Social Selling Basics – Social Listening Using Google Alerts

Let’s start with the basics of Social Listening – your colleagues and competitors are doing it…why aren’t you? All you need is 5-10 minutes (that includes the time it will take to read this).

How to Set Up Google Alerts:

Setting up a Google Alert is an easy and effective way to track your clients, prospects, partners and/or competitors.

    1. The first step is to determine what you want to track. I recommend you start with your current client(s), prospect(s) and competitors.
    2. Set up a Google account at (if you already have one, you can skip to step 2).
    3. Go to Google Alerts at
    4. Create an alert (weekly, daily, whatever you prefer). I recommend using quotation marks around any phrases you set up initially so that you are served up exact matches vs. general terms.
    5. Add more alerts based upon the business intelligence and competitive intelligence you would like to gather and leverage as a part of your overall sales strategy.

Your Google Alerts are now set. You can add, delete and/or customize these at any time. I encourage you to watch these for a week or two and then modify accordingly. Obviously, the broader the terms you select, the more you will be fed. If you have a division, subsidiary, product, etc. that you want to narrow the monitoring down to, that’s easy to set up. And remember, using quotation marks will yield exact matches.

I’ve been using Google Alerts for years, but I find that many sales people have never even heard of them. If you’re not ready to jump on the Twitter Social Listening bandwagon quite yet, this is a great place to start.