Mo Elzubeir
Mo Elzubeir

Founder & CEO

July 8, 2021

Brand health is a catch-all phrase to measure the wellness of your brand. It's one of those things that, if you really wanted to dig deep into, you could spend millions chasing vanity metrics over. With that being said, social listening offers some insights into your brand health without breaking the bank.

We look at how social brand monitoring along with other brand health measures can help you keep an eye on your brand health.

Social listening for brand health

With so many brand listening tools available, there is a fit for every size and type of organization. If you are a small-to-midsized brand or agency, then you have come to the right social listening agency.

Brand share of voice

With brand listening we can keep our eye on your brand's mentions over time across multiple social channels. It is also recommended that you keep an eye on your key competitors and market leaders.

The share of mentions or share of voice metric is a very simple yet effective indicator of your brand's health. It simply tells us how often people are talking about your brand and your competitors as well.

Brand mentions sentiment analysis

But mentions alone tell us only a part of the story, because not all mentions are born equal. In order to qualify your brand's share of voice with sentiment, we take a look at positive, neutral and negative mentions.

Brand equity

Your total brand equity is a metric that encompasses survey-based data about your brand. It tells you exactly where your brand stands by calculating the following:

  • Brand Strength = (Purchase Intent + Advocacy Index) x 100
  • Total Brand Equity = (Brand Strength x Recall) x 100

The advocacy index

A 3-point survey scale to measure customer loyalty, by asking customers “would you recommend [brand]”. The options are:

  • Advocate (Yes)
  • Neutral (Maybe)
  • Non-advocate (No)

The Advocacy Index was designed to be conducted over the phone and an improvement on the Net Promoter Score (NPS).

Purchase intent

The Purchase Intent is a survey that asks the question, “Based on what you know about [brand], how likely are you to buy from them?” with the answers being:

  • Very likely
  • Quite likely
  • Neither likely nor unlikely
  • Quite unlikely
  • Very unlikely

Your brand Purchase Intent Score is the percentage of those who answered “very likely”. Whichever metric you end up using, this is an example of what not to do.

Influencing the user by color-coding and labeling scores will result in completely useless data. If you just want to make nice graphs in your reports, you might as well use a numbers randomizer instead.

Unprompted brand recall

This Unrpompted Brand Recall is measured by conducting a survey that asks the question, “Thinking about [industry/category], what's the first brand that comes to mind?”

The score is simply the percentage of those who answered with your brand.

Time visiting your site

The time visitors spend on your website can be tracked through Google Analytics and is a significant indicator of the interest level you are generating in what you're serving.

However, just looking at session time averages doesn't tell us enough. Extending this to look at how well our content is being received and the channels used by using UTM parameters for attribution.

Is social listening terrible for brand health?

There are numerous articles online from several research companies, primarily telling their visitors that social listening is bad for brand health measurement. Those companies sell research products and are less than ingenious in their criticism.

What are they saying? The claim is that online participants are a weak representation of the full spectrum of customers who interact with your brand. The argument follows some variation of the 1% rule. Participation breaks down as follows (lurking : occasionally commenting : actively participating):

  • Blogs: 95% : 5% : %0.1
  • Wikipedia: 98% : 0.2% : %0.003

While those figures look close to what we are seeing online today, there is absolutely nothing about this that tells us that social listening is unable to give us a very good indication of how your brand health is.

Another article tells visitors that only the loudest voices are amplified on Twitter, making only top performers or lowest performers visible. I would caution anyone from allowing companies who make such statements, because they are clearly telling you half the story. It is true that louder voices are amplified. This is the case on Twitter, on Facebook, on Reddit, on Instagram.. and in life.

Social listening is not going to give you 100% accuracy on measuring your brand health. But guess what, “brand health” is a loose term that is defined differently by different brands. The idea that this is an “accuracy” question is absurd at best.

“I recently consulted with a big global brand on a social listening project. The challenge with social listening is that it still isn't always accurate. Even when it is, the posts are usually tagged as positive or negative, which is helpful in assessing overall sentiment, but doesn't provide the detail of brand tracking, and certainly isn't a substitute.” Krista Neher, CEO of Boot Camp Digital

I think this quote here lays the whole thing to rest. If your social listening program is badly designed, it will not give you good results. It doesn't matter how much money it cost.

Social listening alone may or may not be enough for your brand, depending on your needs and your budget too. If you have the budget to spend on running telephone surveys to measure your brand equity, then by all means do so. But, make no mistake, with the right social listening strategy, you can get most of what those expensive surveys will tell you for a fraction of the cost.

How do you use social listening for your brand?

Social listening involves a lot of preparation and planning. There are some top-level tips on creating a social listening program for your brand:

  • Align your choices of keywords, topics, themes and competitors with those of your business objectives. Be wary of vanity metrics. This is perhaps the most critical part of any social listening strategy, so do not rush it.
  • Establish a baseline by running your initial program for 3 months, in order for emerging trends and shifts to emerge.
  • Set measurable goals and hold yourself and/or your team accountable.
  • Train your team on using social listening tools, starting with proficiency in Boolean search.

What is the best brand socail listening tool?

Depending on your size and industry, there are many great social listening tools to choose from.


SOCIALHOSE is a social listening and analytics platform for brand and agencies, monitoring Twitter, Instagram, Reddit in addition to news sites and blogs. SOCIALHOSE is a self-serve frictionless social listening agency, which means that you can get started immediately without having to speak to anyone.

Best for: Small to mid businesses and agencies
Pricing: Starting for as little as $2 (Basic account with analytics free forever)


Brandwatch is a social media monitoring and analytics tool covering major and more obscure social media platforms, as as Qzone. They also monitor news and blogs.

Best for: Large businesses and agencies
Pricing: available upon request


Monitor social, reviews, blogs, forums, news sites & more on all markets in 198 languages.

Best for: Large businesses and agencies
Pricing: starts at $600/month

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