To comprehensively monitor and manage every mention of your organisation on the 273,301,445* websites currently in existence requires resources beyond the reach of most. However, you can cover a lot of bases with a little effort, by focusing on a small number of important sites and using automated searches and alerts.
Next, focus on important sites, which are the ones with:
- High traffic and interactivity
- Good search engine ranking for keywords relevant to your business
- Relevance to your business sector and location
With thousands of social media channels available via Internet browsers, smartphones and other outlets, you could narrow your focus to the big players, such as:
With these numbers, it is worthwhile for most organisations to have a presence on these sites, if resources are available to implement a planned communications strategy. If this is not the case, it is better not to be on these sites at all, rather than have sporadic, inconsistent and unfocused broadcasts instead of engaging your visitors and enhancing your brand.
Instead, Twitter, Facebook and other sites can be monitored using a range of reputation management tools, such as Social Mention, which allows you to select which media to monitor:
Many of these facilities allow you to set up a search and subscribe to an RSS Feed or email alert, so you receive updated search results via email, bookmarks or other options, for example the Twitter search engine .
Done? Your Inbox must be filling up nicely by now… It will take some tweaking to get the search criteria and sites at a useful but manageable level and keyword selection is also important. Consider including not just your business name, but perhaps misspellings and typos (dulbin accomodation anyone?), names of key personnel, relevant acronyms or [shhhh!] competitor details.
Now that you know what is being said about you online, next step is to proactively manage your online reputation.
*As of January 2011. Source: Netcraft