Media monitoring is nothing new. It dates back to the beginning of the 20th century and the appearance of the periodical printed press. This gave a start to the so-called clippings: people bought newspapers, cut out and collected articles from them, and sent them to the client.
However, as the number of mass media grew, so did the amount of work for people who studied them. The turning point was the emergence of social networks, which significantly changed the media field.
"There is an apparent need. Every year, the amount of information about companies, people, and communities that go into the public space increases exponentially. We help companies see what is being said about them: on television, in print media, on the radio, and in social networks," Oksana Kononova explains, adding that it is also important to collect and analyze relevant information about competitors to understand what is happening on the market.
You can collect a lot of information with the help of open-source analytics. Knowing how to analyze it, you can make an almost complete profile of the company that interests you. Oksana Kononova explains the process on the example of entering foreign markets.
The algorithm is as follows:
1. Research the new market and establish its main players. Use Google search to discover ads and articles about companies in the desired field. Having identified a few main ones, you should analyze what exactly they advertise and at what price. This way you will know the cost of advertising outputs and will be able to plan the budget for advertising.
2. Study the social media presence of future competitors. Determine the topics and formats of publications and the audience's reaction to them. This will help you plan for the number of employees and funds needed for the development of the company's social media accounts in accordance with the current trends in content creation.
3. Analyze company websites. It is important to see how the lead generation works, where the links lead to and what they offer, and whether there are pages with pricing. This information is necessary for understanding market trends.
4. Check the job openings or LinkedIn. Based on the specialists the company is looking for, you can understand its development plans, projects, and new directions of activity.
5. Where possible, you should study the section with press releases and official information. If the company is public, it has mandatory reports for the stock exchange. The first report with which it went to the IPO should contain a section with market analysis. This information can come in handy.
6. Media field: what is written about the company, what its employees post on LinkedIn, and what the company speakers publish.
"All this does not provide comprehensive information. By collecting bits and pieces and putting them together, you get a complete picture. You look at crises: what their causes were, and how companies responded. This is to understand what the audience is sensitive to and how you will address it," LOOQME CEO explains.
This is a free, do-it-yourself market research method. However, the expert advises delegating such monitoring, as the amount of information will require a lot of time and effort for its proper collection and interpretation.
Oksana explains that the market share of a company operating in the B2C sector often correlates with the number of media mentions.
"The share of voice (the share of voice each of these companies has in the media field) will practically always correspond to the market share of these companies. This does not mean they will match in percentage, but they will definitely do so in ratio. We see from many companies’ examples: when they become leaders, they automatically get more reach and more outlets than small companies do. They are just being written more about. Moreover, if these companies issue their press release, it will be picked up faster, because they are already known," the media analyst says.
However, mentions in the media and social networks are not always positive. Although, when these are isolated cases among clients of a large company, there is no reason for greater concern.
"If people know you, they write about you. They do not always write well, but this is the case when there is no such thing as bad PR. There are a lot of mentions, and you stay top of mind in any case," Oksana explains.
However, these patterns do not always work for B2B companies. They are more closed and less likely to have a product available for testing by a wide audience. Accordingly, it is much more difficult to get publications in the media. How can a company increase its media presence? The manager can act as an expert in some field or participate in thematic ratings.
"We studied the legal market, and it seemed like lawyers were their own worst enemies. They wrote for legal publications and produced articles of a level that is difficult to understand if you are not a lawyer. There was only one company trying to appeal to a wider potential audience. And this was very noticeable against the backdrop of the general approach," Oksana Kononova says.
For small businesses, such as coffee shops or service stations, Oksana advises using simpler solutions: for example, chatbots. You can also use services for automatic notifications from social media, which should be enough.
"When the business grows, then it is possible to add some other products and services. If this is a startup looking for investment, it makes sense to use monitoring and read about other startups, investors, existing events, and news about you in the public field. Because this is what investors will see when they go to Google you. The same goes for a business releasing a new product, launching a new communication, and wanting to track it," the expert says.
For a medium-sized business, you need to consider the number of publications in the media. If there are 30 to 50 mentions of the company in a month, there are probably more, but they are not tracked. In addition, at this level, it is already necessary to analyze the media activity of competitors. Overall, there are too many mentions to keep track of, and it is extremely difficult to do it yourself. This is where monitoring services will be of help.
"Same goes for non-profit organizations. When they are engaged in the communication of reforms or any major changes in society, they often use monitoring. To see what they do, but also to understand what the reaction is and what additional narratives arise. Because you will definitely encounter some force that does not want these changes, which will use social networks and media to promote its point of view, and it must be monitored. And when it comes to political organizations and parties, they always monitor before the elections," the head of LOOQME notes.
According to Oksana, monitoring is not necessary:
- When it is too early for a small business to engage in monitoring.
- For those companies for which it makes no difference. A business that does not depend on what is said about it.
- Companies that need a very selective version of monitoring. For example, when the owner has unpleasant history and you need to check only mentions of him.
"Monitoring is not necessary for those who are not being written about," Oksana Kononova concludes.