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How to monitor your brand on the Internet

Posted on Jun 14th, 2011 by
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The Internet is talking. But are you listening?

In the old days, public relations people would save clippings of newspaper and magazine articles mentioning their company or organisation. Even though nowadays, news travels much faster and spreads wider, it seems public media people often no longer have their ear on the ground.

It sounds like a contradiction to me: In the current age of social media, just about anybody can publish anything about your organisation, and have it viewed by millions, in seconds, by the simple push of a button. Would you not want to know what’s being said about your organisation?

Even more of a contradiction is the fact that free Internet and social media monitoring tools are available, so what more do you want?

Beyond that, social media buzz monitoring would surely be a good tool to measure how far “your content travels”. It can be used to measure both “reach” and “impact” (for those who remember my previous ranting on that subject). See it as the new way of checking your “citations”. After all Thomson-Reuters defines the impact factor as:

The impact factor is a measure of the frequency with which the average article in a journal has been cited in a particular year or period.

Would it not be interesting to monitor how many times was your organisation or brand, or your content cited in the past day, week, month?

Whatever your motivation is, The Internet Speaks. And you’d better listen! Here are three hearing aids, tools to monitor the buzz about your brand on the Internet. And they are free!

Icerocket: Monitoring your brand on the Internet in real-time

Icerocket monitors the mainstream social media: blogs, pictures, video, news (I guess using Google News), Facebook and Twitter. Or you can search all of these sources at the same time.
While you can’t refine a lot in your search criteria, it still lets you monitor your search in real-time, with an automatic refresh.

I did a test for CIFOR, the Center for International Forestry Research, and got this result. Pretty neat, no?

I’d wish Icerocket would build in an RSS output from any search so I could automate my monitoring, but hey, it’s an imperfect world.

Socialmention: Monitoring your brand on the Internet in style

Socialmention does pretty much what Icerocket does, but more… With the same example, using “CIFOR”, the Socialmention search returns something like this.

As you see, Socialmention’s search is much deeper, digging through many more sources.

The search results don’t just mention the results, but also does an analysis of the data, by source, sentiment, etc.. They calculate your reach (authors divided by mentions), strength (mentions of your brand divided by total mentions) etc..

What is more interesting, though, are the extra tools they offer: automated email alerts summarizing the mentions of your brand on the Internet. They also offer a widget with your search, which you can embed on your blog or website. If you are a programmer, you can use their API. Or for normal mortal souls like you and I, we can export search data into a spreadsheet.

You can also create an RSS feed for your specific search (again, see this example for CIFOR). And that, ladies and gentlemen, is something I like. I lllllove RSS feeds! We will use the Socialmention RSS feed in our third free social buzz monitoring tool. My do-it-yourself kit:

Do-it-yourself: A home-made kit to monitoring your brand on the Internet

tool boxYou know that one can get pretty good Google searches delivered in RSS format, right? Here is an example of an RSS feed for the CIFOR search in Google News, and one for CIFOR on a Google Blog search. Wanna use it for your own brand? Just replace CIFOR with your organisation’s name in those two URLs, if you want to monitor your brand.

Add to that an RSS feed for a search on Humanitarian News, my mega aggregator of nonprofit news… (Here’s an example of a Humanitarian News RSS search feed for CIFOR)

Now what if… Hmmm.. Remember my post about Yahoo Pipes, and how to use Pipes to mash-up different RSS feeds into one? So, what if we would mix the Google searches, with the Social mention search, and mix in a search on Humanitarian News ?

How about throwing in an Icerocket search feed too, at least for a Facebook search? Oh, wait, Icerocket does not have a feed….?! Beh, for wizards like us (right?), that can’t be a problem. I will generate a feed with the Feedity feedgenerator! Here is the RSS feed I generate with Feedity, out of this Icerocket search result. Nerds we’ll be!

So using a simple technique, I combined these search feeds for CIFOR into this Yahoo Pipe. Using some Yahoo Pipes techniques, I also modified some of the feeds to add the source of the RSS feed to the title, and filtered some ads etc…

If you want to get really fancy, then you could use the RSS output from that Pipe, and import it into Feedburner. I did just that, and here is the Feedburner output, this time for the CGIAR.

To top it all off, you can subscribe by email to that Feedburner feed, and every morning, taraaa… you will get an email with an overview of ALL the buzz about your organisation, brand or company. Here is an example of a daily buzz-newsletter on CIFOR.

With these three free tools, there is no excuse anymore for you: The Internet is Speaking, so Listen!

Pictures courtesy Elle Dark and The Hamilton Project

One Comment to “How to monitor your brand on the Internet”

  1. Monitoring your brand means being aware of who mentions your brand, what they say, where and when. What you are trying to accomplish is to get notified every time a mention of your brand happens online in different platforms such as search, social networks and other types of social sites and also blogs.

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