How Can You Find Out Who is Sharing Your Content?

One of the greatest things people can do for me is share my content with others.  It helps me increase exposure, increases my search engine rankings, and provides me with more opportunities.

And when people share my content, I really want to say thanks.  If you’ve shared my content, and I’ve been able to find it, you may have experienced me leaving a post to say thanks to you.

You should consider doing the same.  After all, when people share your content, you get more exposure for your business.  But how do you know they’ve done so?  Here are the ways I search to see who has been sharing my content.  Perhaps you’ll find that some of them will be useful to you as well.  (By the way, if you’re searching on more than one word, put the phrase in quotation marks.  That way you only bring up times when the phrase is used in that sequence.)

  • Google alerts. Go to and plug in any phrases you’d like to be alerted to when they’re used on the web.  This might be your name, your blog name, or other phrases you want to be aware of.  Then decide how often you want to be notified…I usually select “As-it-happens” which means I get an email that the phrase has been used as soon as Google finds it.  (If you prefer, and you’re setting up a monitoring dashboard as an organization, you can also choose to be notified by “feed” and then plug that feed into a reader.  If you don’t know what that means, just choose email.)
  • Search columns in HootSuite. You can search all of Twitter to see when specific search terms have been mentioned.  I like to do this using HootSuite, which allows me to manage my Twitter experience.  As part of HootSuite, I set up search columns that look for my name, the phrase “direct sales,” and other terms.  This allows me to search for specific phrases, and have them show up all in one column within HootSuite, as they happen.  To set up a Search column, simply click “Add Stream” (remember you’re only allowed ten columns per tab), click the “Search” tab along the top, and enter the word or phrase (in quotes) that you want in that column.  Click “Create Stream” and HootSuite automatically adds the column to your HootSuite screen.
  • Facebook Search. You don’t read a lot about Facebook search, but I find it to be an incredibly useful tool.  Daily, I search my name, blog name, and post titles in Facebook.  To use it, just type in what would import if someone clicked the “Share” button on your blog, and then click the search icon to the right of the search field (don’t just press Enter).  Once the results come up, click “Posts by Friends” and “Posts by Everyone” on the left.  You’ll get a list of conversations from friends and people that have set their walls to “Everyone” that have used those phrases.  Thank the people that share if you’re friends with them, and are able to comment on their posts.  (Note: Unfortunately, Facebook search does not bring up NetworkedBlogs shares.)
  • Facebook News Feed. As I mentioned, Facebook Search doesn’t find everything, so I also manually scan the Facebook News Feed as I have time.  The nice thing about the current set-up of the News Feed is that Facebook will group together friends that have shared the same content.  So if you find a post that has been shared, Facebook will tell you how many people have shared it.  I try to thank each person that has shared by name in the comments of the share.
  • Social Mention.  Just like with Google Alerts, SocialMention allows you to see who is talking about you online.  Simply navigate to and plug in your search term.  I always set it to search “All.”  Then it does a search of  blogs, social networks, news sites, and more, and shows you not only when you were mentioned, but WHO mentioned you, and an estimation of how positive or negative the comment was (sentiment.)  You can even set up alerts within Social Mention, just like you do with Google Alerts (either email or RSS feed.)  Now this may seem a bit like an overlap with Google Alerts, but I do find that sometimes each service finds different things.  Nothing is foolproof.  So I use to see who has mentioned me and my blog, and then leave a post to thanks folks.
  • Incoming Links. As a blogger, I have a handy set of stats that shows me where people come from when they find my blog.  And while the vast majority of my readers come from social networks, sometimes I can see if someone has come from a blog or other website.  I always go to that site to see if someone has mentioned me or a post I’ve written, and I make a point of leaving a comment and saying thanks.

Saying thanks when people talk about you is one of the greatest things you can do.  And if someone complains about you or your business online, paying attention allows you to step in and resolve a little situation before it becomes a big one.

Are you monitoring your name and business online?  How?  Would love to read your comments below!

p.s. And if I haven’t said thanks to you yet for sharing my content, THANK YOU!  I appreciate you greatly for sharing my content with your friends.  You rock!

7 Responses to How Can You Find Out Who is Sharing Your Content?
  1. Julieanne van Zyl
    January 19, 2011 | 6:36 pm

    Hi Jennifer, thanks for this, I didn’t know about Your post is really useful, and I found it from Christine Casey sharing with me:-)

    • Jennifer Fong
      January 19, 2011 | 7:58 pm

      Glad it was helpful Julieanne. Thanks for taking the time to comment! Hope we’ll see you again sometime! 🙂

  2. Ryan Biddulph
    January 19, 2011 | 1:24 pm

    Hi Jen,

    Thanks for sharing the wonderfully informative post.

    I knew of only 1 or 2 of these methods before reading. I usually just checked my RTs on twitter and if somebody tagged me on Facebook it would simply show up on my wall.

    Sometime I run a twitter search on “Ryan Biddulph” to catch tweets that didn’t use my handle or simply mentioned my name.

    As for catching a situation before it potentially escalates I just found one the other day when searching for my name. It pays to stay informed and it only helps your branding efforts. And of course I’m eternally grateful to those who share my stuff. My presence didn’t start to expand significantly until my content was shared on social networking sites. Nobody can do it alone.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Jen.


  3. Christine Casey
    January 19, 2011 | 10:14 am

    Hi Jen,

    Just wanted to leave a quick message to let you know how much I really appreciated this post ~ I knew about a few of the resources, yet you’ve shared quite a few others that I feel will be valuable to me! 🙂


    P.S. I hope you and your son are feeling better 😉

    • Jennifer Fong
      January 19, 2011 | 11:03 am

      Glad it was helpful Christine! Thanks for the commenting, and the well wishes!

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