Being notified about any mentions of your company (or products) online is becoming harder, as the online world becomes more diversified. Although the likes of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are published on the web, it’s hard to monitor what’s happening there using conventional web search applications such as Google Alerts. Fortunately, new tools are making the job easier.
However, do you need to monitor who’s talking about you at all? I find this an incredible question, as it’s invariably asked by people who’d have been horrified in the past to discover that a magazine had written about them but they didn’t know. Of course you need to! Even if you’re a small organisation, modestly thinking “nobody would ever mention us”, you might be surprised. And not only do you need to know when your name has cropped up, and in what circumstances, but you can also learn a lot from monitoring your competitors. Are they exploiting opportunities which you were unaware of?
The simplest tool, as mentioned above, is Google Alerts. Despite some worries about whether it still works well or if it even has a future, you’re about 20 seconds away from setting up a daily email listing any new mentions of any term (such as your company name) on the web. If you don’t do it already, at least do that now.
Better are the dedicated monitoring tools, ranging from the free to those which cost over £1,000 a month. As a gentle start, I’d have a look at Mention (see review), which has a free version that should cover many companies’ requirements, and even an iPhone app.
Just don’t ever be in a position of ignorance when a colleague says to you: “I read about us (or a competitor) online the other day – what do you think?”