How To Create a Brand Monitoring Strategy and Plan

Yesterday I shared 10 free tools for social management and personal brand monitoring but a few of you have pinged me and asked what they should be monitoring exactly and how to go about it.

Although I shared my general strategy of management I thought it would be good to get a few things more clear, especially as you define your monitoring strategy moving forward.

The process isn’t too difficult – it just needs to be explicit and doable with your time limitations and goals. Here’s how I generally help people with brand management:

1. Your Objective

The first thing I help individuals and organizations do is define clearly what their objective is. What exactly are you trying to achieve? You might have some of the following:

  • I want to know what’s being said about me, good or bad.
  • I want to respond to customer issues, complaints, and praise.
  • I want to know my competition and the conversations surrounding them.

These are just some example objectives that can help you define your efforts. The more succinct and more clear and specific the better.

2. Your Data Set

The next thing to do is determine your data set or the things that you’ll be executing against. For example:

  • Company Name
  • Brand and Product Names
  • Individual Employees
  • Competitor’s Employees
  • Industry Keywords
  • Target Phrases, Taglines, Mottos, etc.
  • Marketing Initiatives, Seasons

These are the things that you’ll use in your brand monitoring tools that you have decided to use.

3. Your Tool Kit

Your toolkit is just the tools that you’ve decided to use to execute against your data set above. I’ve shared 10 of these tools (and 3 premium/paid tools). There are many more out there!

Go do it!

4. Response Plan & Strategy

The next step is to create a plan and strategy to respond to your data. If it’s negative feedback and a negative conversation how are you going to respond? The reason for this is to strip away emotion from the “strategy” and execute wisely and well (and in a way that you won’t regret later).

You want to lay this out for yourself, your team, and your business (or wherever you implement this). Here are some ideas:

  1. Determine if it’s positive or negative feedback. Or if it’s a customer request, help, or issue with your product/service.
  2. Create a response plan based on these scenarios. Determine an acceptable turn-around time to answer these.
  3. Determine the right channels of communication. Twitter, Facebook, Email, or all of the above? Do you answer the question with the same tool that was the source?
  4. Prioritize your engagement. You may have a lot and you’ll want to determine how important some pieces of data are in comparison to others.
  5. Involve others in the feedback loop – it may be good to have a team member or someone else to help you respond well since it might be an emotional engagement (you feel hurt, in other words, and want to respond in anger).
  6. Execute well.

These are just some general top-level elements of a good plan. You can go as detailed as you’d like though. Remember to always listen first and try to see what the piece of data is really trying to say about you and your business and brand. Perhaps it’s not what you think it is!

[This is part of the Personal Branding Series.]