Use Google Alerts to track your sphere

Do you know what the people in your sphere are doing? Other than the ones taking pictures of their coffee, I mean. Have any of them received an award lately, or given an interview? Has anyone presented a paper at a conference? If you knew that they had, would you send them a congratulatory note perhaps? Or ask them about it next time you invite them out for coffee? What about the important people in your town? Has the mayor been in the news? Or has anyone on the city council made an announcement that might impact the business of one of your clients?

If you’ve got movers and shakers in your sphere, there’s an easy way to keep track of them with Google Alerts. Use your Google account to generate automated alerts when a topic of interest to you appears in a Google search. You can create a Google Alert for mentions of your own name, for that matter.

Once you have the Alerts established, use them to help you network. Write a handwritten note congratulating someone on a job well done. Share a news article in a tweet or LinkedIn post if it’s a business-related topic. The point is to use the alerts to stay connected with your clients, to help them in their businesses when you can, and to become better connected with the newsmakers on the periphery of your sphere.

Interested? Here are the step-by-step instructions from Google:

Create an alert

  1. Go to Google Alerts.
  2. In the box at the top, enter a topic you want to follow.
  3. To change your settings, click Show options. You can change:
  • How often you get notificationsThe types of sites you’ll see
  •  Your language
  • The part of the world you want info from
  • How many results you want to see
  •  What accounts get the alert
  1. Click Create Alert. You’ll get emails whenever we find matching search results.

Edit an alert

  1. Go to Google Alerts.
  2. Next to an alert, click Edit .
  3. If you don’t see any options, click Show options.
  4. Make your changes.
  5. Click Update Alert.
  6. To change how you get alerts, click Settings   check the options you want and click Save.

Delete an alert

  1. Go to Google Alerts.
  2. Next to the alert you want to remove, click Delete .
  3. Optional: You can also delete an alert by clicking Unsubscribe at the bottom of an alert email.