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13 Ways to Monitor Your Brand on Social Media: Do You Know What Is Being Said About Your Company Online?

September 6, 2009

Blogging Cartoon I recently wrote a post about 28 Reasons Why The CEO Is Afraid Of Social Media and I received a lot of comments from people about how they often heard some of these reasons, either as internal advocates of Social Media or as external consultants.

They said they came up against CEO’s and management that were afraid of the conversations they might hear on social media and the  many reasons why they as a company and brand shouldn’t be and won’t be participating. A few of these excuses were.

  • It could damage the company’s reputation
  • We will lose control of our brand and image
  • They are terrified of feedback and truth

I recently experienced personally on my blog  a great example of how an emerging brand monitored and then responded to an Online conversation about their company on Social Media.

 A reader of my blog made a comment on  my post “5 Case Studies on Companies That Win at Social Media and eCommerce”, his comment below was a rather tongue in cheek comment in the blogosphere about the statistical accuracy of Hubspot’s lead generation results from Social Media. Below is his comment and Mike Volpe’s response from Hubspot.

Dagan’s  Comment “‘With our WebsiteGrader.com tool, we marketed it through social networks and it brought us 450,000 leads,’ says Marketing VP Mike Volpe at HubSpot . . . A Hubspot Report mentioned in their Blog post reveals a $84 cost per lead versus $220 for traditional marketing..So this was a $37.8 million social-media marketing campaign?” (This comment was directed at Hubspots claim)

Mike Volpe’s Response in a comment on the same blog post

“@Dagan – Nice work on the clarification. We did not spend $37m, Also, I am a big believer that social media marketing is a tool to use in addition and as part of an overall marketing campaign, not a tool to use by itself. So, we use social media a lot to build our brand, drive traffic and leads, but our presence in social media is built because of our blog and other content, and social media helps drive our SEO results, we get more webinar registrations by using social media as one channel to promote them, etc. Social Media is a tool to use along with other tools.it is not its own campaign. But, it can be very powerful!”

Later Dagan said in another comment, and I paraphrase… “that he did a further evaluation of  Hubspots posts on the subject and he is now reassured of the accuracy of Hubspots claims.” 

This illustrates the capability of “New Media”  Social Media Tools to monitor conversations about your brand, as it happens and respond in a timely and  appropriate manner. The thing to keep in mind about brands that don’t want to engage in Social Media is that these conversations are going on about you whether you are there or not, and whether you want to hear it.

So isn’t it in your companies best interests to be engaged and  part of the conversation and know what is being said and to respond appropriately as is shown by Mike Volpe’s response.. which by the way was within 12 hours of the initial comment on my blog (they obviously are using a social media monitoring application)…. Impressive.. I was certainly was taken back by the timeliness of the response.. as I am sure Mike Volpe isn’t reading my Blog every day. (Hubspot is an Internet Marketing blog covers all of inbound marketing – SEO, Blogging, Social Media, Landing Pages, Lead Generation and Analytics.) and well worth checking out ..they live what they preach

So to help you with monitoring your brand online I came across this post by Marketing Profs.com  which lists a few Social Media “Listening Tools” that are a good introduction to the social media monitoring universe.

13 Essential Social-Media ‘Listening Tools’

Are you listening? If you have customers, chances are they’re talking about you to their friends, to their coworkers, and to anyone else who will listen.

Here are some of the top tools for listening to and monitoring the online chatter about your brand:

Free Apps

1. Google Alerts Google Alerts is the steady rock in the sometimes white-water world of monitoring. You can easily target keywords that are important to your brand and receive streaming or batched reports…. I use this regularly to find out the latest noise on a topic or brand

2. Technorati  Billing itself as “the leading blog search engine,” Technorati has been helping bloggers and those with their fingers on the blog pulse stay informed for years.

3. Jodange Tracking your brand or a product is one thing, but turning that tracking into a measure of consumer sentiment about your brand or product is something completely different. For that, Jodange has TOM (Top of Mind), which tracks consumer sentiment about your brand or product across the Web.

4. Trendrr Want to know how your brand or product is trending compared with others? Trendrr uses comparison graphing to show relationships and discover trends in real time. Use the free account, or bump it up to the Enterprise level for more functionality.

