“Monitoring the Buzz” is part two of the series “All Twittered Out,” in progress.
Realizing that we’ve lost control of our own brands is one of the first steps towards joining “the rest of us” in the new world of communications. The next step is realizing that while you are no longer an all-powerful brand lord, you can still be an all-seeing, all-knowing brand guardian.
Monitoring helps keep your brand as safe as possible, and also gives you the knowledge you need in order to work the groundswell to your advantage. Ignoring the marketing potential and the opportunities for new relationships, Twitter would still be an essential tool in your aresenal. A Twitter monitoring strategy can report every time the keywords of your choice are “tweeted,” allowing you to move on, respond or start damage control. It is also a great tool for knowing which issues are your hottest ticket to a flood of viral traffic. If you are seeing an increase in hits for your keywords, you know that the community is saying something and that your brand has a part of the attention. Put out official content on your web, social network profiles, your own twitter account etc, and you’ve just tapped into the web-wide public conversation that is Twitter.
Test the Waters
Go to Twitter.com and search for your brand, your name, etc. If you find results, you will want to make this a regular routine (daily, weekly, etc). If you are a user of RSS, you can actually subscribe to the search results and have them delivered through your RSS reader (Google Reader, NewsGator, Bloglines, etc).
For those who want to take social monitoring to the next level, there are several desktop and web-based applications that can help streamline the process:
Yahoo! Sidelines is a new Adobe Air application that will provide pop-up onscreen notifications any time your specified keywords show up on Twitter. You do not need to have a twitter account in order to use this service – just download and plug in the keywords you would like to track.
TweetDeck is another free Adobe Air application that provides onscreen notifications not only of multiple sets of keywords, but also direct messages, replies and posts from either specific groups of users or “All Friends.” TweetDeck is uses your Twitter account to bring you your friends’ posts, replies and messages and also allows you to post, reply or message right from the TweetDeck interface – no need to go to twitter.com.
TweetBeep is a web-based service that will send you hourly updates of all your mentions and keywords. This is a great service if you have your email constantly running in the background and you would prefer not to add another background program such as Yahoo! Sidelines or TweetDeck to your work environment.