The internet has forever changed how we communicate with one another, and this obviously impacts your brand’s marketing strategies.
People are talking about your brand online — so you absolutely need to be monitoring these mentions of your brand across the web. Tuning into these conversations will both improve the efficacy of your online marketing and present a very natural link acquisition opportunity.
Even if your business isn’t heavily invested in online marketing, it’s still worthwhile to pay attention to how people discuss your company on the web.
The Importance Of Monitoring Brand Mentions
When people talk about your brand, you want to know about it — and nowhere is it easier to find your business being discussed than online.
I’m not referring to NSA-like surveillance of your customers. Rather, you should work to locate instances where your brand is being talked about in public places across the web: popular forums, community websites, industry blogs, etc.
There are a variety of tools that specialize in finding these online mentions, making it easy and efficient. Some great tools include:
- Moz’s Fresh Web Explorer
- Google Alerts (Free)
Along with these helpful tools, it’s even possible to use advanced Google search. Kaila Strong wrote an excellent guide over on Moz that goes into more detail about how you can find unlinked brand mentions.
Paying attention to the discussions of your customers and prospects can do wonders for your marketing strategies. Uncovering brand mentions can lead to:
- Reputation management opportunities
- Honest feedback and insight
- A better understanding of how customers interact with your product or service
There is tremendous value to be had from observing the organic conversations about your company. More about each of these below.
1. Finding Reputation Building Opportunities
One reason to track references to your brand is because they present opportunities to bolster your reputation.
Reputation management is important both online and offline, but it is made easier on the web through mention monitoring.
Discovering positive mentions will give you a chance to engage with your fans and further your relationship with them, often creating brand advocates for your business. These small, positive interactions can go a long way to building a loyal fan base. You should absolutely take full advantage of any opportunity to cultivate positive relationships with your customers.
Likewise, you need to monitor any negative statements concerning your business. People are typically more vocal when they’re dissatisfied than when they’re happy, and this certainly rings true online. If someone is complaining about your company, you want to know about it.
For example, my company recently unearthed a Twitter discussion regarding a bad user experience with our brand. An error in our systems had led to a few people being unable to unsubscribe from our mailing list. These individuals were rightfully upset, and they were discussing the matter via Twitter.
We became aware of the issue by finding the Twitter conversation. We responded to the complaints by letting the people affected know that we were working to resolve the problem, and we were able to both repair reputation damage and quickly fix the issue with our systems (which we were previously unaware of). Through this interaction, we were able to turn a negative situation into several positive outcomes.
Locating negative conversations about your company will give you the opportunity to address any grievances and resolve any issues your customer is having. By detecting negative mentions of your brand, not only can you prevent bad situations from becoming worse, but you can often turn these scenarios into a positive by responding swiftly and appropriately.
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes, and consider how you feel when a company is legitimately helpful and works with you to resolve a problem you’re having.
2. Gaining Honest Feedback & Insight
Tracking online mentions of your business can also provide important feedback.
Where better to gain insight into how your customers regard your company than from the customers themselves? Where better to discover customer pain points than via online dialogue?
Rather than push surveys, reviews, and requests for feedback, you can find this information organically on the web (for free!).
These discussions will help you identify holes within your marketing and give you a better idea as to how your audience is responding to your brand messages. You can gain a wealth of information that can guide your marketing strategies.
Unfiltered feedback from online chatter will allow you to make better informed decisions within your marketing.
3. Better Understanding How Consumers Interact With Your Product/Service
Finally, you can better understand how your audience engages with your product or service.
By tracking mentions of your brand, you can discover new and interesting ways in which people are interacting with your product. This information can help shape future marketing campaigns, and also highlight unseen product deficiencies or areas for improvement. You can even discover hidden or secondary benefits of your product you were previously unaware of.
These mentions are essentially unfiltered and unbiased reviews that can guide your marketing, product development, customer service, and more. Through the information gleaned from consumers, you can continuously improve the way you deliver your product or service to your customers.
Finding the places where people are talking about your brand on the web is paramount to the success of your business. Along with the numerous benefits outlined here, online mentions can also offer link opportunities.
Online Conversations Lead To Link Opportunities
Link building never ends, and locating online mentions of your business will lead you to new opportunities for your link campaign.
References of your brand or business are some of the most promising link prospects you’ll ever find. People that are already talking about your brand are typically more likely to link. Once you find a mention of your brand, simply reach out to the owner of that site and ask them to link.
If a website mentions your business on their site it makes perfect sense for them to link as well. A link would serve as a reference for their audience who might otherwise be unfamiliar with your business. Keep in mind you can get creative with this strategy, as there are numerous link building opportunities beyond branded mentions. Some of these non-branded mentions you can search for include:
- Employee mentions
- Specific product/service references
- Coverage of company sponsored events
- Common misspellings associated with your company
The number of mentions and link opportunities you can find are only limited to your own creativity. Even if you’re a smaller business, you can search for internet chatter happening within and around your local community to find link prospects.
Locating conversations relevant to your business on the web will also help you discover new audiences and communities. While these new audiences present new link prospects, exposure to them can provide numerous other benefits and promotional opportunities. You can even leverage these audiences to build your own audience.
If you run a legitimate business that serves a real audience, chances are someone is talking about you online somewhere, and these discussions represent worthwhile opportunities.
Tracking the online conversations regarding your brand is essential to digital marketing success. Along with being an important part of your marketing strategy, online references to your business also present promising link prospects. Regardless of your digital marketing budget, you should be aware of what people are saying about you on the internet.
Observing the web discussions associated with your company can provide multiple benefits, including:
- Reputation building opportunities
- Invaluable feedback and insight
- Deeper understanding of how customers interact with your product or service
Listening to online dialogues about your brand can also lead to legitimate link opportunities. Both branded and non-branded mentions of your company can offer promising link prospects, along with exposure to new audiences and communities.
If people are talking about your business online, you want to know about it.