The Ultimate Watch-Dog
Have you ever wished you could know what everyone has ever said about you as a business professional? Sure, you’ve received great client testimonials and feedback over the years, but maybe there are some disgruntled clients out there who have not been happy with something you’ve done or the services you’ve provided and are broadcasting their dissatisfaction publicly, without you knowing. After all, people love to go on Twitter or their favourite blog or forum to gripe and complain.
So, just how can you monitor what people are saying about you online? How can you keep an eye on conversations people are having on the web that are relevant to your business? I’m going to discuss three great tools that will make it easy for you to do just this.
Social Media Monitoring Tools
Google Reader is extremely helpful in monitoring what people are talking about online. I’m going to outline how to take advantage of Google Reader for social media monitoring.
- Step one: think about what keywords or phrases you want to monitor (for example, “Mary Jones” or “The Manhattan Loft Experts” or “moving to Dallas” or “[company name] sucks”).
- Step two: set-up RSS feeds around these keywords for Twitter, Google Blog Search, and Google News. Make sure when you search for the keywords, they’re in quotation marks so you can ensure the most accurate search results. At the bottom of the search result page, there will either be a hyperlink that asks you if you’d like to subscribe in Google Reader or an RSS link. Click this link. To learn how to create an RSS feed for Twitter, visit this tutorial.
- Step three: Make sure all your RSS feeds are in your Google Reader. Once they are, you’re done with setting everything up. You now have one consolidated place where you can see what people are saying about you across a number of different areas on the web.
Another useful monitoring tool is Google Alerts. Google Alerts will monitor relevant Google search results based on the keywords or phrases you specify and email you these results once a day, once a week, or as-it-happens (you decide). This is valuable because with Google Alerts, you 1) benefit from the convenience of receiving search results right to your inbox, and 2) allow you to see actual Google search results since you’re not able to easily set up RSS feeds for them (and thus can’t easily add them to your Google Reader).
Lastly, Twilert is a really cool app you can use to get regular email alerts of tweets relevant to your business. If anyone tweets about you or something relevant to you, for example, purchasing a loft in Manhattan, you’ll know about it right away. Of course, if you are setting up Twitter RSS feeds in Google Reader, you’ll have the tweet there as well, but email alerts give you that extra peace of mind that you’re seeing the tweets you want to see and are able to reply right away.
The Importance of Monitoring
You want to know what people are saying about you online. If someone is asking about the services you provide, you have the opportunity to chime in, introduce yourself, and potentially win a new client. If someone wrote a blog post about how they waited four hours for you to get back to their phone call and about how dissatisfied they are with your services, you can use that opportunity to publicly respond and do what you can to turn this disgruntled blogger into a loyal advocate for you.
With the increasing popularity of social media, the act of monitoring relevant conversations is a must. Committing to growing your business through posting status updates to Facebook and tweets to Twitter is no longer enough. You need to have a plan in place to monitor what people are saying on social media (and on the web in general) in order to take your social media marketing strategy to the next level.