Did you know that it’s possible to see what people are saying about you on the internet? There are a number of automated tools that will allow you to monitor your name, your company, and other words related to your brand.
If you are in sales or you own a business, monitoring your reputation is crucial. People are talking about you online, whether you like it or not. You need to be aware of what’s being said.
There are a few things you can do to set up an automatic monitor that lets you know whenever anyone talks about you online.
iGoogle – Awesome free monitoring dashboard
iGoogle is a property that doesn’t get quite the love that it deserves. While a personalized dashboard is something that the average consumer doesn’t really care about, a customized dashboard that allows you to easily drag & drop tools is extremely useful as a free tool.
We’re going to use this as your reputation monitoring home page. If you don’t have one yet, go to iGoogle.com and create an account (it will link to any existing Google Account you have like Gmail or Google Calendar). The default dashboard comes with a bunch of junk that you don’t want, like games & a calendar. Delete the items that you don’t want by clicking on the little down arrow on the top right of each little biz.
Adding reputation feeds. On the right side of the page, click on ‘Add Stuff.’ On the next page you’ll be given a bunch of pre-made widgets to add. Ignore those. On the left side of the page, below the categories, there’s a link that says ‘Add Feed or Gadget.’
Remember where that is. We’re going to come back to it.
Next, I’ll go over some automated tools that will track your information.
Google has a service that monitors news sites, blogs, and a host of other websites and will notify you when anyone mentions whatever words you have set up the monitoring service to listen to. Go to Google.com/alerts and put your name in for the search terms. If you have a really common name like John Smith, you might want to add an identifier, like the city you live in or what you do (ex. John Smith Realtor Crossville). Make sure you put the name in quotes when you do the search so that it doesn’t return people with similar names. It should look something like this:
“Cory Huff” Blogger
“Cory Huff” Portland
The next screen is where you manage your alerts. Next to your newly created alert, click ‘Edit’ and change the ‘Deliver To’ column from email to feed. After that’s done, right click on the little orange icon and copy the link. Paste that link into the Add Feed or Gadget space in your iGoogle page.
Go back to the iGoogle page home. You should see a little box showing the most recent three notifications. You can mouse over them to get the full text.
Repeat this same process with the name of your company, the name of key executives, trademarks, and anything else you want to monitor. Tip: Do the same thing with your competitors. Knowing what the Interweb has to say about your competitors is enlightening. You can also do it with important customers, vendors, suppliers, etc, etc….
There are several different Twitter monitoring services. I choose to use Tweetbeep.
Tweetbeep can be set up to send you a daily email with a list of all the mentions of your defined brand on Twitter. Using the same search terms that you defined above, set up a Tweetbeep alert.
You can also set up Tweetbeep as an RSS feed and add it to your iGoogle homepage just like we did with Google Alerts. That way you have all of them set up in one place.
Why monitor Twitter?
Twitter is a real time conversation between thousands of people in a public forum. Even if YOU don’t use Twitter, your customers do. If you don’t monitor these conversations, it can become a huge headache. Just ask Johnson & Johnson about the Motrin Moms fiasco.
On the other hand, you can also be proactively grateful when people say appreciative things about you. If someone says that you rock, you can give them a very public virtual high five – which lets them and everybody else watching know that you are participating in the digital community and that you care what happens.