A Primer on Media Monitoring

Consumers are talking online everyday about brands and their products. Because of this, media monitoring has become integral to savvy brands’ marketing efforts. Let’s see how that looks!

In this post, we’ll explore:

  • What is media monitoring
  • Why brands need media monitoring
  • High level media monitoring methods
  • How media monitoring looks in action

There’s a lot to be seen and heard online – and much of it can be used by brands to inform their marketing efforts. It’s time to harness social data, as these platforms aren’t going away. In fact, they’re expanding:

  • By the end of 2021, social networking sites are estimated to reach 3.78 billion users
  • Due to Covid-19, 43% of internet users are spending more time on social media platforms
  • 73% of advertisers invest in social media

Can you count yourself among those numbers? And is your brand focus on-point? It needs to be. Facebook alone has 2.79 billion monthly active users, and Instagram has 1 billion – and these numbers are climbing.

Though, it’s important to note that it’s not just the major channels you want to monitor, there are forums, blogs and smaller social media sites to keep your eye on as well. And sometimes, the conversation on specific topics isn’t happening where you think it is!


This highlights the need to have a tool which can pull insights from all variety of social media – not just the big dogs. Let’s explore more on why media monitoring is essential.

Why Media Monitoring is Essential

Media monitoring, in the simplest of terms, is tracking conversations online about your brand. But it’s a bit more involved than that. It’s a way to benchmark your progress as a company over time and look at all the ways you’re winning, and losing, allowing you to learn as you go and pivot in a timely fashion, as needed.

It guides you toward uncovering targeted messaging by revealing trends in consumer conversation that your brand can utilize to connect in a deeper, more meaningful way. And by consistently monitoring your brand online, you have regular access to your share of voice, how your campaigns are performing with your target audience, and the ability to uncover emerging trends or identify potential disruptors in the industry!

And media monitoring provides this same intel about your competitors as well. With it, you can devise ways to target their audience and perhaps win a few more loyal fans. But it also gives you access to what’s working for your competition so you can copy their winning steps, or avoid their mistakes.

There is so much more that media monitoring offers brands, including:

  • Tracking key topics within your industry
  • Preventing a crisis and protecting brand health by getting real time alerts about topic, brand or keyword mentions; also, alerts around sentiment shifts
  • Allowing you to adjust campaigns in real-time if your messaging isn’t resonating with your consumers.
  • Enhancing your influencer marketing efforts by pinpointing which influencers have the most impact with your specific audience

And all of that merely scratches the surface.

By the end of 2021, social networking sites are estimated to reach 3.78 billion users.  And with mobile usage continuing to grow, this figure is expected to increase. This means that media monitoring will be indispensable to brands seeking to stand out in an extremely crowded arena.

Media Monitoring Methods

Word mouth is still your best form of advertising, and now it’s even more valuable as it has moved online along with everything else. But it’s also more perilous. If you mess up, it could be ruinous. This is where media monitoring makes a huge difference.

With media monitoring, brands know when they’re mentioned (and when there isn’t an @ symbol tagging them) and the context surrounding it – and context is a key differentiator amongst media monitoring tools. Not every tool is capable of accurately parsing consumer sentiment. And having an accurate accounting of sentiment drivers – being able to explore the posts driving positive vs negative behaviors – is crucial, particularly when serious concerns crop up:


Media monitoring keeps your brand in the know about anything that may become a cog in the wheel of progress. And it keeps brands alert to trends that may be on the rise by identifying topics, emojis, hashtags and even other brands your consumers are talking about.

Due to Covid-19, 43% of Internet users are spending longer on social media platforms. And as we all know the pandemic flipped trends upside down overnight. Media monitoring helps you keep track of these in real time.

And then, of course, your competition should always be forefront of your mind. You know the old showtune, “Anything you can do, I can do better?” Well, that’s competition in a nutshell – and yes, you want to do better! Media monitoring can track everything you track for your own brand and apply it to your competitors. This gives you a leg up in the marketing game.

A social media monitoring tool tracks what your competitor’s consumers are saying about them, giving you the opportunity to woo any disgruntled consumers away.

It can also identify demographics in your competitors’ space – segments that perhaps you’ve yet to uncover on your own. By finding common interests, professions, or age categories, you can create targeted messages specifically for them. This will expand your share of voice – and hopefully your consumer base as well!

Companies are already recognizing the power of media monitoring, in fact 73% of advertisers already invest in social media. Monitoring activity on media channels should be a priority, otherwise participating online is like taking a shot in the dark. Maybe you’ve been lucky so far, but you’ll inevitably miss.

Let’s look at some real examples of monitoring for success.

Media Monitoring in Action

One of the top ways savvy brands are using media monitoring is to identify influencers and track their efforts in influencer marketing.

Social listening tools sort through millions of posts and identify those with top followers, top mentions and impactful engagement levels. This influencer below is a fan of Starbucks, and he has a sense of humor – one that 32,590 people felt was witty enough to share.


Although he only has 8,807 followers on Twitter, this is an example of one possible influencer that Starbucks could utilize to reach people they may not be connecting meaningfully with at the moment. He’s someone a brand may overlook though, if they didn’t have the benefit of seeing how influential he is with his audience. And it would be really easy to miss, just in general, because it doesn’t @mention either brand. So, unless they were using a media monitoring tool that captures brand mentions in this way, they’d never know this potentially valuable brand ambassador exists!

Be sure your brand doesn’t miss out on its own influencer and other opportunities reveals by media monitoring! Reach out for a demo and we’ll ensure that you don’t.

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