Reputation management isn’t just about creating a great Google results page for your brand name. Although that’s a lot of it, it’s also very important to monitor what people are saying about your company online. Since virtually all of today’s information flows through the internet, and it has become the most widely used platform for sharing information globally, if anyone says anything about your company through a blog, social networking site, or any media outlet, you’ll eventually be able to find it on the internet.
And you need to know what people are saying about you as quickly as possible. Because information travels so fast in today’s world, you don’t have the luxury of waiting around until a bad review comes to you; you need to find bad reviews and negative mentions of your company as soon as possible. If you can jump on a problem quickly, the more time you’ll have to quell the situation or adjust your reputation management strategy accordingly. So it’s vitally important to the future of your company that you monitor the web for any mention of your brand (both good and bad), so you can use that information to improve your search rankings and keep your online reputation spotless.
Here are a few tools you can use as part of your reputation management strategy to monitor the internet and be alerted to mentions of your company as soon as possible:
1) Google Alerts
First and foremost, you need to understand and use Google Alerts. Google Alerts is a free tool you can customize to quickly find out when new instances of your company name appear on the internet. Once you have a Google account, you can go to www.google.com/alerts and set up a keyword you would like to get alerts on. Primarily, this should be the name of your company or brand. Then you can customize your alerts to fit the frequency and amount of information you want to be alerted to.
Google Alerts are sent to your email when Google detects a new instance of your company name, along with a link to the webpage where your company is mentioned. Once you have that information, you can use it to quell any potential PR and reputation issues or adjust your online reputation management strategy to account for the latest mention of your company.
2) Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics
Another way to track mentions of your company name and links to your company website is to use Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics. Both of these tools are free and allow you to look at your company website in different ways online. First, you can use Google analytics to monitor the traffic to your site. Drill down in the analytics to find out where your site traffic is coming from and use that information to track down links to your site, so you can evaluate the content of the site and incorporate it into your reputation management efforts.
Webmaster Tools has similar functionality and will show you the names of third-party websites that link to your company website. Links to your website can have both good and bad contexts, so it’s important to know who is linking to you and how they are using that link to your website.
Another way to track mentions of your name online is through Twitter. The social media space is quickly becoming an area that needs to be closely monitored by all businesses who care about their reputation and Twitter offers an automated way to find mentions of your company name on their service. Both through the Twitter website and 3rd party applications, you can set up a keywords search that will constantly search the Twittersphere for mentions of your company or brand and filter them into one neat list. As long as you are checking the feed from time to time, you’ll stay on top of any mentions of your company name and be able to respond, either with a thank you or with follow-up questions to help resolve confusion or misunderstandings about your company.
Monitor and Manage
Reputation management is more than just tracking down links. It’s about monitoring your actual reputation and the way people feel about your company. If you are able to efficiently monitor the web for instances of your company name, you’ll better be able to respond to complaints and criticism as well as build a better reputation management strategy overall.