Online presence – How important is it?

Everyone loves to jump on the social media bandwagon but they don’t always know how to monitor efficiently. Rookie error! If you’re looking to increase your online footprint, great! But first you must know how to monitor and analyse the impact of what you’re saying and what others are saying about you. There are many free and paid for tools and services available to help you keep on top of this.

Before enlisting some of these tools you must first conduct your own social media audit, reviewing  your current online presence. This will include websites, social networks and your search engine optimisation. This process should be pretty simple and easy to do, and once you’ve completed it, it will then be time to go a step further and choose the monitoring tool(s) you wish to use.

Here is a selection of online tools which can help with your audit:

Alexa – is one of the better online monitoring tools available. You create a dashboard where you can add your clients websites and recieve daily/weekly reports. The reports cover site traffic, social media interactions, search engine optimisation and contact information. Alexa also offers competitor monitoring which is great when reviewing where you are in the marker place.

Woorank – a free tool which provides you with an analysis of your clients website(s). You enter the client’s website URL and Woorank will provide data on SEO rating, popular pages, site visitors and much more. This tool provides you with insight into whether your website is performing well and even tells you how you can improve in certain areas.

Google Alerts – a free, easy to use tool that notifies you via email. This is a great tool for monitoring particular keywords or phrases, I used it whilst working on a product launch and during trade shows and it proved very useful.

Some other tools worth checking out are trendrr, howsociable, and Google trends.

Aside from these tools there are other ways of  of monitoring social media. Maria Ogneva, Head of Community at Yammer has devised ’10 Steps for Successful Social Media Monitoring’ which she implements on a regular basis when  listening, participating and contributing to the space.

1. Define an objective – have a clear goal in mind

2. Decide Where to Monitor – where you monitor should be driven by where your constituency hangs out. Figuring out where to monitor will help decipher what channels are best for listening and engaging.

3. Decide What to Monitor – tracking keywords is very important e.g.  company name, brand names, product names, competitor names, competitive product names and industry keywords.

4. Prioritise – triaging is very important, deciding the order in which to listen to messages based on importance. Separating messages into groups can also be useful.

5. Develop a Plan – crisis management plans as well as engagement plans are critical to successful online engagement.

6. Involve others – social media is the fastest moving form of communication we’ve ever had, the challenge is to respond to tweets, comments, etc. as quickly as possible with the message coming from the correct person within the company. Having a system in place to do this is a must.

7. Listen First – before you ever open your digital mouth, listen and observe the culture of the community. Before contributing you need to know the members, stakeholders, and community norms.

8. Inbound vs. Outbound Conversations – knowing when and how to share information is important. Outbound is pro-actively participating in discussions whereas inbound means people are talking to you about specific end goals. Both have distinctive rules of engagement, knowing what’s appropriate comes after listening and simply using common sense.

9. Build Relationships – following on from #7, amke sure you’re forming relationships with the thought leasers around you – identify influencers and conversation drivers. Grow and nurture the relationships and soon you will be a resource for others. The true definition of influence is when you don’t even have to ask others to do that.

10. Select Tools that Match your Strategy –  your checklist of what you need in a tool is going to be largely driven by your purpose definition in step #1, you need to know where you are heading and why.

So after reading my blog, doing an initial social media audit, implementing Maria’s steps and enlisting one or more online monitoring tools you will have covered most bases online. So just think first the internet and then the world!


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