In parts one and two of my online reputation management series, I wrote about a couple of great tools that marketers can utilize to monitor online brand reputation. The two tools I wrote about were Google Alerts and Technorati. Today, I want to discuss a third tool that can yield interesting results, Twitter.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is an interesting social networking platform that allows individuals to communicate short thoughts about activities they are participating in at any given moment. The appeal for most users is that Twitter provides a good way for friends to keep each other up to date with what everyone in the group is doing at any one time. In a way, Twitter is like a mini-blog post, no more than 140 characters in length.
A typical Tweet (what you call it when a user posts to Twitter) may say something like, “On my way to work,” or “At the dentist, can’t wait to get cavities filled.” Of course, the Twitter platform is used many other ways, but this is the basic purpose.
Using Twitter for reputation management
Because Twitter has become such an important medium of communication for real people, you can expect to find all types of conversations. You may even notice that Twitter users utilize the platform to talk about consumer issues like restaurants they’ve been to, products they are using, likes and dislikes, etc. For this reason, Twitter is a good resource to monitor what real people are saying about your brand.
Here how you do it:
Start by going to http://search.twitter.com/advanced. This is Twitter’s advanced search tool which allows you to search through each and every public Twitter post.
Using this tool, you can do create specific criteria to search through the millions of Tweets on the network. You can add keyword terms, locations, date ranges and more which will help the search engine to display relevant results. In the previous example, I searched for all occurrences of the term iPhone where the post was written in English in with a negative attitude. Here were the results:
As you can see, there have been several recent Tweets where users wrote about the iPhone in a negative way. You’ll notice that the results are never perfect, but they do give you a good idea about what’s being said. Also notice in the top right hand corner that you can subscribe to an RSS for this particular search query. This makes it easy to keep on top of the conversation without having to come back to Twitter.com all the time.
Well there you go- another free, useful tool that can help help you stay on top of your brand reputation by keeping watch on how real people are talking about you.