Searching Social Media for Your Message

As social media continues to dominate marketing, media and PR conversations, I keep getting the same question. It’s a fun tool, but what’s it really have to do with business? In a nutshell: There are conversations taking place about your company/business. Whether those conversations take place in the men’s room, at the watercooler, at the customer service counter or online, shouldn’t you know what people are saying about you?

What if someone tweeted about a bad experience they had in your bank with a grumpy teller? Or if someone else posted on their Facebook page a photo of your product … ground up in a blender? Anyone heard of Yelp.com, a site where customers can create a profile on your company or business and rate you?

If you think keeping up with all the wonderful, newfangled gadgets and widgets out there is just too much, online businesses are searching for ways to help you (the business owner/marketing director/in-house PR manager), well, search those online converations. My favorite so far, for its ease of use, is WhosTalkin.com. The search engine allows me to search for conversations online on clients and news items, specifically taking place on blogs.

If you’ve already joined the Twitterverse, Tweetdeck allows you to search tweets as long as you leave the application open on your desktop. I use the feature to look up conversations about topics I’m interested in, blogging, social media, client industries, etc. The result? I can follow Twitter conversations about relevant topics and use that information accordingly in marketing and public relations strategy.

Why would you want to make the effort, you ask? Because the most effective brand and marketing strategy is based on a foundation of knowledge – knowledge of your industry, your business, your competitors and your customers.

(Thanks to David Alston for the photo!)



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