Remember the saying, “My ears are burning”? It’s an idiom that people often use when they have found out that someone was just talking about them. Your virtual ears may be burning, too. After all, people are talking all over social media, and they may be talking about your company, your products, or you personally. Unlike stumbling onto a conversation in real life, you can actively monitor the Web and social media for specific mentions in real time. This is powerful stuff! Not only can you respond to customer complaints or perform damage control when something negative is said about your company or products, you can also join relevant conversations and introduce your solutions to people who are talking about your competitor, and more. It all begins by using monitoring tools to find these conversations.
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Free and commercial monitoring tools are available. For example, you can monitor Twitter for mentions of your brand – or anything else for that matter – by using Twitter Search. Simply go to twitter.com and enter your search term into the search box. Like other search tools, if you enclose your phrase in quotation marks, you will restrict search results to exact matches. You can also save your searches simply by clicking the Save link once your results appear.
HootSuite allows you to create a dedicated stream that constantly updates your search. Let’s say that you want to actively monitor the term “need help with brochure design” so that you can offer your graphic design services to companies who are actively looking for help with their brochures. You would be able to refer to that stream at any time and see the latest cries for help.
Other services such as Mention extend the reach of your searches to include social media platforms, blogs, websites, news sites, and forums and include additional features such as real-time alerts and analytics.
Ideas for Monitoring Mentions
Whether you use free tools or paid ones, you will need to decide what to monitor. Your company name and flagship products are a good place to start. You may also want to monitor various opportunities by monitoring keywords related to your products and services. For example, if you manufacture running shoes, you would likely monitor the brand name of your shoes but you don’t have to stop there. You could also monitor “running shoes” or even the brand name of your competitor.
For service-oriented companies, monitoring social media for recommendations can also open the door to opportunities such as our brochure design example mentioned earlier. In that example, alternate terms to monitor might include “anyone know a graphic designer,” “need a graphic designer,” or “recommend a graphic designer.”
Are your virtual ears burning? Find out for sure by using social media monitoring tools to actively seek out mentions and relevant conversations.
Christine Kelly | Change Agent | Viral Solutions LLC