In every sphere of life- be it in business, politics, religion or entertainment -has influencers. Influencers are people whose opinion holds sway over a large group of followers. How is this important in monitoring your small businesses online reputation? It’s important to find out which online bloggers have followers in your target market or your local area and monitor what they are saying about your local business, your competitors or your industry as a whole.
If you don’t think bloggers are important, just remember that their glowing review about your local business can literally catapult your business growth while a damning blog post can destroy many years of hard work you have invested in establishing community trust.
How to Monitor What Bloggers Are Saying
1. Use Blog Search Engines – these are search engines that get results just from blogs or search engines within blogs that aggregate content. Examples include:
- Blogsearch.Google.com- this gives better blog search results than Google Alerts
- Bloggdigger – this site has a new “find bloggers in your location” feature
Many of these sites have toolbars that you can upload for easy use.
2. Subscribe to the blog- if you know about a particular blog related to your industry or local city/town area that regularly gives opinions about small businesses such as yours, one way to monitor their content is to become a follower. You can do this in a number of ways:
- Subscribe to their RSS feed.
- Follow them on Twitter
- Become their fan on Facebook
- Subscribe to their YouTube Channel
All these will give you instant notification about new blog posts, tweets, status updates and videos. Of course, don’t use your business name or personal name when doing this. Instead use a simple alias name to maintain your privacy.
3. Find blogs using search operators- if you don’t know how to find relevant blogs, you can use search operators in your search engine. Search operators are mathematical functions that help filter your search results much better. For example, if you own a restaurant in Cambridge MA and want to find all blogs that discuss Cambridge MA, then you can type the following search operator into Google: inurl:blog “Cambridge ma”. Or if you want to find all blogs that talk about anything related to Italian restaurants, you can use this search operator: inurl:blog “Italian restaurant*” and that will find all blogs containing Italian restaurants as the base word, such as Italian restaurant reviews, Italian restaurants in New York etc.
4. Alerts – you can also automate the process, by creating a Google Alert and selecting blogs as the alert source.