As part of your brand creation, you have to constantly monitor it. After all, people are talking about your brand. They’re blogging about your company. They’re mentioning their experience with your business on their own Facebook pages. They’re discussing your brand in groups on LinkedIn and posting videos about it to YouTube. In short, there’s a whole lot of conversation going on about your brand that you have no control over. Some of this conversation may be good, and some of it may be bad. Some of it may even be outright lies. But for better or for worse, it will live in cyberspace forever. What you can do, however, is monitor the conversation. Obviously, you can’t catch every comment out there, but you can keep an eye on the larger and more obvious channels.

Brand Monitoring on Social Media

You might think monitoring every mention of your brand online is a superhuman task. And you would be right. It’s literally impossible to cover everything being said about a brand. Nevertheless, there are tools to help you. Google has super-Herculean servers and web crawlers, which make keeping tabs on your brand online much simpler, with tools like Google Alerts or Hubspot’s social monitoring software. You can input terms you need to track that are important for brand management. These are the terms that cover:

  • Company name
  • Names of key executives, public-facing employees, or other prominent people connected with your company
  • Branded names of products, services, or features

Voila! You now have a good handle on how, when, and where your brand is mentioned online!

Here’s an extra tip: You can set up Alerts to monitor competitors’ mentions, too. Enter their brand name, product names, and key executives. Who knows, you might even be able to exploit any knowledge you accrue this way before they do!

For more tips on brand creation, you can read our blog 10 Quick Tips about Brand Creation.

Responding When Things Go Wrong

In social media, as in life, there are three ways a brand can be mentioned: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Be prepared for all three. Decide ahead of time which types of incidents constitute a crisis for your company and which are just bumps in the road. Then, develop a response plan. For instance, a technical glitch would probably go to your IT department, whereas an unsatisfied customer might go to customer service.

Brand creationBeing prepared for these instances is critical for maintaining the good brand you’ve built. But the key is timeliness. Any crisis or PR disaster can be smoothed over, but the longer you wait to respond, the longer the negative press has a chance to spread, with nothing to quench the flames. They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but some events and situations can seriously, even permanently damage your business reputation if not dealt with properly.

So, prepare a “holding statement” ahead of time for any major event. This is a brief statement that you can post online or on social media that explains that you’re aware of the situation (whatever it may be), and you will respond in greater detail as soon as possible. Fill in the statement with a few specifics of the situation in question, and include a time estimate of when further information might be coming, so it doesn’t sound like you’re just giving people a recorded message. Then, direct people to other channels where those announcements will be made. Twitter is particularly suited to real-time updates like this. Think about how the target persona would want to be treated, and how they’d want to be talked to in these circumstances. For instance, some audiences may find that a light-hearted, slightly self-deprecating tone endearing. For others, it will come off as dismissive. Knowing the audience and what they expect from your brand will help you respond appropriately.

Responding to the Good

The web is as neutral a territory as you’re likely to find. It presents as many opportunities for good publicity as it does for, well, less-good publicity.

Use social media monitoring to take life’s lemons and make some cool, refreshing lemonade. They don’t even have to be your lemons. Look for opportunities to turn someone else’s loss into your gain (tactfully, of course). For instance, if you own a taxi company and mass transit just went down, post from your Twitter account that cab rides are half off. Hey, it’s a PSA! News networks would eat it right up!

If you own a spa and your town is hosting a marathon, set up a chair massage station for the runners and crew members and give free 5-minute massages along the route. Get lots of photos and videos of smiling, blissful faces (preferably that include the brand in there somewhere) and post them on social media—and for any other outlets who might want to pick up the story.


When in the process of brand creation, monitoring how well your brand is doing, who is talking about it, and how people are responding to it is a must for success.


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