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. 

6 Tools for Engaging your Top Influencers

Let’s say you are opening a new restaurant which is focused on your wine selection and your cheese plates. Let’s say you are also considering launching an iPhone app and/or participating with FourSquare or Groupon and giving cool offers to consumers. What would be included in your marketing strategy? Finding the local bloggers who write about wine and cheese? I think so! Influencers in your brand category are not just useful and handy to have in your back pocket, but essential to a marketing strategy. These influencers can speak on your brand’s behalf (and probably already are) and “influence” other potential consumers to check out your brand and/or also Tweet, blog, and comment about your brand. Tools to determine the influence you or your business has is important but aside from knowing the type your reach, it is important to find the “influencers” in your brand category. But how? You could use the search options in Google, Twitter and Facebook to initially take a look. To do so you want to first:

1. Determine keywords for your brand category (to make search more concise and easier)

2. When/if you find possible “influencers” on Google, Twitter and/or Facebook you want to see how active and influential they really are. Are they blogging consistently? Getting a lot of comments? Have a lot of subscribers and/or followers?

Problem is this can take more time than you may be willing to put in. Thankfully for those of us who prefer things at our “fingertips” there are other tools out there that can assist with this process and do most of the “harder” work for us!

Traackr: I had the privilege of meeting Pierre-Loic Assayag from Traackr last summer and received a hands-on tutorial on how Traackr works for brands. With Traackr you can find out who leads the conversations in your brand category. The key to their madness? The team does not resort to “dogmatically defining influence” but instead they have “built a process to progressively discover what drives influence.” The team at Traackr, focuses on 4 things: 1. Search (crawling of social media platforms for most active users); 2. Identify (aggregation of user accounts across platforms); 3. Qualify (calculations left to the brainiacs); and 4. Report (Data of top ranking ‘influencers” and what to do next). Their metrics focus on Reach, Resonance, and Relevance. 3 very key things! Traackr has different subscription models and you can request a demo in order to learn more about their options.

 PostRank Connect: In short – this tool “connects” brands and influencers. The team makes a valid point — “You need influencers to run a successful campaign. But the fragmented Social Web doesn’t make identifying, validating, and measuring influence easy. And before you can develop relationships with influencers, you have to find them.” And the goal is to not waste hours twiddling our thumbs and only finding one or two possible influencers. The goal is to find the top influencers in the specific brand category your brand is in — in an efficient amount of time.This nifty tool does the work for you by measuring the value of online users and their followers. It will analyze “influencers” by certain metrics such as topic, georgraphy, and engagement across multiple social platforms. Intrigued? PostRank Connect — “connect” with them here to find out how they can help you!

Buzzstream: A company that realizes that businesses should be focusing on building relationships (such as with influencers) rather than taking the time to find each influencer for their brand. BuzzStream finds them, you build that awesome relationship by using their detailed influencer profiles, delegating engagement activities, and tapping the lists that are made just for you by BuzzStream. At your fingertips for your ease. This tool is focused more for PR and Social Media folks, and has easy-to-use tools that can be utilized right from your web toolbar (in order to stay better organized with each particular “influencer”). Plans for Buzzstream start with a free “test drive” and start from $49.99/month.

Attensity: A powerhouse of information. They monitor 37 million blogs and forums, have access to the full firehouse of Twitter content, support the discussion content on public Facebook Fan Pages, in addition to MySpace, LinkedIn,Craigslist, all major news sources, review sites and they are always looking to and willing to add more. Will they be able to find the key influencers in your brand category for you? Most definitely! Finding these key influencers will not only help you know how you can better your service/product but also stay ahead of the competition. Attensitycan be contacted directly for pricing and plan information.

 Teramatric: The team at Terametric believes that influence should be measured relative to your peers. Otherwise, or it loses its value considerably. Thus, their measurements are centered around this principle so that your business can get an accurate sense of why type of influence you need (in other words, WHO should be considered influencers that you interact with, what type of relevant information you provide to your audience, how often you post it, and so on). In addition, Terametric will break down influencer identification by industry, products and brands so that you can get a more detailed understanding of how to increase your influence within these groups. The tool makes it simple for you and identifies the influencers on a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high) and segments them by industry, product, and brand. You and your competitors are also scored on your level of influence which includes an analysis of your followers’ influence. Most importantly, you can track historical “tweets” that these influencers have made in the past and in real time, the tool will filter the twitterverse for you so that when an influencer tweets, you’re alerted to respond. Terametric starts at $500/month for Enterprise Product Marketing and Agencies with a 1-month, no-risk, Free Trial. SMBs should contact Terametric directly for pricing.

Twendz: Want to know who on Twitter is already talking about your brand and/or brand category? And what they’re saying? Twendz can help! This nifty tool can help your brand identify the top Twitfolks who are saying positive, neutral or negative things re: your product/service/category. Then you can take these lists, follow them, engage with them,. and “influence” your “influencers” to be kickass brand ambassadors. You can take part in the conversation with them and build relationships with these influencers and ensure that the key influencers in your brand category are talking great and awesome things about you. Twendz can be contacted directly for their plans and prices.

Of course there are many more tools out there that help find the key influencers for your brand category. But can you imagine how long this blog post would be if I kept on going? Rather than making this list like a novel, feel free to comment, question and let me know what you think.