[Guide] The Social Media Management Maturity Model

Is your organization optimizing its potential on social?

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Published October 23rd 2014

How to Track Your Owned vs. Earned Media with #brandwatchtips

Owned vs. earned media might seem like a dated phrase these days, but it’s still a highly valuable way to measure your marketing efforts. Only by tracking..

The phrase ‘owned vs. earned media’ may be considered passé by some, but it’s still a valuable way to measure your marketing efforts. At a time when brands own multiple social media accounts and conversations about them online continue to grow, it’s more important than ever before to monitor and measure both.

Only by tracking your owned vs. earned media channels, can you truly understand the whole conversation around your brand and the impact of your marketing activities.

If you’ve been privy to the marketing and agency world, you may have heard these buzzwords before. In simple terms, it’s the relationship between:

  • your ‘owned’ media – the content you’ve got complete control of, such as your social media accounts, your corporate website, blogs, communities, email newsletters etc. –
  • and your ‘earned’ media – discussions taking place elsewhere, the natural result of PR efforts, organic mentions of your brand on other websites, platforms, online communities and so on.

Our latest #brandwatchtips video talks you through the simple steps needed to track your owned vs. earned media with Brandwatch, all in less than 2 minutes.

Why should you care about both?

The value of your earned media often depends on on the quality of your marketing efforts and how well you manage your owned media. In most cases, the amount of buzz around your brand correlates with how active you are yourself.

A marketer needs to know how all of these media channels play together. Ensuring you’re highly visible and active online will undoubtedly have an impact upon your reach. This is just an example of how strong the relationship between owned and earned is in Brandwatch’s case:

1How do you set it up?

Traditionally, Brandwatch focused on monitoring earned mentions – finding conversations about your brand or favorite topics across the web – but we noticed an increasing demand from clients to also track their owned media channels, such as their own Twitter account or Facebook page. That is why we introduced this capability with our Channels feature early 2013.

Brandwatch Channels lets you track your Facebook & Twitter channels alongside your earned media searches, giving real insight into your communities and how content spreads online.

It’s quick and easy to set up and starts collecting data instantly! All you have to do is select the Data section from the Sidebar and go into the Channels tab to create, view and edit all of your existing Channels.

What’s more, our Channels don’t need you to have admin rights to the pages, meaning you can also map your organization’s social media results against your competitors, revealing your strengths, weaknesses and opportunities or threats.

2Which metrics should you track?

You’ve done the setup. Easy! So how do you start comparing and which metrics should you look at?

Each Channel has a unique default Dashboard. A great starting point would be setting up topic clouds for both your owned and earned mentions.

3Comparing your most popular conversations (owned) with the main topics your audience talks about (earned), you can quickly recognize the content that resonates best with your audience.

In the Brandwatch example below, we can easily spot a few similarities between our owned and earned content. The Brandwatch Academy – our latest comprehensive support and training offering – #brandwatchtips and our recent Masterclass are popular topics that we, as well as our audience, discussed in the past month.

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 10.36.50 PM

However, our new Vizia Release and our brand new Consumer Tech Report have generated a lot of buzz externally, but not as much internally, illustrating an opportunity for us to tap into those conversations.Other components worth assessing are your Top Stories and your Top Hashtags. By comparing your owned vs. earned hashtags, you can quickly understand how well your official/promotional hashtags are adopted, which other hashtags are used alongside them, and which phrases your audience are most likely to tweet.

For instance, the Brandwatch component below illustrates that four of the hashtags we’ve created have been picked up by our followers very quickly.

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 10.19.18 PM

However, our historical data offering, #bwhindsight, received little attention, whereas one of our blog posts and a favorable tweet from an influencer hit much harder among our audience than we had anticipated. It’s these kinds of insights that help improve your messaging.

Side-by-side charting of owned media posts and earned mentions allows you to better understand the impact of social media activities has on online buzz, meaning you can optimize your content and your owned media channels for improved visibility.

Tracking owned vs. earned media is just one of the ways Brandwatch gives you more accurate insights. 

Now that you’ve mastered the basics, head over to our blog with plenty of other tips that you can browse or take a look at some of our previous #brandwatchtips videos to learn more about our platform.

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