Why Social Mentions Matters for Brands (+ how to use them)

Learn to track and leverage social mentions for more effective engagement strategies and an impactful online presence.

Surbhi Nahata
December 25, 2023
6 min read

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Table of Contents

What are social mentions? 

Social mentions are instances where your brand or related keywords are mentioned on various social media platforms, blogs, forums, news articles and other online channels. These mentions provide valuable insights into what people say about your business, allowing you to engage, respond and make data-driven decisions. 

Today, conversations about your brand, products or services are happening all around the internet. These conversations, whether positive or negative, are referred to as social mentions. 

Importance of social mention monitoring 

Regardless of your preferences, people are talking about your company on the internet, and it's crucial to stay attuned to these discussions so you can respond and enhance your interactions with your audience promptly. 

Understanding the significance of monitoring social mentions is crucial for any modern business. Here are some key reasons why monitoring social mentions is essential: 

1. Brand reputation management  

Social mentions provide a real-time reflection of your brand's image. Positive mentions can boost your reputation, while negative mentions can damage it. You can actively manage your brand's reputation by monitoring and responding to social mentions. 

2. Customer engagement 

Engaging with individuals who mention your brand or products creates a sense of connection and loyalty. Responding to questions, comments or feedback demonstrates that you value your customers' opinions and are willing to address their concerns. 

3. Market insights  

Social mentions are a valuable source of market intelligence. They can reveal emerging trends, customer preferences and competitor activities, helping you adapt your strategies to stay competitive.  

4. Crisis management  

Quickly identifying and addressing negative social mentions can prevent a minor issue from escalating into a full-blown crisis. Timely responses can help you mitigate damage and regain trust. 
 
Read More: How to manage a social media crisis efficiently and save your brand in 2024  

In this comprehensive guide, we'll be exploring various methods and best practices for monitoring social mentions, strategies for engaging with them and measuring their impact on your business.   

Tools and methods for tracking social mentions

To harness the power of social mentions, you need the right tools and methods for tracking them effectively. Here are some essential tools and techniques: 

1. Social media listening tools  

Sprinklr's dashboard showing social media data, like popular hashtags and top phrases.

Social listening tools are the backbone of effective social mention tracking. These tools monitor and analyze conversations across various social media platforms, blogs, forums and other online channels. They are indispensable because: 

  • Social listening tools provide real-time monitoring capabilities, allowing you to stay updated on conversations as they happen 

  • These tools can track mentions on various platforms, from popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to niche forums and blogs 

  • You can configure these tools to track specific keywords related to your brand, products, industry or competitors 

  • Many social media listening tools offer social media sentiment analysis, categorizing mentions as positive, negative or neutral 

2. Google Alerts and similar services 

Google Alerts is a free and simple way to monitor web mentions of your brand or keywords. You can set up alerts for specific search terms and receive email notifications when new mentions are found. Here's why it's worth considering: 

  • Google Alerts is straightforward to set up and use 

  • While it primarily focuses on web mentions, Google Alerts can still capture a wide range of online content, including news articles, blog posts and discussions 

  • You can customize your alerts by specifying keywords, language preferences, regions and your ideal frequency of notifications 

3. Hashtag tracking tools   

Hashtags are a prominent feature of social media, and tracking them can provide insights into trending topics and conversations related to your brand or industry. Here's why hashtag tracking tools are essential: 

  • These tools allow you to track the performance of specific hashtags, including their popularity and reach 

  • You can use hashtag tracking to monitor your competitors' hashtags and gauge their effectiveness in driving engagement and visibility 

  • Hashtag tracking tools help you identify emerging trends and topics in your industry 

  • If you run social media campaigns that involve hashtags, tracking their performance is essential for optimizing your strategy and improving campaign results 

 Read More: How to use hashtags to increase your reach on social media  

How to effectively use social mentions for brand reputation  

Tracking social mentions is just the first step. Effectively leveraging this information is equally important.  

Here's how you can make the most of your social mentions:   

Engaging with positive mentions

Positive social media mentions are opportunities to strengthen your brand and build customer loyalty. Here's how to engage effectively:  

  • Thank your audience: Express gratitude for positive feedback and endorsements. A simple "thank you" can go a long way. 

