Social Mentions – Tracking brand topics correctly
No matter how large your team is, you probably don’t have the time or resources to monitor online mentions of your brand, the competition, or critical industry issues. But with the right tools and strategies, it’s easy.
1. Definition of social mention
What is Social Mention? – A brand is mentioned or referred to online. This can happen in social media, blogs, dating sites and forums. Mentions are a powerful way to help companies monitor the perception and visibility of their brand. You can categorize them by channel or social network, sentiment, attitude or commitment.
Why is this important? – 74% of online shoppers make their purchase decision based on recommendations they have seen in social media. This means, firstly, that you should always keep track of all mentions of your brands and products and, secondly, that you should influence them as positively as possible by cleverly using the insights from social mentions for campaigns.
So how do we get into the subject? The following factors are particularly crucial for an online mention:
Reach The number of people who are exposed to your search term or brand, or in other words, the number of pairs of eyes that may have seen the name.
Sentiment: A sentiment indicator of the general attitude or tonality of the articles in which your keyword was mentioned. In other words, the ratio of favourable to negative contributions. This is particularly useful when you are dealing with many results.
Commitment: This is about interactions with the participation – in the form of likes, comments and shares.
2. Why are Social Mentions so important?
“Tracking Brand Mentions is an essential marketing component. It allows you to participate in a conversation and help your brand in real-time. This is generally very important for brands and something that should not be overlooked.”
Social Mentions can serve – especially for fast-growing companies – as a versatile tool that allows you not only to connect with your target group through social media but also to support your team in many other ways. Here are just a few of them:
Identify the right target group.
Social networks serve as a platform on which people can express themselves. They are an accurate source of information when it comes to an understanding of your target group.
Where are their interests?
What do they do in their free time?
What else does your target group talk about in social media?
These are the questions you can answer with the help of social media.
The trick is to identify people who interact with your keyword or hashtag on social – follow them and find out what interests them. Sounds time-consuming – and it is. But it’s worth the investment, especially if you’re building a community and trying to create persona and customer profiles.
In the long run, this will give you an idea of who you are addressing and how to identify new target groups and sometimes even regions that are suitable for expansion!
Social media is a fertile ground for ideas and therefore, an excellent research tool. You can get live insights from your target audience and understand what appeals to them, or predict reasonably accurately what will interest them tomorrow, and use it for your marketing campaigns.
This is precisely what ASOS did for a unique winter campaign, which earned the company not only a Cannes Lions Design Gold but also a turnover of GBP 5 million (EUR 5.46 million). The ASOS team were aware that the process of “Getting Ready” was a big deal for the target group – and Social could be one of the primary sources of this information – the team used this fact to design a highly successful campaign, resulting in thousands of clicks and likes and millions of sales.
As social media managers, we can take a leaf out of their book and pursue a similar strategy. If you understand what is essential to your target audience, you can develop ideas for your next big marketing campaign. Also, because viral marketing campaigns focus on on-trend themes, it’s easy to jump on the bandwagon and launch a targeted marketing campaign that promotes both engagement and the right leads.
Everything your brand does, good or bad, finds its way into social media. This makes social media a make-or-break platform for your brand image – in other words, social CRM is the most powerful CRM platform available to you. While tracking every complaint sounds like a tedious task, the investment really pays off. For example, take a look at Wendy’s. The fast-food chain has made a name for itself with sharp comebacks and smart jokes.
According to McKinsey, word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool. Social media is more than just Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. – it’s the new word of mouth, and the best part is that you can track it. You can use it to build communities, create conversations and contribute to active groups where you can meet your next ambassadors and influencers.
But communities are not just on Facebook and Twitter. Check out Quora, inbound.org and other discussion forums to build your conversation. Depending on your product and team, you can also use Reddit, Imgur or LinkedIn.
But beware – it takes time to build a community. So if you expect short-term results or changes overnight, I’m afraid I’ll have to disappoint you. But it is worth the time and investment because a community can push or destroy your brand.
