You know how when you’re eating in a restaurant and you don’t like the food, and the waiter asks you “How is everything?”
What do you say? “Oh, everything is fine, thanks.”
Your customers are doing the same to you — they’re not telling you what they don’t like about you to your face.
But with the rise of social media, they’re going home and sharing their negative (and positive) experiences with their online connections.
How could that improve your business? What would it highlight that you’re overlooking? How much power would that give you?
Yes, this is possible. It’s called social media monitoring.
Simply put, social media monitoring is using technology tools to identify what people are saying about your company online.
Here are a few free and simple ways to do this:
1. Twitter Search
Click here and enter keywords relevant to your business, particularly your company name.
2. Google Alerts
Click here and enter your relevant keywords. Google will email you any time in encounters those keywords online, based on your preferences. (You need a Google account to set this up.)
3. RSS Feeds
Set up a Google Reader (or other RSS reader), then set up RSS feeds from social media sites as generated by searches.
For example, when I search for “KGaps” on Twitter, you’ll notice the RSS icon on the top right. A specific RSS feed is generated for every search.
4. Facebook Page
Set up a Facebook Page for your business, then simply check the wall daily for comments.
Read this introduction to Facebook for business.
5. Free Monitoring Platforms
This social media monitoring solutions wiki lists every available tool.
Here are a few more great articles on the subject:
Knowing what your customers say about you is vital. It tells you what you’re doing wrong and right and how to improve.