Social Mention Tracking Tools: How to Measure Your Brand Mentions

Written by Robin WildingMarch 21, 2011

Scene: It was 20 years ago and a nearly-gone-blind PR professional combs 17 daily papers with size 10 fonts for mentions of their company.

Flash forward to 2011: A PR pro has an alert of all the media mentions of their company forwarded to their inbox—then they begin responding and forwarding the content via their online social networks.

20 years ago PR professionals would have given their right arm for a tool that could measure the daily media buzz around their company and brand—and now the tool is available and FREE.

If you are not using social mention tools to measure your branding success, start. The process has become so idiot-proof that there is no reasonable excuse not to do it. Heck, in a few years monkeys may actually do the job.

Given our evolutionary chain I thought I would test that above statement and see if this monkey could in fact track her social mentions like a pro. So I tracked myself—only to come to the conclusion that my near non-existent social branding strategy is just as unsuccessful as I supposed it would be—I had 2 social mentions.

There are free and paid tools that you can use to monitor your branding/social media marketing/PR successes just like the pros:

Social Mention - Social Mention is one of the most prominent tools on the Internet for measuring your brand’s buzz. This free do-it-yourself tool will scan blogs, social bookmarks, 100+ social networking sites, comments, images, news, video, events, microblogs and the rest of the social web. This tool is remarkably similar to any other search engine so explanations on how to use it aren’t required.

You will likely receive thousands of results in the Social Mention search but you can sort through the data with advanced searching functions.

In a clearly labeled side bar the service will rate your data in four categories:

  1. Strength
  2. Sentiment
  3. Passion
  4. Reach

Further down the page you will see a breakdown of the social mentions into top keywords, positivity/negativity of sentiment, sources, hash tags and top users.

If a few minutes a day is too much of a time commitment, the creators of Social Mention also can send you your daily buzz via a breaking news-style email alert. This alert is similar to a Google Alert but includes social media in addition to Google web results. You can have the data aggregated daily into an RSS feed for easy viewing.

Klout - You have likely heard the social media term ‘Klout score’ being bantered around, which is terminology for another way to measure your branding success. A Klout score determines how influential you/your brand is on the social web. It is measured on three main factors:

  1. True Reach
    This metric measures how many people you actually engage with (not simply how many followers or friends you have).
  2. Amplification
    Amplification works on the probability of your content being shared by your network.
  3. Network Influence
    This measures how influential your followers are.

If you add together how many people you engage with regularly on your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, how often your followers/friends re-share your shared info and how influential they are overall then you have your Klout score.

This free tool is generally used to find influential people on the Internet to interact with to boost your overall brand mentions and social media marketing successes.

Beevolve - For some people the task of sifting through the results can be monotonous and/or time consuming—which is why Beevolve created a paid service that can help with the tracking, monitoring and analysis of social mentions. Beevolve costs between $29.99 to $99.95 per month and comes with the following features and benefits:

  • Coverage for Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, blogs, traditional-style news sources and the web.
  • Brand monitoring that gives real-time updates.
  • Sentiment analysis.
  • Competitive analysis against predetermined key metrics.
  • Demographic-based tools.
  • Spam filtering.
  • Influencer identification.
  • Collaboration tools.

Beevolve’s services can be useful to save you the time of analyzing your companies’ buzz yourself, which is important for small to medium sized businesses that function without PR departments.

Free vs Paid

You might be asking yourself why would I pay for a service that I could get for free with Social Mention and the like—and the answer is time and experience. Comcast, Boxcar, Recruiterbox and many others use paid services like Beevolve in order to save them time and to have a professional do the work. Many PR agencies, social media agencies, startups and small companies with limited staff use paid subscription services as time savers. Others use them for their insights into metric’s interpretation.

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