  • Share positive mentions: Repost positive mentions on your social channels to amplify the positive sentiment 

  • Respond promptly: If someone praises your product or service, respond promptly to show appreciation and reinforce a positive experience 

  • Encourage user-generated content (UGC): Encourage satisfied customers to create user-generated content and share it with your brand 

Addressing negative mentions

Negative social mentions require careful handling to minimize damage and demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction

  • Acknowledge the issue: Respond to negative mentions promptly and acknowledge the problem or concern 

  • Apologize and offer solutions: Apologize for any inconvenience and provide solutions or alternatives to address the issue 

  • Take the conversation offline: Move the conversation to a private message or email to resolve the problem more effectively 

  • Learn from feedback: Use negative mentions as an opportunity to improve your products or services 

Best practices for tracking and using social mentions  

To make the most of social mentions, it's important to follow a set of go-to practices: 

Setting up relevant alerts   

  • Use specific keywords: Set up alerts for specific keywords related to your brand, products and industry to ensure you capture relevant mentions 

  • Combine keywords: Use Boolean operators (AND, OR and NOT) to refine your alerts and exclude irrelevant mentions 

  • Set up real-time alerts: Configure alerts to notify you as soon as mentions occur, allowing for timely responses 

Real-time engagement and responses  

  • Be timely: Respond promptly to mentions so you demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction and prevent issues from escalating 

  • Personalize responses: Address individuals by name and tailor your responses to their specific concerns 

  • Stay professional: Maintain a professional tone and avoid engaging in arguments or public disputes 

  • Use positive language: When addressing negative mentions, use positive and empathetic language to defuse tension 

Consistency in monitoring   

  • Establish a routine: Set aside regular time for monitoring social mentions to ensure you don't miss any important conversations 

  • Delegate responsibility: If possible, assign the task of monitoring and responding to a dedicated team member 

  • Document insights: Keep records of trends and insights from social mentions for future reference and analysis 

  • Use a reliable social mention tool: This helps track brand mentions across major social media channels, blogs, community forums and review sites in real time, enabling you to stay on top of all your customer conversations 

Integrating social mentions into marketing campaigns   

  • Incorporate UGC: Use UGC from positive mentions in your marketing materials to build trust and authenticity 

  • Enrich your content strategy: Leverage insights from social mentions to inform your content strategy and create content that resonates with your audience 

  • Run social media contests: Encourage user participation and generate positive mentions by running contests and giveaways 

  • Leverage influencer marketing: Collaborating with an influencer will increase mentions and therefore increase awareness about your brand and its offerings 

3 social mention success stories  

Below are three real-world case studies that illustrate the positive impact social mentions can have on a brand. 

Starbucks: Amplifying positive sentiment   

Background: Starbucks is a globally recognized coffeehouse chain known for its strong presence on social media and passionate customer base. It wanted to leverage positive social mentions to boost its brand image further. 

Strategy: 

  • Monitoring: Starbucks used social media listening tools to monitor mentions of its brand, specific coffee blends and related keywords across various social platforms 

  • Engagement: It responded promptly to positive mentions, often with personalized messages expressing gratitude for customer loyalty and sharing UGC featuring its products 

  • UGC: Starbucks encouraged customers to share photos of their experiences by using branded hashtags like #StarbucksLove and #MyStarbucksExperience. It showcased this UGC on its social media profiles 

 Results: 

  • Starbucks' active engagement with positive mentions created a sense of community and brand loyalty among customers 

  • Its social media profiles were filled with UGC, creating an authentic and relatable brand image 

  • This strategy contributed to an increase in Starbucks' social media following and boosted sales 

Pizza chain: Turning negative mentions into opportunities    

Background: A leading pizza chain faced a reputation crisis in 2009 when a video showing employees mishandling food went viral, resulting in widespread negative mentions and a significant drop in brand perception.  

Strategy: 

  • Real-time monitoring: The pizza chain began using social media listening tools to monitor mentions and comments that were primarily related to the crisis on various platforms 

  • Transparent communication: The company took a proactive approach by acknowledging the issue, apologizing and providing explanations via social media, blog posts and videos 

  • Quality assurance initiatives: It used the feedback from negative mentions to revamp its food preparation and quality assurance processes. It also introduced a timely campaign, highlighting its commitment to improvement  

 Results: 

  • The company's transparency and commitment to addressing the crisis head-on resonated with the audience, gradually improving sentiment 

  • Over time, negative mentions decreased, and the brand regained customer trust, ultimately recovering from the crisis 

GoPro: Harnessing UGC  

Background: GoPro, known for its action cameras, aimed to leverage UGC to showcase the versatility of its products and create an authentic brand image.  

