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What you need to know about tracking mentions

Tags: mention

Nowadays, the most effective way for brands to know how the public feels about them, their products, and other efforts is by tracking mentions. 

Tracking online mentions is essentially finding out when someone mentions one or more keywords you’re tracking online. It can be your brand’s name, CEO’s name, competitor’s name, product’s name, etc. Mentions can be found on social media, media outlets, forums, etc.

With over 4.5 billion people using the Internet and over 3.8 million social media users, you’ll be able to get far more relevant information than you would with other methods.

But it would be impossible to gather all online mentions by manually searching for them, right? That’s why using media monitoring tools is the best way to go.

By knowing what people are saying about your brand online, you can start making informed decisions about the brand’s future. It can help you improve your products and services, keep you out of crises, improve customer relationships, brand reputation

In today’s highly competitive business environment, not having that type of information is reckless. With media monitoring, you are not only getting the list of your mentions but also valuable analytics and reports that will make your decision-making process much easier.

In this blog, we’ll be focusing on the most important information you need to know about mentions before, during, and after tracking mentions such as:

  • What are mentions and their main metrics
  • Who can benefit from tracking mentions
  • Optimizing queries to get more relevant mentions
  • Managing multiple mentions in the feed
    • Removing mentions
    • Tagging mentions
  • Blocking mentions
  • Exporting mentions
    • Collections
  • Digests
  • Alerts

What are mentions and their main metrics?

Mentions are online references to brands, products, hashtags, people, etc. They can appear in blogs, social media posts, articles, and other forms of online content. 

There are four main metrics that are calculated every time a new is fetched. 

  1. Reach shows you an estimated number of people who saw a specific mention. In the case of mention above, that number is approximately 313. The reach of a query is determined by more than just merely the number of visits to an article: the tool also takes into account the article’s positioning (homepage or a less-read section of the site), the number of times a query was mentioned, its position in the article (top-bottom), and the number of shares on social media. It can sometimes happen that the same mention shows a different reach. That happens because the tool is estimating the reach as the number of matching keywords between the text of a mention and found keywords. It can happen that much more keywords are found in a mention inside one query than in the other, thus such a large difference in reach.
  2. Interactions indicate the number of people who have liked, commented or shared the post. 
  3. Engagement rate shows the percentage of people who interacted with the post after seeing it (likes, comments, shares). It is calculated by dividing Interactions with Reach.
  4. Influence score shows source influence ranked on a 1 to 10 scale. It indicates how influential that particular source is in comparison to every other source on the internet. An influence score of 1 means the source has a small audience, while 10 is typically reserved for globally influential websites or social media profiles with millions of followers (for example, CNN website or social media accounts from Oprah or Elon Musk).

Who can benefit from tracking mentions

The general perception is that tracking mentions is only useful to PR and Marketing professionals. That’s not quite true.

Tracking mentions is an essential part of every PR and Marketing professional job (at least it should be), but other departments can benefit from tracking mentions as well. 

For example, Customer Support can track mentions to improve customer satisfaction, while Sales can track mentions to find leads. 

Optimizing queries to get more relevant mentions

Setting up queries correctly is extremely important because it is a precondition for getting optimal and relevant results in your reports. 

If your queries are not set up correctly, you might experience missing mentions or receiving mentions that are not relevant to your business. The latter can cause mention limit breach.

To avoid those things from happening, you can try:

  • optimizing your keywords in a different way (e.g. if you’re using Boolean operators, check if you’ve set them up correctly). 
  • checking your location and language filters (don’t forget to check those in the missing article, as well)
  • checking whether the Group similar mentions option is turned on (this option hides similar mentions, and will only show you one of them)

Important: keep in mind that you should set up your queries at least 24 hours before you’re planning to create reports so the tool can provide you with more relevant results. 

Managing multiple mentions in the feed

It’s really simple managing mentions inside Mediatoolkit’s feed. This is especially useful when you have a couple of hundred mentions, so managing individual mention one by one would be ridiculous.

If you’re interested only in scrolling through your mentions and filtering them by source, sentiment, date, and so on, you can use Viewer mode.

On the other hand, if you want to select multiple mentions to remove them, change sentiment, tag, or add to a collection you should use Analyst mode.