5. Lexicon What are people talking about on Facebook? Lexicon searches Facebook walls for keywords and provides a snapshot of the chatter volume around those terms.

6. Monitter  everyone is talking about Twitter, but what are people talking about on Twitter? Beyond the integrated search of Twitter apps like Twhirl and TweetDeck, Monitter provides real-time monitoring of the Twittersphere.

7. Tweetburner In the world of Twitter, URL shortening is the Obi-Wan (it’s your only hope) for effectively connecting with the public. Tweetburner also lets you track the clicks on those magically shortened links, giving you some hard numbers.

8. Twendz Public relations shop Waggener Edstrom recently launched its Twitter-monitoring tool, Twendz. The tool piggybacks off Twitter Search to monitor and provide user sentiment for the real-time Twitterstream—70 tweets at a time.

Paid Apps

9. TruCast TruCast by Visible Technologies provides in-depth, keyword-based monitoring of the social Web with an emphasis on blogs and forums. Its dashboard applications provide visual representations of sentiment and trends for your brands online.

10. Radian6 Radian6 pulls information from the social Web, and analyzes and provides consumer sentiment ratings for your brand

11. Cision When Radian 6 is paired with Cisionpoint from Cision, Radian 6’s dashboard can provide a wealth of information 

12. Techrigy Techrigy’s SM2 is a social-media monitoring and analysis solution for PR and marketing folks. With a focus on complete analysis and comparison, the SM2 experience draws information from all major social-media channels.

13. Collective Intellect  Collective Intellect (CI) is a real-time intelligence platform, based on advanced artificial intelligence. Its solution provides automatic categorization of conversations based on CI’s proprietary filtering technology. According to CI, its technologies provide credible groupings and reduce the “noise” seen in other keyword-based searches.

Listening and making sense of how your brand lives on the Web is only part of the equation. How you use that information to interact with the public is the next step.

So are you listening and monitoring your brand online?

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2009 6:41 pm

    Jeff,

    Thanks for the kind mention of TruCast. It’s almost a given nowadays that companies should be paying attention to relevant consumer comments about their brand and competitors. I’m still a bit surprised by how many companies are still trying to decide if this should be a standard mode of operation as we head into 2010.

    Mike Spataro
    SVP, Visible Technologies
    mike@visibletechnologies.com

  2. September 6, 2009 10:59 pm

    Thank you for including us in your list of monitoring tools! As you state in your post above, listening is important, but it is the engagement that makes all the difference.

    Lauren Vargas
    Community Manager at Radian6
    @VargasL

  3. September 7, 2009 2:07 pm

    Hi Jeff,
    Great point that brand conversations are happening whether you choose to listen or not. I think it is often one of the greatest misconceptions about social media and companies’ wanting to participate (or not).
    Luckily for businesses, the options for monitoring are becoming endless, whether they choose to use free online tools or more involved, pay services (disclosure: I work for one of those pay services- Synthesio).
    Thank you for your reflections. I look forward to keeping up with you (on Twitter) and your blog.

    Best,
    Michelle
    @Synthesio

  4. September 7, 2009 8:58 pm

    Hi Jeff,
    Great post. Social media monitoring software is the first step for raw aggregation, however true listening involves extensive human efforts in terms of filtering, abstracting business insights and engagement after raw aggregation. Clients were initially overwhelmed by the sheer volume of social media buzz and human resources required to make a successful listening and engagement, Arisey is asked to step in to help turn social media buzz into business intelligence.

    The bottom line is that software and governance structure have to work together to make social media monitoring useful for biz objectives.

    Linda
    @Arisey

  5. September 8, 2009 3:00 pm

    Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for the blog post. These are great resources to “listen” to what people are saying about your brand/products in the social media channel. We use a company called Social Radar for our social media monitoring. Just thought I would share as they have been a great partner.

    Thanks again,

    Chris

  6. September 10, 2009 6:30 am

    Thanks for the insights as I too questioned the verasity of HubSpots products.

  7. September 11, 2009 7:37 pm

    Jeff,

    Great article on a very important challenge for businesses:) It struck a chord with me since we have been dealing with these issues for sometime.

