Home / Workforce Management / Management Skills / Track Your Brand With Social Listening Tools

Track Your Brand With Social Listening Tools

What Are People Saying About Your Company?

Track Your Brand With Social Listening Tools
By Mark Swartz
Monster Contributing Writer

Your reputation as an employer is under a microscope these days. Job seekers can hop online and get astonishing insights about you for free.

 
Some of this information comes directly from your own social media efforts. Other tidbits flow from media coverage or other third-party reporting. More and more, however, it’s stemming from people themselves via blogs, Twitter, Facebook and employee commenting sites.
 
Are you listening in to hear what’s being said about you? Clearly you want to be able to deal with unfair criticisms that affect your brand. But that’s just part of finding out what people actually think of you as an employer.
 
Search Engine Alerts
The first place people look for online mentions of your company (or its employees) is a search engine. It’s your starting point too for monitoring your employer reputation.
 
Automate the process by setting up keyword alerts at the major search engines. Google.ca, Bing.ca and Yahoo.ca each offers a feature that notifies you when your keywords get mentioned. Track your company name as well as those of key staff.
 
You’ll have to search for images of your company or staff separately. It can be worth it to see how you’re being represented visually.
 
News Reports
When your company makes the news, you want to stay on top of what the stories say. Are the headlines accurate? Did the reporter focus on the good points, or play up any negatives?
 
It’s back to the big three search engines again. Yahoo News Canada, Bing Canada News, and Google Canada News are free news-only resources. You can also pay news monitoring services to collect and analyze this data (and trends) for you.
 
Social Media – Specific Sites
Who’s saying what about you on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, blogs, YouTube and LinkedIn? Social media mentions are fast becoming the pivotal way that information gets spread.
 
You can’t hope to monitor every remark or conversation. Even if you could get all the public ones, think of the countless privacy-protected discussions you’ll never see. But if you’d like to track the public exchanges, there’s no substitute for using each specific site’s search feature.
 
Twitter Search is a typical example. The results you get are real time. Simply use the search box and type in a term to see what comes up. Or try their Advanced Search. Specify your term(s) by keywords, hashtags, names of people who are sending the Tweets, and add location as well if you want. Craving more? How about selecting Tweets that are either rated positive, negative, or displayed as questions. Ideal for when you’re running a recruiting campaign on Twitter.
 
Social Media Aggregators
Visiting each specific site to search its content can be time consuming. Good thing there are aggregators that search multiple sites for you.
 
IceRocket.com, for instance, trawls blogs, Twitter, and Facebook simultaneously. Technorati.com searches blog posts only, but goes deeper.
 
When you start getting more strategic about your social marketing, check out social media management tools. HootSuite.com and TweetDeck.com are among the most popular. They let you search Facebook or Twitter, though not both at the same time. Still, it saves you from jumping between each site’s pages. And you can purchase analytic reports for trends about who’s saying what about you. Social sentiments can also be measured in these reports.
 
Question and Answer Sites
Here’s a question sometimes seen on general Q&A sites: “What’s it really like to work for employer x?” Given the relative (although not guaranteed) anonymity of Internet usernames, you see some amazing answers. Employees, both current and past, say some pretty revealing things about who’s hired them.
 
Two of the top sites for general questions and answers are Yahoo.ca Answers and Quora.com. Ranting and venting are discouraged by the moderators. So what you see may be a cleaned up version of raw responses.
 
Employee Commenting Sites
There’s a crop of new and evolving sites that purport to give insider views about employers. They have names like GlassDoor.com and CompanyConnector.com.
 
What makes these sites unique? For starters, they deliberately seek input from past and current staff of varied employers. Thus you may find up to date comments on what your company is paying, what it’s like to work there, what kind of manager so and so is, rankings as a potential place to work, and more.
 
These sorts of sites promise anonymity to content contributors. Check these comments carefully. Take a deep breath beforehand: you’ll be reading unvarnished views about your employment brand from those who’ve been on the inside. Talk about being under a magnifying glass!