10 Tools to Help You Set Up Your Social Media Radar

Your social media radar.

How would you like to have a system set up to keep an eye on what your prospects have on their minds, what concerns or questions your customers have, what is going in your industry, and what your competitors are up to? What if I told you that the basic tools you will need to do this are all free? I want to impress upon you 3 things:

  • You do need a social media radar system.
  • It would benefit you with all the information that I mentioned above.
  • All of the tools I am going to share with you are free to use.

I am going to share with you what tools to use, the basics on setting them up, and some tips on how to use them. Without further delay here is the lineup of the tools that will compose your social media radar system.



One of the amazing features that Twitter offers you is the ability to read whatever information those you follow are sharing. Check out How to Get Started With Twitter to get set up. Then check out Become a Twitter Power User to see how to make the most effective use of your new Twitter account.

To use Twitter as a component of your fancy new social radar system:

  • Follow your customers and prospects.
  • Follow your competitors.
  • Follow similar business to your own.
  • Follow the influencers in your industry.
  • Read your Twitter stream at least once a day (though 2 or 3 times is better).
  • Interact with those you follow.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts

According to Google:

Google Alerts are emails sent to you when Google finds new results — such as web pages, newspaper articles, or blogs — that match your search term. You can use Google Alerts to monitor anything on the Web.

What does this offer you? A very powerful component in your social radar set up.

Here is what you need to do to make it work:

  1. Go to the Google Alerts Webpage.
  2. Sign into your Google account if you aren’t already logged in. I would advise you to use quotation marks to make your search an exact search.
  3. Type in what you want to monitor in the Search Query box.
  4. In the Result Type drop down menu choose what type of results you are looking for. Usually I would recommend to choose everything.
  5. Choose how often you want to receive results.
  6. Choose All Results in the How Many drop down menu.
  7. Choose to either send your results to your Gmail inbox or a news feed.

Google Reader

Google Reader

Yes Google has done it again with yet another rock star tool. With Google Reader you can follow all of the blogs and feeds you read in one place. Talk about convenience and a time saver. Keep up with industry and competitor news as well as important news from your industry.

Just follow these steps to get started:

  1. Go to the Google Reader site.
  2. Sign into your Google account if you aren’t already logged in.
  3. Click the Subscribe button.
  4. Enter the URL of the feed or blog you want to follow.
  5. Click Add.

Facebook Page

Create a Facebook Page and you will have an amazing social center for you and your target market.

Check out the article Design Your Own Facebook Page Step by Step to get started.

Now follow the steps in 7 Steps to Customize Your Facebook Page to work your page like a pro.

Social Media Groups

Facebook Groups

Join groups on social media sites. Make sure to join groups from your local community, places your target market hang out, groups that are relevant to your industry, and business groups. It is great communication platform and you will meet a lot of people.



Social is a real time social media search engine. You can see who is talking about you, a competitor, a product or service, or whatever you like.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to the SocialMention website.
  2. Type in your search in quotes to get an exact search.
  3. Enjoy the results.

Yes it is that simple. Not every result will be relevant but you should get pretty useful information. Also, check out all the features of the site. Explore and you just may be impressed.

Facebook Insights

Facebook Insights

Follow the instructions on the Facebook Insights That You Can’t Afford to Ignore article and you will reap the reward of great data on your Facebook Page followers, what is working, and what hasn’t worked. An amazing and free tool.

Google News


In my opinion one of the best general news pages available. Go to the site and enter whatever it is you are searching for, and that includes you, your competitors, industry, and products. It gives you a list of news stories bout your search. On the results page it even gives you the option to add a section for the specific search on your Google News homepage.

Here is my routine:

  • Check out the top stories.
  • Search for and check out specific topics.
  • Check out both Business and Technology on the navigation on the left.

That is just what I do. Your interests may be different, don’t ignore this powerful tool.


Yelp.com is like a very popular yellow pages that allows users to review businesses. With millions of unique monthly users it is definitely not something to be ignored.


This is the most important part of your social media radar system. Talk to your customers. Listen to them. Pay attention to their concerns. Answer their questions. Get to know them on Facebook. Be social with them in your shop. They are the most important people in the world to your business and they are the most powerful tool that you have in your social arsenal.

What tools do you use to keep your ears open?

Posted on January 30, 2013, in Marketing, Social Media, Web Tools and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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