Google Alerts – a business development tool.
By: Christa A. Nelson, MBA
A Google Alert is a free tool that allows the user (anyone with internet) to set up customized email alerts regarding specific search criteria. It is simple to use and easy to customize to your specific needs and notification level.
For example: I have alerts for myself, my company, specific industry phrases/topics, a select group of clients, competitors and every member of my team. (You may consider monitoring yourself and your family.) I use the alerts to monitor our marketing efforts and brand identity. I want to know what people are saying about my company and who is saying it. I often receives alerts by Google Scholar when a patent I am monitoring is filed, or a specific author has been published. The alerts on clients & competitors allow me to be in-the-know as to what might be happening in their world. I often forward client specific posts to my team and use the information to send congratulatory notes or gifts to clients who have reported big wins or milestones.
How it works: When the key words and criteria are set, an alert is created, and emailed when they appear on the web in a blog, video, news article, website, etc.
How you can make Google Alerts work for you:
- Monitor mentions of a company, client, or person.
- When you see alerts about a client you can reach out and speak specifically about something you have read or seen online. Sending “atta boys/girls” for big wins to clients or condolences letting them know we are there to support in their time of need allows us to expand and cultivate our current relationships and continue to build legacy clients.
- You can monitor your personal name for mentions. See what the world is saying about yourself.
- You might want to monitor other experts in your area to stay in-the-know.
- Follow industry trends – yours & clients
- Watch for news about litigation, regulations and practices specific to your industry to give you a competitive advantage.
- Track information, topics and products regarding a specific niche market
- Watch for leaks about highly proprietary data.
- Watch what is said about one of your well-known products.
- Enter terms that might yield “surprise” information relevant to a pending litigation.
- Monitor a specific geographic area for news that might affect you, your company, or a client.
Monitoring this information will allow you a rich resource of information you can pass along to your partners, clients, coworkers, associate, and colleagues. It allows you to become in-the-know and Google does all the heavy lifting for you.
If you would like a quick How to on how to Set up Google Alerts, Christa is available to assist.