Small Business Tips Blog
You sit down with a new client. Everything is standard procedure until your client asks you questions about your competitor’s latest products, and you find yourself stumped. Consumers are more informed than ever. When they come through your door they’ve probably already read online reviews of your services, tracked your competitors, and possibly read the latest news in your industry. They’re up to date. Are you?
Media monitoring is one way of using social media and other online tools to track how your business is being perceived online. Proper media monitoring involves following and tracking relevant industry news, tracking social media mentions, and keeping your online profile current.
Consider these questions when deciding your level of commitment to media monitoring.
What industry news do you track? Staying current with your industry’s news ensures you are informed when clients come knocking. Google alerts allow you to set up email alerts with keywords to search for articles, websites, and other information of interest to you and your business. RSS feeds (Really Simple Syndication) gather and send you updates from blogs and websites so you don’t have to go searching.
There are also local and large scale media monitoring companies that can be contracted to do media monitoring for you. These companies identify the key issues, keywords, and relevant news that you need to know, and send you updates. They have access to full articles from major and local newspapers, broadcast transcripts, and even radio transcripts. These companies can give you easy access to a variety of material for a price.
How accessible are you? Using blog posts, Twitter feeds, and LinkedIn updates can make your site more relevant and searchable. If your website stays active with new information, Google will rank it higher for popular and relevant search terms, ultimately increasing traffic to your site.
What are your clients saying about you? Customer to customer communication is easier and more transparent than ever, and it’s important to stay aware of what is said about your business. Social media networks are rife with consumer complaints, suggestions, reviews, and testimonials. It’s important that your company is a member of popular social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and others because this will help you see what is being said about your company. Social networking sites are also a great tool for responding to customers and establishing rapport.
Media monitoring can be a great tool for your company, if used wisely, that is, know your relevant search terms so you don’t an excess of unnecessary information. Media monitoring keeps your “finger on the pulse” so you can make the best decisions about your business direction.
A list of companies across Canada:
1) J&A Media Services: They claim to do more than just keyword searches and actually read the material for you and then prepare a digital report.
2) Prairie Media Monitoring: This is a local company I worked with when I interned with the federal government last summer. They monitor local newspapers in small towns and communities across the prairie region and then send you clippings from the local newspapers.
3) Cision: One of the largest media monitoring services. According to their website: they track your media coverage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Cision monitors more than 50,000 North American news sources including print, TV and radio, news-related websites and blogs.
4) ADZ Media Monitoring: They monitor advertisements for companies across north America.
5) Universal Information Services: They monitor broadcast news and information in real time.