So you want to get notified every time someone mentions your topic of interest online: That might be your own name; your company’s name (so you can keep an eye on what people think about it); your competitors (so you can stay up to date on their business strategy); topics relevant to your career or industry… The list is long.
The most obvious option to help you keep track, besides obsessively googling these topics every day, is setting up Google Alerts.
The problem? There are a lot of downsides to Google Alerts.
First, it’s notoriously unreliable: Considering the minuscule number of sources it does monitor, it doesn’t do a very good job of it, frequently missing relevant mentions.
For years, people have complained about it:
1) how is google alerts so bad, and 2) how was it not shut down 10 years ago?
— Max Lynch (@maxlynch) August 28, 2017
Second, nowadays the biggest news happens not on blogs and websites (that’s where it gets reported a couple of hours later) but on social media. Google Alerts doesn’t monitor social media. It won’t send you a tweet criticizing your product or an Instagram post from an influencer praising it. It simply doesn’t access those platforms.
And, third, if you’re considering Google Alerts for business purposes, you need something more powerful that will let you see who is talking about your brand, what feelings they express, what opinions they share. How those feelings and opinions add up to make up your reach, brand awareness, share of voice, and other important marketing KPIs.
Basically, something that will let you analyze your target audience, understand your brand reputation, do marketing research…
Now that we understand why Google Alerts is not enough, let’s see what alternatives are there on the market.