Do you know what is being said about you on the internet? There are several online tools available that allow you to monitor what is being said about you or the search you specify. For example, what are people saying about your business? Do you know what your competitors are talking about? This information can help you with damage control or with positioning your company around something your competition is doing.

For years, I have used Google Alerts and strongly recommend everyone set up alerts, both personally and professionally. A few years ago, an old friend contacted me about doing some outsourced writing. As part of the contract, he agreed to set up a website so my clients could ‘check him out’ first. A few days into the contract, I received a Google Alerts notification. Upon looking into it, I found it was a link to his website. He had written a testimonial from me and posted it on his website. He was someone I’ve known for years, so it wasn’t a big deal, but it reinforced how important having the alerts can be.

As a business, this type of notification helps you monitor what is being said about your organization. It is also a fantastic strategy for monitoring your competition. Do you remember when you performed market research for your business plan when you first opened your doors? Now that you are in business, it’s still critical to monitor and understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors based on what is being said about them online. This insight provides the opportunity to adjust your messaging and win over new clients. While listening to your competitors, you may also realize that everyone is saying the same thing. This creates the opportunity for you to create messaging that separates you from the competition and gives you an advantage of distinction over them.

Google Alerts was one of the original players in this arena; however the consensus is that the performance of this tool has diminished. Two tools that are frequently recommended are Mention and Talkwalker. To monitor your social presence, try socialmention.

Take a few minutes and set up an alert for yourself and your business. Also schedule time to map out a strategy for monitoring your competition and use that information to grow your business.