Brand Mentions: What Are They and Why You Should Pay Attention

And How They Can Help You Build Links
Published on 
March 2, 2024
Updated on 
March 2, 2024

Anytime your business (and you can even include key personnel) is mentioned anywhere online or offline, you can count it as a brand mention. 

Brand mentions can either happen organically, or they can be paid for. They can be positive or negative, and they can be a tremendous source of brand recognition, growth and, ultimately, lead and revenue generation. 

Your brand mentions, believe it or not, can also be a great source of backlinks. 

In the below article, we’re going to share our years of experience monitoring and growing brands–including our own as a boutique link building service–to help you exercise total control over your own brand and brand image. 

We’ll begin by breaking down the concept of brand mentions, followed by why brand mentions are important, the difference between brand mentions and brand sentiment, how to monitor everything with brand mention tools and how brand mentions can be converted into dofollow backlinks and SEO success. 

Let’s go. 

What are brand mentions? 

Brand mentions refer to instances where a particular brand, product, or company is referenced or discussed in various forms of media, including news articles, online forums, social media platforms, and other digital or traditional outlets. 

In the world of link building, when these mentions come without a dofollow backlink attached, they are referred to as unlinked mentions

These mentions can be either positive, negative, or neutral and often play a significant role in shaping public perception, influencing consumer behavior, and impacting brand reputation.

Sources of Brand Mentions

Some common sources of brand mentions include: 

  • News articles
  • Online forums and communities
  • Social media brand mentions
  • Blogs

News Articles

News articles serve as a primary source of brand mentions, especially in traditional media outlets such as newspapers, magazines, and online news websites. Brands often appear in news articles related to industry developments, product launches, corporate announcements, mergers, acquisitions, and controversies.

For instance, a technology company might be mentioned in articles covering its latest product release or a financial institution might be discussed in articles about market trends.

Online forums and communities

Online forums and community platforms like Reddit, Quora, and specialized discussion boards are hubs for brand mentions generated by users discussing their experiences, opinions, and perceptions. 

These mentions can offer valuable insights into consumer sentiment, product feedback, and emerging trends. Brands may actively monitor and engage in discussions on these platforms to address customer concerns, provide support, and gather both critical and positive feedback for product improvement.

Social media brand mentions

Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok are fertile grounds for brand mentions, where users share their thoughts, experiences, and interactions with brands in real-time. 

These mentions can take the form of direct mentions in social media posts, tags, comments, shares, reviews, and hashtags. Brands leverage social media monitoring tools to track brand mentions, monitor conversations, identify influencers, and manage online reputation by promptly responding to customer inquiries and addressing issues.


Blogs authored by individuals, industry experts, influencers, and organizations serve as platforms for in-depth discussions, reviews, and analyses related to various topics, including products and brands.

Brand mentions in blogs can range from product reviews and comparisons to industry insights and thought leadership pieces. Brands often collaborate with bloggers and influencers to generate brand mentions and reach target audiences effectively through sponsored content, guest posts, and product placements.

Examples of Brand Mentions

  • News Article Mention: A leading automotive manufacturer is mentioned in a news article covering its plans to invest in electric vehicle technology, highlighting the company's commitment to sustainability and innovation.
  • Online Forum Discussion: On a tech-focused forum, users discuss their experiences with a newly released smartphone model, sharing feedback on its features, performance, and value proposition. The brand name repeatedly appears in the thread, providing insights into consumer satisfaction and areas for improvement.
  • Social Media Interaction: A fashion brand receives a mention on Instagram as a popular influencer posts a photo wearing its latest collection, generating engagement and interest among followers. Users comment on the post, expressing admiration for the brand's designs and sharing their desire to purchase similar outfits.
  • Blog Review: A beauty blogger publishes a detailed review of skincare products from a cosmetic brand, discussing their effectiveness, ingredients, and suitability for different skin types. The blog post garners attention from readers seeking recommendations and insights into skincare routines, contributing to brand visibility and credibility in the beauty industry.

Importance of brand mentions

Brand mentions and brand monitoring play a crucial role in shaping brand perception, building brand awareness, and influencing consumer behavior. Positive mentions can enhance brand credibility, foster customer loyalty, and drive sales, while negative mentions can damage reputation, erode trust, and lead to customer churn. 

