SES Session Recap: Buzz Monitoring

Filed in Conferences/Educ., Word of Mouth by Matt McGee on August 26, 2007 1 Comment

SES San Jose 2007The very last session of the week was the one I was looking forward to as much as any: Buzz Monitoring. This is something I’m hearing more clients and prospects talking about, and so I wanted to hear the latest thoughts and ideas from the experts — including Andy Beal, who I’ve had the pleasure of chatting and e-mailing with in the past, but never heard him speak on a panel. Though I promised not to live-blog the conference, I did take fairly detailed notes on this session, and so I’ll post them here in the hopes my readers will benefit as much as I did.

What I didn’t take notes on: The parts of each presentation where the speakers were giving general introductory statements about why buzz monitoring is important, stats related to buzz monitoring, etc. My focus was on actionable ideas and tips, and that’s what the notes below will reflect.

Buzz Monitoring


“You no longer own your own brand. It’s now a conversation.” Users are in control via social media, blogs, UGC sites, etc.

Buzz Monitoring Questions: What are you trying to learn buy doing this?

1. How do consumers feel right now about your brand, products, services, people?
2. How many are talking about you?
3. Who’s being impacted by these conversations?
4. What issues are being discussed?
5. Who’s doing the talking and are they influential?
6. How do we engage in this conversation?

What to monitor?

1. Blogs
2. Newsgroups
3. Social networks
4. Podcasts
5. Q&A venues (i.e., Yahoo Answers)
6. Search engine results – what will searchers learn about you by searching on your company name, your product names, the names of your executives, and so forth. This is even more critical in light of universal search, and the possibility that unflattering photos, videos, etc., may appear in the SERPs.

Taking Action

1. Look for evangelists and mobilize them to help provide positive contributions to the conversations.
2. Engage with ‘middle ground’ consumers to influence them.
3. Look for “incidental detractors” and engage with them to fix problems; these are people who are upset, but can be made happy.
4. Minimize “determined detractors” – the people who just hate you no matter what you do. You can’t change them.


The things you should be tracking include your company name, executive’s names, product names, important business partners, competitors, etc. – everything that may reflect poorly on your company.

Where & What to track – this is a list of free places where you can monitor reputation. In just about every place listed below, RSS feeds and/or e-mail alerts are available to make monitoring easier.

Moreover, Yahoo News – track industry trends
Google News – track current news
Digg, Reddit, Netscape – track what’s hot
Technorati, Google blog search – track blog posts – track blog comments
Blogpulse conversation tool – track spread of conversations
Blogpulse trend tool – track bookmarks
Flickr – track photos of your products, staff, etc.
Google Video Search – track videos of your products, people, etc.
Keotag – track tags (your brand name) across multiple sites – one stop shop for tagging services
BoardTracker – not comprehensive, but tracks message boards and forums
Wikipedia – track “history” page to see changes to your company page, executives’ pages, competitors’ pages
Oodle – classified aggregator with job listings, spy on competition to see what they’re hiring
Seeking Alpha – stock opinions, investor conference calls
Google Patent Search – what are competitors filing?
Amazon tag search – see what people are saying about products
Google Trends – track search queries
Compete – type in keyword, see most popular domains are getting traffic – tells who is the competition for keywords
Google Alerts – email alerts from any search term you supply
Copernic – get notified anytime a web page changes; for example, track your listing at Ripoff Report, your BBB listing, etc.
Yahoo Pipes – make your own tracker by combining RSS feeds


How to handle complaints showing in search results….

Complaints may come from blogs, reviews, UGC, and other sources. There are several sites where complaint pages often rank well:

Ripoff Report
Better Business Bureau

Are you watching these sites?

Book recommendation: Co-Opetition

What to do? Put some space between you and the complaints!

1) Optimize your customer service page (i.e., a Page Title such as “Orkin customer service, compliments, and complaints” – can rank for “orkin complaints” because of the power of the site overall)

2) Help your siblings – international sites, local branches/providers. Link to them. Get more official sites in the rankings and push down complaint listings.

3) Link to your company’s Monster Jobs and CareerBuilder profile pages – get those pages in the Top 10.

4) Help “accidental tourists” – Orkin could help out pages of people with last name “Orkin” – add them to DMOZ, link to them, etc. Help them rank higher than complaints.

Comments (1)

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  1. davidmihm says:

    Great rundown of their tips, Matt. I particularly like the optimization of the customer service pages & the linking to Monster Jobs & CareerBuilder pages.

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