When it comes to monitoring your hospital’s brand, the more resources you have, the better. One of those resources is Google Alerts, a service that sends you an email summarizing what the Internet is saying about your hospital or brand. The great thing about Google Alerts is that the summaries can be as basic or as broad as you want.
The benefits of Google Alerts are the ease of use and time savings involved. Without this technology, you’d have to spend countless hours online looking up articles, going to forums, visiting your competitors’ websites, following links within each webpage and checking out Twitter and Facebook. You could scan through thousands of pages of link reports, but obviously, that would take way too much time. You need something simple and affordable (FREE). Google Alerts picks up mentions on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and many other social networks.
You must have a Google email account (www.google.com) to access this function. After that, the process is easy. At the Alerts service screen, you can select the kinds of content you want Google to search for: video, blogs, discussions, news or real-time. Once you decide on an option, you will then decide on frequency – for example, once a day, once a week, the minute it happens. In addition, you can set the volume and decide where the alert should be delivered.
Google Alerts is a good way to keep an eye on the competitive hospitals in your market. If you have a specific competitor, you can enter the hospital name or enter your industry with company or companies attached. When the alert is delivered, it will be a summary, so you can quickly see and analyze the data
Google Alerts is also a good way to keep track of keywords related to your industry and stay on top of all sorts of information you can use to your business advantage. When you can tell in real time what people are saying about you, you can acknowledge positive comments or counteract adverse comments to turn around public opinion or improve customer service. Google Alerts will save your hospital time and effort in the long run while having a positive effect on your bottom line. In future posts, we’ll cover other free listening tools as well as paid tools.