Got this article on line, I am sure its useful for all of you Social media Geeks .
Before social media even came into the equation, conversation has always been the defining factor behind how well a brand is perceived. People do share their thoughts and ideas about businesses among their friends, colleagues and sometimes directly to the company.
Before You Start:
Like all things, you should define what your goals are and what you want to get out of it.
What You Should Listen Out For?
It doesn’t matter how many people are talking about your brand. Instead, what you should focus on is what they’re saying, understanding what they need and responding to it
Ways To Monitor The Conversation
Use A Social Media Dashboard
If you know what keywords to search, then the numerous social media dashboards that are available will come in useful. As always, the obvious ones that come to mind when discussing this is Tweetdeck and Hootsuite. Both will allow you to search for keywords or phrases and present a news stream that will be updated in real-time, useful for keeping tabs on mentions or seeing when people link to your site.
Use A Social Search Engine
If you want more detailed information and results, there are a number of social media search engines that will help you out. One that you should keep in mind is Topsy, a search engine that will provide you with insight into online conversations in real-time. Allowing both basic and advanced search options, Topsy allows you to see tweets linking back to you that you mightn’t have noticed first time round, like shortened URLs linking back to you. The basic service is free, but the advanced version has a free 14 day trial should you want to delve further.
Use Google Alerts
Another tool that marketers abide by, Google Alerts will email you alerts relating to keywords daily, or as soon as they come in. This is very useful if you want a summary of the day’s events, or if you get so many updates, you prefer to summarise content into one simple email.
Invest In Analytics Tools
a number of analytics tools will allow you to monitor conversations on top of providing you with statistics as well as help you identify key influencers around your brand. There are many paid tools out there that can monitor any mentions your brand gets, keywords or phrases, but the best would be Wildfire, Radian6 and Social Mention.
Use The Search Function On Social Media Sites
This one can be useful for certain things, but only if you’ve exhausted other avenues. For one, Facebook’s search is pretty poor and the type of results you get from it can be incredibly limited. Twitter’s, on the other hand, allows for more detailed searches provided you’re ok with it going just a week back (or less in some cases). The search pages for other sites like Google+ and LinkedIn tend to vary so while it can be useful to check, the success you’re going to have will be varied at best.