Google 2 Minute Drill: Find Current Conversation Fast
Finding current conversation amidst a sea of long-standing web sites can be a pain. If done improperly, you could find yourself searching for hours (or days) only to find product/service reviews from March 2004. When you are on the verge of a PR crisis or simply crunched for time, you need to find what people are saying fast.
Monitoring your business presence on Google is a must, but simply Googling your business isn’t enough. Of the ten or so Google Search refiners (found to the left of search results), three stand out for finding the conversation about your business- Blogs, Updates, and Discussions. By utilizing these refining options, you’ll only need 2 minutes to find conversation from around the web. Let’s look at each option a bit closer:
Just as the name implies you’ll find various blog posts from around the web with a few forum results mixed in. This is a powerful yet simple tool for monitoring how your brand name is being mentioned in the blogosphere. If you find something positive or negative, be sure to join in the conversation by commenting on the post.
Google updates displays a timeline along with real time search results of public updates made on Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. To navigate through all results, broaden the timeline from the top of the graph and narrow it by clicking on a time period on the timeline. Even if you are not active in social networking, that does not mean consumers are not talking about you, so stay on top of the conversations!
Google Discussions displays entries from forums and Q&A type sites. Although these types of sites don’t receive hardly as much coverage as Facebook or Twitter, they’ve been long standing pillars of the social web. The same rule applies to forums as social networks, monitor conversations at least on a weekly basis, because you never know what people are saying.
How to get the most out of Google Blogs, Updates and Discussions
Time Matters Google Updates displays the most recent results by default. The time refinements are a great way to find specific conversations (analyze the buzz generated from last week’s promotion) or compare volume by specific date ranges (determine if people are talking about your brand more frequently over time), so refine these searches accordingly.
Avoid Searching To save time, set email alerts. On the bottom of Google Blogs search results there is an option to create an email alert for your search term. Although the option is only available within Google Blogs search, you can access Google Alerts directly to set alerts for Google Discussions results as well.
Misspeeled Counts Search and set alerts for misspellings of your company name/products. A Blog Search for “Wallmart” revealed over 50 blog results from the last 24 hours. Even further off, a blog search for “Waltmart” revealed 13 results from the past week. This is also a great tactic for finding brand related keywords to include in a paid search campaign.
Now that you’re equipped with the tools to find the buzz about your business fast, here are 5 ideas for what to do now:
1. Do the same thing for competitors. You might discover a competitive advantage you didn’t even know was there. There is a huge value in search engine optimization as you can quickly identify potential link targets.
2. Discover new opportunities for advertising/cross promotion.
3. Find friends you never knew you had. Add friends to your social networks or simply shoot over a quick thank you.
4. You didn’t find much? That’s okay. Start conversations on industry related message boards, Facebook groups, etc. Engage your potential customers to strengthen brand awareness.
5. Get creative!
Categories: Business Tips