The health and longevity of your business means keeping an eye on the public perception of your brand. There are more ways than ever for your audience to talk about you, but luckily, tracking your brand names through online brand monitoring and having a full understanding of how people think of your brand has never been easier.

What is trademark surveillance?

Brand monitoring follows various channels to determine where your brand is mentioned. Knowing where and how people are talking about your brand can help you understand how people are perceiving them and you can gather valuable feedback from your audience. You can also keep an eye on potential crises and respond to questions or criticisms before they get out of hand.

Trademark surveillance vs. social surveillance

While social monitoring only focuses on the social media coverage your brand receives, brand monitoring includes social media as well as any other areas where your brand is talked about. Brand monitoring combines social monitoring and social listening with methods of tracking brand names on other non-social media channels to gain insight into the audience.

Why brand surveillance is important

As a brand, caring about what the audience you serve thinks. You may disagree with some of the conversations that you have about your brand, but this will give you an understanding of the general sentiment surrounding your brand and products. Your public perception and response to public feedback can play a huge role in brand growth.

Here are a few ways brand surveillance can affect your business.

Understand mood

Brand monitoring can help you better understand the general sentiment of people towards your brand. Sentiment analysis examines the specific language used in comments about your brand and can tell you whether people with a positive, negative, or neutral sentiment are speaking about your brand.

This is a great way to read between the lines and see, on a large scale, how people react to certain posts, campaigns, or your brand in general. You can access detailed sentiment analysis with monitoring tools like Sprout Social. Sprout’s social listening tools will search your post comments and mentions to create a sentiment summary that shows you how your audience feels about your brand.

Reputation and Crisis Management

Monitoring your brand can help you keep track of your reputation and resolve customer problems before they get out of hand. Listening to reviews and feedback online, and having a process to respond to and address these issues, can increase audience confidence in your brand and show that you actually care about what customers are saying.

Identify problems and improvements

In addition to monitoring your brand’s reputation, it is also important to monitor potential feedback that can help you identify the improvements you need to make to your product or service. As you gather feedback from your audience, make sure you have a good process in place. Equally important is a system that allows you to get the feedback you get online to the right teams in your company who can implement these changes and updates.

Learn more about how brands implement takeaways from talking about them. Check out our guide to learn how social listening can impact your business.

Create two-way communication

When you know where your brand is being talked about, it’s a lot easier to respond. Replying to reviews or comments publicly shows your audience that you are actively listening to what they are saying.

It also shows that you are always available to answer questions and assist customers. If you miss the opportunity to respond to questions or reviews online, your brand may be unavailable or not listening to feedback.

Screenshot of a question posted on Sprout Social's Instagram account and answered by the team.

Identify user generated content

User generated content can be a great addition to your content strategy. By monitoring your brand names, you can see who is sharing content about your brand. This is also a great way to find new influencers to work with who are true ambassadors for your brand and source new content for your social media channels.

Which brand elements should you monitor?

When it comes to monitoring your brand, it is tempting to monitor every mention of your brand wherever people are talking about it. However, it is important to be aware of what you are monitoring and what channels you are keeping an eye on. This will prevent you from collecting an overwhelming amount of data from which it would be difficult to draw conclusions, and will help you clarify the results you find.

Some of the most important channels to monitor are:

  • Online news media
  • All social media platforms
  • Online forums like Reddit and Quora
  • Online review sites like TripAdvisor or Yelp
  • Print media (if you have the resources to actively review relevant publications)

In addition to tracking the right channels, make sure you keep track of any elements of your brand that may receive advertisements. When deciding which items to monitor, choose the ones that are relevant to your brand and industry. Below are some of the key branding elements to monitor when talking about your brand.

Name variants

Make a list of all the ways people refer to your brand. This can include nicknames, blog names, and other variations of words that your brand is associated with. Some people may use different spellings or abbreviations of your name. Hence, it is important to keep track of all known variations. By doing keyword research on the searches your brand’s web presence receives, you can spot variances and even common misspellings.

In addition to variations in your brand name, it is also a good idea to track variations in your campaigns or product names in case you receive advertisements or comments referring to those specific aspects of your brand. All of these will help you stay up to date on the conversation surrounding your brand, even if your audience doesn’t mention brand accounts directly.

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– Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) October 13, 2020


It’s good to know what your competitors are up to and what their audience is talking about to make sure you are up to date with the latest industry news. You can analyze your competitors to provide a benchmark for assessing how your brand compares to other similar brands in your industry.

Many online brand monitoring tools allow you to conduct a competitive analysis to measure how your social media activity compares to others. With Sprout’s Competitor Report, you can compare your presence with competitors on any platform to see how your performance changes over time.

Sprout Instagram competitors report

Track your metrics over time, along with the information you gather through brand monitoring, to see how everything from industry news to changes in your content strategy is affecting your audience growth and engagement.

Brand monitoring can also help you understand the implications of certain tactics that you have included in your broader strategy, such as: B. Influencer partnerships and campaigns. Once you’ve created hashtags for these efforts or flagged your posts in Sprout, you can capture and track those posts to understand what types of campaigns and response efforts have been successful and which have not been linked to your target audience.

Sprout Tag Report

Buzzwords and trends in the industry

If you are in a specific niche, it is a good idea to keep track of trends or buzzwords in your industry. While these conversations don’t directly mention your brand, it helps to be aware of what is being said about your industry as a whole. This can also be a great source of inspiration for new content ideas or to join the conversation in innovative ways.

Engaging in conversations that aren’t just about customer service or complaints shows that your brand is active across your industry and is just as involved in the latest news or trends as the engaged audience in your niche.

CEOs and public figures

You should also monitor mentions from public figures or from speakers for your brand or specific campaign. Make sure to monitor the conversations around your CEO or anyone else associated with your brand. Even if the news around the person is not directly related to business operations, how someone in your company is featured in the media can have an impact on the perception of your brand as a whole.

The value of brand surveillance

Brand monitoring can help you see how people feel about your brand. This knowledge can influence your marketing decisions and help you create campaigns that your audience will love. When you spot negative comments, it becomes easier for you to offer support and responses, and to control the message that is issued. The more you monitor, the more you know about your industry and how your brand stands out from the competition.

Check out our latest Sprout Social Index to learn even more about how customers want to interact with brands and how to identify untapped potential in your marketing campaigns.