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Published on September 16th, 2010 | by Janine Popick

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Newbie to Advanced: How to Track What People Are Saying About Your Business Online

Feet in the LakeYou probably have a Twitter account and you most likely have a Facebook page for your biz. You’re doing a great job building your followers and messaging them about upcoming specials and fun things going on in your business. And hopefully your posting your email marketing subject lines to Twitter and Facebook to extend the reach of your campaigns.

But it’s a two way street, people ARE talking about your business online and you need to know what they’re saying whether it’s positive or negative. You want to make sure you thank those who say nice things about you and learn from those that don’t. This fosters great word of mouth marketing which is the most inexpensive and effective type of advertising you can get.

So your first question is, where do you start? We’ve outlined 3 quick ways for you to find out what people are saying about you online.

Newbie: “I Want To Dip My Toe in the Social Media Tracking Water.”

At VerticalResponse we started with Google Alerts. I was able to set it up so that an email was sent to me every time anything was mentioned online that included either “VerticalResponse” or “Vertical Response.” Once or twice per day I got the email and I was able to jump in and respond. Then I started to wonder what people were saying about “email marketing” and the names of my competitors, so I included them in my free alerts that Google sends me.

Now I can check out what the competitors are doing and what the hot topics are in the world of email marketing. You’ll be able to track what people are saying about you on most websites, but it doesn’t work well with Twitter & Facebook.

Intermediate: “I’m Going to Jump Feet First! I Want to know REAL TIME What People are Saying!”

Then I went a step further. I signed up for TweetDeck. This free tool enables you to search for any term and see all mentions of what you search for. So if you’re interested in “entrepreneur” you can include that term in your TweetDeck account and all Tweets that have that term included will pop up. And the best part? You can track multiple terms. Right now I’m tracking about 20!

Trackur is also a great tool. And for just $18/month they’ll show you graphs of online sentiment. You’ll be able to get alerts when people say positive or negative things about you. Then you can jump on it!

Advanced: “I Need More Than One Person to Dive Into Online Conversations”

Now that we’re addicted to knowing when people are talking about us online, we want to chime in. Sometimes people want to get customer support, and sometimes they just want to ask a question or say something nice. HootSuite to the rescue. We set this up so that our person in charge of Social Media can field a “Tweet”, then assign it to someone in our company that can speak to a particular topic. She can also schedule out Tweets as well as monitor our mentions. There is a free version which lets you monitor 5 networks to about $19/month which is unlimited.

What tools are you using to track what people say about your business?

© 2010 – 2012, Janine Popick. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

is a contributing author for VerticalResponse.



9 Responses to Newbie to Advanced: How to Track What People Are Saying About Your Business Online

  1. Cliff says:

    Thank you for your advice. I am thinking of starting an online retail business and I think I just got the tool that I need.

  2. Chris says:

    I’m guessing Melanie works for YELP!!!

  3. Melody says:

    I’m very surprised you mentioned how to track “Tweets” about your business and nothing was even said about Yelp.
    Yelp is a heavily review based website and based on their most recent numbers, used by over 53 Million people per month.
    They also have free tools which allow you to respond to your reviews, good or bad, which is a great feature for online reputation management.
    Pretty sure people are going to look up your Yelp reviews before they go trying to find the latest Tweets about your business…
    Twitter is important, but you left out some pretty crucial stuff here.

  4. Fritz Harmon says:

    Google Alerts is great! I have 3 set up. One for my business name and 2 for keywords in my industry. Thanks for the post.

  5. Simple, Short, and sweet. Great article.

  6. Nice post, I never used tweetDeck before thanks for sharing. Heading to test tweetDeck :)

  7. Samantha S. says:

    I think that Twitter and Facebook to expand your business is a good thing. I used Twitter for the first time over the summer for my public relations class, and I was working for Estee Lauder and I got an event retweeted by a few people!
    I adore TweetDeck, it is the best, and it was a lifesaver when I first started out with Twitter. I did not know how people tracked when others mentioned them on Twitter, but now I do! I only knew before who mentioned me directly.
    I never thought about how to do Google Alerts. I would probably jump up and down in glee if I had a business and it got talked about with growing regularity. I think it is definitely smart to add in alerts about your competitors.
    Thanks for all of your advice I hope to have a sincere need for it sometime soon!

  8. Andy Beal says:

    Thanks for the endorsement of Trackur!

  9. Michelle says:

    I’ve been using Google Alerts for sometime now and found it does a great job at bringing important company specific information to my attention. Using other services would surely help look deeper. I should look into these other services.

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