This post is by my friend Morgan Siem who is the mastermind of all things social at MediaTwo in Raleigh. You can catch her regularly posting at MediaTwoPointOH! or watch her real time insights via her @mediatwo_social Twitter stream.
I highly recommend monitoring your online reputation, whether you are a person or a company and whether you actively build an online presence or try to avoid the internet. You don’t have to infuse yourself into the online environment to have an online reputation to manage. Anyone aware of your brand can talk about it online. Enough people doing that, with enough of a following, can sometimes have a powerful impact on your bottom line. Therefore, be aware of what’s being said. Once you’re aware, you have the power to:
- Thank those who give you good mentions
- Provide corrections and accurate details when someone has his/her facts wrong
- Try to solve a problem that a customer is having with your product
- Apologize for your mess ups
There are a number of tools that you can use to monitor your reputation. There are free tools as well as paid tools, so the ones you decide to go with may depend on both your budget and the size of your brand.
- Google Alerts: will ping you when there is a mention of your brand name. This is helpful because it scours the net for your and lets you know when something comes up, which saves you the effort of doing regular searches. The downsides are that it misses a lot of mentions and doesn’t allow you to fine-tune your search terms.
- Twitter Search: allows you to track brand mentions in real time. You can subscribe to an RSS feed of the mentions to help you keep track of them.
- Social Mention: This tool provides a few bonuses over other free monitoring tools, the primary bonus being that it scans a variety of social networks instead of just twitter (search.twitter.com) or just blogs (technorati.com). It also generates a sentiment score, although I wouldn’t trust it. And, like Google Alerts, it gives you the option to sign up for alerts.
- Radian6: Probably the most talked-about monitoring tool is Radian6, which allows you to track brand, competitor and industry mentions across a variety of online sources. Some of the cool widgets offered are a conversation cloud, a river of news, a topic trend analysis graph and a list of key influencers.
- FiltrBox: This tool is gaining ground in the monitoring industry, but its prices are rising in fast pursuit. This tool also allows you to track conversations across several sources and provides a river of news and a list of top influencers. A benefit of this tool is that it will send you a daily digest of new mentions, and it will allow you to create as many new profiles as you’d like (unlike Radian6, which charges you for each new profile). However, it is not as robust as Radian6. There are fewer options for tagging posts and the conversation cloud has very limited functionality.
There are many other tools out there and many more being created every day. Which ones have you tried? What did you like or not like and why?