Print Friendly and PDF

Are you listening?

Why monitoring social media chatter can make or break your reputation

By Daniel Cherrin
Founder and CEO
North Coast Strategies

This post is part of the Digital Marketing Boot Camp series, a new set of blog posts across different mediums designed to provide intel to people and companies looking to improve their digital marketing strategy.


If you or your company are not on social media, you should be. After all, just because you or your company are not Tweeting or otherwise posting pictures or updates, does not prevent others from talking about you. It is important for you to listen to the chatter, know the influencers or where the discussion got started in the first place.

Why? To protect your reputation and bottom line.

dan-cherrinNews now spreads in a matter of seconds thanks to social media and mobile technology. Whether the news is positive or negative, brands have to be able to react almost instantaneously with as much information as they can possibly assemble when their brand is mentioned. When a response is late, it is often too late. To avoid this, data from all media sources must be collected in real-time. This way companies have the ability to assess when they need to respond to inflated media exposure as quickly as humanly possible and can send out a timely message when they do.

New technologies and new business models have emerged to deal with our complex data-driven world. Across the media spectrum of social media and blog posts, online news mentions and Tweets, corporate communications teams are overwhelmed with data associated with their brand mentions, not to mention our own.

To protect your reputation, companies need to be armed with the ability to assess when or if they need to respond to inflated media exposure, “fake news,” or angry customers, as quickly as possible.

In fact, there are two billion people with some sort of social media footprint.

  • Uploading 1 hour of video to YouTube every second
  • Posting 500 million Tweets per day
  • Liking 4.5 billion posts on Facebook per day

I guarantee you or your company is somewhere in there. @DanCherrin.

Yet, 61 percent of the Fortune 500 CEOs are without a social media presence.

Every day, new technologies are emerging. Just take a look at all the new and cool products emerging from the Consumer Electronic Industry (CES) show this month. In 2016, we saw

  • Facebook Live*
  • Instagram Stories*
  • Instagram Live*
  • Snapchat Memories Feature
  • Twitter Live

*Facebook owns Instagram.

In 2017, we will see more live videos, producing better content that people will crave with even shorter attention spans. We will also see more fake news posted on sites that look credible and reposted to give it even more credibility.

What does that mean for you?

  • We are becoming more active on social media
  • People are relying on it for information and taking the information as truth
  • Customers are turning to it for validation and support

Social media is no longer about what we had for dinner. It is even more than just broadcasting the latest news. It’s about creating a community and connecting with influencers to do something.

“On a typical morning, I see plenty of raw, unfiltered commentary on what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong; requests for new features, complaints & product support, event the occasional high five.” Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, wrote recently in Fast Company. Unlike most CEOs (other than President-Elect Trump) uses social media to talk directly to his customers in real-time.

So what are they saying about you? Social listening is a process of monitoring the social media chatter about you, your company, its brand and its leaders — In real-time with in-depth reporting.

MORE: Hear more about social media marketing resources and tools at the Digital Marketing Boot Camp, Feb. 15.

There are companies who have created algorithms to monitor your brand, your competitors and your industry.  Companies such as Zygnal, Nuvi, Meltwater, and others. While you can set up your own Google Alerts or leverage other free systems, there is nothing like getting pinged the moment someone is talking about you.

Why is it important to listen?

  • To protect your corporate reputation
  • To monitor what your colleagues and others are saying about you
  • To enhance the customer experience
  • To identify and leverage the influencers
  • To prevent the spread of fake news or bad information
  • To keep tabs on the competition
  • Identify media and influencers driving a story; see the point of origin and how fast    the story evolves

Just because your company is not tweeting or posting, does not mean that others aren’t talking about you online…They are! When you are ready to post or are ready to respond, listening to others on social media will help you respond in ways that matter. And knowing the best time to respond.

Whether you are a big business or small, or even a solo-preneur like me, you should have someone listening for you, who are prepared to engage with data and insight.

According to Nuvi, “At the end of the day, having enormous amounts of data doesn’t mean you have all the insights you need to drive your social strategy forward. A good analysis tool is what gives your data its true value.”

It is time you understand what is being said about you and who is doing all the talking – good or bad.  You should create systems that measure, monitor, analyze and track the conversation and find the resources to help you with any planning or the response and correct and misinformation.

If you are saving lives every second everyday, then you better monitor what is being said abut you. If you want to gain your customers’ trust, then you better know what they are saying about you and make media intelligence central to your business

  • Leverage data to inform strategy
  • Monitor the competition
  • Protect your brand

Before you get started…

  • Know what and whom you be should be monitoring
  • Know who you should be following
  • Know what is preventing you from achieving your objectives


DANIEL CHERRIN is the founder and CEO of North Coast Strategies, a public relations + affairs firm.  Through advocacy, collaboration and strategic relationships, Daniel has built a successful career, as an attorney, lobbyist and public relations professional. This includes serving as the Communications Director for the City of Detroit and Press Secretary to the Mayor of Detroit, federal lobbyist for the Detroit Regional Chamber and the owner of an independent public affairs consultancy. Through strategic communications, strategic relationships and something valuable to share, Daniel works to protect and enhance the reputation of organizations and people in the public eye. You can follow Daniel at and @DanCherrin on Twitter.


←Back to Digital Marketing Boot Camp