The number one question after today's wonderful social media panel at the Women in Nuclear conference was this: how do I set up a Google Alert?
The first step in any social media effort is listening. And if you're creating a social media presence online, whether that be for yourself (your personal brand) or for your entity or organization, your first move is to be aware of the conversations that are already happening around that topic.
So let's start with the easiest and most obvious monitoring: what are people saying about you as a person?
I believe firmly that absolutely everyone, from the CEO down to the receptionist, should be aware of her image online. And monitoring is the key to awareness. As personal branding guru Dan Schwabel Twittered recently, "Your first impression isn't a handshake anymore. It's your online presence." How many of you have researched someone you have a first meeting with by Googling him? It's a best practice for both personal and professional connection. And more than half of employers Google potential employees. Even if you're not looking for a job, it's smart to know what your connections will find when they Google you.How to set up a Google Alert in five easy steps:
- Go to www.google.com/blogsearch and enter your name surrounded by quotation marks into the search box and hit Search Blogs.
- In the left hand side bar, under Subscribe, click Blogs Alerts.
- Under Type, choose Everything. This will return not only blog mentions but Web results and mentions on social networking sites as well.
- Under How Often, choose Once a Day (unless you want to receive several emails a day).
- Under Deliver To, enter your email address. Click Create Alert.
For a preview of today's mentions, Google now offers a handy-dandy Preview Results box, so you can see the top five results for today.
And that's it! Now you're monitoring your online presence. Check your email inbox and scan daily to see mentions. And while you're at it, you might want to choose a few topics you'd like to track. For example, for Spoken Communications, I have Google Alerts set up for "contact center," "call center," "IVR," "customer experience," "customer service" and a few others. They provide a wealth of content useful for researching and creating blog posts and informative tidbits to post to our Twitter stream.