Now it's time to put on ears, our term for tracking and listening to online convesations. Similar in principle to how Dell does it, but more within the confines of a small business budget.

We’re going to be using the information in from the battlefield survey:

  • subscribe to their emails
  • add them to Twitter lists (& follow them, if you want)
  • like them on Facebook & Facebook pages
  • put them in your Google+ circles
  • follow them on other social media profiles...

Use of Google Tools

Our favorite tools are the ones found in Google:
  • Google Reader
  • Google Alerts

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is part of your Google account. It allows you to receive an update every time a keyword or phrase is indexed in Google. So, All those competitor terms, competitor names, your terms, your names, all of them can have alerts set for them. This way you’ll keep in touch with the latest news and industry. If Someone writes a bad review of your company, you’ll be on top of it. If you competitor ends up in the news blotter, Google Alerts will let you know. It keeps you on top of the game. Check out this video:

Google Reader

Google Reader is perhaps the biggest blog reader out there. And, you guessed it, Google Reader comes with your Google account. Google provides a nice YouTube tutorial on how to get that to work. Check out the first video:

Hootsuite - double-bonus point score

For me, we keep track of all the Twitter information using a tool called Hootsuite. They offer a basic service but we recommend the $5.99 (Update:  $9.99) a month plan - unless you are only running 1 brand. I grumbled when the first offered it but I find myself not being able to live without it. Follow Twitter accounts & hashtags - set up a stream where tweets with that specific word or phrase appear, Facebook profiles and pages, LinkedIn accounts, Google+ pages. And, best of all, if you have a message / link / photo / video you would lik to share on your social media profiles, Hootsuite can let you share the same message to all the accounts at the same time. Not only that, but if you’re like us and you pulled a late nighter and aren’t starting the next day until later on in the morning but would still like messages to go out at 7:30am, Hootsuite lets you schedule the message to do just that.

Mobile apps, browser-based so you can log in from any computer, centralized data management.

Here’s Hootsuite's official YouTube tutorial video playlist to get you started

How did you do?

Let us know, because once you have all this information down and coming in, it’ll be time to do Keyword Research!