What is Brand Monitoring? 3 Key Metrics & 5 Best Tools

Karishma Borkakoty

February 12, 202415 min read

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Have you ever heard about the story of a tech giant that received a lot of flak online over its smartphones? A few years back, there was this huge uproar on social media when speculations emerged that a leading smartphone brand was deliberately slowing down older models. 

People were furious, feeling like they’d been tricked into upgrading their phones. If you're aware of this fiasco, you might agree it's a classic example of how trust takes years to build and seconds to break. 

But what does this case have to do with brand monitoring, which is the central theme of this entire blog? 

Well, everything. 

This incident is a textbook example of why keeping an eye on how your brand is perceived online is extremely important. You see, in the world of business, surprises are rarely a good thing — especially the kind that leave your customers disappointed

So, how do you keep tabs on chatter about your brand and prevent it from becoming the next headline for all the wrong reasons? Well, that’s exactly what we’ll be covering today. So, let’s jump right in and answer all your questions related to brand and media monitoring.

Table of Contents

What is brand monitoring?

Brand monitoring refers to the process of collating and analyzing mentions of your brand across social media channels and touchpoints, with the end goal of turning them into actionable insights. Specifically, it involves gathering customer feedback and brand mentions from social media, blogs, forums, product reviews, YouTube videos and surveys.  

For example, let's say you're part of a popular smartphone company, and you've been actively monitoring mentions of your brand on social media. After a thorough analysis, you notice that there's a recurring set of customers praising your camera quality and user-friendly interface. This product insight could be something you would want to highlight in your future social media marketing campaigns, emphasizing these USPs to attract even more followers. 

On the flip side, imagine you also discover a handful of complaints about the response time of your social media customer service. This could be your sign or alert to improve your customer service and support, as people might eventually find your brand to be unreliable if you don’t make the right changes. In short, brand monitoring reveals how people view your brand in the digital world. Are they pleased? Are they upset? Or, do they believe your competitors are outperforming you?  

Now, you get a gist of why you ought to be employing brand monitoring. But just so you have a better idea, let’s get into its significance in more detail. 

Interesting Read: How to protect your brand reputation in the social media minefield? 

Why is brand monitoring important? 

Monitoring every touchpoint offers numerous advantages, including valuable brand feedback that’s essential for increasing brand awareness and recognition. It also allows you to stay informed about the dynamics of the markets you operate in. 

Here are a few reasons why online brand monitoring is crucial: 

  • Crisis management 

  • Tackling customers’ pain points at regular intervals 

  • Strengthening your brand reputation 

  • Keeping an eye on your competitors 

  • Discovering unmet needs 

Now, let’s look at these points in more detail. 

Crisis management 

Every now and then, there can be situations where your brand's reputation could be at stake. And if you don’t address them quickly, they could seriously damage how people feel about your brand, and that's not easy to fix.  

This is where online brand monitoring in real-time can be a lifesaver for your brand. It helps you spot these issues as they pop up so you can handle them before they get out of control.  

By constantly tracking brand mentions and essential keywords on social media, customer feedback forms and other channels, you'll be able to detect if a crisis is starting to brew in real time.  

A brand monitoring dashboard that tracks online mentions and tags.

Learn More: Social Media Crisis Management 

Tackling customers’ pain points at regular intervals 

Brand monitoring is like having a radar that operates day and night, spotting and addressing issues that bother your customers. They might not call customer care to complain, but they will share their thoughts with their peers or on social media — sometimes in subtle ways that may not even seem like a problem.  

However, by diligently paying attention to what your customers are saying about your company through brand monitoring, you can trace the issues or reasons behind the poor experiences that have been causing them headaches. 

For instance, brand monitoring will alert you if people are complaining about a complicated checkout process on social media or if you're receiving numerous feedback submissions about delayed deliveries through your feedback forms. This allows you to fix these issues before they escalate and get out of control.

Read More: How to leverage social media for improved customer experience 

Strengthening your brand reputation

Growing and strengthening your brand's reputation takes time and effort, and it's an ongoing process that's never truly finished. But how do you know if you're making progress in this area and improving how people perceive your brand? 

The answer lies in brand monitoring. Think of it as a way to measure and track how people view your brand online. Having said that, online brand monitoring tools provide data that shows whether your brand is becoming more trusted and well-regarded over time. In simpler terms, they help you see if your efforts positively impact your brand's reputation so it’s more popular among your audience. 

Also Read: Social Media Reputation Management: A Complete Guide 

Keeping an eye on your competitors 

By using brand monitoring tools, you can gain valuable insights into how often your competitors are mentioned across social media, what strategies they're implementing and how their audience perceives them. It's like checking who's leading in the race in your industry and by how much.  

This kind of information allows you to benchmark your brand against the competition, identify trends and learn from both their successes and mistakes, ultimately keeping you ahead in the digital landscape. For example, if your competitors are doing something that's getting a lot of positive feedback, you can learn from their success and change up your strategy accordingly. Likewise, if they are making mistakes in certain areas, you can avoid repeating them.

Sprinklr’s competitive insights & benchmarking dashboard.

