most advanced tracking, monitoring and management tools out there, but it’s also one of the most expensive. Features include full reporting on the effectiveness of your campaign, competitor analysis, online conversations, brand mentions on social networks and the ability to set up multiple accounts and campaigns.
The concept behind BrandsEye is to be an all-in-one solution for not just reputation management, but also for your digital marketing efforts as well. This is a comprehensive social monitoring system; therefore, you can expect to pay a higher price for access to their services.
Ever wondered, “how do I track and monitor my mentions on Facebook and other social media channels?” Social Mention is a free tool that allows you to easily search, track and measure brand mentions across not only social networks like Facebook and Twitter but also news sites, blogs, and other media outlets. This powerful social media listening tool currently monitors over 100+ different sites and is completely free to use. Because social media has become such an integral part of your business reputation management strategy, keeping an eye on what people are saying is critical.
Contact OnlineReputation to Learn More
Managing your online reputation is important. This is where we come in to help you. OnlineReputation is a leader in the online reputation management services industry. As the best reputation management company in the business, our team has worked with thousands of clients, helping them to build brand awareness, monitor their online reputation, and repair reputations damaged by negative information in search results.
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