Monitoring Social Media for Smaller Businesses

Without question, social media has taken marketing to a whole new level – in 2009, Twitter grew by more than 600% and Facebook by 210%.  To put it in perspective, if Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s third largest.   Obviously, social media is something worth catching on to, not only for large brands but for small businesses as well.  While small businesses are not able to have social media “Mission Control Centers” like the ones established at Gatorade, there are a number of tools available to monitor the buzz.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a service designed to send out email updates when relevant Google results surface based on your topic choices.  These free alerts are set up through your Google account and can be sent to any email address you choose.  This tool allows you to keep tabs on developing news stories, articles, blogs and other mediums that might mention your company or topic.

Yahoo Alerts

Just like Google Alerts, Yahoo! Alerts also a personally designed service that alerts you about content you wish you monitor.  Yahoo! gives you the option to receive notifications about articles and news linked to specific categories such as Health News or Stock Alerts.  Alerts can also be useful in monitoring the news of your competitors and obtain information on their activity.

Twitter Search

Twitter Search is an option specific to Twitter users that allows you to search a keyword or topic and shows all the “tags” or mentions in the Twitter world.  You will see results of what is being said about a specific company or topic that are making people buzz.


TweetDeck is an application for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Buzz, Foursquare and MySpace.   A typical TweetDeck screen is divided into a number of columns, specific to the different social media outlets you wish to monitor.  In each column, you are able to see status updates, tags, tweets, photos and that which you wish to monitor.  Each TweetDeck is specific to the individual user.  The founders of TweetDeck describe this application as being the  “air traffic controller for Twitter.”

Facebook Stats

Facebook Stats can give you feedback on the traffic that your company page is receiving.  You can find this information under Facebook Insights that provides you with a number of graphs displaying mentions, weekly activity, post quality, reviews and a demographic summary of your fans.

Answer LinkedIn Questions

LinkedIn has a segment on their site called Answers that allows LinkedIn members to ask and answer questions in an open discussion forum.  This is a great way for you to establish a credible foundation for your company by answering questions that are relevant to your specific service or product.  By giving helpful feedback and advice, you are giving your company the publicity it needs through these social mediums.

How have you monitored social media?

Industry News: Twitter Trends Data

Twitter is all the rage these days, and a few individuals and organizations have done some great research on twitter trends and how twitter is being used.

2% of Tweets Match Google Trending Topics

google trends

First, Techcrunch recently reported that only 2% of all tweets match trending topics on google. So what?  Why does this matter?  What does this mean?

twitter trends

Well at a base level it means that people don’t tweet about the same things that they search for.  I just pulled twitter trends and google trends.  As you can see there is some overlap, but not much.

What people are searching for and what they are talking about are not necessarily the same thing.  Twitter trending topics tend to be more focused on popular culture (MusicMonday/MM, New Moon), technology (google wave) and general things going on (Christmas and Thanksgiving).

As Twitter Search continues to attract attention from major search engines it will be interesting to see more data on how search and conversation overlap.

Vik Singh’s Twitter Analysis

Vik Singh (the engineer behind Yahoo Boss) conducted an analysis of 10 million tweets and shared some trends and findings.

  • Percentage of Tweets with URLS: ~18%
  • (Percentage of those which were unique URLs: ~65%)
  • Percentage of messages @replies or other @x terms: ~37%
  • Percentage of messages with #hashtags: ~7%
  • Percentage of messages with retweets: ~1%

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