All brand managers need to stay vigilant by setting alert systems that pick up on all brand mentions – negative and positive. Negative mentions should be proactively curtailed and positive mentions further promoted online.
So how would you proactively go about monitoring your business’ brand or your personal brand online? Below are free and premium brand monitoring solutions to help you:
6 Free Brand Monitoring Tools:
#1 Google Alerts
Google alerts is a great tool for monitoring brand mentions on websites, news sites, videos, groups, blogs and forums. It offers various reporting options – summarized, comprehensive and also has delivery options to send keyword mentions: as soon as they occur, once a day or once a week. The drawback of Google Alert is that it does not cover Facebook and has limited support other social media sites such as Twitter.
For monitoring Twitter mentions, TweetDeck is pretty effective at its job. All you need to do is enter a search phrase and TweetDeck immediately displays realtime tweets related to the search phrase. The only drawback is that searches cannot be saved and your computer would need to be switched on in order to monitor it’s search results (meaning you might miss on some mentions if you do not monitor it by the hour).
#3 Google Places page
Google Places page monitoring is given for local businesses. The reason is that it’s ratings are usually displayed besides your website’s listing on Google’s search result pages. A negative rating would more of less put people off from clicking through to your website. It also aggregates ratings and reviews from other local review sites (like qype.co.uk or thomsonlocal.com)
#4 Google Analytics
Google Analytics is quite effective in monitoring brand related key phrase traffic and also referral traffic from other websites to decipher brand related search traffic. I have picked on the mention of the word ‘company name + scam’ for a client by monitoring their GA keyword traffic reports.
#5 Google Suggest
Several companies in the past 2 years have noticed the word ‘scam’ appended as a suggestion after their brand name – it is so important to use Google suggest to monitor the terms searchers are using in relation to your brand.
The blog directory & search engine Technorati can be used for tracking conversation in the blogosphere. Technorati indexes blog posts in real time and offer an RSS subscription for searched terms. I only use Technorati as a last resort because Google Alerts seems to do quite a good job with indexing blogs.
4 Paid Solutions for Brand Monitoring
For $5 a month, Hootsuite does quite a good job in Social Media monitoring it extensively searches through Twitter and unlike Tweetdeck, Hootsuite is a web based service that drills really quite well through Twitter’s archive. Hootsuite also has the capability of searching through publicly available Facebook wall posts, pages and groups. Along with it’s other core social media management features, it is quite good value.
Trackur is a dedicated brand monitoring tool that extensively scours through Facebook, Twitter and impressingly Google+. It has a neat feature called Sentiment Tagging, which recognises negative and positive key phrase mentions alongside your brand that flags each mention with a negative or positive sentiment tag. You cannot only track your brand but also that of your competitors. Trackur’s results are quite robust, yet caters for for businesses of various sizes – on top of a basis level free edition, serious brand monitoring starts at only $18 a month and scales up to $196 a month – all searches can be saved and it’s reporting system has RSS or email subscription options.
#9 Raven SEO Tools
For those of you that don’t know about Raven SEO Tool – it is a leading premium SEO management and reporting web service. It has two pretty neat ORM tools:
- Social Monitor - which monitors real-time social mentions from more than 20 popular sources, including Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon, YouTube, Flickr, blogs, news sites and more.
- Forum Search – which specifically monitors new online communities, forums, discussion threads and message boards. Subscription to Raven tools starts from $99/month.
#10 Hire ORM Consultants (like us)
Yes – it is probably a good idea to outsource your ORM to consultants like us. ORM consultants proactively set up alert systems and send clients almost instant updates the minute they pickup on negative sentimental conversations online. ORM consultants also typically send detailed monthly reports aggregated from a number of monitoring tools. ORM consultants offer consulting for preventing reputation issues, suggestions on how best to manage your social media profiles (especially Twitter & Facebook customer service terminals), how best to build credibility and how best to respond to negative reviews. You would typically pay a monthly retainer fee for not only software but also professional advice.
Other Premium Reputation Management Tools
If you are interested in finding out more about other reputation management tools, a detailed brand monitoring software comparison table can be found on SmartInsights.com. Mashable.com also published a list (back in 2008) of 10 brand tracking tools worth paying for; both lists include premium tools like: Radian6 (enterprise level from £500 pcm), TNS Cymfony (pricing not on website – enterprise level), Brands Eye (from $150 pcm), Reputation Defender (from $35 pcm), Sentiments Metrics (pricing not on website – enterprise level), Brand Watch (from £400 pcm), Visible Technologies (pricing not on website – enterprise level) and Cision.
Photo credits: Charbel via Flickr