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 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.
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 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 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.