Having covered Social Media Management, I’d like to move on to Social Media Monitoring. When running a small business, particularly a start-up, it’s vital to know what customers are saying about you. Of course there are many tools available to tell you who is talking about you, but I’d like to highlight a couple that are appropriate for the SM needs of a small business.
A popular SM Monitoring tool that is used for personal interest and business reasons is Google Alerts. By creating an alert search for the topic of your choice through your Google account, (ex: your company or a new product), Google creates an automated search of the topic and sends you email alerts when new mentions of your topic are found. For a small company, this could be a cost effective (free) way to learn when and where the company and/or its products are mentioned. Additionally, with Google Alerts, a small business could swiftly identify and take action against false negative comments posted online.
Another free Social Media Monitoring tool is Addictomatic, where you can enter a key word such as your company and it will search blogs, news sites, Google, Digg, YouTube, Flickr, and more. With your personalized results, you’ll also be given a page where you can bookmark the results. Such a tool is a better fit for a small business than a monitoring tool that just concentrates on Twitter for example. By searching all popular SM sites, Addictomatic can find more mentions of a small company, which would provide more extensive feedback.
While there are more SM Monitoring tools available than I can count, very few are appropriate for small businesses. The tools that I have highlighted are not only free but they give a broad snapshot of what is being said about a small company online. Understanding what is being said and where it’s happening gives a small company such as a start-up the opportunity to reach out and draw in more business.