Editor’s note: This article is part of a featured series that tackles the basics of reputation management. In our Reputation Management 101 series, you’ll learn about basic (but important) concepts, tasks, and tips for reputation management. Each post will include actionable advice and realistic ideas that you can use — today — to improve your online reputation. Join us as we explore reputation management resources that everyone should know!
People are talking online. Do you know what they’re saying about you? You should.
Working to build a great reputation is important, but just as essential is monitoring the reputation you have right now. It can help you identify trouble early on, as well as let you know when things are going well. You can find positive stories you may want to highlight, as well as complaints and other issues that need to be addressed. But that assumes, of course, that you can find them.
It’s important to monitor your online reputation with a variety of different channels. Not just on Google or Facebook, but on every social media site, complaint website, even image search. Sound exhausting? It can be. But with helpful tools, much of reputation monitoring can be automated or made easier so that performing daily, weekly, or monthly checks isn’t a burden — and you can spend more time building a positive reputation than reading about what you’ve already done.
Read on, and you’ll find out where you need to be monitoring your reputation, as well as the tools that can help you get there.
Monitoring Your Reputation on Social Media
Social media is the new water cooler. People talk about everything on social media: TV shows, weddings, celebrities, babies, and yes, even you, especially if you represent a business. Whether they’re leaving reviews on a Facebook page, pinning inspiration from your website on Pinterest, or lodging a complaint on Twitter, there’s a conversation about you and your business whether you like it or not — and it pays to monitor that conversation.
These days, many customers are turning to social media to connect with brands and high profile individuals.
Twitter in particular is a powerful resource for customer communications and reputation building. Are you listening to what they have to say about you? You should.
On social media, you should be monitoring not just your pages and accounts, but public mentions and comments. Remember that social media isn’t limited to what you’re putting out there: what people say about you is important as well, and it pays to monitor and join conversations about your brand.
Social Media Reputation Monitoring Tools
- WhosTalkin: This social media search tool makes it easy to monitor current social media conversations, offering updates from more than 60 popular social media tools and websites.
- Mention: Monitor the entire social web with Mention, a service that monitors millions of sources in 42 different languages. The tool offers analytics, shatistics, reports, and more, and you can respond to mentions without even leaving the application as well.
- PinAlerts: One of the fastest growing social media sites, Pinterest is also one of the most difficult to monitor. Use PinAlerts to get immediate notifications any time a Pinterest user pins something from your website.
- Topsy: Using Topsy, you can search the social web for mentions of your name and related terms. You can drill down results by date, platform, influencers, language, and more to learn more about the conversation.
- Hootsuite: Hootsuite was made for social media monitoring. This tool allows you to monitor emerging trends, create custom conversation treams, monitor based on geolocation, and much more. This is the ultimate resource for monitoring your social media reputation.
- TweetAlarm: Set up a TweetAlarm to find out any time someone tweets about you, your company, product, and more.
Monitoring Reviews for Reputation Management
Hardly anyone uses the Yellow Pages anymore. Can you blame them? You could choose a plumber from an ad on a page with hundreds of other listings and hope you’ve found a good one, or you can use the Internet to find one that’s just around the corner with multiple five star reviews.
And while the ability to find businesses online is often good news for companies that have built a great online reputation, it can be bad news when a negative review pops up. But by monitoring your reputation on review sites, you can identify negative reviews as soon as they’re posted. This allows you to work with the website to remove fake or malicious reviews, or simply contact reviewers directly to make things right and hopefully, improve their opinion and review in the future. And ultimately, finding out about reviews right away gives you a chance to respond professionally and have your say.
When you’re monitoring reviews for Reputation Management, you’ll want to hit the big ones: Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, Trip Advisor, and more. But depending on your business, there could be multiple niche review websites that can make or break a customer’s opinion of you. Stay on top of them all by using review monitoring tools that can send you updates and let you know any time you get a new review, and anywhere.
Review Reputation Monitoring Tools
- ReviewPush: ReviewPush monitors the most popular review websites each day, and any time you receive a new review, you’ll get an email alert. You can then respond to the online review appropriately and proactively. You can even use this service to ask for new positive reviews.
- Review Trackers: Using Review Trackers, you can listen to what customers are saying online. This tool manages, analyzes, and collects reviews from customers on Foursquare, Trip Advisor, Open Table, Google, and more.
- Chat Meter: Chat Meter’s dashboard offers an easy way to monitor and respond to online reviews each day, and even take a look at the attitude of the reviews your customers are posting and more.
- Google: Google business reviews are so important to your brand’s reputation, it’s essential that you stay on top of your reviews on the search giant. Keep an eye on your Google business account to monitor and respond to Google reviews immediately.
Monitoring Your Reputation on Your Website
Often, the most trusted source of information about your reputation or the reputation of your business is your very own website, which you control. This is great news, as you’re in charge of this resource, and you can manage the information on it.
Of course, it’s important to get a handle on any user generated content to make sure things aren’t getting out of hand. Using a commenting platform like Disqus, you can get notifications for upvotes, comment replies, or new comments on articles so that you can stay on top of the conversation on your website.
Monitoring Your Reputation on Google
In addition to social media and review websites, your reputation exists on Google, which is basically the entire rest of the Internet. This includes blogs, news websites, even mug shot websites and the like. It’s tougher to pin down monitoring in this area because it is simply so large and spread out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
Monitoring online allows you to learn about new links, news stories, and more — and finding out right away gives you a chance to respond. Monitoring tools can let you know as soon as a webpage has changed, if there’s a new search result for your name, even if someone has used your image. Stay on top of it all with tools designed to help you tame the monitoring power of the Internet.
Online Reputation Monitoring Tools
- Google Alerts: If you use just one reputation monitoring tool, Google Alerts is the one. It will tell you about any new mentions of your name, your brand’s name, product names, and anything else you’re concerned about. Check out our guide to setting up a Google Alert for more.
- Google Autocomplete: Google’s autocomplete feature can say a lot about what people think about your reputation. When a name or phrase is typed into Google, the search box will automatically pop up with what it thinks might be what users are looking for. For a company, a bad autocomplete term might be “Your Company fraud” or “Your Company complaints,” but more positive ones would be “Your Company charity” or “Your Company new location.” To take a look at what Google thinks of your reputation, simply go to Google.com and start typing your name to see what pops up.
- Complaint Website Search Tool: There are more than 40 different complaint websites online, and with this search tool, you can monitor your name on all of them at once. We recommend using it regularly.
- Addict-o-matic: Using Addict-o-matic, you can create a custom page that offers the latest updates on any topic. For those concerned with reputation management, that topic is you, your business, and any other related terms. You’ll see news results, videos, photos, Twitter updates, and more.
- WatchThatPage: Have a page about you that you’re concerned about? Set up a WatchThatPage alert to find out any time a page on the Internet is updated or changed.
- ImageRaider: Find out when photos of you or your business are posted online using ImageRaider. This tool performs an instant image search as well as long term image monitoring that will let you know when a new website starts using a certain photo.
- WhoLinkstoMe: Often, anyone talking about you online will link to your website. Find out about backlinks and set up a monitoring service to discover new mentions with links online.