In Part 1 of this Listening series we discussed how to find conversations about your brand and industry on the web using Google Alerts. This week we’ll discuss listening on social networks, where millions of conversations occur every day.

To pick up on relevant conversations that are occurring online, I recommend using a free social monitoring platform, such as Hootsuite. By creating specific keyword searches within the platform, you get a glimpse of what customers think about your agency, what they’re looking for in an agent and what aspects of a policy are most important to them. When you take the time to listen, you become a better agency and your customers will take notice. In a world where 72% of individuals believe peer reviews over advertising, your efforts can pay off in ways traditional advertising never could.


After you set up your account in a social monitoring platform you have the option of adding a ‘Mentions’ stream. This stream picks out all instances where your agency was tagged on Facebook or Google+ or your Twitter handle was used in a tweet. When an individual takes the extra step to tag your agency or use your handle, it is a direct invitation into the conversation so be sure to respond.

Keyword Searches

Not all customers will use your proper Twitter handle or tag you on Facebook, so I recommend creating a Keyword Search of your company name. Once generated, you’ll see every mention of your agency on each social channel, thus ensuring you won’t miss out on critical conversations. Another tip is to create searches using shortened versions of your name as many customers likely won’t use your proper name online.

Other keyword searches you may want to create include:

Conversations Around Your Product

You can create searches that capture references to products you offer that occur throughout Florida, or better yet, your local community. Attaching a geocode to the end of your search will help to narrow down the chatter to conversations occurring within your immediate area. Some recommended searches include: homeowners insurance, car insurance, life insurance, flood insurance, and renters insurance.

Competitive Searches

Make a list of your main competitors and create search queries for each. You may find instances of unsatisfied customers that you can assist. You might also get ideas on what your competitors are doing right, whether it is unique promotions or exceptional customer service. Take the opportunity to learn what potential customers are looking for and adapt your agency accordingly.

Local Conversations

Want to make more connections in your community? Create a search of your city name and be sure to include a geocode if it’s a common name. This will provide information on groups and events throughout your area, allowing you to become involved and make connections. The relationships you form could be a constant source of new business for years to come.

Determining which keywords are most important to your agency will take time and a bit of strategy. Don’t get discouraged! Continue trying new things until you find what works best for you. You’re now equipped with great listening tools that, when utilized correctly, will bring your agency’s marketing to the next level.

Happy listening!