Word spreads fast on the internet. Consumers might praise your product or service on Twitter, or they might take to Facebook to declare your customer service a disaster, begging people to avoid your brand.
Do you know what your target market is saying about your brand? If you don’t, how can you make the unhappy customers happy? How can you engage in dialogue with the happy customers to find out what you’re doing right? How can you know what new products should be developed or what services need to be refined?
The answer is you can’t. You must be plugged in with the social chatter about your brand. Your only other choice is to lose customers to the competition that IS listening.
But, how do you find out what people on the web are saying about you? You have plenty of options to getting plugged in.
Sign up for alerts
Both Google and Yahoo offer a tool that alerts you whenever a keyword (or keywords) you’ve signed up for (your brand name, for example) is mentioned online, in the news, on blogs, or on websites. It takes less than five minutes to sign up for the alerts, which are sent directly to your email inbox. Alerts are a fast and an easy way to keep up with what people are saying about your brand online.
Just about everyone today tweets, so you’re probably going to find some social chatter on Twitter. If you don’t have an account, sign up for one. If you already have an account, use Twitter’s Advanced Search option, which allows you to search for keywords (again, your brand) and in geographical areas.
Use a social chatter search engine
Social chatter search engines are essentially normal search engines, but they crawl social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. Kurrently.com, for example, allows you to plug in a search term, hit search, and the results from Facebook, Twitter, and blogs will appear. Sign up for RSS feeds to have the latest results delivered to your email inbox.
Sign up for a paid alert system
Companies that want to target brand chatter have themselves become a target market of many companies. Social Report is one of those companies and will, for a fee, help you track the social chatter about your brand. Social Report tracks the social chatter from Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Meetup as well as several other social networking sites. The reports can tell you who is talking about your brand, where in the world they are, and what they are saying.
You can also find numerous other companies that, for a fee, will keep track of your brand’s social chatter. While that is a viable option, you can generally keep on top of the buzz yourself if you use the preceding tools. None take too much time, and all are a well-spent investment of your time to determine what people are really saying about your brand.
Frank Eybsen is an internet marketing blogger and researcher. He is currently researching affiliate tracking software.