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Media monitoring is tracking what people say about your company, your competitors, your industry, or any other topic you consider important. And it has been known for ages in the form of salon talks, reading a newspaper each morning, or asking an assistant to collect and present the review of the latest news.

Technological advancement made the amount of information and media sources explode exponentially driving good old days media monitoring irrelevant. At the same time, it introduced new media monitoring tools that redefined the notion of media mentions tracking. There also emerged new ways to use it as part of an overall marketing strategy.

If you want to embark on this new trend and leverage media mentions tracking, this ultimate 5 step guide is here to help.

5 Steps to Successful Media Monitoring  

Media monitoring

5 steps don’t sound like a long journey. The truth is, most companies take just two or three steps out of the list never reaching success with media monitoring. 

If you want to avoid this risk, go beyond choosing the best media monitoring tool and devote enough time to:

  • critical consideration of reasons why you need media tracking and 
  • planning of ways how you’ll respond to the mentions you will now be aware of. 

Let’s consider these steps in more detail. 

#1 Determine Your Media Monitoring Goals

Media mentions tracking can serve you in various ways, each being beneficial for brand building and the bottom line of your company. In particular, it may be used with the following goals in mind: 

  • to prevent PR crises 
  • to improve customer service and retention 
  • to collect feedback and use it for amending products or services
  • to source ideas for a content strategy
  • to monitor competitors 
  • to find influencers to reach out to

Last but not least, it saves from unfortunate failures in retargeting advertising, when the system chooses to continuously display ads to the person who engaged with the brand just to complain or leave negative feedback.  

Since modern media monitoring tools now automate tracking of mentions, you may wrongly assume you do not need many people to handle all goals at once. The truth is, you don’t need flashy graphics for their own sake, so you will still need dedicated personnel to look into the mentions, respond to them if necessary and draw actionable insights.

For example, in the much-cited Southwest Airlines case, the company employed 40 professionals to respond to the customers dissatisfied with mass flight delays. Thus, it is vital to start with the assessment of your resources and the setting of clear-cut goals for your media monitoring efforts.  

#2 Choose What You’ll Be Tracking

media monitoring goals

The second step should be deciding what to monitor. Here, you need to think about what medium and what keywords to track. Instead of making assumptions, look into your target audience data and use the lead attribution model to determine how people find your brand and what keywords and channels eventually lead to conversion.  

Social media monitoring tools are the most widespread solutions; still, there are also tools that can track any online mentions, as well as mentions in the print media and broadcast TV. While more expansive, these tools definitely deserve attention if this is where your customers come from.

Here is what a business might track to improve its market standing:

  • Your own brand name: Be sure to include various brand name variations or an associated slogan people may use to talk about your company. Tracking your brand will give you the chance to respond to customers’ mentions and avoid PR crises. 
  • Branded product names or key features: Listening to general product names mentions like “an owen” may be overwhelming and uninformative. Instead, you may track specific product names or phrases describing pain points that the product targets. 
  • Industry-specific keywords: Tracking of industry-specific keywords will let you know the latest industry news, recognize important market trends, and identify top voices in your niche. 
  • Competitor keywords: Competitor media mentions analysis can help you use the mentioned issues or drawbacks to improve your product or improve the communication strategy around it, find opportunities for outreach, and much more.    
  • Brand public figures: Monitoring the mentions of the executives and ambassadors of the brand, the company can engage with and share the positive content, respond to the negative mentions, as well as make take-down requests before the content goes viral.         

#3 Choose a Media Monitoring Tool

Only after you determine your goals and needs can you start choosing a suitable media monitoring tool. 

Thankfully, there are many media monitoring tools to suit the companies of all sizes ranging from free standalone tools to features within social media management software and complex solutions to integrate with your own enterprise systems

To choose the best solution, critically assess each variant answering the following questions:  

  1. How does this tool help to meet our goals? Can it help us meet all media tracking goals that we have? 
  2. Is the monitoring tool difficult to handle?
  3. What is the price? Can using the tool generate ROI

Ideally, you need to test drive several monitoring tools you have shortlisted to see what works best for you. This is why you should better stick with those offering a free trial. 

If your monitoring goals are not very ambitious, a basic or even a free plan may work quite well. What is important to consider here is what the tool actually limits: the number of keywords you can track or the number of notifications of the mentions. 

#4 Plan Your Response 

Media mentions tracking

Being equipped with a media mentions tracking tool is not enough; you should also be ready to handle the negative mentions coming over. Remember, the inappropriate response can escalate negative sentiments causing, not reversing, the PR crisis. 

Here are the major rules on responding to media mentions: 

  1. Respond quickly. The modern world is extremely fast-paced and customers expect real-time interactions with the brands. Thus, any mentions with an active link to you should get your reaction right away. The mentions that media monitoring tools let you know about should better receive your response within a day; otherwise, your response may no longer be relevant.
  2. Watch your tone. Use the voice and tone peculiar to your brand. At the same time, be polite and stay professional in all of the cases. Don’t get defensive and be sure to assume responsibility for the adverse customer experience. Preferably, ask the person to continue communication in private.  
  3. Know when to move on. Some mentions may be provocative and purposefully trying to harm your reputation. There is nothing good about deleting them overall or engaging in never-ending conversations with nasty trolls. Give a polite professional response and move on. 

#5 Assess the Effectiveness of Media Mentions Tracking 

It is now common to see media monitoring as an effective tool for measuring the effectiveness of various aspects of marketing, PR activity and social media marketing in particular. Still, if you choose to invest in a media monitoring tool, it should have an ROI of its own. 

It is recommended to define how and when you will measure the impact of media monitoring from the very beginning, aligning the expected results to the goals you set.  

Here are the factors that will help you see that company benefits from media mention tracking: 

  • Customer satisfaction and customer loyalty rates are on the rise 
  • Website’s organic traffic and social media reach go up 
  • The produced content generates more views and shares
  • The dedicated team produces an actionable report with the product or service improvement ideas inspired by listening to customer feedback and competitor analysis  
  • The company starts cooperating with the top industry voices and gets featured in relevant publications

Summing Up

Media monitoring is a powerful trend boosting digital marketing to a new level. If you consider investing in media monitoring as part of your business strategy, be sure to take all 5 steps this guide has outlined: 

  1. Determine your goals
  2. Make it clear what keywords and what mediums you are going to monitor
  3. Choose a media tracking tool
  4. If you plan to respond to negative mentions, define who will be responsible for this task and educate them on the best practices 
  5. Assess the ROI of media tracking; thus, improve the mention-response practices or consider using a less expensive tracking solution. 

Media monitoring may be just a new buzz word but the old saying remains true through the centuries – informed is forearmed. Think about all the benefits to reap and do find the place for media monitoring among your marketing efforts.