Many online business owners are unaware of the importance of monitoring their company's online reputation. Online reviews and ratings can have a major impact on your sales, so it is important to make sure you are taking care of all aspects of your company's public image. Here are some tips for how to monitor your reputation:
1. Identify what you want to monitor
The first thing you need to do is to think about what you want to monitor on the Internet. This might be a little difficult because there are so many different things that could come up online for your company. However, some of the most important things you should be monitoring include:
- Company information - this includes your website, social media accounts and anything else related to the public image of your company.
- Relevant industry information - make sure you are aware of what is going on in the market and throughout your industry.
- Customer reviews on sites like Yelp, Google Local, or wherever else customers might be writing online reviews about your business or services.
- Competitors - it is important to stay on top of what your competitors are doing online and make sure that they aren't getting more attention than you.
- What you decide to monitor will depend on your own business and the kind of company you want to be. It might seem a little intimidating at first, but don't worry, there is a lot less information out there than most people think!
2. Set up an online reputation management strategy
Now that you have identified what you want to be monitoring, the second step is to create an overall strategy for how you will do this. You can either hire someone else to handle it for you or learn how yourself so that any time something new comes up about your company online. For example, if you are going to be managing your own reputation on Yelp, you might want to read reviews of other restaurants and look at how they manage their pages in order that you don't end up duplicating the efforts of others or not doing enough.
3. Monitor your online reputation yourself using the following tools
Now that you have created a strategy for monitoring your company's image online, it is time to actually start monitoring yourself. The best way to do this is by using a variety of different tools. Here are some of the most common tool you can use to keeping track of your company's online reputation:
- Social Mention - monitors more than 80 social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. You can also add in your own search terms to make sure you aren't missing any mentions of your company online.
- Google Alerts - Google Alerts is the most basic tool for monitoring your reputation. It allows you to track keywords and terms related to your company's name, industry terms, competitors' names, or any other things that might be relevant. This way when people mention any of these terms online, you will get an alert sent to your email.
- SEMrush allows you to monitor online mentions, including sentiment scores and resource authority.
- SentiOne helps you to pay attention to what your customers or others generally are saying about your brand. Mention allows you to monitor more than 700 million sources for mentions of your company, competitors' products, industry trends, and keyword alerts.
- Reputology is a review management and monitoring platform that helps multi-location businesses monitor for and manage reviews.
- Cision's PR software allows you to track your company, competitors, and industry news.
- StatusPeople is a Twitter tool for checking the status of any Twitter account so that you can make sure there are no fake or spam accounts in your name.
- ReviewPush is an online review management software that helps businesses with multiple locations to monitor social media and popular review sites (e.g., Facebook, Yelp, Google, Yellowpages, Foursquare).
- Chatmeter was designed to help companies collect and analyze customer feedback and improve the customer experience for multi-location brands and agencies. It notifies you via email of any reviews found on over 20 local search and review sites. Chatmeter enables you to spy on your local competitors to see how you stack up against them and what you can learn from their activities. Their widget allows you to share reviews from external sites on your website and store’s pages.
- RankRanger is a commonly used SEO tool but has a robust reputation manager, as well. This tool allows you to check the search engine results for negative or slanderous content, as well as monitoring SERP changes and how your work on reputation management impacts your visibility.
Stay alert by staying active in the digital world
One of the most common mistakes that businesses make is thinking they don't need to engage online because it doesn't directly impact their bottom line. But while you may not be converting a specific customer right now, you are building up your reputation, and staying active in the digital world will make sure that when someone does search for information about your company, they find what they are looking for. So to stay alert, you should try and stay active in the digital world. That includes joining discussions online about your industry and topics relevant to your company or industry, posting content that is associated with your brand online (e.g., photos of events you have hosted), and interacting with people who mention or tweet about your brand.
Respond quickly when necessary- do not ignore negative feedback!
If you don't respond quickly, then people may assume that your company's silence is a sign that you are guilty of the negative things being said. So if anyone talks badly about your business online or posts bad reviews, you should always respond promptly to address any problems they have had.
You can't afford to ignore the power of your online reputation, and it's important to monitor what is being said about you or your company. By setting up an online reputation management strategy with a checklist like this one, you'll be able to keep tabs on any potentially damaging content that might show up in search engines for years to come. Your customers are looking at reviews before making a purchase decision—make sure they're hearing good things!
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