We’ve all done it before. Come on, be honest! You see that little rectangle box and all you have to do is type your name and you can see how many times you come up. It’s a little narcissistic, but it’s also human …
… I’m speaking, of course, of Googling yourself. Whether you admit it or not, it’s perfectly natural to want to know who’s talking about you online! This is even more true with authors. If someone wrote a blog about your book, you want to know so you can see if it did anything for your sales. Or maybe you just want to know if that PR campaign was worth it.
Whatever your reason for wanting to know what’s being said online about you and/or your work, there’s tools online to help. Below are four to help you get started:
1) Google Alerts
The go to alert system of thousands of individuals and businesses alike, Google Alerts is like an automated Google search. Anytime Google finds a new website that mentions the phrase you add in, you get alerts sent to your inbox.
Pros: Free and simple to setup; powered by the most popular and arguably best search engine available.
Cons: Alerts are often not related and/or are borderline spammy. Links often go to websites created with content copied from other, more popular websites.
The recently launched BuzzTrace promises to give authors a solution that is simple to setup and use. Unlike other monitoring tools, BuzzTrace segments its results and makes it easier to track what kind of mention it is.
Pros: Free version available. Alerts are organised by web mentions, reviews, blogs, social mentions and articles.
Cons: The online software currently does not have email alerts, but it is a resource that will be added soon.
SocialMention is like a more comprehensive version of Google Alerts. It offers sentiment tracking, and no signup is required to use it. It does not, however, search web content (only social networks), which leaves a large gap of what’s being said.
Pros: No signup required.
Cons: UI is complicated and the results are not organized; you have to crawl through dozens if not hundreds of non-relevant results.
Mention promises to have deeper and more in-depth tracking of mentions–but it comes at a price, as the solution is the most expensive of the ones referenced in this post. It’s widely used by large companies, but may prove too in-depth and difficult to use for the average author.
Pros: Lots of filters to help organize what’s being said and get even better results.
Cons: More expensive than other solutions; basic plan only gives the user two alerts.
Do you have any other favourite tools for tracking online buzz? Share in the comments or in the B2W Facebook group.
BIO: Scott La Counte writes under the name Scott Douglas. He is the author of several books and also teaches writing for the Gotham Writers’ Workshops.