For many people, it can be a hassle to keep up with all the key blogs in their industry. And with Twitter growing so quickly, it can seem like an impossible task to stay up-to-date with important discussions in one’s network.
If you are not currently monitoring Twitter for key terms, you may be missing important business opportunities or even customer complaints which you could easily rectify.
I have tried several tools, including TweetDeck, to help manage these Twitter conversations. But so far, my favorite program for monitoring both the blogosphere and Twitter is Google Reader.
Many people don’t realize that RSS readers, such as Google Reader, can be used to monitor Twitter as well as their favorite blogs and news sites. And since Google Reader is a Web-based program, there is no desktop application to download and install.
Here are several simple steps to set up your monitoring system for blogs and Twitter.
1) Set up a Google account by visiting www.google.com/reader. (If you already have a Google account, you may skip this step.)
2) Once you have an account, bookmark the reader’s page on your browser’s “favorite” links. You will want to check this site at least once every workday.
3) Search for the blogs you want to follow by looking up experts and authors who interest you. Once you have found their blogs, click on the RSS icon and you will be taken to a page that asks if you wish to add the feed to your Google Reader. Click “Add to Google Reader.”
4) Now that you have your blogs set up, it’s time to do the same for Twitter. Go to http://search.twitter.com/.
5) In the Twitter search box, enter your company’s name or the name of one of your brands. Depending on how popular you are, this search may or may not come up with results, but that doesn’t matter right now. Even if the search comes up with nothing, you will still want to save this term for monitoring. At the top right of window, you will see the RSS icon and “Feed for this query.” Click it and add it to your Reader.
6) Repeat the search in step 5 with your name, the names of your officers, brands and other key terms that people might be searching for in order to find you.
Congratulations! You are now set up to monitor blogs and Twitter in one place.
Set aside at least 5 minutes a day to check your Google Reader for updates in your field and to monitor discussions people are having about you or your industry. If something interests you, or you find a question you know how to answer, take some time to respond. You never know if that person you help could become a customer one day!
For additional information about how set up a social media PR program for your business, contact me at Robert@northeastpr.com to reserve a free consultation.