These days, individuals, groups and businesses search for everything before they do anything. With the open nature of the internet, information sourced is not always based on facts but on opinions, hearsay and assumptions. There is a saying that ‘your first impression is your last impression’ so what will people find when they search for your name or business? Will it be a bad review or an excellent recommendation? This is your online reputation and its importance cannot be overemphasised.
Online Reputation Management (ORM) entails establishing, maintaining, repairing and monitoring the publicly available online information about an individual or organisation. Simply put, ORM is you taking control of how others see you when they look for you online and if you do not take charge of your brand online, someone else definitely will.
How can you monitor your online reputation?
There are a lot of great tools out there that can be used in monitoring your online reputation. A few key ones are discussed below:
- Google Alerts
If you have not set up Google Alerts, you are missing a world of opportunity. Just go to google.com/alerts, fill out your search query and decide how you want results delivered.
Google Alerts will notify you anytime people post something on the web about your brand or whatever you have set an alert for. This way, you can track what is being said and reply posts or comments where need be.
- Social Mention
SocialMention (www.socialmention.com) gathers an enormous amount of data regarding your brand in real time. You can also set it to search for specific terms or everywhere your brand is mentioned. It pulls together user generated content from different Social Media Platforms and can let you determine the Strength, Sentiment, Reach and Passion of your brand. This can give you a good idea of how your target audience views your brand and allow you to make informed decisions on how best to position your brand and what to say to your audience.
MonitorThis (http://alp-uckan.net/free/monitorthis/) tracks the mention of your brand name on different search engines. Simply enter your name in the search box and click the “make monitor.opml” button. The rest is pretty straight forward – you get RSS feeds from the various search engines, meaning you avoid the hassle of having to aggregate information about your brand manually.
- Sentiment Metrics
Sentiment Metrics (http://www.sentimentmetrics.com/) provides a detailed reputation management tool that searches the web to find out and present to you what people are saying about you classifying information sourced as positive, negative or neutral . With regards to your ORM management, this can be very helpful as there is a need for you to constantly be aware of how your brand is being perceived.
Unlike the other tools we have discussed, Sentiment Metrics is a paid too available on a subscription basis. It has packages suitable for one user to a team of hundreds and all plans come with a free 30-trial.
Trackur is a social media monitoring tool that provides instant notifications when your brand is mentioned. It equally allows you to track and analyze trends taking your online reputation management to a brand new height.
Online reputation management is an aspect of digital marketing that has been increasingly important due it being a subset of Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation. Check in here at the same time next week for our second write up on ORM which is a practical guide on how to maintain a positive online reputation.
To learn more about Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation, check the Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing which has the next class starting on the 8th August.