How to monitor your brand’s earned media in real time: Home Depot analysis

April 7, 2022

Written by Haley Corzo

If brands are to compete with the speed of today then they need the ability to monitor the news as it’s actually happening. This is why a real-time media monitoring platform is key for brands.

This series of blogs will show you how this is possible for your brand, by using the example of home improvement retailer, Home Depot, and NewsWhip Spike.

First we’ll guide you through how to monitor conversations about your brand in real time, and the next blog will explain the value behind prediction.

Measure conversations in real time

Keeping track of where and in what context your brand is being written about is necessary for all comms professionals, but collecting all accounts of earned media is a time-consuming task, and identifying what narratives are popular or what is resonating with the public is not always obvious from a Google search alone.

Let’s look at an example, using coverage of Home Depot.

chart measuring conversations about home depot
The two charts above show all media and public interest in Home Depot in the last three months to date. This timeline provides a visual overview of the number of articles being published and the level of public interest to those articles on social media, measured by engagements, and graphed by day. 

In this case, there’s a steady amount of media interest in Home Depot, but it’s clear there were days where the article output was significantly higher. Additionally, distinct peaks of public interest will form when there is a large level of engagement with certain articles. Although it’s important to note that a copious amount of articles doesn’t always equal high interest. 

Knowing this, we can then examine the peaks to see what mattered most. 

The second biggest peak in public interest occurred on Feb 5th where there were over 20k engagements to articles that day. When you expand the public interest graph and click into a specific peak, you can view a list of the articles responsible for that peak, and discover which particular one is driving the bulk of engagements.

chart of public interest peak
There might not always be a single explanation for a peak in public interest, but on this day there were thousands of engagements to a story about a Home Depot employee accused of stealing money from the store, which shows that a certain narrative is capturing attention. 

By further exploring the peak you can see all other articles about the employee, which publishers are reporting about it, and how many engagements it’s receiving. If you find a significant point of interest that you want to come back to later, add a note to either graph so you’re easily reminded about an important moment.

Sometimes a high volume of articles can feel daunting, such as on Feb 22nd when nearly 800 articles were published about Home Depot. However, a quick investigation into those articles reveals that the topics of media interest varied widely, and not one article reached over 1k engagements.

media interest to Home Depot
There are times, though, where a single article can drive almost all of the engagement during one day, and that happened on Mar 23rd, the biggest peak during this time period.
chart of public interest peak in march
There were over 45.7k engagements on articles that day, but a story about an influencer’s prank on a stranger in Home Depot was responsible for 31.5k of that total. Spike offers an international look at conversations about your brand, and in this instance the most engaged article came from Mexican entertainment website La guía del Varón, which captured public interest by sharing the article on its Facebook page.

Monitoring conversations about your brand and how they’re spreading across social media will give you the confidence needed to make informed decisions and allow you to act, or not act, on a progressing situation. It’s our goal to provide you with the tools to do all of this and more —  monitor in real time and stay one step ahead. 

If you would like to see how NewsWhip Spike can be used to monitor your brand, request a demo here

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