There are many reasons why companies outgrow Google Alerts. One of the biggest is that you realize you need to monitor more than just your company name. When you start compiling the list of keywords you should monitor on a regular basis, you quickly see why you need a social media monitoring tool like Trackur.

Not compiled your list yet? Here are the twelve to put at the top of it!

1. Your Personal Name

Whether you’re an independent consultant, professional, or a very small cog on a big corporate wheel, you should absolutely monitor any media mentions of your own name. An extra tip, monitor your social networking usernames too: monitoring “andy beal” would likely not include mentions of “andybeal.”

2. Your Company Name

Another “no brainer.” Monitor your company name, but also monitor any likely misspellings or legacy company names. For example, GlaxoSmithKline should also monitor “GSK,” “Glaxo,” and “Glaxo Wellcome.”

3. Your Product Brands

If you’re Google, you would monitor the reputation of your key product brands. What’s being said about “Android” or “Chrome.” The same goes for your product brands. You may not be able to keep track of all your products, but you should track the ones that are the most vital to your business.

4. Your CEO (and other execs)

I’ll make you this promise. At some point in his tenure, your CEO will put his foot squarely in his mouth. You should monitor all possible iterations of his name, so you can be the first to know–or at least know before the WSJ finds out.

5. Your Media Spokesperson

Even if your company’s CEO is a recluse, I’m sure someone in your company is in the public spotlight a lot. If I were Lenovo, I’d monitor mentions of David Churbuck–after all he’s likely discussing Lenovo on his blog and Twitter.

6. Your Marketing Message

“So easy even a caveman can do it?” “Just do it!” What if those campaign slogans were accompanied by “sucks” or “I’ll never buy from them again?” Monitoring your marketing campaigns will help you understand if your message is getting across, and what your customers have to say about it.

7. Your Competition

Surely you’d find value in knowing your biggest competitor just got the jump on you. Reports suggest that inside Lenovo, execs knew about the launch of Apple’s Mac Air within minutes–important for Lenovo, as it was planning it’s own ultra-light notebook.

Likewise, if Shell & Exxon are not actively listening to the complaints about how BP is handling the Gulf oil spill, they are crazy. Both could use BP’s crisis to explain how they’re “cleaner” “better” or “safer.”

8. Your Industry

If you keep a watchful eye on industry trends, you can spot opportunities and potential disasters. Everyone’s raving about the iPhone, but some are having issues with the new antenna. By listening to industry news and feedback, you can learn what consumers look for in a cell phone–and build a better iPhone.

9. Your Known Weaknesses

Your brand has a weakness. If that’s a shock to you, I apologize for being the bearer of bad news. Still, it’s better I tell you now, than a customer tell the New York Times.

Take an honest look at your products and services and ask yourself, what are our weaknesses. If Toyota had been honest with itself about its sticking gas pedals, it could have prepared a crisis communication plan and conducted a recall in a manner that wouldn’t have tarnished its reputation (as much).

10. Your Business Partners

If you’re Boeing wouldn’t you want to know if one of your airline customers just declared bankruptcy? How does that effect your quarterly sales numbers? For you, maybe the CEO of a company you did that “co-branded” campaign with, was just snapped leaving a brothel–how would that reflect on your own reputation.

Identify your key business partners and make sure you know what’s happening to their business.

11. Your Clients’ News

OK, for all of you internet marketing agencies and PR firms–and anyone else that knows the value of keeping clients happy–here’s a tip for you. Monitor the news for your clients and then send them a note to congratulate them on their accomplishments–or maybe “watch their back” if you see trouble brewing. Your retention rate will go way up! ;-)

12. Your Intellectual Property

If you invested the time–and expense–to register a trademark or copyright your work, shouldn’t you make sure it’s not being infringed upon? Apart from enforcing trademark infringements, you should also make sure there aren’t any cases of mistaken identity. Did someone just complain about how much their Google iPhone sucks? You might want to suggest a correction–or maybe not, if you’re Apple.

Want more? There are at least 30 different identities you should be monitoring on a regular basis. We put them all in a handy PDF for you to download.

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