You probably have a Twitter account and you most likely have a Facebook page for your biz. You’re doing a great job building your followers and messaging them about upcoming specials and fun things going on in your business. And hopefully your posting your email marketing subject lines to Twitter and Facebook to extend the reach of your campaigns.

But it’s a two way street, people ARE talking about your business online and you need to know what they’re saying whether it’s positive or negative. You want to make sure you thank those who say nice things about you and learn from those that don’t. This fosters great word of mouth marketing which is the most inexpensive and effective type of advertising you can get.

So your first question is, where do you start? We’ve outlined 3 quick ways for you to find out what people are saying about you online.

Newbie: “I Want To Dip My Toe in the Social Media Tracking Water.”

At VerticalResponse we started with Google Alerts. I was able to set it up so that an email was sent to me every time anything was mentioned online that included either “VerticalResponse” or “Vertical Response.” Once or twice per day I got the email and I was able to jump in and respond. Then I started to wonder what people were saying about “email marketing” and the names of my competitors, so I included them in my free alerts that Google sends me.

Now I can check out what the competitors are doing and what the hot topics are in the world of email marketing. You’ll be able to track what people are saying about you on most websites, but it doesn’t work well with Twitter & Facebook.

Intermediate: “I’m Going to Jump Feet First! I Want to know REAL TIME What People are Saying!”

Then I went a step further. I signed up for TweetDeck. This free tool enables you to search for any term and see all mentions of what you search for. So if you’re interested in “entrepreneur” you can include that term in your TweetDeck account and all Tweets that have that term included will pop up. And the best part? You can track multiple terms. Right now I’m tracking about 20!

Trackur is also a great tool. And for just $18/month they’ll show you graphs of online sentiment. You’ll be able to get alerts when people say positive or negative things about you. Then you can jump on it!

Advanced: “I Need More Than One Person to Dive Into Online Conversations”

Now that we’re addicted to knowing when people are talking about us online, we want to chime in. Sometimes people want to get customer support, and sometimes they just want to ask a question or say something nice. HootSuite to the rescue. We set this up so that our person in charge of Social Media can field a “Tweet”, then assign it to someone in our company that can speak to a particular topic. She can also schedule out Tweets as well as monitor our mentions. There is a free version which lets you monitor 5 networks to about $19/month which is unlimited.

What tools are you using to track what people say about your business?

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