The key is to actively identify brand mentions and monitor them across various channels–your brand online and in print. This is what will allow you to gain valuable insight, allow you to better engage with your audience, maintain a healthy brand image and shore up your position and reputation in the marketplace, and stay on top of industry trends. 

Brand mentions vs brand sentiment?

Before going any further into brand mention territory, we think it would be worthwhile to make an important distinction. That is the distinction between brand mentions and brand sentiment. 

Brand mentions and brand sentiment represent integral facets of consumer-brand dynamics, each influencing the other in significant ways.

While brand mentions spotlight the visibility of a brand across various platforms, brand sentiment delves into the emotional resonance and perceptions consumers associate with it. Understanding the interplay between these elements is pivotal for shaping consumer perceptions and fostering enduring brand loyalty.

Below are some of the most important concepts to keep in mind when thinking about brand sentiment: 

  • Perception Shapes Reality: Consumer perception serves as the cornerstone of brand sentiment, overshadowing marketing efforts. Control how people perceive you and you control, to a large extent, the reality of your brand image. For instance, a luxury car brand renowned for its safety features might evoke feelings of security and prestige among consumers, bolstering positive sentiment. 
  • Emotional Connection: Brand sentiment thrives on emotional bonds forged between consumers and brands. Consider a beloved coffee chain that patrons associate with comfort and community, fostering a sense of warmth and familiarity that deepens brand sentiment. These are the sorts of connections that are forged in advertising, brand colors, images and even the language used. 
  • Consistency Across Touchpoints: Maintaining consistent brand messaging and experiences across all touchpoints is paramount.  A global fast-food chain's commitment to quality and convenience resonates consistently across its advertising, store ambience, and customer service, bolstering positive sentiment. McDonald’s, for instance, is renowned for this consistency–everything from restaurant layout, to production to taste. 
  • Listening and Engagement: Proactive engagement and attentive listening to consumer feedback are pivotal. A responsive tech company actively solicits and addresses user suggestions for product improvements, fostering a sense of partnership and loyalty among its customer base. The bottom line is that brand sentiment has a lot to with how you listen to, take and actively respond to feedback. 
  • Context Matters: Interpreting brand sentiment within contextual frameworks is essential. A sportswear brand's sponsorship of a major sporting event may elicit heightened positive sentiment among enthusiasts, aligning the brand with the spirit of competition and athleticism. 
  • Transparency and Authenticity: Transparency and authenticity build trust and bolster brand sentiment. An eco-conscious fashion label openly shares its sustainable sourcing practices and environmental initiatives, resonating authentically with environmentally conscious consumers.
  • Managing Negative Sentiment: Effectively managing negative sentiment is imperative for brand resilience. A food delivery service swiftly addresses customer complaints about late deliveries, demonstrating accountability and a commitment to service excellence.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Navigating cultural nuances is crucial for fostering positive sentiment across diverse markets. An international beverage brand adapts its marketing campaigns to reflect local customs and traditions, fostering resonance and acceptance within different cultural contexts.
  • Long-Term Brand Building: Building enduring brand sentiment requires sustained effort and dedication. A heritage skincare brand's unwavering commitment to quality and innovation over decades fosters deep-seated trust and loyalty among generations of consumers.
  • Measuring and Monitoring: Regularly monitoring brand sentiment provides actionable insights for strategic decision-making. A consumer electronics company leverages sentiment analysis tools to gauge customer satisfaction and sentiment trends, guiding product development and marketing strategies effectively.

Sentiment analysis takes into consideration both your positive, neutral and negative mentions and provides you with valuable insights for continuous improvement and market dominance. 

Techniques and tools for monitoring brand mentions

There are a lot of ways to stay on top of your brand mentions, some free some paid. 

Google Alerts

google alerts screenshot

Let’s start with the default and highly effective free brand monitoring tool: Google Alerts. 

Google Alerts remains a fundamental tool for tracking brand mentions across the web. By setting up alerts for specific keywords, such as your brand name, you receive email notifications whenever your brand is mentioned in news articles, blogs, forums, and other online sources. 

You simply choose the keywords that you would like Google to monitor for when it crawls and indexes new content (i.e, your brand name) and you get an email notification every time a new instance of that specific term(s) is encountered. 

Social media listening

Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok are invaluable sources for monitoring brand mentions. 

