Have a website? Have competitors with a website? Wouldn’t it be great if you had someone who could tip you off whenever one of those competitors posted something on their blog? Or got mentioned on Twitter? Or what their top keywords are in the search engines? Or perhaps there’s a supplier site or the website for a favorite destination that you’d like to keep tabs on. Well, help is at hand.
I’ve recently been playing with a fun little tool called Follow. True to its name, it lets you follow (maybe “eavesdrop” or “spy” on would be a better term) on your competition and get an idea of what they’re up to in terms of their activity on their blog, in social media, and on the ‘Net.
Best of all, it’s free. You can check it out here:
So what’s the catch? (You know there’s always a catch.)
Well, Follow restricts the amount of information they provide on free accounts. For example, while you can look up as many domains as you wish, Follow will only show you keywords 6 through 10 of their top 10 keywords. Not bad, but wouldn’t you like to know more?
There are two ways to unlock more of the information that Follow collects and one of them is free.
When you refer additional users, like I do when I send you to …
… Follow shares 2% more of their info for every referral who signs up. But only up to 80%.
If you want to see it all, you have to pay. But the $19 a month fee seems pretty reasonable to me, especially since you could pay for a month or two of total access and gain a TON of competitive information.
The free version lets you follow 5 domains, but with referrals you can add more to a maximum of 20, which should be plenty for most travel agents.
Still, the free version provides a lot of bang despite the absence of bucks.
I have discovered that knowing how active others are in promoting their business and building their brand can be a powerful motivator to do more of the same yourself.
For home-based agents, I would recommend using the tool to monitor storefront agencies in your area that have a web presence. You might also want to follow your host agency and some preferred suppliers.
I would not recommend following sites that post a lot of new content every day. You’d very quickly get overwhelmed.
The application may have more utility for larger enterprises. Because I know that many host agencies and suppliers subscribe to my list (which I take as a great compliment, by the way), I thought this was worth passing along.
I’d be interested in hearing from travel agents about how they’ve used Follow in their businesses and what positive results (if any) they’ve enjoyed.
Oh, and here’s that referral link again:
There’s a nice introductory video that explains it all.