Ever wish that you had some sort of magical device that let you see what everyone was saying about you behind your back?
If you are a curious marketer, then there is a tool which can do just that, and it is far from magic.
That tool is Social Mention, a search engine capable of scanning the web and producing results, in real time, of the current buzz on any keyword. Simply type in whatever you want to search, and Social Mention instantly provides you with a detailed analysis of who is talking about your keyword, how often, on what platforms, and much more!
To a first time user, all of the data and analytics can seem overwhelming, but with this beginners guide, you too can be a Social Mention guru in no time at all!
Picking a Keyword
Once you head to Social Mention’s home page, you will see a search bar, much like the ones on Google or Yahoo which you are familiar with. This is where you will enter your keyword. In this example, we will be searching the international soft drink brand, Coca-Cola (they’re bound to have quite a bit of buzz, right?)
To the right of the search bar, you will see a drop down menu. Clicking this will allow you to select what specific platforms you want the engine to search for your keyword in. The default setting is “all”, but you can select blogs, images, and more. Doing so will filter your search results, and provide you only with the metrics and results for whatever platform you have selected, while the \”all\” option provides you with results for your query across all platforms.
Once you have selected your keyword and which platforms to search, click \”search\”, and let the magic begin.
Breaking Down the Search Results
Once we have typed in our keyword, Coca-Cola, and clicked search, we will be brought to a page with what seems like an overwhelming amount of information. However, it is quite simple and straightforward.
Below the search bar in the center of the page, we can see hyperlinks to various pages which have mentioned our keyword, \”coca-cola\”. Clicking these links will take you directly to the page where your keyword is being mentioned.
Next to the title of each page snippet, we see a small icon which designates what platform the discussion is occurring on, such as Facebook or Twitter. The bottom of each of these page snippets also states specifically who was talking about Coca-Cola, and how long ago.
At the top of the page, you will see a list of hyperlinks, such as \”blogs\”, \”microblogs\”, \”bookmarks\”, etc. Clicking any one of these will limit your search results to just that particular category. For example, if we wanted to only see results of bloggers who were talking about Coca-Cola, we could select the \”blogs\” option.
Every time you refresh the page, this feed will update, placing the most recent \”stories\” involving your search at the top of the page. The further you scroll through the results, the older the posts will be.
Understanding the Statistics
In addition to the hyperlinked pages, Social Mention also provides us with some useful statistics and analytics about our keyword, which can be found in a series of gray boxes at the top left of the page.
Strength: This metric shows a percent likelihood that people are talking about the keyword right now. In our example, we see that there is a 16% chance someone is talking about Coca-Cola at this point in time. The higher this number is, the more people are currently talking about your keyword.
Sentiment: Sentiment is a ratio of positive to negative discussions about our keyword. Coca-Cola has a sentiment ratio of 18:1, meaning there are significantly more positive discussions going on about Coca-Cola than negative ones. If the number on the left is significantly higher than the number on the right, people are saying good things about your brand. If it is lower, they may be saying some not-so-good things–in which case you may want to take steps to boost your brand image.
Passion: This metric measures how often the same authors are mentioning your searched keyword. When this number is higher, the same authors are talking about your brand frequently. However, a higher number is not necessarily better…you want new people talking about your brand, not just the same ones re-hashing it over and over.
Reach: Reach is calculated by the number of unique mentions divided by the number of total keyword mentions. The higher this number is, the more people are talking about your brand.
Also included with these four basic metrics are a breakdown of how frequently the keyword is mentioned, when it was last mentioned, and by whom. Relative to our search example, \”Coca-Cola\” is mentioned on average, about once every 29 seconds. It was last mentioned one minute before this search, and has recently been discussed by 100 individual authors, and retweeted 20 times.
Additionally, every time you click the refresh button, the page will update, supplying you with the most recent metrics for your search. This can be very useful to see how the \”buzz\” about your search changes over time.
Below the boxes containing the metrics for our search, we can see some more statistics which further break down what we are monitoring.
Top Keywords: This shows us what key words were most frequently mentioned alongside our chosen keyword. Some of the top keywords mentioned around our search were \”link\”, \”delicious\”, and \”coke\”.
Top Users: Shows which authors are using our keyword, and how often. Currently, the users talking about our search the most are Coca-Cola (surprise!) and LIS Technology. Clicking on these names will bring you to the respective user\’s page.
Top Hashtags: Shows us what hashtags our keyword is most frequently associated with.
Top Sources: Shows us what sites our keyword is appearing on. According to these results, our keyword is very popular on sites like \”Delicious\”, \”Twitter\”, and \”YouTube\”.
Making Social Mention Work for You
To get the most out of Social Mention, make sure you make use of the tools provided all the way on the right side of the page, as they are very helpful. You can create an RSS feed, create email alerts, and get an Excel printout of your metrics.
Clicking the RSS Feed button will allow you to create a feed which will update in real time, showing you the latest information on who is talking about your brand. If you click on the \”email alerts\” link, you will be able to set up and customize email notifications to be sent to you when your brand is mentioned in a given context or by a given author.
Now that you understand the basics of Social Mention, head over to their website and start finding out who is talking about your brand, and how you can use that information to improve!