Knowing what people are saying about your company is an important component of your social media strategy. That insight enables you to take action and become part of the conversation between existing and potential customers. However, during these conversations, consumers don’t always talk directly to your brand or even use your exact business name.

With that in mind, Sprout Social offers a Brand Keywords feature that pulls in messages that you want to reactively manage and respond to. We know how important a quick response time is for a company. So even if our audience doesn’t use our exact handle or name, we’re still able to see those conversations and participate appropriately.

The Brand Keywords feature has been available on Sprout Social for quite some time, so it’s likely that your team has already mastered the tool. But if you haven’t or if you’re new to the Sprout Social community, here are a few tips and tricks you can apply to your brand keyword monitoring strategy.

Watch for Misspellings or Inversions

According to a 2013 survey by Disruptive Communications, the biggest social media turn-off for consumers is poor spelling and grammar. However, that doesn’t mean that typos and mistakes never happen. Sometimes consumers get the name of your company wrong. Or maybe someone forgot to add the underscore in your Twitter handle.

Whatever the mistake, the content in that message is still important, so don’t let a typo prevent you from seeing it. Keep an eye on common brand misspellings or inversions through the Brand Keywords monitoring tool. For example, in our own Sprout Social Inbox, we monitor: sprout social, Social Sprout, and socialsprout. That way, even if someone doesn’t tweet @SproutSocial or tag our Facebook Page, we’ll still see that message appear and have an opportunity to engage.

Filter Tweets By Language

Thanks to the global reach of social media, consumers around the world can access your content, interact with other customers, and take part in the conversation around your brand. The number of social network users around the world has risen from 1.47 billon in 2012 to 1.73 billion in 2013. Many social networks offer localized versions or experiences for consumers around the globe.

Whether you represent an international brand or have exceptional global reach, it’s important to know when people in other parts of the world are talking about you on Twitter. To help filter those conversations, you can refine your brand keyword search by language. To zero in on tweets in English, just add “lang:en” after the keyword you’d like to monitor. If you’d like to view tweets in other languages, check out the list of languages supported by Twitter along with their two-letter code.

Monitor Hashtag Campaigns

Once a low-ranking symbol on a telephone keypad, today hashtags have become a popular feature in online conversations. A study by RadiumOne found that almost three-quarters of social media adopters use hashtags. The symbol has even gone beyond tablets and computers and now complements many offline advertisements and television commercials.

If you’re implementing a hashtag campaign, you can use Brand Keywords on Sprout Social to track all of the incoming mentions. To do so, follow the same steps as you would for any keyword, but this time add the hashtag you’d like to monitor. For example, we can track #SproutTip to see which tips we’ve already shared, who’s retweeting our tips, and which of our customers used the hashtag when sharing their own Sprout tip.

Currently, Brand Keywords are limited to 10 per group. This helps ensure that your inbox doesn’t get too cluttered, which could result in you missing the messages that matter. We suggest having one keyword that is your brand name, one to two keywords that are your brand name transposed or misspelled, and two to three that are nicknames. Use the rest for product names, seasonal or time limited campaigns and offers, and any additional monitoring you need to do.

For more information on Brand Keywords, including setup and keyword creation, take a look at our earlier article on the feature.

[Image credit: katerha]