Why marketers should be thinking about brand reputation management
In the fast-moving, always-connected landscape of social media and the online press, brand reputation management can be challenging to say the least. Hundreds of millions of news stories, blogs, social media posts, photos and videos appear online every day.
Keeping track of these conversations is essential, but it’s easier said than done. With so much data coming from everywhere, manual monitoring has become a task that is time-consuming and counterproductive at best.
As a result, an increasing number of brands are turning to online media monitoring tools to keep an eye on what’s being said about them. Setting up the perfect media monitoring strategy can be complex, but it’s a worthy investment that can save time, money, and reputations.
Managing large quantities of data
One of the main challenges of online reputation management is that there’s simply too much information out there to be sifted through by hand, making it all too easy to miss something important.
Some big brands can be mentioned online thousands of times per day and even the most dedicated community manager or PR can’t check them all. Most day-to-day conversations around a brand will be perfectly harmless comments and engagement.
But this seemingly innocent data can hide the first signs of a crisis – such as an unhappy customer, or an information leak.
Media monitoring tools can filter out everyday noise, helping to identify rising trends or PR issues that would otherwise have been difficult to spot. Monitoring certain keywords, social media accounts or media outlets also makes it possible to keep an eye on specific topics, such as “smoking” PR issues and known detractors.
Dealing with multiple sources
It’s not just the amount of information available that’s a problem, it’s where it’s coming from. A brand reputation manager will always be on the lookout for mentions in publications specific to their sector or in the mainstream media, but vital information doesn’t always come from “expected” sources.
New blogs, websites and social media profiles appear and disappear every day, making it close to impossible to predict where meaningful data might come from.
A PR disaster or a golden marketing opportunity can often spring from a completely unrelated source - a certain Facebook Live video about a Chewbacca Mask springs to mind. Monitoring tools capture data from any source, from the most obscure to the most influential, that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.
Keeping up with a fast-paced environment
When it comes to reputation management, timing is vital.
This is especially true for crisis prevention - a fast, effective response to the first moments of a crisis can make a huge difference, helping to dispel rumours, limit press coverage and mitigate reputational damage.
Media monitoring tools are invaluable for detecting the early warning signs of a scandal about to break or a rising trend. An automated listening platform has the capacity to identify the tiniest changes of sentiment and volume that even a well-trained human eye might miss, and alert the brand before it’s too late.
Media monitoring tools are also a great source of insights that can help you to learn from past crisis situations and marketing triumphs.
In crisis cases, media monitoring tools can identify the exact starting point of a PR disaster - such as the very first tweet or the first piece of press coverage - allowing you to trace it back to its origin. Whether it was an unhappy customer that didn’t get a quick answer, or an untrue rumour that was allowed to run unchecked, the insights gained from media monitoring can get to the bottom of the cause.
Once it’s been identified, the brand’s monitoring strategy can be updated to include any new negative keywords that had been used, or newly discovered detractors.