There are several programs that large brands use to “monitor” the conversation and to know what’s being said.
What if you’re a small brand? Or, even smaller – what if the brand is YOU?
Listening as a brand
1. Listen to how people introduce you.
This simple exercise will give you insight into what people are really thinking about you, what they’ve derived you do. What’s worse is when they don’t even know what to say so they hand the introduction “off to you”. Then, you know that your brand is so muddled they cannot even speak it.
2. Set up Google Alerts and Tweet Beeps.
Know what’s being said about you in written format, in blogs, on Twitter, on comments and posts.
3. Ask three of your best contacts what they feel you bring to the table.
And, listen to what they say. Don’t fill in the blanks for them. Steer clear of trying to fill the silence with possibilities or ideas.
4. Ask someone close to you – if they could change one thing about you, for the better, what would that be?
The key here it to stay silent. If you talk, you lose. This answer will reveal much about who you are and the areas in your brand that need work.
5. Use Tweet Stats.
To know how well you engage others and know if you’re contributing to the conversation as opposed to just blasting out information. (http://tweetstats.com)
6. Ask for feedback.
Not just when you have something to sell or renew – just to let them know they’re valued and their thoughts and opinions matter.
7. Set up your own personal brand listening site.
I don’t market any of these yet I find these sites invaluable to ‘listening’ to what’s being said virtually. I learned this recently from Laura Roeder who has a fantastic video on her blog explaining every intricacy of this. Yet, I myself set this up, and have had the chance to run it since viewing her video and it is stellar! What a great way for small businesses and personal brands to keep on ‘the pulse’ of what’s being said about them. In fact, NetVibes is now my home page when I first go online so that I can stay in the know!
Netvibes.com: is a great tool to set up your own personal listening site. You can RSS any of the following sites I’ll list into Netvibes and it will track and highlight when new comments have been made and what they are. In fact, it’s my home page and I log into every day to see what’s out on-line right now where someone is talking about of to me.
Twitter Search: (http://search.twitter.com), it tracks who has mentioned my name, my company and also who has asked questions about “Personal Branding” and “Word of Mouth”. In fact, Twitter Search’s advanced search function can search for those comments that are question as opposed to just straight statements about personal branding or word of mouth. If you would like to know how to use it for searches other than your own personal brand, ask me on my Facebook page and I would be happy to go further in-depth.
Backtweets.com: I used to search items not readily found in the Twitter Search Site. It captures conversations that people are having about you or your company. It can distinguish links that are using some sort of “link shortening service” like bit.ly or tinyurl.com and reveal if someone is indeed talking about you or something you posted.
The following sites combined will give you great insights and feed back on whose talkingi about your in forums and communities:
Then use the following to see where you’re being chatted about in blogs:
Google Blog Search (http://blogsearch.google.com)
If you search for your name, in any of these sites, and then RSS feed that query into Netvibes it can be a true listening site hub.
If you utilize other listening tools, please make a comment and share!
Maria Elena Duron | chief buzz officer, speaker and coach focused on helping you move, touch and inspire others to action and speak positively on your behalf at buzz2bucks | word of mouth firm