Since recently, you don’t have to manually select mentions and change their sentiment because we introduced the new Automated actions feature.

Automated actions allow you to set up keywords, websites, and authors that will trigger Automated actions and immediately assign determined sentiment to the mention. You can even apply this option to your old mentions that are already in your feed.

This may come in handy if you find yourself in the middle of a crisis, and a certain term is used over and over again in connection with your situation. With Automated actions in place, the tool will automatically tag mentions containing the terms you’ve set up which will help you save time and have all the relevant information in one place.

Removing mentions

In the tool, you have complete control of your mentions. Therefore if you find some mentions irrelevant, you can easily remove them from the feed. 

If you want to remove one mention, simply click on the “x” button in the right corner of the mention and select Remove this mention from the list.

On the other hand, if you want to remove multiple mentions, you should switch to Analyst mode, select the mentions you want to delete, and click on Remove mentions.

Tagging mentions

Tags allow you to sort each mention depending on what’s important to you. 

For example, you can track your company’s name and tag each article depending on the context in which the company is mentioned, e.g. company in general, CEO, stock exchange, etc. 

By using tags you won’t have to search through all of your mentions to find the one you want. 

With Automated Actions, you can automatically tag your mentions depending on the keywords, websites, and/or authors you’ve set up beforehand. As well as sentiment, tags can be applied to old mentions as well. 

By using Automated Actions to assign sentiment and tags to your mentions, you can save a lot of time and energy because once you’ve set them up, your job is done. The tool will do the rest of the work for you.

Blocking mentions

In the feed, you can block certain mentions depending on their author, type (source), and language. After you do so, mentions like that won’t appear in your feed anymore.

You can also block specific mention based on their source, author, language, location, and more by clicking on the query and choosing Edit query.

Important: You should be careful when choosing either of those ways to edit your queries because they’ll restart the search and you may lose some of the previously collected data.

Exporting mentions

If you want to have all of your mentions in a specific document so you can share it with your boss or colleagues, you can export them in Excel, Word, PDF Report or PDF format, or simply have them sent in an email. 

While exporting mentions, keep in mind that the limit inside each export is 300 mentions.


Collections can make exporting mentions easier for you. Somewhat similar to tags, they allow you to group selected mentions in a collection you can then save and access at a later time. There is no default setting for collections, as you create your own under any name you want, with any mentions you want.

To create a Collection, you have to switch to the Analyst mode and start selecting mentions you want to add. After you’re done, you can immediately export mentions.

A pop-up window will appear and you’ll be able to select the format you wish to export your mentions in. 

Collections make it easier for you to access mentions that are relevant to you, and easily export them or create reports.


Digests will keep you informed about your mentions without you needing to log in to your account all the time. You can schedule digests to be sent to your email on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. You can also create a custom schedule that fits your needs the most.

Daily and weekly digests are great because they can help you prepare daily tasks or give weekly reporting on team meetings.

For example, you can schedule digests to arrive every weekday at 9 am to your email. That way you’ll have fresh information that will allow you to plan your day.

Spike Alerts & Alerts

When a crisis starts on social media, it tends to spread like wildfire. We’re constantly witnessing crisis situations that catch brands off guard and they struggle with ways to respond. More often than not, when they respond, they make the situation worse.

To be able to react to the crisis properly you need to be aware that it’s brewing long before it spreads. By tracking mention, you’ll be able to notice if something is not right. Plus, Mediatoolkit sends spike alerts that will notify you every time the number of mentions starts growing unexpectedly.

If you want, you can set up alerts that will notify you every time the tool finds a new mention. Like digests, alerts schedule can be customized, as well.

That way you can be sure that you won’t ever miss a mention.

Final thoughts on tracking mentions

As we mentioned numerous times throughout the article, tracking mentions should be an essential part of every business. But, gathering all of the mentions is just half of the work.

After you collect your mentions, it’s important to create analysis and reports in order to get the full picture. If you’re running a campaign, let’s say, you want to track mentions during the campaign and analyze them in order to make modifications if necessary. Also, after your campaign is over, you want to analyze the campaign as a whole and see what were your strengths and weaknesses along the way.

That way you’ll have a comprehensive overview of your efforts which will help in your future campaigns. 

Start tracking online mentions of your brand with Mediatoolkit!

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What you need to know about tracking mentions


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