Google Alerts: Finding the Heart of Your Industry
Google Alerts is a commonly used tool in professional services companies that allows you to track the mention of a particular word across the Internet. For example, if you (like we do) track the phrase “Hinge Marketing” you will be notified every time that phrase is mentioned anywhere online.
Firms typically track their brand name and company executives so that they know when people are talking about them. Monitoring your brand in this way is important so that you can address both positive and negative conversations about your company.
Another way that professional services companies should be using alerts is to find conversations relevant to their industry or niche. For example, if you are a technology company that specializes in satellite engineering, you could set up alerts such as “satellite engineering,” “satellite construction in the army” or “satellite communication technology.”
When you are alerted about these mentions, you can go directly to the source, learn from the article or blog, and join the conversation. This allows you to know what’s going on in your industry and also interact with influencers in that field.
How to set up a Google Alert
To set up a Google alert you must first create a Google account. Once you’ve done this, visit http://www.google.com/alerts. You will then see a screen like this:
When creating an alert you can choose how often you want to be updated and how you want the information delivered (it can come to your email or an RSS reader). Once you’ve set up a handful alerts you will get a feel for whether your words are too broad or specific, depending on the number of notifications. Practice checking your alerts on a weekly basis, visiting each website, and interacting with others in your industry.
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