Do you know what people are saying about your brand?
If you have customers, odds are they’re talking about you to their coworkers, to their friends, and to anyone else within earshot — including those on social networks. Isn’t it in your company’s best interests to be engaged and take part in the conversation so you know what’s being said and can respond appropriately?
As brands get going with social media, they find that understanding who is talking about them online, what they are saying, to whom, and where is a great advantage. After auditing your current brand footprint, you’ll be armed with the data you need to start weighing what’s important to your audience about your brand and where you should have a presence.
Build a list of keywords and terms about your brand, customers, company, and market, then use some of these free tools to get a clearer view of what people are saying — with this knowledge in hand, you can begin to really develop a social-media strategy:
Addict-o-matic: Allows you to create a custom-made page to display search results.
Bloglines: A Web-based personal news aggregator that can be used in place of a desktop client.
Blogpulse: A service of Nielsen BuzzMetrics, it analyzes and reports on daily trends in the blogosphere.
BoardTracker: A useful tool for scanning and tracking forums conversations.
FriendFeed Search: Scans all FriendFeed activity.
Google Alerts: Target keywords that are important to your brand and receive streaming or batched reports .
HowSociable?: A simple way fto begin measuring your brand’s visibility on the social Web.
Icerocket: Searches a variety of online services, including Twitter, blogs, videos, and MySpace.
Jodange: Tracking your brand or a product is one thing, but turning that tracking into a measure of consumer sentiment about your brand or product is something else entirely. Jodange’s TOM (Top of Mind) tracks consumer sentiment about your brand or product across the Web.
Keotag: Keyword searches across the Internet landscape.
Facebook Lexicon: What are people talking about on Facebook? Lexicon searches Facebook walls for keywords and provides a snapshot of the chatter volume around those terms.
Monitter: Everyone is talking about Twitter, but what are people talking about on Twitter? Beyond the integrated search of Twitter apps like Seesmic and TweetDeck, Monitter provides real-time monitoring of the Twittersphere.
MonitorThis: Subscribes you to up to 20 different RSS feeds through one stream.
Samepoint: A conversation search engine that lets you see what people are talking about.
Seesmic: Monitors multiple Twitter accounts and enables keyword searches and tracking.
Surchur: An interactive dashboard covering search engines and most social media sites.
Technorati: Search engine and monitoring tool for user-generated media and blogs. Billing itself as “the leading blog search engine,” Technorati has been helping bloggers and those with their fingers on the blog pulse stay informed for years.
Tinker: Real-time conversations from social media sources like Twitter and Facebook.
Trendrr: Want to know how your brand or product is trending compared with others? Trendrr uses comparison graphing to show relationships and discover trends in real time. Use the free account, or move up to the Enterprise level for more functionality.
Tweetburner: In the world of Twitter, URL shortening is the key to effectively connecting with the public. Tweetburner also lets you track the clicks on those magically shortened links, giving you some hard numbers.
TweetDeck: Not only a great way to manage your Twitter account, but the keyword search means you can see what people are saying about you.
Twendz: Public relations firm Waggener Edstrom’s Twitter-mining tool that monitors and highlights user sentiment in real time.
Twitter Search: Twitter’s very own search tool is a great resource. Can be subscribed to as an RSS feed.
UberVU: Track and engage with user sentiment across FriendFeed, Digg, Picasa, Twitter, and Flickr.
wikiAlarm: Alerts you to when a Wikipedia entry has been changed.
Yahoo! Sideline: A TweetDeck-esque tool from Yahoo. Monitor, search, and engage with the Twittersphere.
Listening and making sense of how your brand lives on the Web is only part of the calculus — the next step is how you leverage that information to engage with your audience.
Are you listening and monitoring your brand online? Have you tried any of these tools?