Epic Post – How to Monitor Social Media for Free

Okay, we all know that social networks are out there and that we should be making use of them.  But how do you monitor what’s going on in the vast ecosystem of Twitterverses, MySpaceDoms and FacebookVilles?

David Churbuck has been doing just that for Lenovo for the past two years and he’s sharing the lessons learned in this post: “Try to Detect It” which I consider a must read for any web marketing pro or business owner/senior manager.

Free: yup. It costs nothing to detect the chatter about your company. There are two solid solutions for blog search – perhaps you’ve heard of Google? Thought so. Google Blog search is a good thing. And then there is Technorati, which sort of defined the space. Both are great tools, but you can automate searches of specific keywords and phrases and then syndicate those searches as RSS feeds out into a blog reader such as Bloglines or (in my case) Google Reader. Then you just need to remember to scan the blog reader a couple times every day.

The best part is that it’s true, unlike so many “Free’ claims.  You can measure a lot of this stuff in some very novel ways.  I’ve been doing some of this back channel to detect mentions of some new sites I’ve just launched and it works.  Plus it’s always great to walk into a meeting armed with facts, especially when everyone else is essentially unarmed.

The media landscape has changed, if you hadn’t noticed.  Trade magazines are dinosaurs and if you’re relying on them to tell you what’s going on in your industry, you’re woefully out of touch.  Not only should you be monitoring what’s said on websites, you’ve got to find a way to monitor what’s happening in the social networks like Twitter, when product talk can affect you without your ever knowing it.  If you’re not monitoring, now is the time to start and Churbuck has given you an excellent primer to jump start your efforts.

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