Whether you're a local business or an international brand, chances are good that people are already talking about you on the Web. But before you can get involved in those conversations, you have to start listening. You can't respond if you don't know what is being said, where it is being said, and who is saying it. Monitoring social media is an ongoing process, and you should use multiple systems to be sure nothing slips through the cracks—the right (or wrong) story can come from anywhere and blow up in your face. You don't want to get caught off guard.
The first tools you should be using allow you to search for your name, business name, and product names; you should then subscribe to the search results via RSS. Set up an account on Google Reader (or your feed reader of choice) with these feeds, and check the account once or twice a day. For simplicity, I mashed up all the sources in the following list using Yahoo! Pipes, so you can just enter your keyword into the form at http://pipes.yahoo.com/danzarrella/monitoring and subscribe to one RSS of the results. Do this once for each word you'd like to monitor. I recommend your company name, your product names, your name, and key employees' names.
IceRocket Blog Search
Google News Search
Google Video Search
SocialMention.com "All" Search
BackType Blog Comment Search
Figure 10-1 shows the results I received after entering the keyword ...