What You Think You Know About Media Monitoring Is Wrong


By   |   August 26th, 2016   |   Reading time: 2 minutes Communications & PR, Digital Journalism

We look at how media monitoring evolved out of a need to track mentions, but how the growth of the Internet and social media has made this form of monitoring redundant.

As the Internet grew into a vast ecosystem, marketers needed to understand how their brand was being talked about online. The arrival of social media compounded the matter.

To monitor relevant conversations, the marketing industry found ‘mentions’ as its new guiding metric. How many mentions did we get this week? What percentage were positive? Notable marketing tech businesses grew to serve these needs – the media monitoring firms.

But, over time this metric has failed to live up to its promise. It’s slowly lost its sheen.

Why? Because we’re thinking about media monitoring all wrong.

Watching every star in the sky

By looking at all mentions of our brand – across the Web and social media – we’re trying to watch every star in the sky and find guidance from them all.

But, by fixating on every star, we spread our focus too widely. By focusing on mentions like this we’ve been following an impossible dream.

media monitoring

The truth is that not all mentions are important. Most aren’t important at all, whilst some are enormously important. Some mentions can be millions of times more important than others. Tools from the traditional media monitoring industry don’t help you see importance and react effectively enough to it.

But, there is another way.

Signals from shooting stars

Your brand mentions are contained within a content object – a blog, social post, etc. If you track the social engagements being accumulated by these content objects, and the speed of this, you gain a new view into importance. You can monitor the mentions of your brand that are getting the most attention in the Web.

media monitoring

When monitoring conversations about your brand online, what really matters is the shooting stars. They represent the biggest opportunities and threats. After all, these mentions are where your brand is getting the most attention in the Internet and where they’re becoming part of a story.

Mentions never really served marketers well enough. Focusing on your ‘Most Important Mentions’ (MIMs?) is a natural evolution.

Social Velocity – the speed at which content objects, containing mentions, are accumulating social engagements over time – is a rising metric in the marketing world. Technical to define, but a metric that offers more valuable signals to marketers. This is why marketers at Edelman, Reebok and Walmart use NewsWhip’s patented Social Velocity methodology to track the speed and brightness of these shooting stars. It’s a new form of Content Intelligence.

The re-focus on MIMs has the potential to transform media monitoring. Reputation management requires a focus on the most impactful conversations, and smart story-telling around them. Marketers can now do this more effectively – thanks to those shooting stars.

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