Be Aware of Every Conversation About Your Business

by: | March 27, 2012

You’ve put up a website, you’ve set up your social media presence, you’ve got an email campaign running. Congrats, you’re doing things right. Now, how do you know what people are saying about your company or campaign?

Have you ever wanted to eavesdrop on a group’s conversation when you think they’re talking about you? But once you walk over there, they stop talking openly and change the subject. Wouldn’t it be great if you could bug the chairs they’re sitting in, just so you can hear the whole conversation and get honest feedback? Well, below I’ve listed several services that are basically like a hidden microphone into those conversations happening online.

Use these sites to keep tabs on what people are writing about your business or product. And here’s another added benefit: with the right industry search terms, you can also spy on what your competitors are doing for their marketing, so you can out-market them.

Google Alerts

How can you know if someone complains about, praises, mentions, or spreads the word about your company online? Unless you’re subscribed to and read every Twitter account and every blog, there’s no way you can find it all on your own. Simply searching for your company name on Google won’t give you the latest results either.

That’s why Google has set up Google Alerts. Their system lets you put in search terms for whatever you want to track, like your business, industry, or name and they’ll send you email alerts to pages where your search terms appears.

As an example, I’ve set up mine to have my full name, two different spellings of my company name, our product name, and industry-related search terms. With these alerts, I’ve got a pulse on what people are saying about my company and what my competitors are doing for their marketing. It also gives me relevant news and current events to discuss on our blog and social media presence.

Here’s how to set it up. Go to and either sign in or create a Google account. Then, simply put in your search terms in the box. (Tip: for your name or business name, put the words in quotes so you get only instances of your specific name, not any combinations of the words in your name) Next, choose the options like what kind of results you want, how often, and how many results. Then, continue creating alerts until the cows come home.

Google Analytics

We talk about Google Analytics a lot on Marketing Zeus, so it might seem redundant to mention it again. However, there’s a specific section of Analytics that lets you see what leads people to your website. You can use this section to understand who is talking about your company and linking to your website.

If you haven’t already installed Google Analytics on your website, learn how to set up Google Analytics here.

When you log into your Google Analytics account, click on Traffic Sources on the left, and you’ll see where users came from to get to your site. Click on Referrals to see specific sites that have linked to your business’s website. Click on any of the URLs that pop up as traffic sources, and Analytics will show you the specific pages where your link appears.

Using this tactic, you can see where your links are showing up, and you can go to the page to read what people are saying about your company. There’s another benefit, too. Once you know where the people are coming to your site from, you’ll have a slightly better idea of what they’re looking for, so you can make changes to catch their interest more quickly.


For many business owners, trying to get a grasp on their social media influence can be elusive and mysterious. Are people tweeting good things about your business? Are they posting their complaints on Facebook? Is the general consensus positive, negative, or neutral? How do you find out?

That’s where tools like socialmention come in. Socialmention is a social media search engine and analysis tool. It gives you a lens into the social media arena, so you can understand what’s being talked about.

Put in your company name in the search box, and it will return pages of results where your search terms showed up. In addition, it shows a “Sentiment” section that shows you whether the sentiment of what’s being written about you or your company is positive, negative, or neutral. Take note of the top keywords associated with your company. They’ll show you words that are associated with your name on your website and elsewhere online.

Automatic Alerts

Much like the Google Alerts I mentioned earlier, socialmention also gives you the option to put in your email address to receive updates on your search terms, whether it’s your business name, industry, or product name. This feature alone will save you a ton of time bookmarking and coming back to check again and again.

If you’re at all serious about your marketing efforts, these services are essential to your arsenal. Used properly, they can help you be an unstoppable marketing ninja, able to out perform your competition and increase sales.

Do you know of services I missed here or other advice on how to use these services? Let me know in the comments!Marketing Zeus

Posted in: Analytics, Branding, Engage!, Facebook, Link Building, Optimization, Social Networks, Twitter

About the Writer:

Born in England and raised in the U.S., Charles Forster is the marketing director and partner at Vine & Grain, a company that creates management technologies for bars and restaurants. Prior to that position, he ran a graphic design company, Call Me Chaz, in Philadelphia, PA and Orlando, FL. He focused on branding, websites, print, video and marketing for small business clients up and down the east coast. He's a self-prescribed car nut and foodie. He's also the curator for This Is Visceral, a site devoted to poster art.

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