A simple guide to traditional media monitoring

6 min read

Many people think social media monitoring tools only keep track of what’s posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. No wonder they do so since even the name implies it’s all about monitoring social networks. However, in this post, I want to make sure you won’t fall for that belief ever again as there is way more to those tools than their name suggests!

In fact, a majority of social media monitoring tools are traditional media monitoring tools at the same time. I get it, the latter name is not so sexy when it’s all about social media on the internet these days, but I feel it’s our duty to educate people that they can use tools like our to monitor conversations about their topics of interest outside social.

I can imagine that a PR agency, for instance, would love to find all possible online mentions of their clients. At the end of the day, a significant number of all conversations about a given company, brand, product, or service takes place on forums, message boards, comments sections on blogs, news sites, and so on.

The thing is, there are people who we believe are our potential customers, but some of them say social media monitoring is not for them simply because they are initially unaware of the fact that they can go beyond that.

Traditional media monitoring is easy

Now, let me present a walkthrough of how to do this using Brand24. There are obviously different tools you could use for this purpose but I am nowhere near as knowledgeable in using any of them as I am with ours.

It starts off exactly the same as it would with any other, regular social media monitoring project – you choose your keywords and put them into the project creation form:Project creation form at Brand24

I chose Elon Musk for the purpose of this guide since I wanted to pull as many results as possible and he’s been getting quite a lot of press recently, not necessarily a good one (you know, all that 420 thing).

Anyway, what I’d recommend doing to limit your results to those outside social is to click on More settings and select the sources that you want to collect data from:A list of sources for traditional media monitoring at Brand24

As you can see, I only ticked Blogs, Forum, News, and Web. All remaining sources are related to social media and you might as well tick those if you want to collect mentions of your keywords from social and traditional web at the same time.

Apart from that, you can also choose your notification preferences, daily and weekly reports alongside Storm Alerts, as well as additional sources such as TripAdvisor and Yelp (in case you’re a marketer for a hotel, restaurant, or a cafe):Yelp and TripAdvisor as additional sources for traditional media monitoring at Brand24

Browsing the results

While the tool collects mentions of your keywords, you’re taken to the Mentions tab of the dashboard by default. It’s where all the results of traditional media monitoring are stored and where you can browse them one by one.

Let’s move step by step though!

The graph on top of this tab displays the number of mentions of your keywords and how it changes over time:A graph inside Brand24 presenting a number of mentions

The category bar sits just below that. It’s where you can choose the sources that you want to see the results from, but it’s also a place for a very important detail that can save you a lot of time while browsing the results – the internal search:Categories and internal search bar inside Brand24 dashboard

Let’s say there’s a phrase that you’re particularly interested in. Type it into this little search bar, and out of all mentions collected in a given project, the tool will only display those that contain a chosen phrase.

Once you’ve had a glance at the two elements above, you can finally have a look at the actual mentions:Examples of results of traditional media monitoring

As you can see, each mention has an influencer score assigned to it. When combined with the influencer score filter, it will help you separate the sources with the biggest authority from those that bring little value to the table. It’s also accompanied by a monthly number of visits on site and. As you can see on the screenshot above, BusinessInsider, for example, boasts of over 120 million visits.

Sadly, out of Blogs, Forums, News, and Web, sentiment filter only works with the second of these categories. It’s where Reddit and 4Chan mentions fall into, alongside results from other discussion forums. Considering how popular both of these are, it’s a good thing to have sentiment analysis assigned to mentions coming from there.

Mentions tab is also a place where you can generate PDF reports based on your projects, as well as export your data to Excel files, create an infographic, or embed a widget displaying your results on your website.

The analysis of traditional media monitoring

Once you’re done with browsing your mentions, you can dig deeper into data with the analysis tab. It’s a place where you’re going to find the most popular mentions alongside a set of stats:Statistics collected with traditional media monitoring by Brand24

This example does not present any data from social media because we excluded them while creating the project, so it’s only focused on traditional media monitoring. Further down below you’ll find a diagram presenting mentions by category:A diagram inside Brand24 presenting mentions by category

What I find particularly cool about the Analysis tab is the ability to filter data by category. To do that, click on the Filter mentions button located in the top right corner of the dashboard and scroll down to Category filter:Category filter inside Brand24 dashboard

You can tick just one of the categories or a few of them at once. Let’s say you only want to analyse data from Blogs. The tab will then display the numbers only for that source. Alternatively, you can pick more sources and display the data for Forums, News and Web at the same time.

The context of the discussion is yet another section of the Analysis tab that might also be of use. It displays the most popular keywords that appear with the main monitored phrase:An example of a context of discussion inside Brand24 dashboard

When you click on a given keyword, you’ll be taken to the Mentions tab that will only display the results containing the word of your choice. Essentially, it works just like the internal search bar that I’ve mentioned a few paragraphs before.

Wrapping up

There’s no denying there’s much more data to collect and analyse from social media than there is from traditional online media. Still, forums, message boards, blogs and all other places on the web can be sources of vital consumer insights.

What’s also extremely important is the fact that people in those communities, as well as news outlets, might spread messages that could potentially harm your brand reputation if you don’t take care of them at the right moment.  

It sounds kind of funny, but the truth is, the best thing you can do to stay on top of your traditional media monitoring is to make friends with a social media monitoring tool, whether it’s Brand24 or any alternative available on the market!

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