Monitoring Online Conversations

Evan Urbania
July 7, 2010

Ever have that feeling that people are talking about you? Your ears burn, your nose gets itchy, your eyes dart around the room looking for the offenders. None of us like to have our dirty laundry discussed without our input. Even when people are saying nice things about you, it is imperative to know about it and thank your admirers.

Now don’t get paranoid, but people are probably talking about you, your brand, your company or your competition RIGHT NOW. What are they saying? If you don’t know, you can’t manage your reputation. The gang at ChatterBlast consider themselves data junkies, and we love 000-M15 working with clients who want to monitor social networks for real-time conversations. How do we do it? Well, there are many tools and tactics. Here is a taste…

Target the Twitter Tempest

Use a smart Twitter client such as Hootsuite that lets you group important users and provides real-time notification of mentions or keywords. We setup queries to make sure our team sees the posts from people who share important content relevant to our clients’ needs. Keyword searches let us know when ANYONE, ANYWHERE tweets about a client, their competition, their product, etc. It’s very Big Brother, but being able to react immediately is a handy weapon in the real-time world of crisis PR.

Paradise By The Dashboard Light

We once avoided integrated dashboards in favor of manual control of each platform, but things have changed quickly in the last year. Dashboard monitoring/engagement platforms such as Spredfast allow campaigns to be created, monitored and managed by a team of resources effectively. These tools help you post to Twitter, Facebook and blog entries from one centralized place and can include approval paths for content creation and editing in a team environment. Built-in monitoring of social streams, RSS feeds, key websites, users and competitors allows you to keep tabs on the important things while focusing on your campaign.

Radian6: The Gold Standard

If you really want to dive in and find out what the World Wide Web says about you, forget Google and check out Radian6. This leading platform is used by major brands, agencies, Fortune 500’s and political candidates. Radian6 can drill into online conversations and provide you with shocking amounts of data across the web and including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, blogs, forums and news sites. Overwhelming to the untrained, and pricey, Radian6 is a top tool for organizations wanting to stay ahead of the social media squall. We also often use it to test strategies and gather historical research data before we start a new campaign.


So, people are talking about you, your company, your industry, and revealing information that you should know. Maybe it’s just some light kvetching on Twitter, or maybe it’s a full-blown “I Hate XXX” Facebook page (like this one). Either way, you can keep yourself informed, engage your 000-853 community, head off problems and influence doubters by setting up a strategy to discover and deal with both positive and negative online commentary. Or you can simply ignore it – at your own peril.