What and How to Monitor.
When monitoring the following should be considered the minimum:
* Brand names
* Product names
* Company names
* Key executive names
Some sites and ORM companies also recommend monitoring competing brands and organisations, industry terms, and general industry news.
All of the following are free methods of monitoring what people are saying about you and your company.
Set up a Google Alert for a particular keyword and be notified whenever it is mentioned in a news item/blog/website. http://www.google.com/alerts
There is more to Google search than the default page, select News from the top menu to see news specific results which can be filtered by time. From here it is also possible to access the blog search. http://news.google.co.uk http://blogsearch.google.co.uk
Both of these areas have RSS and I would recommend that a feed is subscribed to for each of the keywords you wish to monitor.
A useful site that aggregates tweets being made for a keyword and again an RSS feed is available which will keep you informed without having to keep carrying out the search. http://search.twitter.com
Another site for twitter is http://monitter.com which shows tweets in real time for three keywords.
Blogs & Forums
Technorati http://technorati.com is a blog monitor that also provides a nice little graph showing blog post mentions per day for a keyword phrase. NB as with most searches putting the phrase in quotes will give an exact search – for example family law will return results with family, law and family law whereas “family law” will only return posts with the whole phrase. An RSS feed is available.
Social Mention www.socialmention.com has alerts like Google but for social networking sites and has the addition of a sentiment measure for searches. Sentiment is give as positive, neutral and negative ratings.
Blogpulse www.blogpulse.com is another online tool for monitoring the blogosphere with a few extras that may not be required but the conversation tracker is a good addition to the regular search.
Boardtracker www.boardtracker.com (discussion search) is a search engine for forums and message boards. It has RSS feeds by category and search term and can be accessed directly through the Firefox browser with a plug-in.
In addition to these free tools there are a number of companies that offer commercial solutions. These include: Market Sentinel www.marketsentinel.com; The Sayre Group http://sayreonline.com; Tiger Two www.tigertwo.co.uk and TruReputation www.trureputation.com.