As nonprofits get more comfortable integrating social media into their communications outreach, they still face an uphill battle in how to track their brand through a user-friendly dashboard. Sure, there are paid services like Radian6 that will help organizations filter out the noise so you can listen to what different audiences have to say about your brand, but these services can be pricey. What affordable and easy options do nonprofits have to track their brand online in one central space? Carie Lewis of the Humane Society of the United States, pondered this too and came up with a great, free solution using iGoogle. In a nutshell, Igoogle lets you setup your own dashboard to monitor your organization’s brand by pulling in several RSS feeds.
Here’s a sneak peak of HSUS’s dashboard and what they are “listening” for.
- Brand - mentions of your nonprofit, including acronyms, misspellings, etc.
- Current Issues - what people are talking about that involve your nonprofit right now.
- Detractors - people or other nonprofits you know dislike your nonprofit or issue but talk about you (the opposition).
- Competition - nonprofits or people in the same space as your nonprofit.
- Staff Mentions - prominent people in your organization like your Executive Director.
HSUS Monitors Their Brand Via:
- Google Alerts
- Tweetmeme - tracks the most popular tweets about a subject.
- Technorati - tracks blogs that mention certain keywords.
- Blogpulse - a blog monitoring tool.
- Digg - highlights most popular articles on the web.
- Boardreader - shows forum posts by keyword.
- Filtrbox - a paid monitoring service that tracks social media conversations.
Carie’s Tips for Getting Started:
- Start with a blank iGoogle page.
- Choose the 3 column layout.
- Open a new browser window. Do a search on Technorati for your org name. You'll see a "subscribe" link. Click on it.
- A window in Google Reader should open. Copy the feed URL in the top left corner.
- Go back to iGoogle, and click on "add stuff" and add feed or gadget.
- Paste the URL into the box and save.
- You'll be taken back to your iGoogle page, where you should see a new box with the content from Technorati mentioning your org name.
- Repeat these steps for each site, then each tab and voila you have your own dashboard to monitor your nonprofit's brand.