For those of you not familiar with Google Alerts, it’s a FREE business tool that tracks online conversations, words and phrases. You define the criteria; Google searches web traffic and provides you with links to those specific areas. For example:
1) Business name — monitor the name of your organization. When someone mentions you online, wouldn’t it be nice to know what he or she is saying?
2) Personal name — manage your personal brand and reputation. You could put your head in the sand, but it wouldn’t help. Understanding what people think of you is key to building credibility. As much as I dislike the thought, there is truth to the saying, “perception is everything”.
3) Competitors — know what the market is saying about your competitors. In this fast-paced world, new products and services can be launched overnight and a PR nightmare can happen in an instant. Don’t be the last to know.
4) Website — track your website. When listing, omit http:// or any part of it.
5) Industry Trends — trends and statistics help you understand your industry. There’s a ton of information floating around, you can shuffle through it all with an alert.
6) Clients —there’s nothing better than staying close to your client. Google Alert provides an easy way to do it!
7) Lead Generation — now this puts another spin on keeping your ear to the ground. Be notified immediately when a specific type of RFP is posted online.
8) Prospect research — looking for a new job? Discover timely info on what’s happening with an organization, and then go have an informed conversation with them.
9) Copyright monitoring — be notified when specific language or content that you create is used in the market*.
10) Job Opportunities — use notifications of specific jobs or organizations within your market to compliment your online job efforts. Now these are meaningful notifications that you’ll be excited to open!
Time to get busy and use these great tools to help sort through the noise! Give yourself a gift this season and let Google Alerts be your personal assistant.
*Thanks to Stephanie Chandler. These ten references were published in her article in last weeks Sac Business Journal. I’ll be interested to see if I hear from her.