I've written before about the importance of listening to your customers as you build relationships with them through Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks. If you aren't yet engaged through those mediums, take the first step to see where you are being talked about and what people are saying.

Larger brands usually monitor what's been said about them daily, even hourly. If you're a small restaurant, you may only need to do this once a week. Here are some FREE tools to get you started.

HowSociable: This is a really interesting site that gives you a score and shows where you are mentioned on different social networks. Use this as a starting point to see where you are being talked about. – www.howsociable.com/

Google Alerts – Setting up Google Alerts are a fantastic way to stay up-to-date with mentions about your restaurant. These alerts are sent directly to your e-mail "as it happens", once a day, or once a week. You decide! - www.google.com/alerts

Google: Google searches are usually pretty comprehensive and you can search by a specific date range and be sure to use quotes to make your search more specific. While Google is a terrific search engine, below are some other tools to supplement that search. - www.google.com

As far as daily monitoring, I use:

Overall search:
Addict-o-Matic – http://addictomatic.com/
SocialMention – http://socialmention.com/

Blog/News Search:
IceRocket – http://www.icerocket.com/
Backtype – http://www.backtype.com/
Technorati Search – http://technorati.com/search/

Twitter Search:
Twazzup – http://www.twazzup.com/ – great search tool for Twitter!

TweetGrid – www.tweetgrid.com
Twitter Search – http://search.twitter.com/

Message Boards/Forums
Board Tracker – http://www.boardtracker.com/
Boardreader – http://boardreader.com/
Omigili – http://omgili.com/

Other rating/review sites such as Urbanspoon, Yelp, and reviews on Google are EXCELLENT places to get feedback and respond to customers. What monitoring tools have you used? How often do you search what's being said across the web?

Share in the comments section how you are monitoring what's being said about your restaurant!

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Tags: brands, listening, media, monitoring, search, social


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