Researching Your Customers’ Online Activities

When developing a social media marketing campaign, it’s important to determine what your target customers are doing on the Internet. You can use several tools to find out where your target customers are going online. Without this information, you can’t formulate a smart social marketing strategy. You’re simply shooting in the dark.

Tools that help you research online activity fall into two basic categories: free and paid. The free tools you can simply register for and use. Tools and services for which you must pay can get expensive very quickly. In Chapter 4, we discuss the pay tools and services, which are more appropriate when you’re planning a specific SMM campaign.vIn this section, we discuss some of the free tools:

check.png Blog search engines: These search engines crawl (sort through) just the blogosphere for the terms that you input. They search for those terms in the blog posts and the comments, and the searches generally include all publicly viewable blogs on the Internet. If you just want to get a sense of the conversations in the blogosphere about a specific topic or brand, these search engines can help you do that. The most popular ones include Technorati’s blog search engine (http://s.technorati.com ), Google’s Blog Search (http://blogsearch.google.com ), BlogPulse from Nielsen (www.blogpulse.com ), and BlogScope (www.blogscope.net ...

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