4 Social Media Tools to Monitor Efficiently With Google Reader

I don’t know about you, but I don’t know what I’d do without Google Reader and Feedly when it comes to monitoring my own brand as well as my company’s brand. These readers are super helpful for consuming news regarding mentions, news, and competition regarding your brand and your brand category. But these readers aren’t going to set themselves up…first you need to “build” your reader so you can be “fed” by it on a regular basis in order to increase efficiency and reduce time spent.

Three essential notes to take:

1. What is Google Reader?

Google Reader is basically an app where you can monitor happenings of your brand, your brand category, products, keywords, blogs, competitors, as well as any other news feeds that interests you. It’s great for keeping up with industry related blogs, and specific keywords related to your brand. Best part all you need is to import an RSS feed into your Google Reader (which almost everything has nowadays as seen below) and “wah-la!” you have a news station ready and waiting right on your browser. Bonus: you can organize your searches, news, etc via categories as you see fit.

2. How to set up Google Alerts

Google Alerts are awesome for key word and brand monitoring. You can have a Google Alert set up for any time your brand is mentioned somewhere across the web. And you can have it ping you immediately via email or just sit and wait for you in your Reader. Whatever suits your fancy!

3. The search terms you should set up

Not sure what type of search terms to use? Well, let’s take an example. Let’s say your brand is a cell phone provider. Five possible keywords may include the types of phones available, specific competition, as well as complementary products:

- cellphone
- iPhone
- Android
- smartphone
- smartphone apps


Takeaway: Google Reader: Simple and intuitive like most Google products; Feedly a nicer more appealing magazine type layout, which imports via your Google Reader.

Monitoring your brand with Google Reader and Feedly

The following are tools you can hook into your Google Reader or Feedly to be more productive and efficient with keeping up with your brand:

1.  Topsy

Topsy is a search engine powered by Tweets. It’s a great for a quick and easy social search of your brand and what’s being said, where it’s being said, and more. Topsy‘s take on the web is that it’s a stream of conversations, and therefore provides the conversation taking place, as it happens. You can have these updates emailed to your inbox, or my preference, through a RSS feed into your preferred Reader.

Topsy is a great way to save time constantly checking what’s being said about your brand, and who’s saying it in order to stay on top of it in real time. Instead, it comes to you, and you can read or check it as you please. Time saver!

2. Twitter

Twitter as we all know is a great micro-blogging tool in order to share news, information, build awareness and more regarding your brand. But Twitter is also a great way to keep up on your brand and brand category.

For example, you can search keywords related to your brand and have that search fed into your Google Reader in order to keep up efficiently. When you have time to take a look — whether it’s with your morning coffee, your dedicated social media time, or whatever suits your fancy. Either way, Twitter makes your life easier, especially when integrated into your Reader.


3. Social mention

Social Mention is a social media search engine that searches for information regarding your key words from across the web. It searches a myriad of social media platforms and allows you to see what people are saying about your brand, product, conference, trade show, competitors, and more with the simplicity of entering your search terms and then using the RSS feed to send into your Reader. My only word of caution is thatSocial Mention can have some issues with search errors when first loading your search terms in order to utilize the RSS feed. But overall it’s definitely helpful for searching the social sphere for keywords regarding your brand and being more efficient in that search.

4. Postrank

Postrank is not just about your brand’s influence, but about the influence of those mentioning your brand, your product, and/or spreading news regarding something related to your brand or product category. When curating content and using a Reader to do so, Postrank is a great integration to allow you to see how worthy and influential that content truly is and whether you should use it or not. Saves you time from reading content that is not so valued by others. Why waste your time, right?




No time to do your reading, consuming, and keeping up with your brand category yourself? Too many brands to keep up with? Why not buy a service that can help you out and save you the hassle? I’ve met with Traackr once, and they have a great service which allows you to track influencers in your category as well as keep track of mentions on your brand and product on a regular and real-time basis. Easy, simple, and super awesome.

And don’t forget to remember it’s also important to “stick out” in other people’s news feeds in order to increase your brand awareness. It helps to have tools such as those above to help you find what’s important, what’s being said, and where it’s being said and by who — next it’s up to you and your brand!

Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot. 

20 Personal Brand Building and Monitoring Tools You Don’t Want to Miss

A little birdie told me that people love free tools? I know I sure do! So for your drooling pleasure, here is a “mega list” of free tools that can help you monitor your brand online, because without monitoring your brand presence, you may fall into the deep end without a lifesaver.

Ready, Set, Start drooling…

 1. Twilerts: A great and simple tool to consolidate and keep up with the Tweets on your brand. This app will email you whenever there are Tweets regarding your brand name and/or other search terms you set up for your convenience. Key word: convenience.

2. Backtype: Want to keep tabs on what people are saying regarding your brand, your conference, your product? Backtype is a real-time search engine that makes this simple and in turn helps you realize your “social impact.”

3. Tweet Alarm: Do you like Google Alerts? Well then you might love this because it’s basically the same concept except for Twitter, where you will be alerted when someone Tweets about your brand or whatever else suits your fancy. Simple and easy.

