Are people talking about you behind your back?
Every business these days needs to involved in an activity that we like to call web listening. Others like to monitor keywords but we think that’s a little heavy-handed, since unless you work for MI5 or the CIA you are unlikely to be monitoring a conversation and will more likely be listening to them. Whether you like it or not, whether you participate or not, whether you listen or not, there is a conversation going on outside your company front door/gate/firewall that’s all about you.
So hopefully people are talking about you!
Those conversations can be going on in a zillion places. Here’s the catch – some of them you can see and some of them you can’t. Blog posts, review platforms, open forums and discussions, public websites, public YouTube videos etc are all places where you can listen to the conversation, and sometimes join in too if you so wish. You do need to remember that there will also be a whole load of conversations going on in harder to reach places, likes private Facebook pages, private chats, members only social platforms etc.; otherwise known as the Dark Social phenomenon.
Whilst a lots of stab-in-the-dark guesstimates might tell us that we can only see something like 30% of all conversations, a reasonable place to start is by only taking into account that which is visible and then assuming that what you can see and what you can’t see are more-or-less going to be a good reflection of each other. It’s unlikely that everyone is going to trash your business online, but love it privately, and vice versa.
What might people be talking about that you might be interest in?
Well there are the really obvious ones:
- your company
- your brands
- your products
And then there are some less obvious ones
- your boss
- your marketing/sales/financial/whatever director
- other prominent team members
- trending topics in your industry
- events in your area/town/region that might affect your business in some way
- your competitors’ shenanigans
- hot topic keywords for example an event name, or a burning subject issue relevant to your business
How are you going to listen to those conversations?
There really are no hard and fast rules about this, just the same as in real life. But here are some random thoughts on tools you might like to investigate.
Search by hashtag and by keyword.
Personalise your Google News page both for the location, language and keywords that interest you.
A handy way to get your keyword searches delivered to your inbox, but Google are obviously not investing in this function and it’s not totally reliable
It’s way old, but it’s still probably the best; the Google search engine. Pop into Search Settings and Search Tools to refine how your searches work, and remember your Boolean operators to get even better results.
You can even search on Feedly Stories for keywords (and do it better on the Pro version if you are willing to part with some cash to get your results).
So once I have collected 100 really interesting links pertinent to my business, I put them on a sticky note?
Er no. Well you could. But we are prepared serious amounts of money that they will stay there for all eternity, or possibly longer, before you ever consult them again. (Roll of drum and fanfare) – we have two excellent and independent Clools (that means you can purchase them individually without affecting their performance) to deal with just that problem.
Reputation Clool & Bookmark Clool
This Clool is the place for storing all those links directly related to your business: company, brands, products, services, team members, whatever! Once you happen upon a relevant web page bearing a mention of something directly associated with your company, you zap it straight into the Clool via the Java booklet. Wham.
And the same this is true of the Bookmark Clool, except that here you are going to store links that are useful to you (trending industry news, what the competitors are up to, extreme weather notifications for your area etc). And as you come across the links, you slap them straight into the Bookmark Clool via the Java booklet. Bam.
So that’s the good news! What’s the bad news?
Well Reputation Clool is up and active and ready for purchase. Bookmark Clool is living a seedy beta-version existence with expected release for March 2016. But with time whizzing by like it’s currently doing for us here at Clools, March feels like it’s literally seconds away.
So now we know that Yoast is going to trash this post for being way too long already, so we had better sign off for now. However very soon a post will follow explaining just why Reputation Clool and Bookmark Clool are two vital things missing from your business life, that you never even realised were missing.