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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  • http://www.marktd.com/story/1930/ Anonymous

    10 things your company should be monitoring online

    A helpful list of things to monitor when you’re tracking buzz online.

  • http://www.13tongimp.com/ Gavin

    Help the clueless…

  • http://www.iheartthat.com/ Paul

    Potentially good for businesses, bad for careless employees. I like this list, and while these items are probably obvious to the head cheese, some employees might benefit from reading between these lines. ‘eh hem. note to self…

  • Albino Raven

    Boy…you certainly did your work. What you do copy the list from the other five thousand HR newsletters out there.
    Really now.
    Copyboy is now your middle name.

  • http://www.capturetheconversation.com Jennifer Eubanks

    Great article! While some of these points are seemingly obvious, they are also extremely crucial in the digital age, and often underutilized. You’ve prompted me to write my own take on the situation.
    Thanks for the food for thought!

  • http://www.pronetadvertising.com Cameron

    Albino Raven, thanks for the clever nickname!!

  • http://www.pronetadvertising.com Cameron

    Jennifer, thanks, I will head over to your site and check it out.

  • DanD

    Is Crazy Egg the reason this page acts so weird in Safari? I can’t select text and the page reacts slowly.

  • http://www.pronetadvertising.com Neil Patel

    Dan, not sure. Will look into it and get it fixed.


  • http://www.irwebreport.com/ Dominic Jones

    Heesh, don’t you want links?
    Why make it so hard to copy and paste text from this page in FF?
    Can anyone spell usability?

  • http://www.pronetadvertising.com Neil Patel

    Sorry Dominic. I removed Crazy Egg, it should be fine now.

  • http://www.jameyshiels.com Jamey Shiels

    Great list. The ten seem obvious but sadly, how many organizations don’t track this info in detail. They probably make it through the first few and give up, let alone track competition.
    Thank you for the great post

  • http://www.pronetadvertising.com Cameron

    Jamey, you’re exactly right. This is all pretty obvious stuff, the problem is that companies are doing it, the ones who are, end up looking in the wrong spots, like Google.

  • http://mikeabundo.com Mike Abundo

    A useful template for Web monitoring maps and search feeds. Nice work!

  • http://www.pronetadvertising.com Cameron

    Vincent, actually these rules work for companies of every size. I’d even say it’s more important for the bigger companies.

  • http://www.vincentvanwylick.blogspot.com Vincent van Wylick

    Maybe, Cameron. When I have a big public company, I’ll find out, I guess. ūüėČ
    Take care, Vincent

  • N

    Great list — I would also include journalists or media that frequently write about your company. Ie: Walt Mossberg of WSJ. It’s easy to track online articles with Google News Alerts. That way I know what is piquing their interest.
    Sidenote, does anyone know of any online apps that compile all of this info?

  • Carrie

    Good points but additionally, I’d like to know what your advice is about what to do with all this information once you’re monitoring/collecting/reading it? Create a ginormous report about it every week that no one will read? or just have the agreement to let management know when you “see something bad”? I’ve struggled with that for a while now and summarizing a gajillion technorati posts into a report in MS word isn’t particularly efficient.

  • http://www.pronetadvertising.com Cameron

    Carrie, the purpose of tracking all this is so you can manage it. A report does nothing, you need to take action.

    N, Google news alerts are great too, however this information will still showup up with some of the other tools.

  • http://www.yahoo.com Amit kumar

    It’s a good list, what you are basically saying is track any traffic online that relates to your site.

  • http://www.bivingsreport.com/2006/things-to-monitor-online/ The Bivings Report

    Things to Monitor Online

    I'm a little late to this party, but last week Pronet Advertising put together a list of 10 Things You Should be Monitoring.  Jeremiah Owyang added numbers 11-17 and Joseph Jaffe added numbers 18-23.  Shel Holtz even set up a page of the …