Social Media Marketing became an essential branch of marketing. A rare business doesn't have a Facebook page, a dedicated Social Media Manager, and a growth strategy that has to earn a million followers by the end of the year. Social Media Monitoring is part of the deal. It's necessary for growing brand awareness, for market research, for better customer service. It helps the companies discover what's already said about their brand online, keep an eye on the brand's reputation, prevent a social media crises. It keeps track of the competitors and finds niche influencers. The use of Social Media Monitoring tools is growing steadily and surely. However, it's not always easy to figure out how to use them to get the most helpful results. 

All Social Media Monitoring tools work on the same principle: you provide the tool with keywords (e.g., your brand's name) and the program goes on to gather all mentions of these keywords from a number of social media networks and/or the Web. How do you make sure your feed isn't flooded with irrelevant keywords, spam, or outdated mentions? In this post, I'll walk you through the process in our own Social Media Monitoring tool - Awario. You'll learn how to set up an alert that'll definitely bring you the right mentions. 

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Alert Settings  

1. Click on the + icon to set up an alert.

You can enter one or more keywords that you'll be getting the mentions of.

2. Click on More options.

You'll see the extended field of alert settings.

To get the most relevant mentions, make sure to fill out each of the field.

The first one is still about your main keywords (e.g., your brand). Keep in mind that the program will look for exactly the word(s) you've written. That means you should include all possible names of your brand. Don't forget nicknames and common misspellings. Include multiple versions of your brand name in the field, pressing Enter button after each word. You can search for multiple keywords in a single alert. 

The second field is about your brand's website - people might mention the site without mentioning the brand name. They also might be mentioning your website without linking to it. It's important to find these cases for the SEO purposes. 

The third field about negative keywords is important in case your brand name is a common word or there are different companies with the same name. For example, if your brand name is Orange (a French telecommunications corporation), you would want to get mentions of networks, emails, mobile phones, etc. You wouldn't want to get mentions of fruits, juices or receipes. So you'd put the latter as "negative keywords", and the program will exclude any mentions of orange the fruit. You'll most likely have to refine this field a couple of times. Many companies that aren't named after common words often get surprised about companies-namesakes. But that's not a problem: you can polish the alert as often as needed. 

Then you've got to specify languages and countries. That's self-explanatory but very important to fill in to get relevant mentions. Choose langauge(s) you want your mentions to be in (e.g., English) and the countries you're interested in (e.g., United States).

The sources that Awario filters out are the following: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google +, YouTube, News/Blogs, the Web. You can choose which sources you're interested in, i.e. want to get the mentions from. For example, you can choose to get mentions from all of the social media, but none from the rest of the Internet. 

You've got the Balcklist option in the alert settings as well. If you know of the sites that mention your brand but are not interesting to you, you could exclude them from the search straight away. In most cases, people exclude their own brand pages from the search. That makes sense: you already know what's posted on your page and you don't want to get distracted by these mentions. 

Awario will send you email notifications about your mentions daily, unless you change that to "weekly" or "never". 

3. Use Boolean search for advanced settings and even more precise results.

If the data you're getting still isn't relevant enough, or if your keyword requires advanced settings, go to Boolean search. The link to it is below the Create Alert button on the same page of alert settings. 

Boolean search is a manual type of search that allows users to combine keywords with Boolean operators to produce even more relevant results. For a detailed guide on how to use Boolean search, jump to this post

4. Test and refine

It's almost impossible to set up a perfect alert straight away. There are unpredictable spam sites, other companies from countries you haven't heard of that have the same name, and so on. For example, when I searched for "Awario", I discovered an anime character with the same name. So I guarantee that it will take you a couple of trials to get this right. Thankfully, Awario offers a free trial for 14 days, which should be enough to get your alert perfectly right. 

After you’ve refined your alert, the old mentions will remain the same. It's the new mentions that will be found based on the refined alert.

After you've polished your alert settings and most mentions are resourceful - don't stop at that. Analyze your data, discover tendencies, reply to mentions that require customer service. Remember that research is only the first step to seamless social media marketing.