You wouldn't try to fix a leaky pipe without your trusty toolbox, so don't try to fix your reputation without your trusty digital toolbox! Managing your online reputation is a lot easier when you have a few tools to help you. Here are a number of tools (both paid and free) that I recommend:
If you don't already, you should immediately set up Google Alerts so you are emailed every time your brand is mentioned online. You can't control your reputation if you don't know when people are talking about you. Additionally, you can set up Google Alerts so you receive notifications when your competitors are mentioned as well, or simply when someone is talking about something important in your industry. Pop into the conversation often to build your reputation as someone who cares.
My favorite tool for searching what people are saying about you on social media sites is Social Mention. This tool will not only find mentions, but it will also show you whether the sentiment about your keyword (such as your company's name or your name) is positive, neutral, or negative. In addition, you can see common keywords and hashtags associated with the keyword you input, which allows you to understand how people are talking about you and your brand. Best of all, Social Mention is free!
While responding to positive comments should also be part of your reputation management plan, if you're specifically looking for complaints, this is a good place to start. Go Fish Digital set up a custom complain search box so you can find negative things people are saying about your brand and respond to these unhappy customers in a professional, polite way. Complaint Search isn't going to be able to stand alone for your reputation management needs, but it is a great tool to add to the arsenal.
For communities that are especially active on Twitter, Meshfire is the tool you need. This social management platform allows you are your other employees to work as a team to reply to customers and find ways to jump into the conversation. Meshfire is really great at finding people you should consider following and conversations that make sense for your goals, plus you can assign tasks to others employees, so if you have a large teams, you can keep everyone organized.
If you're looking for more robust reputation management software, check out Trackur. You can get started for free, but if you upgrade, you'll have access to an "all in one" monitoring tool, which allows you to track your reputation across social sites, watch industry trends, understand sentiment, and more. There's a learning curve, but this is a great solution if you have a dedicated reputation manager who needs a way to quickly and easily understand what people are saying about your company online.
Want something even more robust than Trackur? Check out BrandsEye. This tool is not cheap, but you can not only use it to track mentions, but also to run reports to see how specific marketing campaigns are doing, track conversations with social influencers, narrow your searches to see what people are saying in specific locations, tag mentions so you can group them in ways that make sense, and more. This is the Cadillac of online reputation management tools.
You might not traditionally think of Zapier as a reputation management tool, but it can be an awesome time-saver for tracking mentions online. IFTTT is a similar tool, but I prefer Zapier. Both tools automate tasks. For example, you could set Zapier up to add someone to your CRM when they tweet about your company. Or you could have Zapier email you whenever there's a new Yelp review. You're only limited by your imagination with the tasks Zapier can automate (called "zaps"), since in addition to the pre-built zaps in the system, you can also have a developer build your own, based on your goals.
While these are my favorite digital reputation management tools, there are countless others out there. Don't be afraid to try lots of different tools to find what works best for your business.
What are your favorite reputation management tools? Leave a comment below!
About the Author: Allison Boyer is a content marketer who blogs regularly about blogging, email, social media, and more at AllisonBoyer.com.