Nowadays, managing online reputation has become part and parcel of online marketing, thus you will need to have some good online listening and monitoring tools. There are many tools out there and some are costly tools (such as Radian6 and Scoutlabs), not forgetting some of those greedy agencies and consultants that will charge you a bomb by doing the service for you.
I have compiled here some good tools that you can use to monitor online buzz for your brands and the best thing is these are all FREE tools.
1. Google Alerts
This is the most important and basic automated tool that can help people and businesses monitor the Internet for developments and activities that could concern them. Google currently offers six types of alert searches: News, Web, Blogs, Comprehensive, Video and Groups and results are sent to subscribers daily by e-mail or via RSS feeds.
Addictomatic searches the best live sites on the web for the latest news, blog posts, videos and images. It’s the perfect tool to keep up with the hottest topics, perform ego searches and feed your addiction for what’s up, what’s now or what other people are feeding on. Addictomatic shows you results from Twitter, Friendfeed, Bing News, Google blog search, Digg, Delicious, Technorati, Twingly, etc. You do not even need to register on the site!
BlogPulse is an automated trend discovery system for blogs, a free service by Nielsen Buzzmetric. It is actually a blog search engine that also analyzes and reports on daily activity in the blogosphere.
This tool specializes in monitoring forums. Boardtracker is currently following more than 66 million topics on more than 37,000 forums.
Bloglines is a free online service for searching, subscribing, creating and sharing news feeds, blogs and rich web content. Bloglines can be used to start monitoring the sources you are interested in.
Commentful is a service that watches comments/follow-ups on Blog posts, Digg submissions, Flickr galleries, and many other types of content. When ever there is an update, i.e a new follow-up, Commentful notifies you instantly.
7. Ice Rocket
IceRocket is an Internet search engine specialized in searching blogs. It also offers a search module for Myspace, and this makes it the only tool of these that does so.
HowSociable provides a simple way for you to begin measuring your brand’s visibility on the social web. You can have your Google Blog Posts score, Twitter score, Flickr score, Youtube, Myspace, etc, on the same page. This tool can be very useful to measure the impact of your actions across the social networks.
9. Facebook Lexicon
Lexicon is a tool to understand what Facebook’s users are talking about on Walls. Use the tabs at the top to explore different trends in the topics listed in the drop-down menu. Lexicon never looks at messages, Chat, searches, or other private data.
Keotag allows you to search content tags. Once you have picked a tag, Keotag lets you choose the sites you want to it search for you. Of course, the classics among the choices are: Google, Twitter, Technorati, Reddit, Digg and others.
11. Social Mention
Social Mention is a social media search platform that allows you to easily track what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time. It monitors 80+ social media properties directly including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google etc.
BackType is a conversational search engine that index and connect millions of conversations from blogs, social networks and other social media so people can find, follow and share comments.
Of course there are a lots more listening tools available, especially for social media e.g. twitter which I will need to talk about twitter monitoring tools in my next blog. But I think the above tools would be a good start.
Last but not least, you can also use Yahoo! Pipes to create your own online buzz monitoring tool. Yahoo! Pipes is a web application from Yahoo! that provides a graphical user interface for building data mashups that aggregate web feeds,web pages, and other services, creating Web-based apps from various sources, and publishing those apps.
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Viral marketing is nothing new, yet we still reap the benefits of it today. It remains one of the cheapest and most effective means of marketing. Everyone wants to go viral! But even before it had some swanky name, people used it. So now it’s time for a history lesson. It’ll be just like school. So sit up, pay attention, and no passing notes.
First up, I’m sure you remember the classic movie Spartacus. Did you ever consider that Spartacus (the person) went viral? Think about it. He challenged the status quo. But not only that, he challenged Rome. So just the fact that he was doing something risky got him recognition. That’s one way you can go viral. Create controversy. Walk the line. You don’t have to do anything illegal, you don’t have to anger potential customers, but you can very easily be edgy. Involve people’s emotions and you’ll get a reaction.
What was the result of Spartacus going viral? Well, during the course of his conquest, more and more people joined his cause. The point is, if you make people “feel”, you’ll get the same viral reaction. Customers, or at least buzz, will flock your way.
On the subject of movies and ancient times, think of the movie 300. Again, it was slightly stylized, but most of the story remains true. Unfortunately for the soldiers who fought the Persians, they went viral post-mortem. The good news is, death isn’t necessary to go viral. What helped the Spartans and their allies become renowned throughout the ages? Tenacity. They would not give up. Of course, in the business world, if you’re not tenacious, you won’t survive. Sometimes, we seem to get beaten as badly as the Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae. How do we react, though? You certainly won’t overcome by letting the story end there. The key to going viral is not giving up.
There’s one more lesson from the story of Thermopylae. The reason we still know about that battle today is because of a man named Herodotus. He was a great historian, quite often called the Father of History. Herodotus wrote extensively of the Persian Wars and immortalized the Battle of Thermopylae. What we can learn from this is we don’t have to go viral on our own. The great thing about viral marketing is that it consists of people talking. It may not matter who started the viral reaction as long as you are there for the duration of it. Sure, it’s probably better to be the reason everyone is excited (you just get more buzz), but you can just as easily ride the coattails of someone else.
Remember when everyone went nuts over Twitter? Not everyone can create as much buzz as Twitter did, but it was really easy to jump on the bandwagon and ride the marketing train. Herodotus didn’t fight the Persians at Thermopylae, but we know about that battle because of him. He tied his name into a great feat. Did you tie your name into Twitter? Will you tie your name into the next great viral buzz?
That’s enough history for one day. And it begs the question: Which came first, the chicken or viral marketing? Perhaps we’ll never know. So while we still enjoy eating chickens and viral marketing, remember that these things won’t go away anytime soon. Be edgy, tenacious, and keep an eye out for the next viral storm.
Taylor Vogt is the creator of http://www.Dominionator.com. It will provide very affordable viral marketing.
Also check out the Dominionator Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Dominionator/108050419630