This time of year is a great time to take a step back to reflect on the previous year and prepare for the year ahead. If you are monitoring traditional or social media the same holds true. A different pace this time of year affords an opportunity to review and revise your search criteria. It also provides a convenient change-over point to keep records, charts, and graphs from becoming too skewed.
A good way to begin the process of “cleaning out your closet” of keywords is to take two articles or posts, one from the beginning of the year and one from now, which match what you are looking for in an ideal result. Ask yourself what is different between the two. Has the spokesperson for the organization changed? Have new products been introduced? Are the key issues you are concerned with shifted in some way? Has the language surrounding any of these topics been altered?
With these thoughts in mind take a look at your keywords, one at a time. Each one should be producing results in an expected manner – and if it is not then now is a great time to tweak the search parameters. Just like when you set up a monitoring account, it may take a few days or a few adjustments to get the volume and quality of clips where you want them.
If a keyword is producing more than you want, try adding modifiers to tighten the results. Alternately, if a keyword doesn’t seem to be providing the clips you expect, then you can broaden the terms to possibly garner more results.
Also, if your organization has had personnel changes, launched new programs or developed new products – this is an opportunity to ensure the monitoring account is up-to-date. You might even look at planned changes in the New Year and set up search criteria for something that is in the pipeline. This would provide a baseline of chatter prior to the launch as well as allow you to see if your messaging should be tailored differently.
Similar to cleaning out an actual closet, don’t hesitate to remove items that don’t quite fit or are broken. It’s best to know what you have in there, have those things functioning properly, and be able to find what you need.
Finally, once you have reviewed all of the keywords and revised the items that need to be addressed, take a few days to let the changes percolate. Any final tweaks can be made before the end of the year. Then you can sit back and enjoy the holidays!