Learn More: Social media competitor analysis guide 

Discovering unmet needs 

Brand monitoring can also be a valuable method for uncovering numerous opportunities. Sometimes, these opportunities surface when you look closely at your competitors and identify what their customers want but aren’t getting. Other times, it's about tuning in to your own customers, hearing their conversations and understanding their needs and issues in a more granular way. In both scenarios, these insights help you in discovering unmet needs in the market and addressing your customers' pain points, ultimately giving your brand the winning edge in its industry.

Dive Deeper: Brand Reputation Management: A Guide to Get Organized 

Crucial metrics to track with brand monitoring 

If you aim to sustain and enhance your brand’s reputation, even during challenging times, there are several important factors to consider.   It’s not just about monitoring your brand’s performance. You also need to track the right stuff — what we call "the right metrics" in the marketing world. These brand monitoring metrics should give you the lowdown on some important questions:  

  • Who's out there talking about your brand? 

  • What exactly are your customers saying? 

  • Where are they hanging out online and which platforms are they using? 

  • And perhaps most importantly, how do they really feel about the messages you're putting out there? 

Understanding who's talking about your brand, what they're saying and how they feel about it is like having a secret weapon. It helps you handle any social media crisis, boost your brand's visibility and hit the goals you've set for your brand.   

Get Inspired: 5 Best Examples of Social Media Crisis Management   

3 key brand monitoring metrics you must track  

Now that you have a fair idea of why you should track the right metrics, let’s find out what these brand monitoring metrics are. They include:   

  1. Engagement rate 

  2. Social media reach 

  3. Social media mentions and brand sentiments 

Engagement rate  

Once you've designed your social media calendar and started posting on different channels, it's important to track the traction your posts gain across various demographics. We're talking about metrics like the reposts, comments, likes and shares your posts receive on social media. Essentially, the brand engagement rate shows how much people are interacting with your posts.  

It's simple: The more popular your content — the more the interactions it receives. And don’t, by any means, underestimate this metric, as a high engagement rate suggests that more people will see your content in their feeds. This is a crucial step toward establishing yourself as an industry leader, which can significantly impact your brand's value and ROI.

A media monitoring dashboard that tracks engagement rate, mentions, hashtags and other social media activities

How to use it for brand monitoring?  

  • Measure the engagement rate regularly to identify your most compelling content 

  • Focus on creating more of the content you’re getting right to keep your audience engaged and to attract more followers 

  • Use this metric to gauge the effectiveness of your content strategy and refine it for better results 

Social media reach 

So, you’re probably active on different channels, and you post consistently on all of them. But how do you know if people are actually consuming your content or not?  

Well, tracking social media reach helps you find out how many people have actually seen your posts on their feeds, so you can figure out if your posts are doing well or not. You can also get insights on which posts are reaching lots of people and which ones might need tweaking. And it's handy for spotting trends.  

What’s more, you can track how your brand's visibility changes over time and understand what's causing those ups and downs. 

How to use it for brand monitoring?  

  • Analyze top-performing posts to identify the key factors that are contributing to their success 

  • Use the gained insights to optimize your content strategy and maximize your brand's visibility 

Social media mentions and brand sentiments 

Think of these social media monitoring metrics as a window into how people perceive and react to your brand and what it offers. You may consider these metrics as a virtual comment box, filled with all sorts of feedback — the good, the not-so-good and everything in between.  

For example, let’s say you run a café and you start noticing a steady buzz on social media about how people can't get enough of your frappuccinos. That's what we call positive brand sentiment.  

But, on the flip side, there's also something called negative brand sentiment.  

Continuing with the same example, if your social media is flooded with complaints and rants from customers, from "the coffees aren't up to par" to "the lattes need to be creamier," you’re then dealing with negative sentiments from customers. By keeping tabs on both positive and negative reactions, along with brand mentions, you’ll always have a chance to turn things around and win back your customers.  

Keep this in mind: If you start seeing lots of negative comments or a sudden rise in mentions, that could be a sign that trouble is brewing. On the flip side, if most of the comments are positive, that's your chance to amp up your brand promotion and reach your audience with personalized messaging and campaigns.  

How to use it for brand monitoring?  

  • Monitor mentions to stay informed about what people are saying about your brand 

  • Analyze customer sentiment to gauge the overall perception of your brand, whether it’s positive or negative 

  • Address negative sentiment promptly by resolving issues and turning detractors into advocates 

  • Leverage positive sentiment to reinforce your brand's positive image and engage with satisfied customers 

Also Read: Social Media Sentiment Analysis: An Easy Guide  

5 best brand monitoring tools for your business 

Now, let's dive into these five awesome brand monitoring tools. Each of them has something unique to offer, so you can pick the one that suits your brand like a glove.  

1. Sprinklr 

Prominent feature: Unified AI-powered social media management 

How it helps with brand monitoring: Sprinklr Social is a comprehensive AI-powered social media management platform that provides various tools to help businesses manage their social media presence effectively. The platform’s brand monitoring feature enables businesses to track their online reputation across various social media platforms, providing insights into customer sentiment and engagement. Sprinklr’s social listening and sentiment analysis tools help businesses understand their customers’ emotions and opinions about their brand, enabling them to take proactive measures to improve their reputation.

