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How to Search Social Networks for Mentions of Your Online Community

The social networks are important tools for determining who is talking about your online community and your brand online. People often make off-hand comments on social networks, publishing their opinions about a particular brand or community for the world to see.

Your online community on Facebook

If you search for your community name in Facebook, the Facebook search engine will bring up results about your community but it will also bring up results if someone shared news about your brand.

Also, sometimes people start online communities on Facebook having to do with your brand or product, independent of your brand. For example, if your brand produces a popular hair care line, you may find a few fans start their own pages in tribute.

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If you work for Joe’s Peanut Butter, for example, and your Facebook search turns up a Facebook group called Joe’s Peanut Butter Sucks, it’s worthy of investigation. You need to know why there’s a whole online community devoted to the suckage of your peanut butter.

Likewise, if there’s a community called Joe’s Is the Best Peanut Butter Ever, you’ll want to visit it. Knowing who is talking about your community and why is a major part of a community manager’s job.

Your online community on Twitter

Searching Twitter — or using an app such as TweetDeck, Seesmic, or HootSuite to search it — allows you to monitor online conversations on Twitter. When you enter various search terms, you’ll receive results from members both inside and outside your community.

Definitely take some time to analyze the conversations and respond to them. Being responsive is one of the most important parts of a community manager’s job, and it’s also something that people online will notice, which may encourage them to join your community.

Your online community on other social networks

Twitter and Facebook aren’t the only games in town. You can also search other social networks and bookmarking/sharing tools, such as the following:

  • LinkedIn

  • YouTube

  • reddit

  • StumbleUpon

  • Friendster

  • orkut

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