Keeping your ear on the ground is vital when your brand's main aim is to increase its digital presence. In the early years of social media and digital marketing as a whole, keeping taps on your digital presence was a bit of a challenge. But, thanks to the invention of brand monitoring tools, as a marketing professional now you can track your company's online activity, keep an eye on reputation, Social Share of Voice, and spy on competitors.
However, it would be best to choose the right tool for the trade because brand monitoring tools differ in their capabilities. Some are more analytics-oriented, others combine monitoring with posting and scheduling features, some focus on a specific platform.
To increase awareness of your brand on social media, you need a tool that will help you track and measure Social Share of Voice, brand mentions, social media engagement and share of engagement.
In a post I published a while back, I detailed the process of tracking and measuring Social Share of Voice, brand mentions, social media engagement and share of engagement. In this article, I will be reviewing two (2) free brand monitoring tools that you can start using.
What is brand monitoring?
Brand monitoring is the process of tracking conversations related to your brand's digital presence on social media, forums, review aggregators, websites, blog posts, testimonials and so on.
What is a brand monitoring tool?
Most social media platforms have an option for customers to tag or mention their favourite brand to get their attention. However, social media marketers can easily miss those tags and brand mentions in the social media noise. A brand monitoring tool gives social media marketers the power to track their brand's Social Share of Voice, brand mentions, Social media audience sentiment, applause rate, and social media engagement rate using just one tool for multiple social media networks.
Why do you need to monitor your brand?
With the mention of what brand monitoring is and what a brand monitoring tool does, it is pretty straightforward why you need to do it. However, let me take you through a few advantages of monitoring your brand's digital and social media presence.
• Understanding your target market and target audience
• Realising your brand's SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
• Protecting your brand against bad publicity
• Discovering influencers who can collaborate with your brand
Two (2) free brand monitoring tools for social media marketers
This tool is an official tool from Twitter to help you manage it more effectively. The dashboard is organised in streams so you can follow the feed, notifications, and mentions of several accounts at once.
When it comes to brand monitoring using Tweetdeck, you can set up a "Seach" stream that will deliver all the mentions of your keyword (brand name or your web page) to your dashboard. Even though this tool is specific to Twitter, it is advanced enough to allow you to choose the location, authors, and the number of engagements for your brand monitoring.
What is interesting about this tool is that it's reliable since it's an official Twitter product.
If you are interested in monitoring individual mentions, Social Searcher could be ideal for you. This easy-to-use platform provides you with brand mentions of your brand from many sources, including Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, and more.
The great thing about Social Searcher that makes it better than Tweetdeck is the ability to monitor multiple platforms free of charge, and You don't even need to sign up with an email.
Furthermore, you can also click on the analytics tab to see the breakdown of mentions by sources, by the time they were posted, and by sentiment.
What are your social media goals and objectives?
Since we have established the importance of brand monitoring and having a brand monitoring tool, the tool that you use depends on your budget, the social media platforms you want to cover, and your goals and objectives.
The two (2) tools I reviewed in this article are the free main two (2) ones I have used and have come across. In future articles, I will review other paid tools that have advanced brand monitoring capabilities and offer full access trials (even though it might be limited to a few days) and ones that you can request a demo of the full platform.
Question to ask when buying or signing up for a brand monitoring tool
- Do you want to focus on individual mentions or take care of multiple customer requests?
- Do you want to increase brand awareness and increase engagement?
- Do you want to analyse your target market and audience to improve your marketing strategy?
- Do you want to track audience sentiments, Share of Voice and applause rate?
When your needs are well defined, it becomes easy to find the right tool for the trade. There are tools for any need and budget, and some of them are entirely free, while most offer free demos or free trials. I encourage you to find the one which fits your needs and try it out.
If there's an entirely free tool that you have used and I didn't mention it in this article, please leave a comment with the tool's name to help others reading this article.