    Here are some additional sources we have used:
    – NewsSift.com > Free for now
    – Samepoint.com > Free
    – Google Insights > Free
    – BlogPulse > Free

    As for paid services, one should also check out:
    – Visible Technologies > A younger firm than Radian6, but definitely worth looking at.
    – Scout Labs > A self-service product with discount pricing.

    A newer paid player on the block is sysomos.com, which offers some interesting services.

    Regardless of which service you use, you are quickly going to be faced with some serious issues in terms of tracking hundreds of charts. Take a typical small firm with 4 products, 3 competitors and 10 sources of information. This firm will be tracking 70 charts per day!

    Services from firms like Radian6 are important in helping a business engage the audience while listening to the market. These firms offer very important services, but even so they still face the challenge of dealing with mountains of information and trying to figure out what information is significant enough for the business to engage the audience.

    I think you might be interested in knowing about a start-up I’m working with that has developed a proprietary piece of software that instantly merges multiple data streams into one Score – a score that automatically detects significant changes in the underlying streams. The significance is that a businesses can focus one 1 score, instead of 10 or more charts. This score automatically detects the changes that businesses need to focus on, thus making it easier to use the services above to engage the market.

    We are currently working with select partners, including one of the largest digital agencies, to incorporate our software as part of their Social Media service. So this should all become public later this year.

    Remy
    @remyarteaga

  8. September 16, 2009 3:31 am

    The tools collection is great – especially the new paid services. These tools certainly make a difference.

    I do like Hubspot’s Mike Volpe’s explanation of the power and role of Social Media with SEO, brand, traffic driving, and lead generation within the context of other strategies and tactics.

    Reputation is important as people will talk positively and negatively about a brand regardless of a company’s Social Media involvment or lack of involvement.

    So Mr CEO – your decision now – WHEN are you going to let your chomping-at-the-bit Marketing and Communications Department develop and implement your Social media campaigns?

    – Jenny Wilmshurst, Tweet Twins, Social Media Strategy, Consulting, Workshops & Seminars

  9. CatTail Mom permalink
    September 20, 2009 3:42 pm

    The company I work for has a standard internal policy against “broadcast emails” which criticize or question management in any way. Broadcast can and does include as few as a dozen people all of whom work for the same company! Monitoring social media? It’s beyond their comprehension.

  10. September 29, 2009 10:49 pm

    It’s worth noting two good Australian tools, Peoplebrowsr and Dialogix, and I also use a new systems from Canada http://www.ecairn.com as it has good expert systems analysis of conversations to find influencers amongst blogs. We’re always looking for effective and yet easy-to-learn tools for our course participants, and we currently use Techrigy and Sysomos and Scout Labs and also in Australia we have student access to Radian6. For sure, there is no one answer.

    Of course there are new tools every day and the Social Media Academy is running a Tools Week in November – 16th to 21st – packed with the most compelling new tools, and the sessions are available in Australia as well:
    http://www.socialmedia-academy.com/html/socialmediatoolsweek-nov09.cfm

    Walter Adamson, @g2m
    Social Media Academy, Australia
    http://www.socialmedia-academy.com.au

  11. Scott permalink
    October 10, 2009 11:35 am

    I’m using this service to monitor my website’s position – http://monitor.mazecore.com . They provide rank and uptime monitoring with alerts, but position monitoring on free account is enough for me. I recommend this service with free tariff for your website.

  12. Mark permalink
    October 12, 2009 6:37 am

    Nice post! but you fogot about mazecore – http://monitor.mazecore.com

  13. October 20, 2009 9:23 am

    Nice list! I’d also like to add socialmention.com, free tool does a better job then Google Alerts, with more analysis and aggregation.

  14. February 3, 2010 6:50 pm

    Figured we’d chime in on this even if it’s a little bit late. A lot of great info to get companies open to the idea of social media monitoring. A lot are using free tools which are great, but the paid tools offer so much more.

    You should check us out at ListenLogic – Social Business Intelligence before making any decisions 🙂

    Great post!

Trackbacks

  1. links for 2009-09-08 — Des Walsh dot Com
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