Sep 17, 2018 / in Cision Product News / by Lee Ribeiro

Using tools for media monitoring allows you to have greater insight into what’s being said about your brand, industry and competition online. The more data you have, the better you can shape future communication strategies to provide value to your audience. 

Here are 10 ways your brand can use media monitoring to thrive. 

1. Stay on Top of Media Mentions So You Can Track Results

When running a PR campaign, you need to know which publications actually ran your story and which people are reading it. Likely, a mention in the Toad Suck Journal (readership: 10) isn’t going to have the impact of The New York Times, so simply tracking mentions isn’t enough. You need data on readership, clicks to your site and actions taken on your site as a result.

It’s only now that brands like Cision have developed the technology to not only track media mentions online but offline as well, in addition to providing data to help you calculate the ROI of a media outreach campaign.

2. Take The Temperature of Your Target Audience

Considering launching a new product line? Want to know more about how your audience feels about your industry as a whole? Social media monitoring can be a huge (and essentially free) research tool.

Krispy Kreme recently published a short video about its new Reese’s Outrageous Chocolate Donut on Twitter. Judging by the likes, shares and comments, the idea is a success. A brand could just as easily see negative backlash when announcing a new product and decide not to launch it, or use the feedback to inform a better overall campaign.

3. Tweak Campaigns as Needed

Media monitoring is fantastic because it provides real-time results and allows brands to measure campaigns against one another.

Let’s say you have a promotion that you’re amplifying across your social media channels, through online ads, and on your site, giving new subscribers a 20-day free trial. You’re also testing out three months free in a separate campaign.

By monitoring media and social media mentions, you might see far more mentions (as well as redemptions) of the second promotion. With that information, you can toss the first one and focus on the second while gaining insight into the context of why it has been showing better performance.

4. Keep an Eye on The Competition

It might feel a little like spying, but paying attention to what your competition is doing online can help you in several ways: first, it gives you ideas on what’s working for them that you might want to emulate or try your own version of.

If you see another brand getting a ton of likes for shared content on social media, you might decide to incorporate a similar strategy yourself.

Alternately, monitoring the competition can give you insight into what they’re not doing, or doing poorly. You can easily fill in the gaps with your own efforts. Maybe they’re not answering customer service questions on social media. That’s a great opportunity for you to do so and steal market share.

5. Prevent a Media Crisis

When you know what people are saying about your brand online, you can nip a potential crisis in the bud before it happens. The airline industry is one that has learned this lesson the hard way: with handfuls of examples of people being kicked off of planes, sometimes violently, airlines have the worst reputation among all brands when it comes to customer service.

But United, who has taken many hits in the crisis department over the past few years, has learned to stay on top of a situation before it escalates. Likely after having a 140 percent increase in negative social media comments after a dog died in-flight, the brand seems to be on top of its social media monitoring, and is quick to share an issue before it escalates.

Each of its responses to customer questions is initiated by the customer service rep responding, providing a little personalization in what can be otherwise a very cold interaction.

6. Build a Loyal Social Media Following

But not everything that happens online is a negative. There are plenty of people saying wonderful things about your brand, and by interacting with them, you can nurture that online community.

ModCloth is a brand that has always valued user-generated content, and it’s a strategy that has helped it become successful as a clothing ecommerce brand. On Instagram, the brand encouraged followers to use #ModBoxKitty as a hashtag on posts of cats in their boxes, and featured some on its stream, which has 592,000 followers.

To date, the hashtag has 893 posts of cats in boxes (and the occasional rabbit or baby thrown in for fun), making ModCloth lovers feel like part of the brand experience. 

7. Find Content That’s Useful to Your Audience

Not all of the content you share on your owned media channels needs to be created by your brand. In fact, curating content from other places may be more effective at showing your audience that you simply want to provide value to them through great resources. 

Monitor hashtags that relate to your industry, news and big players, and share what you think is relevant to your audience.

8. Build a Relationship With The Right Influencers and Journalists

Media monitoring isn’t just for listening to what’s being said about your brand. As part of an effective PR strategy, you should also be monitoring specific journalists and influencers who write about your industry, and more importantly, write about your specific brand or products.

Doing so allows you to comment and share links to stories that you find valuable, while also getting on that individual’s radar. The more you interact with a given journalist or influencer, the better set up you are to then pitch them via email when you have a story.

9. Capture One-Off Opportunities

Media monitoring opens the door to opportunities and audiences that you may have never have thought about. Here’s an example: when Pizza Hut picked up on a question asked by Minecraft star Hypixel about french fries on pizza, the brand responded on Twitter, letting him know about its poutine pizza, which has fries. This simple tweet got about 1,000 mentions and helped Pizza Hut reach an audience it had been trying to be a part of.

10. Keep on Top of Trending News

Outside of your company, there are things happening in your industry that could provide a significant PR opportunity, but only if you catch them as they’re trending. Here’s an example of an opportunity that a company, particular an airline, could leverage: In response to the devastating event of families being separated at the US/Mexico border, people started donating frequent flyer miles to reunite them through two organizations: Miles4Migrants and Michigan Support Circle. Social media has, of course, made this campaign go viral.

A smart airlines company would donate more miles to the cause and garner some great goodwill and PR in the meantime.

Good listening is the foundation that sparks great conversations. It’s clear that media monitoring provides value on multiple fronts, all designed to make you a better communicator, understand your customers and measure your marketing and PR campaigns.

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About Lee Ribeiro

Lee Ribeiro is a Product Marketing Manager at Cision, where he manages content and communication channels between product and sales teams regarding product updates, new features, and positioning towards B2B and B2C audiences.