You’d never speed down the freeway at night with your headlights turned off. You’d never walk down a busy city street blindfolded. And you’d certainly never stroll around a business conference or networking event shouting about your brand or product…while wearing noise-cancelling headphones.
It’s preposterous even to suggest such things.
Original research reported here in How B2B Tech Marketing on Twitter is Changing showed that of nearly 400 B2B SaaS companies active on Twitter, just 23% responded to brand mentions in any way, and only 6% went beyond a simple “like.” Further:
“As a follow-on experiment, 22 brand monitoring software tools were reviewed in a separate post, which was tweeted out multiple times. Just four (18.2%) of the 22 responded, showing that even the companies whose business is brand monitoring largely fail at it.”
Online brand monitoring isn’t difficult or expensive. But failing to do it can be very costly. Here are five reasons why.
You’ll miss the chance to find and amplify advocates.
There is no more powerful form of marketing than word of mouth: happy customers singing your praises to friends, family, and peers.
The ladies’ bridge clubs and smoke-filled rooms of the Mad Men era are long gone, replaced today by social media, blogs, and online reviews.
People are talking about your brand and product on social media and elsewhere online. Your fans are advocating for your brand.
But if your company isn’t doing online brand monitoring, you can’t identify, thank, and amplify those advocates. You don’t even know the conversations are happening.
You’ll miss the chance to be responsive to issues.
Your customers expect you to respond when they mention your brand on social media. And your prospective customers are watching for your response time as well.
A quick response is even more important when buyers are complaining or reporting an issue. According to Social Media Today:
- 70% of Twitter users expect a response from brands that they reach out to.
- 53% expect a response from brands in less than an hour.
- If they’re tweeting a complaint or negative feedback, that number rises to 72%.
- Overall, 52% of customers expect to hear back from brands within 7 days of posting an online review, particularly one that’s negative or critical.
- 21% expect brands to respond in 24 hours or less.
It’s not all about playing defense, of course. Per Sprout Social , “When customers feel connected to brands, more than half of consumers (57%) will increase their spending with that brand and 76% will buy from them over a competitor.”
You’ll miss the opportunity to build new relationships.
It’s not only customers talking about your brand online. Journalists, bloggers, analysts, potential partners (companies with complementary / non-competitive products who sell into the same target market), and other influencers may be out there tweeting, writing, commenting, or posting about your company.
If you aren’t doing online brand monitoring, you’re missing all of that. At the very least, all influencer brand mentions should be acknowledged. And in some cases, reaching out can be the start of forming long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.
You’ll miss competitive insights.
Once you put a system in place to monitor your own brand mentions, you’ll almost certainly want to monitor what people are saying about your competitors as well.
The content your competitors produce will tell you how great they are. What their customers and industry experts say about them will give you the real story.
What do their customers complain about? What types of issues arise? How (and how quickly) do your competitors respond?
You can learn a lot about your competitors based on what’s said about them on social media, review, and other websites. But not if you aren’t listening.
And if your competitors are doing online brand monitoring and you aren’t…the consequences could be even worse.
Ignorance or apathy? You’ll make customers (and prospects) wonder.
You’ve likely heard the old joke:
Q: What’s the difference between ignorance and apathy?
A: I don’t know and I don’t care.
When your company doesn’t acknowledge praise or respond to criticism online, people in your market don’t know whether you are simply not on the ball and unaware of their comments, or you are cognizant but don’t view it as worth your time to react.
Neither one of those possibilities is a good look for your brand.
Online brand monitoring does require some effort and an investment in social media monitoring tools. But for small to midsized B2B brands, the effort isn’t all that burdensome and there are moderately priced tools available.
The costs of not doing brand monitoring, on the other hand, could be catastrophic.