However, up until recently search engines didn't provide enough information to properly follow social media, while tracking services were often expensive and in some instances not especially effective.
Google now hopes to change all that with the launch of a RealTime Search homepage. The service features a selection of tools that enables anyone to track key words, brands or whatever they are seeking information about in social media and to also get email alerts about real-time discussions.
Google has been offering social media search via its main search engine page for while, but the RealTime Search homepage brings all the information together in one place and offers a few interesting features such as the option of only seeing updates from a certain geographical location, or from one day.
The ability to get an alert each time a brand is mentioned in social media could be very useful for smaller brands. For larger brands they might want to schedule an alert rounding up all the days' information.
You can try the site for yourself here.