Online reputation management is essential. Almost everyone is involved in social media these days. Your customers are all over Facebook, Twitter, blogs, review websites, message boards…you name it. And in some cases, they might be talking about your company.
It’s vital that you take a proactive approach to monitoring the conversation surrounding your brand, so you can find important conversations and jump into them to strengthen your brand by engaging with your target audience.
The good news is that there are plenty of great tools out there that make it easy for you to monitor the internet for brand mentions. Here are some of my favorites.
- Google Alerts – Google Alerts sends you email updates of the latest relevant Google search results (websites, news, blog postings, etc.) for your brand mentions. It’s a free, easy-to-use, no maintenance tool that keeps you updated on what people across the web are saying about your brand.
- HootSuite – HootSuite is a tool that lets you manage all of your social networking profiles from a single dashboard. One of the options it has is to add a keyword tracking column. Simply enter the keyword you want to track (your brand name), and you’ll get a real-time stream anytime someone mentions your company in the social media space.
- Tweetdeck – Tweetdeck is a great tool for tracking Twitter mentions. The conversation moves fast on Twitter, and there’s no way you can keep up with everything without some extra help. Here’s a good video that shows you how to set an alert notification for keywords on Twitter.
- BoardTracker – Forums are still very popular, and a lot of your customer base probably uses them. BoardTracker brings you closer to the boards, allowing you to manually search message boards or to set alerts to get notified anytime a targeted search term (your brand name) is mentioned on a forum.
What else should you be tracking?
In addition to monitoring the web for brand mentions, you can also track the following:
- Keywords – Use the tools above to track mentions of important keywords related to your niche. This is helpful for staying current on industry developments, and it could present opportunities for you to jump into conversations with your target audience.
- Competitor mentions – It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the competition. Not only do you need to know what they’re up to, but it’s also to helpful to see how their reputation is faring. You could discover opportunities to capitalize on their misfortune.
- Links – Monitor your backlinks, so you can see anytime someone else links to your website or drops a link directed to you on Twitter.
- Employee mentions – Your employees are the face of your company. You need to know if they’re doing anything that’s going to reflect poorly on your brand.
What are some of your favorite online reputation management tools?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of the Beginner’s Guide to Writing Powerful Press Releases here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/beginnersguide.html