Let’s face it, we are in a renaissance period for the internet. Things are going great, more and more people are hoping on board and more and more businesses are realizing the value of having an online presence. Frankly this reminds me of the period shortly before the dotcom bust where everyone threw logic out the window and built insanely expensive websites that made neat techno noises. This time, instead of having $200,000 websites that had spaceships flying around logos that did nothing more than that, everyone and their Grandmothers are jumping on board by joining Social Media sites for free.
What does this mean to you?
Well for one thing each person in your audience now has the ability to easily connect with each other. That means that every person that uses your product or service now has the tools to easily influence other people about you and your brand. This is a good thing and also a bad thing. If your brand is well received you are in a position to help your raving fans turn other users into raving fans. If your brand isn’t then you’re going to need to monitor your online PR.
In the past you needed to engage a PR firm to see what people were saying about you and/or your brand. You’ll still need to do that but now with some cool online tools you can do it yourself, to some degree, if you have the time. There’s a lot of data out there so you might still want to engage a PR firm.
Monitoring Your Brand Online – Websites
No matter what the scenario you fall into above you’re going to want to know what people are saying about you and below are some great tools to get started
Google Alerts is a great tool that allows you to receive alerts whenever your brand is mentioned in a search result. From Google ‘Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.’
http://search.twitter.com If you don’t know what Twitter is you are doing it wrong. Run a search on Twitter to see what people are talking about. Plug in your name, your brand name or your keywords and see what people are saying right now.
This is a go-to site for me. If I need to track terms or brand names I run a search on Social Mention and I can see recent activity around the web. Much like Technorati’s search engine it gives you an overview of recent content on the web.
BlogPulse is another tool you need in your arsenal. Brought to you by the folks at Nielsen BlogPulse ‘is a blog search engine that also analyzes and reports on daily activity in the blogosphere.’ It allows you to search trends and track conversations amongst other things. You need to bookmark this site, become friends with it.
Monitoring Your Brand Online – Desktop Applications
With advent of tools like Adobe’s Air you can now use desktop applications to monitor your brand or yourself online
This brand new app that lets you see, much like Social Mention, what is happening around the web without having to open a browser. Type in a term and a location and Social Seek will give you results from Blogs, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Eventful.
Just download SocialSeek and search for various terms and locations to see what people are saying about you around the world. A great tool indeed!
This is a very robust platform so make sure you put on your big boy pants when you jump into this one. PeopleBrowsr offers a host of tools for you to use that include Live Search, Marketers, My PB, Industry Billboard, News and even a Conference tracker.
It’s a little overwhelming the amount of information you have at your finger tips with PeopleBroswer but quite frankly these kinds of things put a big smile on my face. Jump and give it a try. Sign up and click on the ‘PBAir Download’ link at the bottom of your browser. I know, I know very vague instructions but I cannot find any clear link to give you. Maybe the good folks at PeopleBrowser will read this and comment on how to easily find the desktop AIR app. Hint hint.
What Are Some Tools You Are Using?
Obviously this isn’t a complete list, there are literally tons and tons of tools to use, what are some cool ones that you have been using to monitor your site?
Drop us a comment and let us know how you are monitoring you and/or your brand online