You can’t improve your business, if you don’t understand your customers. Hence, monitoring relevant media content, including social media, is a must. But how can you leverage it beyond a basic daily review of how many times and on what channels your brand was mentioned?
Media monitoring provides clients with copies of media content, which is of specific interest to them. I could joke and say that the Internet has shifted a relatively settled media trot to a gallop and that increasingly important social media have added another dimension to the speed of the dissemination of information – voice of the people. It can indeed be ruthless to brands, products and services, but it’s a fact which you can’t ignore no more.
Consistent media monitoring – of all communication channels – outlines a real public image of your brand, it provides new insights into the activities of your competitors and into the challenges that await you in the struggle for customers.
Indeed, media monitoring is so much more than just a daily review of articles about your brand. If you’re using it for just checking what the media (especially mass media) reported about you and counting the number of clips, then you’re not doing much. Those times have passed.
Here are 3 ways to effectively leverage online media monitoring to improve your brand:
1. To better understand your customers’ pain points
A few days ago, I met with a financial company. They told me right away, “We don’t know why we need media monitoring; we are hardly mentioned in the media.”
After only a few minutes, we jointly came to the conclusion that the company truly isn’t present much in the mass media; they, however, spend a lot of time monitoring financial behavioral trends. “Our goal is to educate the market, to let prospects know what our services mean and what they can gain by becoming our clients,” they said. So why not keep track of media content on this topic?
By monitoring the media (traditional and online/social), they will explore the market, find potential clients and obtain necessary data on what people really need when it comes to financial advice, what their most common pain points are. Armed with the data, the company will know how to address clients more effectively, detect niches that can be utilized, and find the arguments to improve the sales of their services.
2. To improve your business
Media content is rich with information about you and your products/services, which you may not be aware of. You may not even realize that your users/clients/buyers/readers are affected by them or find them important. Listening to communication on social media, records on forums, industry blogs, reading user reviews, equips you with information that can be your point of reference, for you to become stronger and better.
Imagine a bakery that runs out of buns by 5 pm every day. This is a seemingly insignificant detail, but since this has been going on for a few weeks, customers start complaining. In the past, people would write letters, maybe ask to see the manager. Now they post their comments on a forum, Facebook, or simply tweet about it.
The bakery can do two things – ignore online chatter or do something about it. Was the estimate of how much the bakery can sell wrong? Would it be a good idea to bake a different type of bread in smaller amounts and increase the number of baked buns?
The mirror that media content shows you can be merciless. But if you know how to utilize it, you can act appropriately and improve your business. Are you capable of enough self-reflection to chew over processes, review procedures and change something within the organization?
3. To improve your products/services
A pool of information from social media can help find new ways to improve your products/services. Moreover, it can be a great source of information not only for marketing and PR departments, but also for other departments, such as product development, sales, etc.
People talk about their lives online, not only (or even not mainly) about brands. They discuss with others what they use, what they experience and how happy they are with available solutions.
For example, what side effects are caused by individual drugs? What conclusions can young mothers list when testing different means for eliminating seizures in infants, what works and what doesn’t? How helpful is a call center agent when a client complains about the Internet connection? Can a bank teller answer financial questions satisfactorily?
I like the idea of the development departments looking at their users’ comments and fish for their own personalized adaptations of many products they use. I am often surprised how detailed the user experiences are, how they can find new ways to adapt products to their needs – their solutions are a great feedback how to upgrade your products and services.
Media monitoring is so much more than just a list of mentions of your brand in the media. If you can effectively put the clippings to good use, strategically, they will help you adapt your activites in order to further your business.