Social Listening: How To Find Brand Mentions and Effectively Engage With Them

 

People are online everyday engaging in conversations and commentary about businesses.  In order to effectively manage your brand online, you need to monitor conversations taking place about your brand.  This is called social listening.  By employing this very powerful tactic, you will gain real-time, actionable insight into both your business and marketing approach.

Here are ways to find brand mentions and how to engage with those fans.

 

1. How to find mentions of your brand online

So you want to find out who is mentioning your brand online.  Those talking about your brand can be anyone from customers, publications, bloggers and anyone in between.  But how do you begin to find who is mentioning your brand and what they are saying about it. Social media platforms are a start, but it is not the only place to look.  Here are some other ways to find brand mentions:

  • Google alerts: Set up a Google Alert.  Just plug in any keywords you want to monitor and you will get updates every time those keywords are mentioned online.
  • IFTTT:  You can use IFTTT to monitor websites within your industry.  Any mention of your brand and you get an email alert.
  • Hootsuite:  This is a good one for monitoring social media mentions.
  • Open Site Explorer:  Moz’s Open Site Explorer. lets you see who is linking to your website.  All you have to do is enter in you URL.
  • Mention: Another tool for monitoring mentions online.  You can specify which sources to monitor and you get details in real time.
  • Brand24: Another powerful social listening tool.  This one allows you to add filters so that you are reviewing the most important mentions first. It also has a lot of other features like detection of sales opportunities, segment by positive, negative, or neutral mentions and more.

2. How to engage with those talking about your brand online.

Now that you have some ways to find out who is talking about your brand, it is time to think about how to go about engaging with them.  The key questions here are who is talking about you and in what context.  You really want to give thought to how they know about your product/service and what is it that they are looking for from your brand. These are important questions to ask since you want to respond in a way that will help build a strong connection.

Here are some ways you can get the connection established:

  • If a writer mentions you on social media or in an article, make sure to return the favor.  Head over to Twitter and see what they have been posting.  When you find something relevant to your niche, retweet it.  Be sure to mention their handle so that they get a notification.  This shows them you are aware of who they are and that you have interest in their work.  This will hopefully keep you on their radar and you can score another mention in the future.
  • Thank those that are big fans. These are the people who are commenting often on your posts and are participating in your Twitter chats, Facebook Live events etc.  You can private message or include their Twitter handle in a public post. Just be genuine and let them know you appreciate being mentioned by them. Also, this should not be done for every mention…only when it seems appropriate.
  • Reward positive mentions: Email or direct message a promo code for a discount. You can also offer free merchandise if it is a super fan.  This can be great publicity and you may even score a “share” out of it so this tactic can be very useful.
  • Share the content of relevant businesses that mention you:  Whether it is a company using your product or just one in your niche, if they are regularly sharing your content, do the same. This is a great way to build up industry connections.
  •  If a customer is having a problem, reply directly:  For Twitter, things move very fast.  The lifespan of a Tweet is only about a half hour.  So you need to act quick and reply.  We do suggest moving the interaction to a private space after the initial recognition.
  • Be cautious about responding to negative comments:  There is always going to be someone that is not a fan of your brand.  If someone takes to social media with negative commentary, weigh your responses.  If someone is just venting, probably not worth responding to.  If it is a customer service issue, you should definitely respond.

Conclusion

When someone mentions your brand online, you are presented with a great opportunity to continue the discussion.  Depending on who mentions you and the context in which they do, your response will need to be in line. One thing is definite, you want to engage with your fans and acknowledge when they have taken the time to share something you posted.