doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

Brand Monitoring

Last week, I had first hand experience with brand monitoring on social networks.  It was interesting to see it happen.


The first came as a result of a blog post I made sharing my experience with a new (to me anyway) mind mapping brainstorming product called Stormboard.  Read the original post here.  Notice that “Stormboard” didn’t appear in the title.  However, the folks at Stormboard are monitoring their brand and acknowledged that I was talking about them…

I found this to be great and made a reverse contact to let them know about the Bring IT, Together conference.  It would be nice to have them on the exhibit floor and to donate a door prize!  It just might happen!


Later in the week, I took my daughter to a new restaurant in Windsor, The Lone Star Texas Grill.  After enjoying a bunch of “welcome y’all”s, our server, Cheyenne, took our order.  As I tend to do, when waiting, I decided to check in with FourSquare.  It drives the other kids nuts that they weren’t invited to lunch when they read it.  Bubby decided that she wanted to tap into their free wireless only to find that she was required to “Like” their Facebook page first before she could connect.  Interesting concept which she took a pass on. So it reads,

What I found out later was that @lonestartexmex had favourited my luncheon announcement and was now following me on Twitter.


Finally, it’s not just organizations that were monitoring their brand.  My coffee drinking Twitter friend Linda Aragoni had recently written a very good post on her blog about using games to teach about grammar.  Skip Zalneraitis had retweeted my post.  It caught Linda’s eye and she responded…


I think we’ve all given the advice to others – “Google yourself” and see what kind of footprint you have.  It’s an interesting activity but really is a “one of” activity.  If you’re serious, you might be interested in a more persistent solution.

A while back, I had mentioned about how I monitor myself on Twitter.  Within Hootsuite, I just keep an eye on things by having a column that keeps an eye out for mentions of “dougpete” and “”.  More and more people seem to be getting away from commenting directly on blogs but take to Twitter instead.  I wouldn’t want to miss anything and I certainly don’t want to sit around doing search after search to find things.  Why not put the power of the software to work?

But that’s just Twitter.  How about other places on the internet?  In that case, you might be interested in setting a Google Alert.  Designed to keep an eye on topics, what if YOU are the topic that you want to monitor?  Set up the rules and get the results mailed to you according to your timelines or rules.

Another really helpful monitoring tool is IFTTT.  One of the useful rules that it provides applies to Facebook.  Wouldn’t you like to know the moment that someone tags you in a picture on that service?  Monitoring does the trick.  Dropbox can alert you to new items – in this case, the rule will actually take the picture from Facebook and give you a copy.  No more excuses “I didn’t do that…”

There’s a great deal that can be done with the proper tools and a bit of setup.  If you’re interested in what people are saying about you, why not be like the people above and monitor yourself just like they’re monitoring their own brands?

There are so many examples that come to mind – one important one for education that springs to mind – if I’m a principal of a school, I want to monitor social media so that I know the minute that my school is announced in the local newspaper or on the radio.  If a parent posts a frustration online, monitoring comments could be just as important as knowing that people like the fajitas at their restaurant.

What do you think?  Do you monitor yourself or your organization?  Or, do you belong to the que sera, sera crowd?


One response to “Brand Monitoring”

  1. Hey Doug,
    I have my Interactions column in Tweetdeck, but that’s about it. Sometimes I’ll Google my name or username to see what’s on the first page (hopefully all good), but I don’t really want an alert set up for everything.
    Small aside: One thing you mentioned is the “like for a reward” approach that many businesses use to coerce patrons to advertise. You have to “like” to get WiFi, or 10% off, etc. To me this feels disingenuous, and I would think Facebook would be upset about that sort of behaviour. After all, doesn’t it diminish the meaning of “like”, which is part of the brand they’re protecting?
    Thanks for the post, Doug. Even for those who don’t obsess over their brand, it’s worth a quick look once in a while to make sure the most prominent stuff about you is positive and true.


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