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Social media listening or monitoring has become a routine task in digital marketing recently, and though the necessity of the process is apparent to most social media marketers, the details of it aren't.

The common question is this: What keywords should I monitor?

To answer that question comprehensively, I will first explain what the word "keyword" (sorry for the tautology) means in this context, then move on to the types of keywords, and show you examples of keywords that are commonly monitored.

In social media monitoring, keywords are the words or the word combinations that you provide the social media monitoring app or tool so that the program can find all online documents that contain those keywords. A keyword can be anything, from "Coca-Cola" to "Every dream that I dream seems to float on by." Any separate piece of text is called a document: for example, a Tweet, a Facebook or a Google Plus post, a blog post, a public comment on the forum, and so on.

Keep in mind that some apps look for mentions on the specific social media platforms only, so if you want to cover the entire Web, you should check whether the app you're about to use or buy does that; Awario, Mention, Brand24 would be a few examples to check.

The general approach to social media monitoring, however, applies to all tools, so let's get an understanding of what to track before you start. To simplify the learning process, let's break down keywords into 5 types:

  1. Brand (e.g., "University College London" "UCL")
  2. Person (e.g., "Justin Trudeau" "Justin Pierre James Trudeau")
  3. Campaign (e.g., "#PinkShirtDay" "Make music great again")
  4. Industry (e.g., "Social media management tools" "Social media management software")
  5. URL (e.g., link: "awario.com/blog")

Depending on your goals (e.g., reputation management), you might not end up tracking all these types of keywords. However, you have to know about the benefits of each to make an informed decision regarding which ones to monitor.


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image of Aleh Barysevich

Aleh Barysevich is the founder and chief marketing officer of the companies behind SEO PowerSuite, professional software for full-cycle SEO campaigns, and Awario, a social media monitoring app. He is a seasoned SEO and social media expert and speaker at major industry conferences, including SMX London, BrightonSEO, and SMX East.

LinkedIn: Aleh Barysevich