Through social media listening, brands can track mentions, tags, comments, and shares related to their products or services.

Utilizing dedicated brand monitoring tools enhances the efficiency of tracking brand mentions across diverse channels. Tools like Brandwatch, Mention, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social offer features such as sentiment analysis, trend identification, and competitor benchmarking.

These tools enable brands to gain deeper insights into consumer perceptions and market trends. For instance, an e-commerce business might use Brandwatch to analyze sentiment around its brand and competitors across social media platforms.

Media monitoring solutions and brand mention tools

Media monitoring tools provide comprehensive coverage of brand mentions across traditional media outlets, including newspapers, magazines, television, and radio.

Services like Meltwater, Cision, and Critical Mention help brands track press mentions, editorial coverage, and industry news relevant to their brand. For example, a tech company might use Meltwater to monitor media mentions of its product launches and industry trends in technology publications.

By employing a combination of Google Alerts, social media listening, brand monitoring tools, and media monitoring solutions, you can effectively track and find brand mentions across various channels and platforms. 

These techniques allow you to stay informed about consumer sentiment, manage your online reputation, and make informed decisions to enhance brand perception and engagement.

Understanding the relationship between brand mentions, link building and SEO

Brand monitoring tools such as Google Alerts, Mention, and Brandwatch offer great opportunities to convert brand mentions into dofollow backlinks, bolstering your website's SEO performance and authority.

The process begins by setting up alerts for your brand name, product names, and relevant industry keywords across various online platforms, including websites, blogs, news articles, forums, and social media channels. These alerts notify you whenever your brand is mentioned, enabling you to identify instances where your brand is referenced without accompanying dofollow backlinks.

This is something that dofollow has employed to great effect over the years and, while not always a home run, we’ve managed to turn simple brand mentions into powerful link equity-imparting backlinks for both ourselves and our clients. It is one of the best ways to do white hat link building because the sites and publications in question have already seen fit to include you in their content without solicitation. 

These are the kinds of organic backlinks that Google really likes to see. 

The outreach component

Once you've identified brand mentions without backlinks, the next step involves proactive outreach to content creators, bloggers, journalists, and website owners who have mentioned your brand.

Through personalized outreach efforts, you can politely request them to include a dofollow backlink to your website in their content, highlighting the relevance and value it adds to their readers. 

Sweetening the pot

To incentivize backlink inclusion, consider offering value-added content, resources, or incentives to content creators and publishers. Sometimes you will find that site owners and writers have failed to include a backlink along with your brand mention because they are simply not aware that that is what you were after. 

In a lot of other instances, however, it’s for a reason. Editorial policy dictates no backlinks (under a given set of circumstances). If you get a hard no the first time around, why not try converting it into a different type of link building? 

This could involve providing guest posts, expert insights, exclusive discounts, or promotional opportunities in exchange for the inclusion of dofollow backlinks to your website. By offering tangible benefits, you encourage cooperation and collaboration while strengthening your backlink profile.

Wrapping up

Monitoring brand mentions across social media channels, news sites, review platforms, and social listening tools is paramount for businesses seeking to gain valuable insights from customer feedback and track social mentions.

Brand mention tools and brand monitoring tools facilitate this process, enabling businesses to track brand mentions, social media messages, and positive feedback across various online platforms, including Facebook groups and review sites.

When you monitor brand mentions, you not only engage with existing customers but also attract new customers through proactive interaction and response management. This comprehensive approach to monitoring brand mentions empowers businesses to stay informed about consumer perceptions, identify opportunities for improvement, and maintain a positive brand image across diverse online channels.

Why Trust Us On SEO

Eric Carrell & Sebastian Schaffer have been working in SEO for over a decade, building their own projects - understanding and testing SEO strategy, along with building hundreds of white hat links per month for our projects. They take their learnings and experience and apply them to the strategy that drives our link building strategy for our clients.

Eric & Seb have always believed in quality over quantity, doing things the right way so we future proof our client’s websites against future Google updates and the evolving industry of search.

While Seb handles the company strategy around culture, processes and structure, Eric is constantly working to improve our service offering, customer experience, and following the industry in parallel with Google’s Quality Guidelines so that we are always one step ahead of our competition and aligned with what Google wants to see for your site to rank higher.

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