Though social media is often thought to begin with Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, one of the best places to start your social marketing efforts is a little-known service offered by a well-known online entity, Google Alerts.
Google Alerts are emails sent to you when Google finds new search results, that match your specific terminology, such as web pages, newspaper articles, or blog posts. And search terms can literally be anything you choose: your business name, the names of your individual properties, the neighborhoods in which your communities are located, etc. If you can type it, Google can alert you about it.
By using this FREE, self-sufficient service, you can monitor the Web for mentions of your property management business and real estate portfolio, which is an essential part of managing your company’s reputation. After all, if someone out there is singing the praises of your communities, you’ll want to know about it for testimonial opportunities. If, on the other hand, there’s negativity being spread about your operation by an individual or a competitor, you need to be made aware of it as soon as possible for damage control/remediation purposes.
Ready to set up your notifications? Start at the Google Alerts home page.
1. Type in your search terms
Enter your search query as if you were conducting a normal online search.
Ex: Acme Apartments Springfield Oregon
(Click here for some great tips on enhancing your search terms.)
2. Enter your email address
Add the email address where you want your Alerts delivered. You don’t have to have a Gmail address to use Google Alerts.
3. Confirm your request
If you aren’t signed into a Gmail account when you create a query, Google will send you a verification email to prevent spam. When you receive the verification email, open it and click the Verify link to confirm your requested Alert.
If you use a Gmail account to create your Alert, no confirmation is necessary. Just click the “CREATE ALERT” button.
It’s that simple’your Alert is now active! From this point forward, you’ll receive an email every time Google finds new results for your search. You can repeat this process for as many queries as you want.
And if you decide that you don’t want to receive updates on a particular search anymore, simply click the link within the Alert email to delete the notification.
Similar monitoring services (some free, some not) are also offered by:
Stay on top of your company’s online reputation in just a few simple steps and gain control over the way your business is viewed by prospects and customers alike. It’s just good social sense!