Tracking your brand and keywords in the 'social media sphere'

So, you've jumped on the social media bandwagon and set up a Twitter account, perhaps have a Facebook page and are active on Linked-In... however, are you really ‘getting’ social media? Whilst we are all spending time tweeting and updating pages – there’s still considerable uncertainty about any ‘return on investment’.  However, that doesn't seem to be deterring our 'faith' in social media

A recent study (SEMPO June 2010) study reported that marketing budgets are shifting – reducing allocation on traditional media (exhibitions, offline advertising) and providing more to the social media pots.

However, the same study reported that in the B2B and B2C sectors organizations 38% of businesses stated that their biggest challenge to getting started with social media was ‘building a sufficient business case’

The challenge in building that business case is the all important ‘return on investment’ factor – it’s not enough to be out there in conversations as part of  brand building– it’s expected that such an immediate and consuming channel should provide a more immediate and direct response.

So, what can businesses be doing to ensure that they are leveraging their ‘Twitter’ activity?

It’s likely that tools to help you target and receive targeted traffic from social media platforms will improve over the coming months and years – however, for now – there’s a simple way to leverage your efforts on Twitter and other platforms.

Many Twitterers and brands are missing out on ‘keyword tracking’.

By the term 'keyword tracking' I simply mean setting alerts against relevant keyphrases that are being ‘tweeted’  and shared in the socialmediaosphere.

Brands and businesses often use this approach to track mentions of their products and companies, and developers can use it to track mentions of their favourite languages, frameworks, and open source projects.

It's a great resource for seeing what's not only happening with your own brand or business - but also for engaging in relevant and hopefully productive conversations.

Tracking keywords need not be complicated, particularly if you are using a social media platform such as – – a total social management resource where you can align your Facebook profiles, Twitter Accounts, Linked In and others. There are other platforms too eg: Tweetdeck, Tweetbeep etc – but Hootsuite is the one I personally favour.

TweetBeep is useful too - sending email alerts based on the tracking of specific keywords in Twitter, and can track specific URLs, even if they have been shortened.

TweetLater, allows you to “schedule a tweet for posting at a later time” and it also provides a feature they describe as “Track keywords on Twitter”. The not so great features include

  1. Automatic DM to new followers, which can be annoying
  2. Automated following of people who follow you, which isn’t always necessary
  3. Automatic un following of those who un follow you (jury is still out on this feature)

And there's Twilert too - (I used this when Tweetbeep was being revamped - useful).

Another platform, which does include a paid for enterprise option is CoTweet - which seems to do everything that Hootsuite does.

Hootsuite, however is brilliant and I would highly recommend as you can track keywords, bring in your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, set up pending tweets in a very neat and easy fashion and you are totally in control of who you follow/unfollow/DM etc.

There are a number of ways you can be tracking keyword and keyphrases – for example:

  1. Tracking keywords which are relevant to finding new followers – for example, in my case, I want to follow people who are talking and sharing about social media, professional services marketing and user experience, usability.  Therefore, I track these keywords to help me tune into relevant conversations. In my efforts of doing this, I’ve been able to follow some really useful experts, been invited to guest blog and also been able to grow my blog subscription by sharing relevant and helpful posts, all thanks to tuning into relevant conversations.
  2. Tracking keywords for clients – similarly, watching what’s happening in their ‘keyword’ space and alerting them to relevant followers, influencers and conversations.
  3. Tracking your own brand / product names.
  4. Tracking direct response keyphrases.  By this I mean keyphrases which not only house the keyword – but also include a direct response element such as ‘looking for help with’ – ‘can anyone help with’ – you can string these keyphrases together with keywords to assist with targeting on relevancy.

These are just a few ways that you can be starting to leverage the conversations that are taking place. So my advice is to get watching those keywords and keyphrases – and then start considering how you can leverage these highly relevant requests and conversations

So get tracking...

Michelle Carvill is a professional services marketing consultant and owner and Marketing Director at Carvill Creative - a graphic design and marketing services agency based in Maidenhead, Berkshire.  The agency covers all aspects of graphic design and marketing - assisting practices and businesses with marketing strategy, social media planning and implementation, online marketing - website planning and website design.

MarketingMichelle Carvill