If someone is talking about you, you may or may not care on a personal level. Your business, however, is another story. You need to care what people are saying about your products, service, practices, or anything related to your business. Your reputation plays a big role in a consumer’s decision to shop with you or not.
Enter Social Mention, a free online service that scours the social web for mentions of your search term. Enter your brand, and the results will hopefully be enlightening. Along the left side of the results page is a list of metrics, including the top users who mention you, what keywords are being associated with you, what venues you’re appearing in, and if people like you or not.
“Strength” is the likelihood that your brand is being discussed in social media. “Sentiment” is a ratio of positive to negative mentions. “Passion” is a measure of the likelihood that individuals talking about your brand will do so repeatedly. “Reach” is a measure of the range of influence.
How accurate are these metrics? The calculations are fairly rudimentary, and I have no idea how a mention is determined as positive or negative. At first glance, you may think the “Sentiment” section on the results page would be the most useful. It seems to be the quickest way to find out if your reputation is good or bad. But upon closer inspection, it doesn’t seem to be very relevant. If you click on the “Negative” link, it brings up the mentions that were supposedly unfavorable to you. In Nexternal’s case, these two “negative” mentions were an instructional YouTube video (which had no thumbs down) and an eCommerce article. Both were produced by Nexternal, so it’s unfathomable how they could have been construed as negative. Still, it’s interesting to poke around and discover the footprints your brand has been leaving online.
The bottom line is, Social Mention is a tool that gives you a superficial glimpse into your social influence. There are more sophisticated solutions out there if you’re serious about your social media performance, but for a simple, free method to quickly assess where you are, this is a good start.