The “Other Side” of Social Media Marketing
So, you’ve Twittered about 20 times today, updated your Facebook page twice, LinkedIn on 10 groups and generally increased your marketing circle four fold. Excellent. You’ve got the communicating side down to a science.
Now what about the reciprocal side? How are you at receiving information from all these shiny new contacts? If your marketing plan is rock solid, chances are pretty good that at least some of the chatter going on in the ether (-net, that is) is about you and your brand. What are you using to monitor this invaluable feedback?
Here is a list of some of the top applications you can use to keep track of who’s saying what – and if it’s about you:
1. News Alerts and Feeds
Though all major online news outlets have monitoring applications, Google is by far the leader in targeted keyword monitoring. With your choice of Google News or Google Alerts, you can easily pick keywords that are important to you and your brand and receive either streaming or batch email reports depending on how timely you want your results.
2. Blog Monitoring Applications
While the news outlets are one of the best sources for information on your brand or company, they are often not the first to be “in the know”. Bloggers don’t just have their fingers on the pulse of the world, they often seem to be downright psychic in knowing things long before they happen.
Technorati is the leading blog monitoring application, and can alert you the moment your company name or brand is mentioned in the blogosphere. Combine their services with those of a comment monitoring system like co.mments, and a trend tracker like Blogpulse’s Trends, and you’ve got total coverage of the blogging world at your fingertips.
3. Forum and Discussion Board Monitors
Bloggers aren’t the only people that may be talking about your brand. Forums and discussion boards are popular places for people to share praise for companies – and air grievances. Sites like Boardtracker, though, are easy to use monitoring applications that will show you what’s being said about the keyword or topic of your choice.
4. Video and Image Tracking Applications
With the growing addiction to video sites like YouTube for marketing, your brand or company can just about show up anywhere. Subscribing to video rss feeds (either those from individual sites like YouTube or larger search engine’s like Google’s Video feeds) is an easy way to keep from being surprised by an unexpected video you never thought would see the light of day, or to see just how popular your company or brand has become.
Even if you’re sure your company isn’t likely to show up in video, there’s a very good chance you could end up tagged in online photos. Our world has become very transparent, and more and more people like to document their lives in pictures – and post those for the whole world to see. The better known picture hosting sites like Flickr also offer rss feeds to give you easy access to what’s being said (and shown) about your company.
5. Individual Social Marketing Site Tools
For every social marketing site, there are plenty of tools you can use to get the most out of them. Want to keep track of everything going on in Facebook? Lexicon is only one of many keyword trackers that look at Facebook walls and other areas to see what people are talking about.
If you, like many of us, are hooked on Twitter, there are tons of applications you can use to make your Twittering easier and more effective. Apps like Twhirl and TweetDeck use searches to keep you on top of the Twittersphere, while Monitter goes even more in depth to provide you real-time monitoring.
Tweetburner makes it easy to track clicks on all those shortened (and non-descriptive) links – giving you additional numbers you might have missed out on before.
Twendz is a monitoring site that allows you a more complete snapshot of what’s being said about you and your company on Twitter. It allows you to see up to 70 tweets at a time, which can give you a better handle on exactly what public sentiment is about your company or brand.
Most of these tools are free, but there are also some great paid services out there that offer premium value. If you go this route, I recommend Trackur. If simply because the guy at the helm (Andy Beal) is a social media genius himself.
Don’t make the mistake of neglecting the other side of social marketing. You work hard at creating all those contacts. Now keep track of how well you’re really doing. You may be surprised what everyone is saying.