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Where is the Puck Going?

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Track your Customer’s Pulse (Part One): Google Alerts

June 17th, 2008 · 1 Comment

(Article written for “Where is the Puck?” by Jess Sloss, Social Entrepreneur from Vancouver, BC, Canada).

Would you like to know your customers better, get feedback from your brand’s fans and make your product the best it can be? What’s the key to gaining valuable, actionable insights into consumer thoughts and behaviors at next to no cost? It’s easy, just get out there and interact with them!

*Ask yourself*

I came across a question recently that went something like this; “If your
customers are talking online and you’re not there to hear it, does the
conversation really happen?” Most of you probably answered yes. Yet few
businesses actively engage with their customers online.

Fear not, its easier than you think to put your finger on the pulse of your
customers. In this two post series I’ll show you 2 free tools that can introduce you to conversations that are happening right now.

*Google Alerts*

Google is the dominant search engine, 68% of all searches are Google searches. What Google knows, your customers will know. Google Alerts are automatic updates via email of the latest content that Google has found based on your chosen search topics, keeping you informed of blogs or websites that mention yourbrand.

We use it at Watch for Change. Anytime Google finds something that has “Watch for Change” in the text, it emails us. When the Winnipeg Free Press published a story warning the public to be weary of the “Anarchy if Altruism” our organizations purpose in a major regional daily paper, Google Alerts told us all about it. We were able to respond directly and avoided a one sided and wrong interpretation of our organization.

Not knowing what other people are writing about your company can be dangerous. Don’t risk it, take 5 minutes of your time and set up your Google Alert today.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our “Track your Customer’s Pulse” series where I’ll show you the best tools for tracking some of the webs most important conversations.


*Jess Sloss is a Social Entrepreneur from Vancouver. He writes a regular blog on Social Media Strategies and their impact on organizations. Jess is also a co-founder of, Watch for Change , a non-profit organization that uses social media strategies and online video to raise money for charity. *


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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Duncan // Aug 5, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    This tool is easy and effective as long as you have specific keywords that aren’t common. Unfortunately this can pose a problem some times and you can get “spam” alerts. So be specific in choosing your key words. Overall it’s still an essential tool to keep an ear to the ground on the internet.

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