What is online reputation management?
Online reputation management is basically the control of information concerning your personal or business brand on the internet to maintain or improve its reputation. It employs monitoring, optimization, and engagement in what is said or implied about your brand across all levels of the internet.
Importance of online reputation management
There is a greater need to manage which information is exposed to your existing and potential clients by monitoring social media, blogs, websites, RSS feeds, forums, chat rooms, videos and so on. Ignoring negative mentions or otherwise contradicting information on the internet about your brand can cripple your brand name that took you so long to build.
Ok now, the internet is too wide and too complicated to track all the possible mentions and conversations about your brand name. To make this easy, I have compiled 10 tools to help track your online reputation and take an appropriate action where necessary.
9 tools to you help track your online reputation
There are hundreds of tools out there for tracking online reputation but these 10 are the most comprehensive and easy to customize.
1. Social Mention: it works more or less like Google alerts but it is customized for social media. Social mention will help track and deliver immediate conversations and mentions around a specified keyword on blogs, news articles, comments, and videos. You can opt to subscribe to the feed and get email alerts or download the Excel file.
2. BoardReader: This tool searches through images, forums, and microblogs for anything and everything that has been mentioned about your brand or a particular keyword. In my opinion, this is the best tool to work with for beginners since it is easy to manage and customize and it is relatively cheap.
3. Q&A Tracking: this comes in handy to track if anyone is asking questions about your brand or a particular keyword, it can be quite useful when tracking quizzes such as on Yahoo Answers. You can perform an advanced such for any particular keyword and then subscribe to its RSS feed to keep track of any future mentions.
4. Trackur: this tool tracks keyword mentions from various other sources apart from Google Alerts. It offers the ability to save, tag, sort, share and even subscribes to particular feeds. It is fairly cheap and friendly to small businesses.
5. Google Alerts: this is a quite effective free tool by Google that enables you to track news, web results, videos, blogs, and groups related to your brand name. You can subscribe to this via a feed or email.
6. Twitter Search: It was formerly known as Summize. It makes it possible to such twitter for mentions of any particular keyword or phrase. It has advanced options where you can search by dates, location, links, sentiments, a particular person and much more.
7. Technorati: this searches mentions of a particular keyword on your blog or other blogs. You only need to subscribe to get notifications of new mentions and search result feeds.
8. BackType: This presents itself as great comments solution. It can help you claim your comments on particular blogs, track comments that mention a specific keyword, view conversations from a particular article or post and subscribe to those conversations.
9. Yahoo Alerts: Yahoo Alert helps you track news by a specific keyword, feeds, local news, stocks and much more. You can subscribe to receive notifications via Yahoo Messenger, email or mobile.
After monitoring all the possible information, you will realize one thing. Negative feedbacks, reviews, and mentions normally come from your disgruntled employees, rivals or the genuinely dissatisfied clients. Taking down the negative reviews and comments is commonly used by most website or blog owners (especially e-commerce related sites) to minimize negative reputation. This is however not always the best solution as it only treats the symptoms and not the underlying concern.
I personally advise that you research the information, come up with a clear explanation or solution for the concern in question and stay as honest as you can while at that. It isn’t only a good online reputation management practice but also serves to prevent future recurrence of the same.