As your business gains popularity, people are likely to start talking about it online more frequently — via blogs, consumer-review sites, and social media networks. But is everything they’re saying positive, or even accurate?
In order to combat inaccuracies and manage a positive brand reputation online, it’s important to frequently monitor what’s being said about your business. Google Alerts used to serve the purpose relatively well, but it’s no longer updated frequently, nor does it monitor alerts on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter.
Here are some tools that can replace it, and then some:
SocialMention — This free tool can help you monitor brand and keyword mentions in public social media updates, blogs, images, videos, and elsewhere. Beyond spotlighting the actual reference to your brand, SocialMention analyzes its context to determine whether it’s positive, neutral, or negative. It also lists the Twitter users who discuss the brand most frequently. You can sign up for email alerts or an RSS feed to track your brand’s activity or just check the website daily for updates.
Trackur — This cloud-based software builds on the offerings of free services like SocialMention by providing additional data sources, a more visual interface, and the ability to store and share keyword searches and to set up multiple profiles on a single account. Users get a free 30-day trial; plans start at $27 a month thereafter.
Mention (pictured) — This app comes in desktop, mobile, and a Chrome web versions, and allows you to easily track mentions of your brand and other pre-set keywords or phrases across the web, social media platforms, and online forums, identifying the “tone” of each mention. The free basic version provides up to 250 “mentions” per month with daily web alerts and real-time social alerts. More advanced versions with 2,000+ monthly mentions start at $6.99 per month. A 30-day free trial is available for all service levels.
Wildfire Monitor — Interested in tracking how your business and its competitors stack up on social media? This free tool from Wildfire (a company acquired by Google last year) can help you measure which brands are gaining fans the fastest on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. You can see up to three brands’ social activity, including the total number of followers and the percentage of fans gained in the past week, month, or 90 days. After you’ve gauged your company’s online popularity (compared with the competition’s), you can decide where to focus your attention.