Monitoring what matters: Social listening post 2020

Monitoring what matters: Social listening post 2020

Now, more than ever, brands need to understand what moves their customers – and traditional market research simply lacks the dynamism to keep up with a world perpetually in flux.

In this webinar taking place on 5 June at 14:00 BST/ 9:00 EST, Meltwater and The Drum dive into the state of social listening and audience research, showcasing how client Agatha Christie uses media intelligence to craft a content marketing strategy that captivates. There will also be a live Q&A straight after the webinar so that you have a chance to ask our speakers questions about the topic.

Join us and learn what real customer centricity looks like today.


Wesley Mathew, Head of Marketing, Meltwater: UKI

Sarah Thrift, digital marketing manager, Agatha Christie Ltd

plus one more special guest


(a senior editor from The Drum)

The live webinar will explore:

The benefits of social listening over traditional market research

How to use social listening to inform content strategy

How to spot brand opportunities and capitalise on social trends

How to measure campaign impact with real time data

How to combine social listening & audience insights for better buyer personas

To join this session, register here.

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Web Monitoring Tools: 4 Google Alerts Alternatives

Web Monitoring Tools: 4 Google Alerts Alternatives

So you want to get notified every time someone mentions your topic of interest online: That might be your own name; your company’s name (so you can keep an eye on what people think about it); your competitors (so you can stay up to date on their business strategy); topics relevant to your career or industry… The list is long.

The most obvious option to help you keep track, besides obsessively googling these topics every day, is setting up Google Alerts.

The problem? There are a lot of downsides to Google Alerts.

First, it’s notoriously unreliable: Considering the minuscule number of sources it does monitor, it doesn’t do a very good job of it, frequently missing relevant mentions.

For years, people have complained about it:

Second, nowadays the biggest news happens not on blogs and websites (that’s where it gets reported a couple of hours later) but on social media. Google Alerts doesn’t monitor social media. It won’t send you a tweet criticizing your product or an Instagram post from an influencer praising it. It simply doesn’t access those platforms.

And, third, if you’re considering Google Alerts for business purposes, you need something more powerful that will let you see who is talking about your brand, what feelings they express, what opinions they share. How those feelings and opinions add up to make up your reach, brand awareness, share of voice, and other important marketing KPIs.

Basically, something that will let you analyze your target audience, understand your brand reputation, do marketing research…

Now that we understand why Google Alerts is not enough, let’s see what alternatives are there on the market.

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pingdom dashboard

Free & Awesome Website Monitoring Tools

You can invest ton of time and money into marketing your website but all your effort will be wasted if your site is down. Uptime is the biggest usability and conversion hurdle…

The biggest, yet often most overlooked.

How to Monitor a Website: Tools

Don’t let yourself fall prey to the same mistake. Here are some easy to use monitoring tools that will tell you the second your users lose site access.


Pingdom is a great option that lets you monitor your site uptime and provides some awesome analytics! I miss the times when it was free!

You can test your site performance in multiple countries (this is especially useful if you are using a CDN solution), diagnose your page load time and identify what is slowing it down, get alerted whenever anything has gone wrong, etc.

  • Invite colleagues or customers to view reports and edit settings
  • Customize how you are alerted depending on the severity of an outage
  • Integrate and receive alerts direct to all of the apps you use every day (Slack, VictorOps, OpsGenie, PagerDuty and many more)

pingdom dashboard

Google Docs

Google Docs has a number of scripts that you can use to do anything from sync up your calendar to creating extended forms. One of the lesser known uses is integrating a website monitor that will alert you any time your server encounters an error or downtime, even if it is only momentary.

You can get these alerts through your phone and email, based on your preference, or both if you want to make double sure that you are covered. Digital Inspiration has a super simple to follow tutorial on how to use this script.

Google Docs monitoring tools


Zabbix is an enterprise level open source software, and so it is totally free. Unfortunately, like a lot of OS platforms, it is not especially user friendly or easy to use for those who don’t have more extensive technical experience.


If you do know what your doing, it is amazing. It will gather data of all kinds from the network, and monitors your site, thousands of servers, network devices and virtual machines in real time, all at once. Possible uses for the platform include:

  • Monitoring of data and statistics coming from multiple users and clients;
  • Monitoring of activity, customer feedback and campaign effectiveness on multiple social networks at once;
  • Automated messages, emails, newsletters on occurrence of some predefined event;
  • Monitoring of online homepage most important real-time data e.g. traffic rankings, on page statistics, number of unique visitors, etc.



You can start using for free, but eventually you will need to get a paid plan if you want their more advanced features. The good news is that they provide more than most, including public and email reports.

The personal plan is only $3.25 a month, and the business plan is only $18.25/ Even their enterprise option is surprisingly cost efficient, which is why its no shock that brands like Colgate use it.


The tool will:

  • Check your sites or servers from locations around the globe with specific interval
  • Send alerts about problem to you. You may have as many contacts as you wish. Mostly, alerts are free.
  • Send Uptime reports to you for you to collect uptime statistics. Also you can expose Uptime data to your customers and partners.

Bonus tools:

Google PageSpeed Insights will help you diagnose and fix page load time issues. It’s very easy to use and requires no registration. You can even compare two pages to better understand your page speed issues.

At the top of the report, the tool provides a score which summarizes the page’s performance. This score is determined by running Lighthouse to collect and analyze lab data about the page.

  • A score of 90 or above is considered fast,
  • 50 to 90 is considered average
  • Below 50 is considered to be slow.

There are dozens of site monitoring tools out there, and we would love to hear about more of them. Have any tools to add to this list? Let us know in the comments!

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