Maintaining the reputation of your business has always been one of the keys to success. Reputation is not something irrelevant and vacuous – it’s based on what your actual customers think and talk about your company and your product. And it’s now easier than ever to keep track of it. Monitoring what people think about you is just one of the aspects of business that has been significantly improved thanks to technological developments. There are numerous media monitoring tools that can help you track online feedback about your brand and your product. Here’s why you should use them to your advantage.
The importance of media monitoring
It’s quite simple – you can’t improve your business unless you know what’s wrong with it. Often, if you supervise the production and testing process, you will identify some of the advantages and drawbacks of your product even before it hits the market. However, being objective about something you created yourself is not always easy. It’s difficult to look at your product from a healthy distance, given that you’re usually absorbed by everyday efforts to create, handle and sell it. Moreover, your friends and acquaintances are usually biased and don’t represent a sample big or relevant enough to get a valuable feedback.
Focus groups might not do the job either. There are some benefits they provide, but at the end of the day, a focus group is an artificially created environment. Factors that can interfere with your research are numerous. At the end of the day, these people are not there because of your product but because of that small reward you’re probably offering to all participants. That’s why media monitoring is the most credible way of finding out what people really think about your brand.
What you need is to hear and read the unbiased opinion of a large number of people who came across your offer and decided to try it. Media monitoring tools enable you to track closely the feedback of actual customers who bought and tested your product in a genuine and authentic environment.
Advanced monitoring tools don’t just inform you when someone mentions you online or reviews your brand. They will usually do more than that, providing you with all sorts of statistics and analyses related to your public image and helping you interpret the collected data. Moreover, you can obtain some valuable info on influencers that rate your product, channels where your product gained the most sympathy as well as the demographic and geographical distribution of your audience. Here are a few examples of how some of the particular tools can help you in this respect.
Which tools should I use?
The number of tools at your disposal is huge. Media monitoring business is developing at the same pace its importance is growing. This is generally good for you, since it’s going to be easy to find the one that matches your needs. One of the most common and basic choices is Google Alerts. So, how does it work? First you select several keywords you’d like to track and you’ll get notifications or emails any time Google finds new results containing those terms. As for the terms, you can choose anything that you consider important for your business, from the name of your brand (or your competitor’s brand) to some specific phrases related to your industry.
This is the basis of how most media monitoring tools work. However, all of them offer some specific features you can use. For instance, some tools like Social Mention analyze the sentiment of the provided feedback, not just the mere number of mentions and posts about you. This means you’ll be familiar with the amount of positive and negative feedback you’re getting and you’ll be able to get the feel of what people actually think about your product, not just how much they talk about it.
The power of media monitoring is not necessarily restricted to the online world. There are tools like Mediaportal that use data collected from printed media and television, as well as the internet. It’s important not to forget that good media intelligence should include the traditional media as well, since they still have a huge impact on your potential customers.
Furthermore, with some other tools, you can count on their visual appeal and convenience. Talkwalker offers a map of the world with pie charts representing the number and sentiment of the mentions on top of it. Also, a brilliant thing about media monitoring is that it’s not limited to a particular language or area. For instance, Mention will help you recognize and analyze data in 42 languages, thus helping brands who really want to go worldwide. There are also channel-specific monitoring tools like Iconosquare or PinAlerts, useful for those who want to focus on a particular social network, in this case Instagram or Pinterest.
In any event, whichever of these you choose to use, it will mean nothing without a good strategy on how to react to the feedback you’re getting. Watch the trends and get involved when it seems convenient, not just in terms of repairing the problems for future customers but also helping the ones that already bought your product. This will promote you as a brand that cares about people and wants its customers to come back again.