Twitter is the place these days to hear and be heard.

More than just a flash in the pan it’s a powerful tool for getting information across to an infinite audience. What’s more you can get information across in real time. There’s no need to wait for Google bots to crawl and index your web page. You can say what you want and know that that message will be dispersed and hopefully “retweeted” right at that moment. It’s an excellent tool for spreading the word. However, that is a double-edged sword when you run a business because though positive talk about your business can spread quickly so can negative talk. 

That doesn’t mean you want to stay about from this powerful social media tool. Whether you use Twitter to get your message out or not, you definitely should use it to monitor the discussion surrounding your brand. That discussion may be taking place—whether or not you are aware of it. With such a vast amount of information being spread through Twitter how do you swift through the noise and find out what is being said about your business? Fortunately there are several tools available to monitor the topic you are concerned with. These tools should become your best friend and an important part of your online reputation awareness campaign.

Why is monitoring your brand on Twitter so important? It’s an essential part of reputation management. As much as possible you want to have control of what is being said. Not so much that people can’t have opinions, but enough that you can help turn the conversation from negative to positive if need be. If something negative is said about your company you want to be able to address what is said. Maybe it’s something that can be cleared up, like a customer service problem. If it’s something minor it might benefit your image clearing it up on the public forum where the negative comment was aired. If it’s something more serious, then you at least can contact the person offline and address the problem and hopefully fix the relationship.

Of course, you can’t have eyes and ears everywhere. Fortunately there is software to help you find the talk that matters most to you. The best part is most of it is free to use. There are many software options to help you cut through all the chat on Twitter. To monitor all the talk, here are a few methods and tools that can help.

The easiest way to find buzz about your company is to do a search with Twitter’s built in search bar. Run a search for your business name and any other monikers attached to your business. You also want to run a search for any keywords related to your industry. This will give you an idea of what is possibly being said about your company but also what is being said about your industry in general.

A desktop client called TweetDeck is another popular tool for monitoring keywords and phrases. Within TweetDeck you can add a few search panes that include keywords and hashtags that relate to your business or brand. If you are Sams Software You might want to set up searches for Sams Software as well as #samssoftware. Likewise you might want to search for a specific type of software you sell or even software in general (though that might result in broad results).

Hootsuite is another way to set up monitoring. Similar to TweetDeck, Hootsuite will help you monitor your brand by allowing you to set up tabs for the different items you want to monitor. However, unlike TweetDeck you don’t have to download any software. That fact alone makes Hootsuite convenient. Because you don’t have to download any software you can use it on any computer simply by logging in.

On a positive note, these tools can also be used to help build your audience. Track keywords related to your industry and “follow” the people discussing the topic. Chances are they have an interest in the topic and possibly your business. Likewise, you can monitor questions people might have in your industry and answer them. You’ll set yourself up as an expert and hopefully gain a potential client.

Interested in knowing what is being said about your brand without having to “be everywhere?” Let us handle your brand monitoring on Twitter. We can set up accounts with popular keyword monitoring sites and track the results. We’ll present the results to you on a regular basis and suggest ways you can improve the buzz surrounding your business. We can also help build your Twitter following by following people who show an interest in your brand based on your tweets. If there isn’t yet talk about your business we can get that going too.

Let us find your business buzz and get the talk going. Contact us for details about your specific needs.