2. Brandwatch 

Prominent feature: Social listening and analytics 

How it helps with brand monitoring: Brandwatch also specializes in social listening. It collects and analyzes data from social media and other online sources to provide in-depth insights. You can track brand mentions, perform sentiment analysis and gain competitive intelligence with it. By understanding customer sentiments and monitoring competitors, you can make informed decisions to improve your brand's image. 

3. Hootsuite 

Prominent feature: Content scheduling and publishing 

How it helps with brand monitoring: Hootsuite excels in content management. It helps in planning, scheduling and managing your social media content efficiently. By consistently publishing content, you can maintain an active online presence. You can also use it to monitor engagement metrics such as likes, comments and shares to gauge the effectiveness of your posts and identify trends in audience behavior. 

4. Mention 

Prominent feature: Real-time brand monitoring 

How it helps with brand monitoring: Mention offers real-time brand monitoring. It instantly notifies you of brand mentions and social media conversations, allowing you to respond swiftly to customer queries or feedback. Monitoring in real-time helps you maintain a positive brand image by addressing issues promptly and engaging with your audience effectively. 

5. Brand24 

Prominent feature: Sentiment analysis and reporting 

How it helps with brand monitoring: Brand24 specializes in sentiment analysis and reporting, along with social listening. It analyzes customer sentiment related to your brand and provides detailed reports. By tracking sentiment trends, you can assess the impact of your brand campaigns. This data-driven approach enables you to make strategic decisions to enhance your brand's online reputation.

Get started with brand monitoring with 6 easy steps 

Now that you've explored the ideal strategies and tools for brand monitoring, it's time to put your insights into action to enhance your brand's online presence. Let’s take a quick look at the key steps you need to take to get started with brand monitoring.

Define your brand monitoring goals

Clearly define and articulate what you want to achieve with brand monitoring. Whether it's improving customer satisfaction, tracking competitors or measuring brand sentiment, having specific goals will guide your strategy. 

For example, if you run a pizza joint, your goal could be to make sure customers are happy with the food and service. So, you’ll need to monitor comments and Google reviews to find out what they like or dislike. And if they complain about slow service and long queues, your goal should be to speed things up.

Choose the right tools

Select the brand monitoring tool that aligns with your objectives. Consider factors like social media coverage, sentiment analysis and competitor tracking when making your choice. The best brand monitoring tools ensure that you have accurate and relevant information about your brand and customers.

Some of these tools, such as Sprinklr, even come with advanced and AI-powered analytics and reporting capabilities. This allows you to extract actionable insights from the data you collect, helping you to make informed decisions. In addition, when you select tools that align with your brand monitoring objectives, you can focus on what matters most for your brand. For instance, if your goal is to track competitors, tools with competitor tracking capabilities will be indispensable.

Set up your monitoring parameters 

Configure your chosen brand monitoring tool to monitor the relevant keywords, brand mentions and social media forums. For example, if you're a restaurant, you can direct the tool to pay attention to keywords like "delicious" or "poor service" in online comments. This way, the tool will sort comments into positive or negative categories for you. By doing this, you're making the monitoring process more efficient. And instead of sorting through lots of random data, you'll get exactly the information you need, saving you both time and resources.

Track brand monitoring reports regularly 

Make it a habit to regularly review the reports and alerts generated by your monitoring tool. Be on the lookout for any sudden and unusual spike in mentions or changes in customer sentiment. By doing so, you can ensure that everything is going as expected. 

Take insight-based action 

This is where you’ll need to act on the insights you’ve gained from your brand monitoring tool. If you find your customers raising frequent concerns on social media, address them promptly.  

For example, if there's feedback about slow responses on social media, take it as a cue to improve your customer service speed. Consider setting up AI-powered conversational chatbots for quicker replies, which can lead to more satisfied customers and a better image for your brand. Similarly, if there's a lot of positive buzz about a specific product or service, capitalize on that sentiment by highlighting it in your social media campaigns. 

All in all, taking action based on your brand monitoring insights allows you to enhance customer satisfaction, address issues proactively and leverage positive feedback to boost your brand image. 

Measure results continuously 

Now, the process of brand monitoring isn't complete without evaluating the impact of your efforts. So, continuously evaluate the impact of your brand monitoring efforts to understand whether your strategies are delivering positive outcomes or if any adjustments are necessary.   

For example, if you find out that people are saying more good things about your brand after a certain ad campaign, you might want to use some of the same ideas in your next campaigns to keep getting positive reactions.

Winding up 

Knowing what's being said about your brand and where helps you better manage your reputation. This information is invaluable for quickly resolving issues or identifying your most ardent supporters and fans. 

Sure, not everything you hear will be cheers and high-fives, but it's all insightful data that will help you steer your brand's narrative and business strategy in the right direction. 

If you want to upgrade your brand monitoring game, consider using Sprinklr Insights. With it, you can track your brand mentions, keywords and hashtags in real time, and you can gain valuable insights into customer sentiment and engagement. So, go ahead and claim a free 30-day trial today. 

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