10 things you should be monitoring

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Tracking your buzz is really something that is becoming more and more important over and will continue to increase in importance as time goes on. Everything is going social right now and messages fly around the web at a million miles by hour. In order to manage your reputation you need to track the right things, so here’s a list of 10 things that you absolutely need to be monitoring.
1. Company name – Obviously your company name is one of the most important things that you need to monitor. Anytime your company or products are mentioned, you should know. Ex. Google
2. Company URL – It is also important to track your company URL for those times when someone links to your company but doesn’t mention it by name. This happens a lot and is just another way to make sure you are covering all your bases. Ex. http://google.com
3. Public facing figures – Track the names of any key employees in your company that are public facing figures. What is said about these people also reflects on your company and usually when this people are talked about your company is tied in with that. Ex. Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin, Larry Page.
4. Product names – Track any of your company’s product or service names as well. What are people saying about your products and services? Ex. Gmail, Picasa, Dodgeball
5. Product URLs – For the same reasons that you need to specifically track your company’s URL you should also be tracking your product URLs as well. Ex. http://gmail.com, http://picasa.com, http://dodgeball.com
6. The industry “hang outs” – This includes blogs, message boards, important players, consumer review sites, and anything else that’s related to your industry. Many times the industry feedback, that you can discover from the conversations at these “hang outs” can really help you improve your product or service. It is also a way for you to interactive with your potential and existing customers. Ex. http://searchenginewatch.com, http://seroundtable.com, http://threadwatch.org
7. Employee activity/blogs – Things your employees do online can affect your brand image. If you have employees that blog, it is smart to at least know about their MySpace accounts, Flickr accounts and personal blogs. I am not saying that you should spy on your employees but you do need to monitor these things just in case. It is not considered spying if they already make this stuff public. It might be safe to let your employees know you watch these things. The more well known your employees are the more important this is, many times these employee bloggers turn into company ambassadors. I’ve heard stories before where employers know an employee is quitting before he or she tells them because they blogged about it or put it on MySpace. Ex. http://mattcutts.com/blog, http://bladam.com, http://crazybob.org
8. Conversations – Are you tracking the comments from blog posts that are related to your company name, url, products, or any other buzz? These are great opportunities that allow you to participate in conversations about your company. Tools for tracking comments include Commentful, coComment, and co.mments. Ex. http://blog.outer-court.com/forum/62569.html, http://www.digg.com/software/Google_Talk_Adds_Voice_Mail_File_Sharing, http://www.flickr.com/photos/smash/36648272/
9. Brand image – What is the overall image of your brand. Do people think you’re evil? Or do they love what you’re doing. Ex. http://www.opinmind.com/search.jsp?q=google
10. Competitors – Track everything from 1-9 related to your competitors including; company name, URLs, products, key employees, etc. Everything. You need to be ready to move when any opportunity comes up. Ex. http://www.ysearchblog.com, http://jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/, http://www.opinmind.com/search.jsp?q=yahoo
Here is a list of a few of the websites / tools that can be used to track your buzz: Technorati, Sphere, Flickr, YouTube, MySpace, Google Blog Search, Rollyo, TechMeme, OpinMind, Alexa, and Commentful. Any time your company is referenced in any way it is best that you know about it. Track everything.
Update: Looks like we have another meme going here. Jeremiah Owyang nearly doubles the list, things you should be monitoring #11-17.
Update #2: Joseph Jaffe adds things your company should be monitoring #18-23.
** Disclaimer – Commentful is an ACS product.

Cameron Olthuis

Cameron Olthuis

Cameron Olthuis

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