October 20, 2009

£££’s of social media monitoring for FREE

For the last few weeks, we’ve been reviewing a whole host of different social media monitoring services in the run up to the Monitoring Social Media event (November 17th) which I’m due to speak at and give some insights into the subject at (Buy tickets here @ special early bird discount here! PLUG OVER)

I won’t go into our full analysis of the highs and lows of social media monitoring services, however one of my colleagues (Tim – who’s head of tech for our Viral Ad Network) made the following comment off the back of us testing a whole bunch of social media monitoring services. Basically his sentiment was “why spend £££’s on these social media monitoring tools when you can programme Google for FREE.

N.B. this is word-for-word taken from his email to me:

“Out of interest, this is what I do (written very verbosely). It took me under a minute to do this:

(e.g. to look for news about Apple the computer company)

Go to Google and make an advanced search:

Enter :
* “apple”, “macintosh” and “mac” in the section “one or more of these words”
* “fruit raincoat jacket” in the “But don’t show pages that have…” section.

Copy the search that’s generated at the top (“apple OR iphone OR mac -fruit -raincoat -jacket”)

then go to:

paste the search term into the “Search Terms” box, and select “feed” in the “Deliver To” section.

That generates a nice RSS feed that I can use with my RSS reader (e.g. Google Reader) that will be updated with any blogs, videos, images, websites, new articles etc posted.

(here’s a feed:

And if I want to see “buzz” over time I go to Google Insights for search

and paste the same search term in…

To see all the information in one dashboard, I add the google reader gadget to iGoogle ( ) so I see the alerts on my homepage, and also add the google search trends chart (each chart can be added as a separate gadget).
(obviously I could have configured the chart to compare apple to microsoft, or anything else like that)”

There you go. Give it a go. It’s the equivalent of £7000 a year’s worth of social media monitoring for free . . .
(I suggest you spend your savings on the upcoming Monitoring social media event! PLUG OVER (AGAIN!))