Finding what you’re looking for online can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
Even Google has built different engines, specific to different types of content: Google Scholar, Google Blogs, Google Images, etc. Google created different platforms because, depending on your search terms, the engine might not grab all the content that’s useful to you.
In the MV platform, setting up search terms is key. And while it’s only one part of your reputation management, it’s an important one. One of our experts recently gave the team a breakdown of how to refine search terms, and here’s what I got from it:
Optimizing search terms across different media
In the MV platform, you can select different types of media you’d like to scan. Whether it’s broadcast, print, Internet or social media, you can filter your search and tweak the keywords for each one.
When setting up search terms and keywords, consider the nuances among different types of media:
Broadcasts are built in sound bites. Closed captioning can be misspelled or adlibbed. In a crisis situation, you might be looking for a spokesperson’s full name. But a broadcast transcript might site the person’s position and company instead.
Print publications funnel out information so the less important information ends up at the bottom of the article. This is because if the publication needs to cut down the length of an article (for layout reasons), they can cut from the bottom-up without losing the meat of the story. It’s probably easiest to find content in print sources because of the obligation and tradition of writing for publications – spokespersons’ full names and companies’ legal names are used.
Internet and social media
Internet sources often carry on the print story and may end up having a bit of a social spin. The Internet isn’t edited the same way a print publication is, so the online space often sees more frequent use of synonyms, slang terms, acronyms, hashtags and variations on company names.
Ever heard of Brangelina? Do you call McDonald’s “Mickey D’s”? Do you use “iPod” and “mp3 player” interchangeably? When you talk about your mobile device, do you call it a cell phone? A cell? Your mobile? Maybe you’ve been misspelling Led Zeppelin incorrectly all these years? You can’t tell me you know for certain that it’s Walmart and not Wal-Mart. Or is it? You’re probably not the only one – why would your audiences be any different?
Adapt your search term for better results by:
- Using media-specific tools (filters, regions, channels, program guide);
- Test different keywords to see which combinations work best for your topic (if at first you don’t succeed);
- Tailor search terms and keywords to each of the media categories.
Ultimately, the onus is on the user to enter appropriate keywords to get the results they’re looking for.
It’s important to listen to your audiences and perform searches using the language they speak. To dig up all of the media mentions of your brand, using your company’s full legal name might not always point you to all the useful references.
Looking for information the right way is the key to effective monitoring, so it’s vital to know how your audiences are talking about you.