When it comes to your company’s reputation, what the Internet giveth, it can also taketh away. The benefits of good online buzz can diminish in the space of hours or days if a harsh critic or unhappy customer decides to make their complaints public. Since you can’t formulate a plan of action if you don’t know something happened, Dan Schawbel recommends free tools that help you monitor conversations in a number of arenas:
- Stay current with new online content by setting up Google Alerts based on specific search terms. Says Schawbel, “You can monitor a news story, keep current with your industry and competitors, and see who is writing about you, all at the same time.”
- By establishing RSS alerts with Technorati.com, you’ll learn when anyone blogs about your company. “Keep track of these blogs, and when you write your next post link to them,” he advises. “Doing so will give recognition to those who have recognized yours.”
- If you track blog posts—but not comments—you’ll miss out on the full picture. “Use Backtype.com to remind yourself where you commented, discover influencers who are commenting on blogs that you should be reading, and continue conversations that you started previously,” he recommends.
In the article at MarketingProfs, Schawbel also explains how to keep tabs on discussion boards, Twitter and social-networking sites.
“Part of your brand is in the hands of others,” says Schawbel, “so it’s critical that you monitor it before a flame becomes a forest fire.”