My post on Tuesday talked about the growing trend of social media being used in order to gain more lead generation and marketing potential in businesses across the nation. You are going to need to be online. You are going to need to have a voice in this world of social communication.

Can we talk about another reason to be on social media? Are your competitors using it? This should be a deciding factor in whether or not you get involved. So where do you start? The first thing is to investigate.

1. Sign up for an account at Competitious.

Competitious is a cool tool that allows you to track, organize, and solidify data from your competition. Right now the beta is a free account… jump on over… sign up and try the tool. It also allows you to share and collaborate on different forms of data internally inside of your company.

2. Use the search tool SocialMention.

SocialMention is a keyword based search engine that aggregates different forms on content from across the web. You can search on microblogs, blogs, comments, events, and images (to name a few). Receive free daily email alerts of your brand, company, CEO, marketing campaign, or on a developing news story, a competitor, or the latest on a celebrity.

3. Google Alerts never hurt anyone.

Google Alerts is an awesome tool that allows you to sign up for… you guessed it… email alerts when a keyword is used in any type of content on the web. I have setup keyword alerts for Indianapolis social media, social media, Kyle Lacy, Brandswag, Twitter Marketing, and corporate social media. Check out this tutorial on how to use Google Alerts.

4. Do some investi-ma-gative journalism.

This should probably be step number one but it seems pretty simple… go to their website. If they are using social media in the right way they should be listing the tools in which they use. Follow them… feed them.. watch them. You could learn a ton from the way they share information.

5. Use HubSpot to track down the competition.

Hubspot has plenty of tools that allow you to track and influence different levels of your competitors use of social media. They give you the ability to track conversations online and hook up with different influencers in your industry. This is a paid service but it can extremely beneficial to the long term success of winning over the competition.

Get out there and listen to the net!

Are there any tools you have used? I would love to hear more!

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