4. Tweetdeck: A tool I personally use to keep track of search terms, such as when people mention my blog post for oneforty. Great way to see what people are saying, when they say it, and in turn I can easily respond to their Tweets. Also great to keep tabs on a conference you may be planning or attending. You can follow along on the conversation and participate if you so wish.

5. Kurrently: Want yet another social search engine for your tool belt? WellKurrently not only searches Twitter for mentions regarding your brand or other search term, but also checks out Facebook so you are even more up to date on what’s being said regarding your brand.

 6. Social Mention: So instead of receiving info on Tweets and mentions separately from different platforms, Social Mention aggregates all the content that is related to the search term you provided into a single stream (from many social media platforms). This makes it easier to digest and view what’s being said about your brand.

7. Topsy: So Topsy goes beyond the typical social search engine and “indexes and ranks search results based upon the most influential conversations millions of people are having every day about each specific term, topic, page or domain queried.” Therefore you know whether a specific mention has been influential or not, and what type of positive or negative effect it may or may not have.

 8. Twoolr: Specific to Twitter, Twoolr allows the user to receive stats on hashtags, replies, ReTweets and who followed and/or unfollowed your brand. Helpful to see what people are saying, when they’re saying it, and who follow and unfollows you and when that occurs so perhaps you can correlate it to a specific event and/or promotion/campaign. However, I must preface that only some of these functions are available in the Free version.

 9. Twitter analyzer: As seen below, this tool is helpful to get a quick snapshot on a specific Twitter handle and the reach of that handle. This is a great way to analyze your own brand’ reach, the reach of a competitor, and/or the reach of an influencer in your product category.


 10. Crowdbooster: As Mashable quoted, this tool is “a user-friendly, color-coded UI that quickly and simply highlights your best tweets and areas for improvement.” In short it’s a great way to help with your Twitter marketing and analyzing how you’re doing in order to tweak your strategy if needed. The interactive graph that uses is a great way to quickly see what worked in your campaign and what did not. Crowdbooster is free for consumers and is currently in beta.

11. Cadmus: Finding it difficult to stay on top of the conversation when you’ve been in meetings and/or away from your computer? Well Cadmus is the quick catch-up tool for your stream in order to see what conversation you missed while you were away. Helpful for the multi-tasker.

12. PostPost: Are there specific influencers for your brand category (or competitors) that you specifically like to keep an eye on in “real-time”? Well this nifty tool is great to keep up with what they’re sharing, because PostPost focuses on search results from the people you want to listen to, rather than everyone in the social sphere.

13. HashTracking: Although in closed beta right now, you can still find out how your campaign is doing via the hashtag for your product/event/etc. Quick and cool insights to see the impressions and reach your hashtag had. Useful!


 14. Addictomatic: A real-time social search engine that allows you to create a custom page on the buzz that you want to know about. You can find out what people are saying about your brand on not just Twitter, but also blog posts, flickr,youTube, etc. And not to mention there’s a robot for their mascot. Love it.

15. IceRocket: A tool to help you keep up with the buzz that is trending. You can search specific terms that you want to keep track of and/or just see what is most popular in your segment.

 16. Summify: Too many mentions, posts, and Tweets to keep up wtih? Want it all condensed (from all of the networks you are present on) and in order of importance to you and your brand? Summify will “sum” it up for you! In short, you save time and there’s less noise — cut the clutter!

17. Mentionmap: Connect to your Twitter API and see what’s going on in your Twitter network. Who are the influencers who interact the most, and what are they saying. And who is most relevant to your target market.


 18. Proxlet: Is the clutter and noise getting to you on Twitter? LetProxlet help. It can block Foursquare checkins, hide Tweets based on certain hashtags, enable it so you only see links by users who are too noisy for your dailyTwitter dose and more.


19. Trendrr: This platform allows brands to listen, measure and respond to the conversation about their brand, their products/services, and other relevant items. Therefore your brand can see what people are saying, how they like your product/service, how they view your brand, and in turn your brand can respond, question, and comment to these users in real-time due to the use of this platform’s quick and easy organization for your convenience. In addition you can measure conversation in order to evaluate the sentiment and again this will assist in your gauging for communication and engagement with your target market.

20. Gruml: Use Google Reader? Have a Mac? Gruml (a download) makes it easy for you to “view and manage your feed subscriptions of your Google Reader account on Mac OS X.” On more tool to make your life simpler and more organized so you can consume content faster, more efficiently and with plenty of time to take action where and when needed on behalf of your brand.

Are you on “free tool overload” yet? . Have more free tools to recommend? Please do!

Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot. 

