Recently, I argued that independent schools don’t control their brand anymore and offered a few suggestions with regard to participating in these new “cocktail conversations.” Whether you argue with my argument or not, people are discussing your school online and it’s important for you to monitor, and be aware of, what is being said about your school. To that end, I’ve been using a system that allows me to monitor our school’s brand in 10 minutes day and I thought I would share it with you.
Preparation Inside Google
In order to monitor your brand in 10 minutes a day there are a few activities that you’re going to have to complete first. Collectively, I would guess that these would take you no longer than one hour and should only have to be done one time.
- If you don’t already have one, please create a Google account which is free.
- I use two of their applications to help me monitor our brand: Google Reader and Google Alerts.
- Navigate to Google Alerts and set-up as many alerts as like. I would recommend setting up an alert for your school name, any school nicknames, and your competitors names. You’ll have a number of different options when setting up your alert but these are the selections I use:
How Often: As-it-happens
Email Length: Up to 20 results
Deliver to: Feed
- Once the feed is created, click on “View in Google Reader” which will take you to your Google Reader account. Under Subscriptions you will see the newly created alert.
- Repeat for as many terms that you would like to monitor
Preparation Outside Google
There are three other websites that I like to use to monitor our brand: Addictomatic.com, SocialMeniton.com, and Search.Twitter.com. You should navigate to each one and enter your school’s name and conduct a search. Socialmention.com and Search.Twitter.com will allow you to grab the RSS feed for the search where you can then subscribe to the feed in Google Reader. In order to enter an RSS Feed click on the link next to the red arrow in the picture on the left.
Begin Monitoring Your Brand
With your preparation complete, monitoring your brand will be much easier. All you need to do is check out your Google Reader account each day and all of the alerts and searches you have saved there will bring their results to one central location. The one caveat to all of this is that Addictomatic will not let you grab the RSS Feed from the search results which means that I usually conduct a search on Addictomatic each Friday morning after I finish checking out Google Reader. If you have any questions about my system please don’t hesitate to contact me.
I would love to hear other suggestions or ways to monitor your school’s brand. Please share by posting your thoughts in the comments below.