How to Simplify Your Social Monitoring : Social Media Examiner

social media how toAre you looking for easy ways to monitor social mentions of your brand, product or name?

You can easily listen to what people are saying online on any topic you want to track.

In this article, I’ll discuss two real-time social analytics tools and how they can enhance your monitoring.

Get Real-Time Insight

Topsy is a search engine that gives real-time insight into online conversations.

It uses proprietary data-indexing technology to provide you with not only the most recent search results, but also the most relevant results based on the calculated social influence of the conversation.


Once you arrive at Topsy, you can elect to search Twitter, photos, videos, trending topics, expert articles or "everything."

One of the great features of using Topsy to search Twitter is that the URLs are automatically expanded when the search results are indexed.

What this means is that you can see which tweets are linking back to your website that you might not otherwise see.

You’ll also be able to view tweets about you that don’t tag your @handle.

url search

The URL search for "" results in tweets using shortened URLs ( or

Some of the topics that you’ll want to search for on Topsy are:

  • Your name
  • Your company/brand name
  • Your product name(s)
  • Your competition
  • Your industry
  • Your website URL(s) (leave off the “www”)
  • Your email address
  • Your employees’ names

Use Topsy not only to get a pulse on what people are saying about you online, but also to show you trending topics that would be good to add to your Netvibes dashboard.

Monitor Your Social Media in One Dashboard

Netvibes is a free PR-newswire service on steroids. It will become your go-to dashboard for everything that’s being said about you (and anything else you want to monitor) online.


To get started, go to Netvibes and click the sign-in link at the top right. To set up your free account, you can simply connect with Facebook.

You can choose from hundreds of pre-installed search widgets, which include connecting to your own Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Once you’re signed in, you’ll see your first dashboard. Simply enter a search topic (such as the ones listed above for Topsy) and search.

Your dashboard will populate with search results organized by source, such as Google Alerts, Google Blogs, Yahoo! News, Bing and others.

You can add more news outlets by adding widgets to your dashboard.

widget panel

Just click the Add Content button at the top left of your screen to access the widget panel.

You can also use Netvibes to monitor RSS feeds from sites/blogs that you want to remember to stay current with.

add a feed

Click on Add Content and then Add a feed. Enter your feed's URL and click the Add feed button.

Just click the Add a feed button, and enter the feed URL.

The easiest way to organize your Netvibes account is to separate each search topic into its own dashboard. Each dashboard will appear as a tab across the top of your screen.

separate tabs

Here's an example of how to set up a Netvibes account above. There are separate tabs for product names, my company name, my name and Twitter handle.

Be sure to set up a tab for each of your website URLs as well, so you’ll know when someone is linking back to you. This information will also appear in your Google Analytics account, but it’s nice to have all of this data available to you in one central location.

add new tab

Click the + button to the far right of the tabs to add a new one. Simply type in your website URL and click Create to add a tab for each of your sites.

Any time a new article or conversation on your search term occurs, you’ll see an alert in red at the top of that dashboard. Netvibes operates in real time, so each time you log in you’ll see the latest results.

red alerts

The red numbers in parentheses indicate the number of unread alerts for each tab/topic.

The great thing is that once you create your Netvibes account and enter all of the searches that you want to monitor, your social media listening station setup is complete. All you need to do then is remember to log in and check it frequently.

Check in regularly to make sure you’re not missing any opportunities to connect, reach out to solve a customer service issue or respond to a favorable mention. Being responsive gives people incentive to click over to your site.

With free pro-level services like Netvibes to help you keep tabs on online conversations, there is no longer any reason you can’t know almost instantly when you’ve been mentioned online.

It’s time to take action. Your next steps are to set up your account, and then add weekly or biweekly reminders to check into Netvibes in your calendar or schedule.


Most people are not taking the time to regularly monitor online conversations about themselves and their company. Using these tools gives you an excellent opportunity to stand out among your peers.

So, what do you think? Are you already monitoring online conversations about yourself and your business? Do you have a story of how responding to an online mention of you led to an opportunity or revenue? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!

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