Do you know what the world is saying about your brand?

World of Mouth: Are You Listening?? image via Vagawi on Flikr C.Commons

A great line taken from the infamous Social Media Revolution Video on YouTube (based on Erik Qualman’s book Socialnomics) really showcases where our universe has gone in terms of marketing.  No longer,

word of mouth, but WORLD of mouth”.

Today companies understand that it is the consumer who is speaking out loudly about their brand. The consumer voice is amplified on the pages of Facebook, texts and IMs between friends, tweets on Twitter, posts and comments on blogs and good old fashioned person to person conversation.  In fact, Qualman states that “25% of search results for the world’s top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content.” With all of that amplified chatter, it is imperative that companies have some type of a monitoring force in place to track and deal with conversations, both positive and negative.

Some companies who have done an outstanding job of tracking their online brand voice are Cincinnati-based P&G and Ford.  P&G’s Pampers Brand was recently hit by an onslaught of negative publicity concerning diaper rash and waged a social media campaign to set the record straight. Ford social media head, Scott Monty, became infamous for his now case-study-chronicled handling of a 2008 firestorm with Ford Fan site TheRangerStation.com.

These companies can afford to have Social Media Managers and departments focusing staff on listening and interacting with their communities, but what about the small businesses and solopreneurs? There are some free tools available to the small business that is lacking staff and/or budget. This article will share two tools that are very easy to use.

Google Alerts: Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results. You need to have a Gmail account, which is free, to set them up.  You identify which search terms you would like to have monitored by Google. Some ideas:

  • Your business name in every form
  • Your domain name
  • Your brand(s)
  • Your industry
  • Your competitors

You determine if you would like the Google web-crawlers to comb all information on the web, or you can select from the following categories

  • News
  • Blogs
  • Updates
  • Video
  • Websites
  • Discussion

You choose how often you want to receive the updates and how many separate entries will be attached to each email.

Kurrently: This free monitoring tool entered the scene in the spring of 2010. It is a real time search engine for Facebook and Twitter results. Kurrently lets you tap exclusively into the social networking arena to see what people are saying about you, your company, your brand, right now. The real time display allows you to act quickly to capitalize on news, good and bad.

Kurrently gives you some options in using the site. It allows you to select stream speed and gives the choice of monitoring just Facebook, just Twitter or both. In order to keep your stealth headphones on, Kurrently includes other traditional search engines/sites like:

  • Google
  • Bing
  • Baidu
  • YouTube
Screenshot of Kurrently

Reputation Management is important for every business and brand. In this world of mobile marketing and smart-phone reliance, companies need to be on top of  “World of Mouth” as best they can. To refrain from monitoring your brand is akin to reputation suicide.

Tip for the Day:  Set Google Alerts to your personal brand as well; your neighbors may be talking about you!!

*Cross-posted at:    Cincinnati Social Media Examiner

Copyright Michelle Beckham~All Rights Reserved~2010

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