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by Samantha Noble on 22nd June 2011
Hi, I’m Sam Stratton, Digital Marketing Director here at Koozai. Today I’m going to talk to you about the importance of monitoring your brand online. Since the Internet launched, there have been a number of new initiatives, platforms, websites that are going live day in and day out. Something that’s really taken an interest of mine this year so far is how are you supposed to track what people are saying about you all across the Internet?
So let’s take your website as an example. You’ve got your site. I’ve taken six of the core areas that I want to talk about today. These are places that people are going to be mentioning brands and talking about products and services that you offer online.
You’ve got social platforms. There are over 300 social platforms on the Internet today, and that’s going to be an ever evolving number. Two of the biggest, you’ve got Facebook and you’ve got Twitter.
Following that, we’ve also got blogs. People are integrating with and interacting with blogs a lot more nowadays.
Following that, I want to talk about forums. Forums are predominantly there to give advice to people and other internet users about the different products and services that are out there today.
Review centres and review sites. You’ve got Review Centre, Yelp, Qype, all these different sites that are out there that have been made for users to go on and share their experiences about the different products and services and brands that they’ve used.
Bringing all this together, how do we track what people are saying? There are a number of free tools available, and I’ve gone through and tested and tried out three different ways that I’d like to share with you.
First of all, I want to talk a bit about Google Alerts. It’s a free service, and it works with your Google account. Most people have a Google account now. You literally log in, pop in the phrase that you’re wanting to track, whether it’s a brand or a person, and it will literally report back to you on a daily, weekly, fortnightly basis on the mentions of that brand or phrase and where they are on the Internet. This way you can scan through and interact with any positive or negative feedback that you’re getting about your company.
We’ve also got Hootsuite and TweetDeck. These are predominantly social platforms, and they will pull in data of what people are talking about on Facebook and Twitter. You can scan through very, very quickly, click on the different links, see what people are saying about you and again engage with them whether it’s good or bad.
RSS feeds are key. Absolutely everyone should have these. You can plug in your Google Alert files, you can pull in everything. It centralises all the data and gives you a central location to scan through and see what people are talking about you on.
There are also lots of paid tools out there. My advice on these is a lot of them give a free monthly trial. If it’s a route that you want to go down and you want to pay for a more advanced tool, go for the monthly sign up, try it, test it, see if you get on with it, because this is going to be something that you’re going to be working with day in and day out.
GigaAlerts was the first one I tried. This was a free tool to begin with and then it went up, but it’s not an expensive one. It’s a really affordable tool that allows you, in a similar way to Google Alerts, to plug in your phrase and it will just integrate everything into one central location.
Following that, I tried a couple of other more advanced tools. Trackur was one of the ones that I tried, and what you can do with this is you can take your monitoring to the next level. You put in your phrase or your phrases, and it will report back to you on the importance of those websites, the credibility of the authors. There are lots of things that you can do with this. It will also map out the mentions for you so you can see if there are key days or anything that you’ve done that then drives a lot of comments about your brand.
My advice to you is to really immerse yourselves in this information. If it’s positive press about your company, go and engage with those people, speak to them, say thank you, offer them something. They’re like your brand advocates. They’re there and willing to talk about you. They’ve had a good experience and you want to keep them on board.
Following that, you have also negative mentions. You’re not going to keep everyone happy 100% of the time, but how you deal with those comments is key. It really is the key to the success of any online business nowadays. Do not ignore it. If you see something negative, go in, speak to the person. Don’t try and take it offline straight away, interact with them. Whatever you do, do not try and be a customer of your own and go in and start saying, “I have had no problems with this company whatsoever. They’ve been fantastic.” Go in and say, “I’m Sam from Koozai. I see that you’ve had a real problem. How can I help you?” Pull it offline as quickly as you can and deal with it.
So that’s it from me today. If you do have any questions, you can feel free to get in touch with us. Alternatively, visit our website at www.Koozai.com. Or you can alternatively like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.