Are you listening?

One of the most important ways you can use social media to build your business is to LISTEN.

Listening is the perfect place to begin.

To get started today, I suggest that you sign up for Google alerts relevant to your business or industry.

One great way to listen to what people are saying about your business through social media is to go to and sign up for several Google alerts.

When you sign up for a Google alert, Google will search for your terms and send you an email update with links that include your search term. You might receive blog posts, news articles, tweets, or other information shared online.
I receive multiple Google alerts each day, including one for my name and one for the name of my blog: “Weaving Influence.”

After receiving these alerts for several months, I noticed an interesting trend.
Many of the alerts I received for my name are about another Becky Robinson, who is often in the news about her work with feral cats.

Most of the alerts I receive for my blog, “Weaving Influence,” are alerts to news articles about people driving under the influence of alcohol.

That’s okay with me, really, because it only takes a few seconds to scan the email alerts to see if there is any information relevant to me, my blog, or my business.

If you have not already set up Google alerts, I recommend that you set up at least 3 Google Alerts:

  1. Search for your name. (If you have an often misspelled name, you might also want to set up a Google alert for common misspellings of your name, in case someone who is talking about you online happens to misspell your name also.)
  2. Search for the name of your business. You want to be sure to read any review anyone posts about your business. 
  3. Search for your type of business (for example, “plumbers”) and your geographical location (“Toledo.”) You want to stay up to date with whatever people are saying about your industry locally and news about what your competitors might be doing.

When you monitor your Google alerts, you will be able to listen to what people might be saying about you or your industry. You can be aware of trends, changes, and opportunities in your business.

Listening is an important first step when you’re building a presence online.

What other ways do you listen to your customers? What unintended information do you get from Google alerts?

Watch my video on this topic at Toledo BizConnect TV.