There are some good social media monitoring services out there offering comprehensive monitoring solutions, such as Radian 6. I’ve had a demo of Radian 6 and it really is very impressive, but this does come at a price. I’m therefore always on the look out for good search services and monitoring services available for free.
I often recommend perspctv to clients. It searches blogs, microblogs and news sites, but it also allows you to search more than one search term, enabling you to benchmark online profile of one term against another. See, for example, this widget that profiles the relative online coverage of the brands ‘university of warwick’ and ‘university of birmingham’
Social mention doesn’t appear to have the same benchmarking potential, but it does provide RSS feeds of given search terms, meaning that you don’t have to keep visiting the site everytime you want to check out the latest mentions of your brandon social media sites. The other benefit to social mention is that it covers a wide range of media: text, audio and video. Very clever.