Jul 14, 2016 / by Maria Materise

It’s impossible for your brand to sift through the millions of posts and articles published every day. But those posts and articles hold key insights that your brand can leverage to connect with its audience, spark conversation and surge ahead of competitors.

So how can you find this valuable information efficiently?

First, you need the right media monitoring software. With robust listening tools, you’ll be able to tune in to conversations in real time, analyze what people are saying about your brand and turn those insights into real business results.

But to reap the benefits of your monitoring strategy, you also need to be prepared. Here are four steps to get started:

1. Set up a plan


Preparation is key to gaining the most insights from conversations. By planning in advance, you can set yourself up for success, and you won’t need to backtrack later on.

Start by thinking about what the conversation could include. If you’re looking to monitor a specific event, such as the Olympics or the Super Bowl, as opposed to a sudden crisis, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect and you can start monitoring well in advance.

Prepare as much as possible before the event starts. That way, in the moment, you can focus on reacting to the data and inserting your brand in the conversation, instead of playing catch up.

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2. Go broad

When a real-time event hits, you don’t want to only look at what people say about your brand. You want to look at the whole discussion to get the big picture.

Monitor the issue or campaign on a wide scale. Build searches that capture the public discussion as a whole. Remember, people may not mention your brand by name, so be sure to include industry keywords and product or service names in your searches.

For an event like the Super Bowl, perhaps your brand doesn’t have a coveted television spot, but you’ll want to know which brands are getting the most buzz. Be sure to monitor your competitors, as well as the conversation surrounding the event as a whole.

3. Analyze your data


Tools can provide the information you need, but you need to know what to do with it once you have it.

It will be easier to find the insights if you structure your data correctly. Set up filters to segment conversations. These filters can be based on demographics, topic or behavior. With filters in place, you can easily sort through layers of data to find valuable intelligence.

Consider consulting a third-party analyst to help you set up your filters, make sense of the data and uncover the key insights.

4. Keep monitoring

Even if a real-time event only lasts one day, the conversation will continue. It’s important to continue monitoring long after the event ends so you can gain all of the possible  insights.

Plan to monitor for at least two or three times longer a period than you think you should. An event’s impact will most likely be felt for longer than you expect.

Even if the conversation appears to be fizzling out, keep monitoring. You may identify the truly engaged and discover new opportunities to connect with them.


Images via Pixabay: 1, 2, 3

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About Maria Materise

Maria Materise is a content marketing specialist for Cision. Formerly a copywriter, she enjoys creating content that excites and inspires audiences. She is an avid reader, movie trivia geek, Harry Potter fanatic and makeup junkie..