A few months ago I gave a talk in London about the use of social media for travel and tourism industries, which I think was very well received (considering I received no complaints but follow-up questions I take that as successful), and one of the key questions that was asked a couple of times was – should brands monitor what is being said about them? Why should they? Is it worth the effort? What do you focus on? How would this be monitored? And more importantly, is there an ROI to be taken from this? So, I thought I’d begin a little set of articles about this.
Why monitor your brand on social networks?
Before we answer this, let’s take back a step and talk about what we are actually talking about. Monitoring your brand is essentially the continuous discovery of conversations related to your brand with the purpose of engaging and supporting not only your brand, but also your (in many cases potential) customers. Typically, this is done in real-time to allow immediate response to particular topics or situations, e.g. when launching a product, quelling rumours or – just as often – providing support or advice.
Already, we have a few reasons listed that might answer the “why”. But let’s take a more real-life example: say for argument’s sake that you are having a launch event of a new product, and you have invited hundreds and hundreds of people from all over the spectrum (press, business partners, customers, just random people off the street interested in the product, etc). All of them want to talk about the product, some of them want to talk to others about things related to it, some of them are just here to mingle and pick conversations or comments up (or leave their own comments).
Many of these conversations may be about your brand or your product, some might be about a similar brand or in fact a similar product to yours, be it superior or inferior doesn’t really matter. What matters is the fact that they are talking about this without you being part of these conversations to learn more or answer questions, they happen with or without you. And to provide a b