Reputation Management and Monitoring for Everyone

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Social media has turned traditional word-of-mouth on its head. Your customers can broadcast their thoughts of your company, products and their experience with you faster and easier than ever before – and reach a much larger group of people. Traditionally, you could assume that one person would likely tell a handful of people about their positive experience, or 10 people if they had an unpleasant experience. But that has grown exponentially with people broadcasting thoughts to hundreds of Twitter followers and Facebook friends.

So what are your customers saying and where? There are many online resources available that can track what's being said and where. Some resources cover all social media platforms such as blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc., while others are specific to the social media platform such as only blogs or Twitter. You can choose from management, monitoring or both. Management tools help manage conversations, social networks and other information - adding specific qualities to certain information. Monitoring tools provide you with the conversations and where they are occurring. Below are a handful of online reputation resources ranging from monitoring to managing, depending on your business goals.

WhoLinksToMe: Released in March, this tool analyzes inbound links to your website. The philosophy of this company is that links have replaced traditional word-of-mouth, making online management key to any business’ marketing plan. This is a free Web-based tool that evaluates links in real time. According to the original announcement, the company plans to offer more robust offerings for businesses.

BlogPulse: Produced by Nielsen (one of the most credible data companies), BlogPulse tracks blogs, linking to blogs, trends and conversations. It can tell you the most cited blogs, trends, links, phrases and more. You can add your blog for free to its blog search engine for content syndication and analysis.

TweetBeep: A free tool that also offers premium accounts with additional features, TweetBeep tracks conversations about you occurring on Twitter. You notify keywords or URLs that you want TweetBeep to track and you are notified anytime someone uses those words in tweets. You can set how often you want to be notified of TweetBeeps – making your response to those talking about you faster. For example, last week, Website Magazine received a TweetBeep about a reader who wasn't able to read an article on the website because they thought they needed to buy a pro-level subscription. Website Magazine saw the tweet, and responded quickly to let the reader know she only had to log in to read the articles. Quick response can turn frustration into satisfaction.

StepRep: StepRep is another free tool that monitors what people are saying about you, and helps manage your reputation as well as build it. StepRep can tell you everything from people are talking about you on Twitter to posting photos about you and even videos. In regards to managing, StepRep allows users to syndicate content through its website or add a widget to your site. In addition, StepRep has its own social network site where users can interact with customers.

Trackur: Built by prominent Web professional Andy Beal, Trackur monitors news sites, social media sites, blogs, images, videos and other websites based on your keywords. Trackur results are populated on a dashboard allowing users to add and refine keywords, view trends, and add sentimental tagging. The sentimental tagging allows you to tag items based on positive, negative or neutral sentiment. Trackur has different pricing plans to appeal to individuals and large companies. Pricing starts at $18 per month to $197 per month for the enterprise level.

Human Powered Reputation Management?
CARMA International: This organization looks at online measurement a different way. Instead of software and programs, it uses humans to determine how people are talking about you online. Recently, CARMA updated its methodology as well as introduced three additional features: Social Media Access, Tone, and Customization. Social Media Access allows users to combine social media coverage results with traditional media including blogs, tweets, forums and more. Users can choose to have this coverage display in an interface with the traditional media results or separately. Tone provides users with a rating on the tone of articles which was evaluated by CARMA’s team. And Customization provides users with additional data and charts.

You can take management into your own hands by using WordPress and the WP-O-Matic plugin. In September 2008, Peter Prestipino, editor-in-chief, wrote about his experience setting up the WP-O-Matic plugin to manage and implement campaigns within 30 minutes.

For those looking to read more about online reputations, check out a list of books on the topic.

Do you use an online reputation tool not listed here? Tell us about it below.


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