agilemarketing, content marketing, crisis management, How To, social media, twitter

Monitoring your brand online

Track the open web with Google Alerts

One way to ensure you are aware of mentions of you or your brand is to set up a Google Alert.

This tool has been around for some time, but many are still yet to adopt it, or leverage it correctly.

Visit Google alerts and you can use Google to monitor for news about your brand or industry. To ensure the results are relevant enter your search term  (the brand name or industry terms you’d like to see information for) and click show options.

You can select how often you whish to receive the alerts, “as-it-happens” or  a weekly digest. I find the as-it-happens setting ideal for responding to mentions in the news and gives me a chance to respond with immediacy, thanking the author for the mention.

From there you can choose “only the best results” and limit the country results to your country of interest. This is helpful for neighborhoods that take their name from the United Kingdom or other locations in the old world. There are a number of areas called Canterbury around the world, for example.

Build your brand and interact with your industry

One novel ways to use Google Alerts is for mentions of key themes that you wish to create content around, or be considered a thought leader for.

I have filters set up to monitor for specific exact terms that I use to inform me of movements in the industry . You could do the same, for example to monitor the green construction industry, with a search like: “SIPS” or “passive house” or “Blower door” or “airtight construction” .

Limit the results to your country and you will very quickly find those that are outspoken online in the industry and potentially the local online influencers. Cross referencing their social media profiles with a tool like Klout and you can have a basic understanding of their influence online, or at least you will know if many people find the content they share relevant.

You can then effectively surround yourself with online experts, build your knowledge and inform yourself to create interesting content that we know resonates with the industry.

A video introduction to Google Alerts

A few other searches you could try are:

  • competitor’s brand mentions – keep an eye on their activities
  • legislative terms for your industry – be the first to comment on a law change
  • misspelt brand terms – this is handy if you have a brand that’s hard to spell
  • negative industry terms – just to keep an eye on potential acquisition opportunities
  • unhappy customer terms – you can then use social selling techniques to introduce your brand
  • some fun terms to receive jokes or fun videos clips on a Friday.

Monitoring blog mentions and Twitter

Google may not catch all mentions of your brand and obviously doesn’t index closed social network posts or dark social media (Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and Wechat for example). is a great free tool that provides a pretty accurate record of blog and Twitter mentions. They have a daily email alert service that you can subscribe to,or an RSS  feed that you can use to monitor your mentions.

Socialmention also provides some breakdown of popular hashtags associated with the posts and a register of the top profiles that have mentioned the term by frequency.

Again you could leverage this for industry insights and share relevant content with your audience.

Hopefully these tools can improve your interactions with customers and industry peers. I’d love to hear of any other tools people have used successfully.

B2B, crisis management, social media, Uncategorized

Does your brand have a clear crisis management plan?

Each day I hear more and more statistics around the majority of FTSE 100 or Fortune 500 companies getting into social media.

The reluctance to allow clients to communicate with brands is being overpowered as it becomes mainstream.

Brands that are not on Facebook or Twitter are:

  • At least, feeling the peer pressure.
  • At most, developing highly formulated infrastructures to support social media marketing and social business as their businesses are transformed by close relationships with their clients.

This pressure to “do social” doesn’t always mean brands are entering with clear plans objectives and tactics. They let the pressure build, dive in and open themselves up to customers. Unprepared for a face full of coke.

All Shook Up
© eviloars

We’ve seen some epic fails in recent time. Here are 14 for example.

Many PR and community managers are thinking – if I have to face a nightmare like @O2 – will I be able to respond with such finesse.

A lot of which could be avoided by establishing ground rules. On my list of priorities for any social media effort are:

  1. What is our crisis management plan?
    This should cover:

    • What constitutes an “issue”?
    • Who is authorise to respond?
    • Who do you call in what department?
    • Where will we respond – offline, in private or in public?
    • When – what real time quick response team is in place?
    • How will you respond? “Sweep and hid” or “my bad” ?
  2. What is our Objective?
    • Content syndication?
    • Brand building?
    • Advocacy?
    • Engagement?
  3. What does success look like?
    • How will I measure it?

Only from there will I move to looking at what success in a “campaign” or action might look like and how that fits with the overall strategy and path. Where the questions and answers vary, but having the following is key.

  1. A product owner – the task master that will ensure all content providers are in place, and that their content is on time and on brand
  2. A content calendar – however simple or elaborate.
  3. Regular content meetings – possibly even daily stand-ups where – “Each member talks about progress since the last stand-up, the anticipated work until the next stand-up and any impediments, taking the opportunity to ask for help”

But coming back to dealing with crisis – make sure you have the fallback plan in place. Know who is the second backup, who can respond with a video if nexessary, comments to the press, TV etc. Then at a smaller scale, preset authorised refunds or “gifts” as apologies.

Refreshment. Ice cold!Its important to have it all in place before the bottle explodes.


Especially over the hot summer months when someone’s server or service is bound to be brought down by the heat – just as half your team are on vacation sipping cool drinks.