One of my most favorite internet marketing tools is the Google alert. It’s the fastest and most effective way to monitor what is being said about you and your company. Whether the feedback is positive or less than positive, it’s imperative to be able to respond appropriately for maximum impact, as well as the ability for damage control if necessary.
Let me give you a fun example of how this works. I recently blogged about one of my favorite cookie companies. I recommended their company and explained why I am such a fan. Within 24 hours of posting my glowing review of their company, they contacted me to say thank you and asked for my address and permission to send me a few boxes of free cookies. (They are healthy cookies, don’t worry, which is why I was so excited.)
How did they know? Most likely, (although I’ve love to believe that my health blog is so well known that they are regular readers) they have a Google alert set up. Google alerts send notices whenever your search term pops up on the internet. Using these alerts are easy, you can set them up in your Google account and then you’ll be automatically be kept in the loop about any topic or search term you have chosen.
You’ll have the choice of being notified immediately, or having emails sent once a day or less frequently. Once you receive your alerts in your in box, it’s important to take action. If the mention of your company is flattering, send a note of thanks, or better yet, free samples. Post the link to Twitter, Facebook, and any other social networks you belong to, and thank your fan on your blog if it’s appropriate.
If the mention is a complaint, there is the opportunity to made amends before it snowballs into a bigger issue. Often a simple apology (maybe cookies) is all that’s needed to soothe an unhappy customer.
If you have a story or comment to share about using Google alerts, please leave me a comment below. I’ll respond just as soon as I’m finished writing my next blog post about the awesomeness of iPads, or hmm, maybe summer cruises in Alaska? 😉