7 Ways to Monitor Social Media for Less

This is an excerpt from my post for oneforty…

Although social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are free in order to engage with your target audience — the tools to monitor are not always so “free.” We’ve written before about the things you need to keep in mind before choosing the right tool. There are many things these tools can track, and it’s best to narrow down what your specific needs are and then find the best tool for you and at the price you can afford. Here are a few tools that could be useful for your “specific” or “many” needs:

PostRank: A great inexpensive tool for analytics, which can also be linked to Google Analytics for an even more detailed look into your metrics. You can use it to discover your influencers, measure your performance, track online content, benchmark competition, and have a better eye on the social web. This is especially a great tool for bloggers and community managers in a company to monitor social engagement. Keep in mind that social engagement can include anything related to (for example) your blog post, such as a comment,  tweet, or trackback and any of these would be tracked by PostRank. Why not try the free trial and see the potential for yourself? PostRank comes with a free trial and has 3 pricing plans: Free for Influencer; $15/month personal; and $500/month agency.

 Beevolve: A social media monitoring tool allows all types of companies and agencies to track social engagement in order to get a handle on what consumers are saying, thinking and feeling. According to Beevolve, the types of companies who will find this the most useful include: startups, PR agencies, corporate, social media agencies, digital marketing and search engine marketing agencies. Beevolve makes it easier for your company or agency to  better isolate trends and use these results to figure out whether your product, service and/or marketing  may need certain improvements. Highlighted tools include: real-time monitoring, sentiment analysis, demographics & geography, competitive analysis, influencer identification, and engagement workflow among other things. Thus, this is a crafty tool to help “mine” through review sites, Twitter, and other sites on the web to get a better insight into the products, brands, and trends that consumers have sentiment towards.  Beevolve includes a 14 day free trial and has numerous pricing plans starting from $29.95/month to custom made plans. 

 Viralheat: As many of the others, Viralheat has benefits including extensive social platform and web coverage, influencer analytics, finding consumer sentiment, analytics to determine the best ROI for your campaigns, and more. Viralheat also has some sweet clients (aka they’re on “fire”) using their tools including HP, Coca Cola,MTV, Disney, and  NHL among others. So, Viralheat must be doing something pretty impressive. And as of this past year, Viralheat integrated with Facebook, Twitalyzer, and Klout. And another great thing? The pricing isnt bad either. Viralheat offers a 7 day free trial and 3 pricing plans including Basic: $9.99/month, Professional: $29.99/month and Business: $89.99/month.

 eCairn: A tool to help marketers monitor not just the real-time web but find influencers and leverage communities they want to target and focus on.  Thus making it easier to listen and engage efficiently with those that you care to engage with. For example, eCairn assists marketers to identify influencers for blogger outreach, monitor brands, get to the specifics of what’s being said, in order to revise strategy and report back to upper-level management on how marketing is going, and what can be improved. To learn more about what eCairn can do for your company, you can also watch live demos and webinars, which are featured on their blog. It’s key when a social media based company is using social media tools, don’t you think? eCairn hastwo pricing models: Basic: $99/user/month or Pro: $199/user/month.

BrandsEye: The tool to help you protect your online brand reputation. Their monitoring can help single bloggers, small businesses as well as large enterprises. Considering brand reputation can be attacked at any moment and multiple times online, it is up to the brand to keep an eye on what is being said, why it’s being said, and what they can do to rectify such situations. A prominent example is Domino’s Pizza and their YouTube debacle and United Airlines and their issue with “mishandling a guitar” — whatever the issue may be — people talk! So your brand most likely needs a helpful monitoring tool to keep track of what’s being said, as soon as it’s said, in order for your brand to respond promptly. BrandsEye promises to be the tool to do just that. And if you run into a crisis, they also offer assistance in fixing situations too. BrandsEye is $1/month for bloggers, $95/month for small businesses and $350 for enterprise.

 Trackur: As the name suggests, Trackur “tracks” down any and all mentions of specific keywords your company would like to keep “track” of. In addition, like other social monitoring tools Trackur assists with finding the influencers, what’s being said about your brand, sentiment tag (who’s saying positive and/or negative things), have alerts kept in your dashboard or emailed directly for ease of use, among other perks. The tool offers a quick and easy service that allows you to “get running” within minutes rather than waiting for setup and demos, etc. And for those of us trying to keep up with “real-time” that could be pretty handy! Trackur offers 4 pricing plansstarting at $18/month up to $377/month depending upon the extensive use and needs you may have.

 Ubervu: The second I went on to their website I saw a livechat option, which is very helpful nowadays when one wants “real-time” assistance to go along with an applicatoin/tool/service to help with keeping up with “real-time” social media interaction. Ubervu is modeled for either businesses or PR agencies to use. Businesses can “understand customers, be on top of the competition, and get leads from social media” and PR agencies can have “all the social media in one place, white label solution for consumers, and automated sentiment analysis.” According toTechCrunch, Ubervu helps to “organize the mess.” Who needs an assistant, when you have Ubervu “assisting” your social media organizational and monitoring needs?Ubervu has 4 pricing options beginning from $49.99/month for a solo user up to Enterprise pricing options which Ubervu will need to be contacted for.

Remember: it’s strategy first, tools second. There are so many tools and so many options to decide from. Take the time to research what your company, agency, organization needs are. Do you need assistance finding influencers, monitoring what’s being said about your brand or keeping an eye on your competition? Whatever your need may be, there is a tool for it. The key is deciding what’s most important for your company/brand to invest in.