You can’t control what is said about you online, but it’s always a good idea to know what is being said. Monitoring your brand’s social reputation allows you to make impactful decisions based on public opinion, and it is one of the most effective business-building strategies you can employ. When you have a social media monitoring strategy, anytime your business, website, or product is mentioned somewhere on the Interwebs, you are instantly alerted to the conversation. This empowers you to engage interested prospects, increase word-of-mouth, keep an eye on your reputation, and respond to negative discussions.
There are many tools available that will automate monitoring your brand’s social media mentions, and can range from free to thousand dollar enterprise solutions. Choosing which plan is right for your business will be dependent on your organization’s size and budget.
Check out the following inexpensive solutions to get you started on the right track.
Hootsuite: The mentions tracked by the Hootsuite dashboard only apply to Twitter. Nevertheless, Hootsuite is one of the most popular social media monitoring systems of all. Hootsuite is an easy and cost-free way to monitor your brand’s Twtter reputation.
Google Alerts: Leave it to Google to create yet another awesome tool for the small business owner. ‘Alerts’ allows you set up as many keywords as you’d like, simply enter a search term (business name, names of competitors), and select how often you’d like updates. You will receive an email alert every time a new webpage is found with your keyword(s) mentioned.
Unfortunately, Google Alerts will not alert you of social media-based mentions and only works for webpages (blogs, news sites, etc.). Also, Google Alerts is merely email-based, which in the year 2014 seems very restrictive. But for a free software, Alerts is great for basic brand monitoring.
Mention: If you’re looking for a more comprehensive digital media monitoring solution, Mention is capable of monitoring both millions of webpages (such as forums, blogs, and news sites) and references on social media platforms. Price will vary depending on the level of services you’ll require. You can sign up for a free Mention account, which you give you one alert and up to 250 mentions per month; but if you’re serious about keeping up with your brand’s complete conversations, look into a paid solution.
Rankur: Rankur alerts you of mentions in real-time, and includes a huge range of search tools designed specifically to pick up detailed mentions. If you are looking to monitor a specific website or track your latest press release, Rankur makes it easy.
This relatively cheap software is great for monitoring every mention of your keywords, but it also allows you to drill down your approach and track your brand on a more granular level.