Strategy: 

  • UGC campaigns: GoPro launched various UGC campaigns, encouraging users to share their action-packed adventures using @mentions and hashtags like #GoPro and #GoProAdventure that were captured on GoPro cameras

  • Repost and share: The brand regularly reposted UGC on its social media profiles, crediting and tagging the creators 

  • Incentives: GoPro incentivized users by running contests with prizes for the best UGC submissions and featuring selected content on its website and social media 

Results: 

  • UGC became a cornerstone of GoPro's marketing strategy, showcasing real customers enjoying their products in various scenarios 

  • GoPro's social media profile engagement skyrocketed, as users eagerly shared their content and interacted with the brand 

  • The brand's conversion rates improved, as potential customers were more likely to trust recommendations from their peers 

Measuring the impact of social mentions  

Measuring the impact of social mentions is essential to assess the effectiveness of your strategies and make data-driven decisions. Here’s some key information to keep an eye on:  

Metrics to monitor   

  • Engagement: Track likes, shares, comments and reposts to measure audience interaction with your social mentions 

  • Reach: Assess the number of people who have seen your mentions to gauge your brand's exposure 

  • Sentiment analysis: Use sentiment analysis tools to determine your mentions' overall sentiment (positive, negative or neutral) 

  • Conversion rates: Measure how many mentions lead to desired actions, such as website visits, sign-ups or purchases 

  • Share of voice: Analyze how often your brand is mentioned compared to competitors within your industry 

Analyzing trends over time   

  • Compare periods: Compare metrics from different periods to identify trends and changes in sentiment or engagement 

  • Identify patterns: Look for recurring themes or keywords in mentions that can help you refine your content and engagement strategies 

  • Segment your data: Analyze social mentions based on demographics, location or other relevant factors to gain deeper insights into your audience 

Adapting strategies based on insights  

  • Iterate and improve: Use the insights from your social mention analysis to iterate and improve your engagement and content strategies 

  • Crisis prevention: If you notice a trend of negative mentions related to a specific issue, take proactive measures to address it before it escalates 

  • Content optimization: Tailor your content based on what generates the most positive mentions and engagement 

How can Sprinklr help with social mentions? 

Sprinklr is a comprehensive social media management platform that offers a range of products designed to help businesses effectively track and manage social mentions. Here's how Sprinklr and its products can assist in social mention tracking:  

1. Social listening 
Sprinklr provides advanced social listening and monitoring capabilities. Its tools allow you to track social mentions across various platforms, including major social media networks, blogs, forums and news outlets. 

Read More: What is social listening: Importance, benefits and strategies 

2. Advanced analytics and reporting 
Sprinklr offers robust analytics and reporting features. You can measure the impact of social mentions through quantitative and qualitative metrics, such as volume, sentiment analysis and influencer engagement.  

3. Sentiment analysis  

Sprinklr-s sentiment analysis tool showing message-level and phrase-level sentiments

Sprinklr's sentiment analysis tools enable you to categorize mentions as positive, negative or neutral. This allows you to prioritize responses to negative mentions, address customer concerns promptly and leverage positive mentions for greater brand advocacy. 

4. Unified-CXM  
Sprinklr allows you to centralize customer data and insights with its Unified Customer Experience Management (Unified-CXM) platform. This ensures a holistic approach to managing customer experiences across touchpoints. 

Effectively tracking and using social mentions are powerful ways to manage your brand's reputation, engage with customers and gain valuable insights. By implementing the tools, strategies and best practices outlined in this guide, you can turn social mentions into valuable assets for your business. 

So, remember to stay consistent in your monitoring efforts, adapt to changing trends and prioritize meaningful engagement with your audience. 

TRY SPRINKLR FOR FREE 

Frequently Asked Questions

No, tracking social mentions on private accounts is typically not possible unless the account owner grants you access. 

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