People are talking about you, your company and your brand. They’re making comments – good, bad and indifferent.
Word of mouth affects people’s choices in every aspect of their lives from purchases to travel tips, where to stay, which furniture to buy and where to go out for dinner.
If you’re tapped into the conversation and what’s been said, you can make sure the facts are right and if they aren’t you can address the situation or better yet you can lead the conversation.
In today’s atmosphere of citizen journalism and self-publishing, monitoring your online reputation is critical for brand management. You can also monitor your personal name, your competition and your industry. There are hundreds of tools available, some free and some paid. There are also individual tools that monitor only blogs and there are aggregators that go out and search the social media universe – photos, blogs, video-sharing sites and micro-blogs (like Twitter). It’s fairly easy to set up a dashboard on your computer to make daily monitoring easy and efficient . Here are some tools that are worth exploring:
- Google Alerts – http://www.google.com/alerts – Google alerts are email or RSS updates based on the “keywords” you have set up to monitor. It only takes a few seconds to set up Google Alerts. You can track your name, your company name, your competitors or specific keywords of interest to you. This tool is too easy not to set-up and use.
- Blog search – http://blogsearch.google.com – This is the Google engine to search the blogosphere. You can set it up using the advanced search option. The best way to set this up is with RSS to your iGoogle account.
- Technorati – http://technorati.com – another popular blog search engine. You can search blogs, videos, latest chatter on Twitter or on blogs. They also have a cool tool called Twittorati which allows you to follow latest tweets, top links, top blogs and latest photos.
- TweetBeep – http://tweetbeep.com – Just like Google Alerts but for Twitter. You need to have a Twitter account to sign up for this service. It will monitor Twitter and send you emails when your “keyword” is used.
- Search Twitter – http://search.twitter.com – this is the powerhouse of Twitter search. You can set-up an RSS feed for searches of all tweets for specific keywords. Where this becomes really powerful is setting the geographic criteria. For example if you’re a realtor in Victoria BC you can set it up to track anyone talking about “buying” or “selling” a “home/house” and other related keywords, only by people in the Victoria BC area.
There are hundreds of tools available; these are just 5 of the free and easy to use monitoring tools that you can implement today and never miss a conversation about your brand again. It will take you less than an hour to set them up.
What tools have you found useful?