People are talking about you on the internet. You might not think they are, but chances are that someone, somewhere is. This could be a fan promoting your new song on Twitter or perhaps a smaller, lesser known blog that wrote about your new video. You might think you know all of your fans on social media, and you may be very detailed in keeping track of what outlets you pitched, but this is the internet we’re talking about, and there's simply no way to know everything that’s going on.
Here’s where the practice of social media monitoring comes in. Social monitoring is incredibly easy, and like quite a few other things in this business, it's something you might not be doing but really have no excuse for ignoring. It takes literally minutes to set everything up, and then you can leave much of it alone to do what it does best.
There are quite a few services out there that will watch every page on the internet to see when people are talking about you and tell you what they're saying. This is great for everything from following up with writers to addressing customer service issues. It involves a tiny investment of time that will pay off many times over, so you should probably get started right away.
Here are four services that I suggest you try out if you’re just getting into the world of social media monitoring.
When it comes to all things social media, it’s a pretty safe bet that Hootsuite has it covered. I've personally used the service as a great way to pre-plan social media (which you should know by now is incredibly important to any artist’s social strategy), and it's also one of the better companies out there monitoring the web for mentions of whatever you want.
Everything about Hootsuite is intuitive and easy to use, so I'd suggest starting with this one. It’s free, and you may want to make this service your go-to for all things social media.
2. Google Alerts
Probably the most used social monitoring system out there, Google Alerts is a no-brainer. If you’re just getting started with this sort of process, begin here. In fact, if you don’t even really understand what social monitoring is, this is the best way for you to get a sense of what’s going on pretty quickly.
All you need to do to get started is type "Google Alerts" into – you guessed it – Google, and you’ll find yourself on a page where it’s pretty obvious what needs to be done. You can set up alerts in seconds, and whenever your keyword is mentioned, you’ll get an email. This was my first intro to social monitoring, and I still have some alerts set up for simple things like my own name and the like.
This option is a little more in-depth and intense, so it isn’t right for everyone. Mention scours the web at all times for any mention (fitting name, isn’t it?) of you, no matter the language or the country, which is a neat feature.
What I've found to be convenient about Mention is that you can customize how you’re alerted when you get written about somewhere. I’d suggest you go for the once-a-day email that aggregates all of your mentions online from the day prior. For the vast majority of people and artists, that should be enough.
Now, Mention isn’t free, so think really long and hard if you want to spend your money on social monitoring. For many artists, it can be difficult to justify spending even a single dollar on something that can more or less be gotten for free from the aforementioned services, but it might be just what you were looking for. You can go for the free trial and then decide for yourself, but unless you’re looking for a lot of different names and keywords at all times (perhaps you’re working with a lot of different artists), this might be a service to keep in mind for later.
4. Social Mention
These companies are helpful, but they aren’t very clever with their names, are they? Social Mention will alert you whenever your band name, song title, or your new album is mentioned just like the other options on this list, but there’s a lot more going on with this one. In addition to just listing the mentions in a visually appealing and easy-to-digest format), Social Mention will also analyze the passion behind these mentions. Is your band’s name thrown out there just once, or is someone discussing you quite a bit, saying your name several times in one post? Also, is this a positive or negative mention? That’s important in prioritizing what to follow up on first. The company can also estimate the reach of that mention, telling you if it'll likely be seen by a few hundred eyes or millions.
With so many interesting and valuable features, one might expect Social Mention to cost a pretty penny, but it's actually free. It takes a little getting used to, and you’ll need to play around with it before you can navigate it like a pro. But once you've learned the ins and outs, it can do wonders for your understanding of how people are discussing you on the internet.
Get more social media tips:
- Set It and Forget It: 5 Tools That Help You Automate Your Band's Social Media Posts
- 5 Key Elements of a Comprehensive Social Media Strategy
- A 3-Step Guide to Fixing Social Media Posts You Regret
- How to Deal With Haters on Social Media
- 4 Social Media Mistakes Your Band Can't Afford to Make
Hugh McIntyre is a freelance pop music journalist in NYC by way of Boston. He has written for Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, and MTV, as well as various magazines and blogs around the world. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief of the blog Pop! Bang! Boom! which is dedicated to the genre of pop in all of its glory.