3 Ways to Monitor Your Brand with Twitter

By Nathan Hangen of Making It Social. Follow him @nhangen.

listenIf you don’t know what you are doing, measuring your brand online is like sticking a finger in the air and trying to gauge the direction of the wind. It just isn’t as easy as it looks. However, once you understand the tools required to make it happen, brand monitoring becomes 2nd nature. The trick then, is knowing what to monitor and how to do it.

In the past, people relied on Google alerts to send notifications of brand mentions, which usually came in the form of links. Although this is a great way to measure trackbacks and general sentiment, I don’t feel that it offers a complete picture. Not only that, but the results are delayed, meaning that if you get trashed on a forum or in a blog post, then you won’t be able to react until it’s too late. This is why Twitter is changing the way the game is played.

With Twitter, you can track your brand mentions in real time, using a variety of excellent tools. You can track via keyword or hashtag along with the standard mention/RT tracking on the homepage. If you have Twitter integrated onto your blog, then you can add even more firepower to your arsenal by using Tweetbacks and RT’s as comments, which might flesh out an otherwise empty post footer.

The beauty of Twitter tracking tools is that they tell a much greater story than Google does.

  1. Most of the people that read your blog don’t have one of their own, so commenting on Twitter is the only way they can voice their approval/displeasure.
  2. It is much quicker to post a comment on Twitter than it is to create a blog post. Also, since RT’s and mentions are part of the game, people want to talk with you…not just at you.
  3. The results are real time, which means that you can respond to a fire before it becomes a wildfire.

Twitter is where most of the conversation takes place, and if you aren’t there watching, then you are missing out on valuable information about your business. Rather than holding your finger in the air, you are armed with instruments that can provide you with detailed analysis of what you are doing well, and what you need to improve upon.

The Tools

There are 3 particular tools that I’m fond of, but you don’t have to stick with these. Just take what we do here and find a way to make it work within the scope of your favorite Twitter application.

  1. TweetDeck panes: From my experience gazing at laptop screens during the Blogworld Expo, it seems that TweetDeck is by far the most popular Twitter desktop client. It makes sense, because TweetDeck is robust and easy to use. The simple way to set up monitoring in Tweetdeck is to add a few search panes for the keywords and hashtags that represent your brand. For instance, I have a search going for #twitterrockstar and Twitter Rockstar to see what people are saying about my Twitter course.
  2. Hootsuite tabs: Hootsuite is slowly growing into a fabulous web client that has all of the features of TweetDeck without having to download an application, which is perfect places where you can’t download (like at work). You can handle multiple accounts here as well, but the best feature of Hootsuite in my opinion is being able to set up a tab for each brand. I set up tabs for Twitter Rockstar, Beyond Blogging, Nathan Hangen, and any other product or name that I want to track. Since everything is saved to my account, it’s always ready and waiting for me when I log in.
  3. Tweetizen: Tweetizen was developed by Adarsh Pallian and is a great way to not only track your brand, but to show it off to others. Tweetizen allows you to create a “group,” which you can use to track keywords or hashtags, but the difference here is that you can embed the results in any web page. This is great for product pages or launch pages so that you can build hype for your brand without having to force it on your own. Get the conversation going and watch it take off. You can also filter Tweets via user, which means if you want to plant Tweets (which I don’t recommend doing), you can easily do that.

I use all 3 of these tools on a regular basis for my own brand, and that of my clients. As a business owner or consultant, you simply cannot afford not to ignore what others are saying about you and your brand. Create a daily practice of listening with both ears open and then respond where necessary. Nurture those devoted fans, and earn the trust of the negative ones. Do this for yourself and you’ll be ahead of the game. Do it for another business…and you will look like a rockstar.

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  • November 6, 2009

    Great info! tks for sharing your tweet, getting me here. Now I’m hooked learning from the Pro!~Cal

  • November 6, 2009

    I’m not exactly a big “Tweeter” myself, but I’m slowly trying to get into the groove to improve my brand. I was going to try out TweetDeck because I hear about it all the time, but HootSuite caught my attention.

    I tried it out, and it’s really impressive. I don’t have any temptation to try out TweetDeck anymore because HootSuite completely fulfills everything I need, plus more.

    Thank you for this article very useful article. Now I can be a Twitter “rock star” (or at least a better Twitter user).

  • November 6, 2009

    Thank you for sharing. I didnt know about HootSuite or Tweetizen before. I will surely check them out.
    Wamest Regards,
    Lama Kalla

  • November 6, 2009

    You bet. Tweetizen was actually developed by a really cool guy…I like that you can embed the results.

  • November 6, 2009

    Hootsuite is awesome, especially when you consider how they’ve improved over the past several months.

  • November 6, 2009

    I love Hootsuie because I can follow my brand Wish I could follow Facebook on HSm

  • November 6, 2009

    I love HootSuite’s abiity to set up multiple columns for each client/brand. It is a great asset in keeping track of @mentions, pending tweets, etc. I am patiently waiting for it to integrate the Twitter list function so I can create a column to display a list(s) and view the tweets within that list. Thanks for this insightful post….I already tweeted it!

  • November 6, 2009

    This is one of those areas I’ve been meaning to dig into and haven’t made the time to do. This will be a good place to start.. Very, very helpful information and insights. Thanks.

  • November 6, 2009

    Twitter search is a good start, next though, you need to dive into the social graph of who talks about ya- you can do that with http://hashparty.com a twitter hashtag explorer that exposes the social graph behind who’s talking about you.

  • November 6, 2009

    I still like TweetDeck best te others look okay but I’m sticking with my tweetDeck

  • November 10, 2009

    Hootsuite is amazing, I couldn’t live without it. I use it everyday and it makes managing Twitter accounts so much easier. I especially like being able to schedule tweets for a later time.

  • November 11, 2009

    Tweetdeck for me has proven unreliable. Hootsuite is the way to go.

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