Do you care about your online reputation?
I’d consider it pretty strange if you’re in business and you don’t! OK, it’s not that easy to monitor your offline reputation (unless you’re into eavesdropping, or wish to employ a private detective). But it’s not at all difficult to keep track of what’s being said about you online.
Online reputation monitoring is one aspect of social media activity that people don’t automatically consider when the subject is mentioned. From my experience with networking events and chatting with a variety of business people, many of them dismiss social media because “it’s about what you had for breakfast”. They haven’t looked beyond the noise to discover the real power of social media. This is a pity.
So, let’s look at a few methods for tracking your online reputation.
Here’s an example of what might happen,
and British Gas’s timely Twitter response (including typos!)
What if the company hadn’t had a presence on Twitter? That complaint was seen by the followers of the original poster and of British Gas, in other words several thousand Twitter users…….if just a few re-tweeted, you could multiply that by several thousand more. See why it’s essential to keep an eye on things?
You may already have come across this free tool. You can set alerts for absolutely any keyword or phrase, including your business name, your own name, or a brand.
The drop-downs are “everything; news; blogs; video; discussions; books”, “as-it-happens”; once a day; once a week” and “only the best results; all results”. So you have a good choice in setting up your alerts. If you use quotation marks around your specified search term, you’ll get only exact matches – so this would be useful for monitoring your company name, for example. I’ve used Google Alerts myself for several years – it’s well worth a try.
Quoting directly from SocialMention:
“Social Mention is a social media search and analysis platform that aggregates user generated content from across the universe into a single stream of information. It allows you to easily track and measure what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time. Social Mention monitors 100+ social media properties directly including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google etc.”
TweetBeep is another “alert” application and as the name suggests, restricts its searches to Twitter. So you could search for any mentions of your own name, your brand, your company, or your competitors 🙂
Finally, there are the social media management tools such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck (each with a loyal following). These allow monitoring of online reputation, and also pre-scheduling of tweets and Facebook updates.
Now what’s your excuse for not knowing who’s talking about you online?!
Do you have other monitoring tools you’d recommend? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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