Use hootsuite for brand monitoring and business prospecting

Happy Thursday!

Below is part of a lesson I included in my Best-Seller Author Brand class in December 2011 on how to use Hootsuite for brand monitoring and business prospecting.

These are just five of the total ten ways to use Hootsuite search for brand monitoring and prospecting. My DigiMedia Minute subscribers get the whole guide this evening when the newsletter goes out at 7 EST. New subscribers will get a PDF delivered to them if they sign up after 7 tonight – one of TWO gifts you get just for signing up for exclusive digital media marketing and online business strategy content.

Please remember, this guide isn’t meant to teach you how to be a spammer. It’s meant to show you how to effectively engage with the conversation on Twitter in a way that benefits your business. It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, that you should always be polite, courteous and genuine in your interactions with people.

Alright, preliminaries out of the way. Let’s dive in…

5 ways to use Hootsuite for brand monitoring and business prospecting

If you have questions about how to use Hootsuite, which is an excellent social media dashboard system, check out the video from my Best-Seller Author Brand class. While the content was created with authors in mind, it will walk you through the basics of setting up Hootsuite search streams for monitoring the conversation on Twitter.


1. Search for Brand Names and Product Names.

The most basic way to use Hootsuite search to monitor your brand is using it to search your brand name, product names or other terms directly related to your business.

There are a few ways to do this:

You can do a search query for results containing your brand name.

If I searched:


I’d get all results containing “Tivi” and “Jones,” but not necessarily “Tivi Jones” in that order.

Use the following query to get results that contain the exact phrase you’re looking for. For example, “Tivi Jones” or “Harry Potter” or “Children’s Hospital.”

"[company or brand name]"

Use the following query to get results that contain either one word or another, or results that contain both.

For example:

Tivi OR jones
How can you use these search queries to help your brand?

See who’s talking about your brand.

Are people asking about your next product? You can respond to them, ask them to join your email newsletter list, etc.

Are people talking about how amazing your company is? You can reach out to them and ask them to join your yet-to-be-launched street team.

See who is talking about related brands.

Do you also write books about teenage wizards on a quest to save the world from dark forces? Don’t just answer “yes” because you’d love to have a fraction of J.K. Rowling’s sales, but look at your book’s page on Amazon, does it say that people who bought your books also bought books in the Harry Potter series. If so, set up search streams so you can see who is talking about these book titles and characters and politely and genuinely connect with these people to share your love of this same genre.

Set up search streams for your competitors and peers and see who is talking about them and use that information to your advantage.

2. Brand Keyword Searches and How To Use Them

You can also search for your brand’s keywords.

Brand keywords are a concept I go over in more detail in my branding classes, but basically you should have 3-5 brand keywords you use consistently as a way to “optimize” your brand. This can be online, in person, in products, etc. – wherever your brand is represented.

Use some of the search options from the previous section to search for your brand’s keywords in order to find potential customers

For example:

"tax advice" OR "north carolina accountant"

People may be asking their followers “Know any good north carolina accountants? I need tax advice.” And because you, my savvy darling, are monitoring the conversation, you can jump in and say. “Oh yes, my company, #1 Tax Guy, offers free tax advice and 25% off tax prep services. [link]. HTH!”

3. “This, But Not That” Searches

Say you have a very specific product or business, but it’s often associated with something else that you don’t want results for, you can use a “this but not that” search query in Hootsuite to get your results.

Use the search query [word] and -[word you don’t want]

For example:

"blonde roast coffee" -starbucks

This search query means: everything with the exact phrase “blonde roast coffee” but NOT with the word “Starbucks.”

How can you use this search query to help your brand?

This breakdown, in some cases, will get you closer to people who are actively sharing their interest in specific things. Things that you may be able to provide.

4. Monitoring Hashtags

Hashtags are a way for you to keep up with trends on Twitter.

You can create and promote your own.

Say you have an amazing online sale for your  business where a lot of your products are $10, you can create a hashtag that is #10dollars, or use an existing hashtag like #sale. Say the sale is to benefit a local Komen breast cancer charity, add in #susangkomen or #breastcancer

Some people monitor hashtags to see who is talking about or sharing information they are interested in. Using popular hashtags appropriately gets your content in front of people who may be interested.

In the same way, by monitoring related hashtags, you can see who’s talking about particular topics and jump into the conversation when needed.

Also, same concept as previously mentioned, if you follow any similar brands and they are starting their own hashtags that may be similar to one you want to launch, monitor their results. See what works and what doesn’t and scout for opportunities.

5. Monitor Your Competition’s Tweets

Instead of hopping around Twitter ALL day seeing what your peers in your industry are saying, or scrolling all the way down your homefeed to see every single post, create custom streams with your favorite brands or similar brands to see what THEY are doing and how you can use that information in your business, use the search option:


— without the at (@) symbol to get all the tweets sent from a particular user.

You can also use the search query:


—to view all tweets that mention a particular user.

You can also set up public or private lists on Twitter with certain users and set up streams for these lists in Hootsuite.

For five more ways to use Hootsuite for brand monitoring and business prospecting, sign up for my DigiMedia Minute weekly newsletter that will go out at 7 EST tonight. New subscribers after 7 EST, get a PDF of the content delivered to them via email.

Rock on.

Reminder: if you’re in the Durham, NC area on March 28, check out the free class I’m doing for the Durham Chamber of Commerce.

Click the image below for more details.