Red Bull is an excellent example of a brand that has reached new heights with the support of the community. The drink became really successful with its somewhat controversial 90s image – even rumours had to be fought at every turn. The bottle appealed above all to a rather particular target group of young people and slowly but surely developed into a lifestyle brand associated with sports, music and media. Last year, over 6 billion cans of Red Bull were sold worldwide – a remarkable figure for a drink that was only launched thirty years ago (Coca-Cola, for example, was founded as early as 1892).
3 How to track Social Mentions
The Internet is full of blog posts that promise to give you the winning formula for tracking and counting your social mentions. The simple answer is here: There is no such thing as one size fits all. It depends on your priorities and your business model.
Engagement is the best indicator of how well your community receives a contribution.
Although the number of your followers is essential, it is even more critical to have the right followers – people who interact with your brand and worship it loudly. The more likes, shares and comments your contribution gets, the more engaged your community will be. You want to involve your community as much as possible and build a long-term community of users who enjoy interacting with your brand or keyword.
Once your community is more mature, you may want to consider looking more closely at the quality of engagement per post – this is an indicator of your community’s well-being. It can often be beneficial to identify pioneers and seek interaction.
Clicks per post
It’s all very well having viral content riding the social airwaves, but don’t lose track of the fact that the most vital thing you want to achieve through the material is engagement with your product. This is what makes up the traffic and visits to your website from your social media efforts. It’s the best way to understand which type of posts are working to bring people back to your page and which aren’t.
Share of Voice
This is a purely quantitative metric that compares your social media presence with that of your main competitors.
Of course, it is essential to focus on improving the quality of your contributions, but it is also necessary to keep track and check how well you perform compared to your main competitors.
The Share of Voice also gives a good overview of which social networks work well for you and where there is still some catching up to do. For example, B2B companies tend to grow strongly through LinkedIn (both paid and organic), and B2C companies tend to follow proven Instagram or Facebook.
Growth is an underestimated metric today, but it is worth looking at the numbers from time to time.
Of course, it’s all about how engaged your community is on Social, but to stay in business, it’s essential to keep growing your audience. If you put this figure into context over some time, you’ll see what contributions have attracted new followers. With this information, you can create content that repeats the success, so you don’t become a one-post wonder.
When social mentions suddenly rise by 300%, at first glance, this seems to be good news. However, if you haven’t posted anything, it could mean that you are facing a communication crisis.
A quick look at the posts and the sentiment behind them can save you the guesswork. The feeling is a helpful indicator of how your brand is perceived in social media and is a valuable tool for fast-growing businesses.
Fill the content marketing engine.
A useful hack when planning your content calendar is to work backwards – you deal with what your customers want to read, not the other way around. The best source for this information is social media. What interests your target audience? What do they want to know more about? What will they be interested in today, tomorrow, in a few weeks?
Social Mentions provide the answer to all these questions. By analyzing posts that mention your keyword and going deeper by finding topics that are strictly related to it, you can get a good idea of emerging trends or issues your target audience wants to hear about and then develop your content calendar accordingly. For example, a hashtag tracking tool provides a straightforward way to do this.
Monitor your online reputation
The Internet can push your brand or make it disappear – practically overnight.
With this constant pressure, it’s essential to keep an eye out for social mentions that could pose a threat—Keyword online reputation management. Your communications team can sleep soundly and know that they have all the information they need to anticipate a crisis.
Social Mentions play a significant role in anticipating communication crises – emerging issues or hashtags, as shown above, can be an excellent indicator of an impending disaster. Deutsche Telekom is a perfect example of a brand that reacts to social mentions and does so in time before things get out of hand. They have achieved this by establishing a system that integrates social listening into their crisis management processes.
Optimizing your products
Since social media is a perfect platform for self-expression, you don’t have to search long to understand what your customers like best about your product.
Or more importantly, where your weaknesses lie. What would make your customers’ lives easier? What does the competition have that you don’t? The answers to these questions can often be found on Social. If you share this information with your product team, it can mean exciting things for your customer base and not so essential but necessary items for your product team.