You can’t overestimate the power of first impressions. But nowadays you also can’t be certain that people will get their first impression by coming across your carefully curated marketing strategy. They might see your brand mentioned in a less-than-favourable tweet, or read about it on a review aggregator website, and this will be enough for them to have an opinion about your brand.
According to a survey, 88% of people trust online reviews, so the chances of these people coming across at least one negative opinion are quite high. Good news is, according to this survey, 7 in 10 survey respondents indicate that a brand’s response to an online comment changes their perception of a brand.
The best approach when managing your brand’s reputation is “forewarned is forearmed”. To deal with negative and positive reviews, you need to discover them first. No matter, how niche your brand is, somebody will be talking about it. That’s why marketing specialists put so much weight on reputation management.
Considering how much of a vast place the Internet really is, you can’t expect to find all the mentions of your brand without help.
To help with reputation management, most marketers use tools. There are a lot of those. Each has their own specifics, platforms it monitors, and additional features. But the initial idea behind them is the same: you put in your brand name and find mentions of your brand across the Internet. This list of tools will familiarize you with possible options and will help you choose what suits your business best.
Awario is a social listening tool – there will be a couple of those in this list – which means that apart from crawling websites, blogs and forums, it also monitors social media platforms. It gathers your mentions from Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Reddit, and the rest of the Internet and collects them in your Awario feed.
Social listening tools can be used for different purposes (as noted in this article), but the main one is reputation management. One feature which is designed to save you from a reputational crisis is the sentiment analysis. Awario is able to recognize if a mention is positive or negative using semantic analysis. This allows you to deal with negative reviews in real time. Imagine: somebody tweets a complaint about your brand and you immediately respond with a heartfelt apology. The previously unhappy customer is pleasantly surprised by your reaction speed and all woes are forgotten.
The analytics dashboard will show you the general perception of your brand as well as sudden changes in the number of your mentions.
Other features which can enhance your reputation management strategy:
Boolean search mode. If your brand name is a commonly used word, you can create an intricate Boolean query to eliminate irrelevant mentions.
Historical data. If you need to see how your brand reputation has changed with time, you’ll need access to historical data.
Reach of social mentions and influencers. Not all the mentions are created equal, some accounts just have a wider audience than others. Obviously, the opinions expressed by these people will be more influential, therefore it’s a good idea to keep an eye on influencers and mentions with the biggest reach.
Pricing: free trial, plans start at $29.
Sentione is a social and online media monitoring tool which helps you take notice of what is being said about your brand. It gives you access to both historical and real time data. As with other social media listening tools, you can put in any keywords you like.
Moreover, you can track time periods when online discussions about your brand or product are the most lively. This can help you discover when you need to pay special attention to social media and the web.
Pricing: plans start at $59.
Talkwalker is another social listening tool, however it’s mostly targeted at Enterprise-level brands. This tool is a better fit for identifying larger trends in your brand’s reputation since it wasn’t really designed to work with mentions one-by-one.
Once again, Talkwalker monitors social media platforms as well as blogs and forums. It identifies the sentiment towards your brand for the last 7 days. It’s also able to analyze what posts, tweets and articles are driving social discussion about your brand. And just as Awario, it does monitoring in real time.
Overall, this tool is perfectly fit for analyzing big amounts of social data and tracking tendencies surrounding your brand.
Pricing: freemium, plans start at $700.
Brandwatch is another social listening tool with a hard focus on analytics. What separates it from the rest of social listening tools is a very recent introduction – Iris, AI assistant. Iris pulls insights from your analytics for you, and let’s you know what to focus on. It points out sudden spikes, increased activity, and lets you know what exactly was the reason behind the change.
Another feature to help you guard your brand’s reputation is Signals. It’s an intelligent alerts system which notifies you by email everytime it discovers a potentially harmful mention. So every time your reputation is under threat, you’ll learn about that immediately.
Pricing: plans start at $1,000.
Social Mention mainly focuses on blogs and social media. Its design is quite simple, unlike other tools which suggest a number of settings to make your monitoring more relevant, social mention only allows you to put in your brand name.
The results also display the following information to help you measure, monitor, and improve your brand’s reputation:
Strength: The likelihood that your brand is discussed on social media.
Sentiments: The ratio of positive mentions to negative mentions.
Passion: The likelihood that people talking about your brand will do so repeatedly.
Reach: The number of unique authors who write about or mention your brand.
Top keywords: the words that are the most likely to be used along with your brand.
6. Review Push
This tool helps you monitor your reputation on popular review sites such as Yelp, Yellowpages, Foursquare, and social media which allow reviewing (e.g. Facebook). It will fit brick and mortar businesses best.
The Feed aggregates all your online reviews on one page. The reviews are listed in chronological order and each review includes the date, source, rating and reply link. In addition to that, ReviewPush also displays your average rating, pulled from all the websites monitored.
To encourage positive reviews you can use the Review Request tool. This tool allows you to capture more positive reviews across the web from your satisfied customers. It can be customized with your logo, branding and message. It also provides detailed statistics for all of the requests sent out.
Pricing: plans start at $29.
Reputology helps businesses monitor, respond to, and analyze their online reviews. It monitors social media and review sites dedicated to specific industries, for instance, hospitality, dining, healthcare, fitness, and real estate themed. It collects all the reviews in one feed and provides analytics needed to generate reports. You can group the reviews by the characteristics of your choice.
Apart from that, it enables you to offer surveys to your clients when they check out. In the survey you can ask your customers to leave you a review on specific review sites where you need more activity.
To make sure your negative reviews will be dealt with efficiently, Reputology converts them into customer service tickets.
Pricing: plans start at $49.
Another tool for businesses with multiple locations, Chatmeter focuses on a wide variety of sources including review sites, social media, blogs and articles. It’s an extremely comprehensive reputation management software but its main feature is review management.
Chatmeter will notify you via email of any reviews found on over 20 local search and review sites. In addition, you’ll get notifications about any new long-form content about your brand.
Another feature is competitor monitoring – Chatmeter will automatically identify 5 local competitors for each location and show how your brand stacks up against them. It’s also able to analyze your local SEO ranking and compare it to your competitors from the area.
Their widget allows you to share reviews from external sites on your website and store’s pages. And, if you create a new profile on a listings’ site, your profiles on other listings sites are automatically updated with any current information.
Pricing: available on request.
This tool stands out from this list because it’s primarily aimed at getting new reviews, not discovering already existing reviews. It offers review monitoring across 30+ review sites and Twitter, and collects all your reviews in one feed. It is also one of the few tools that monitors Google’s Questions and Answers.
However, as mentioned above, their main feature is encouraging your customers to write reviews. Previously known as GetFiveStars (which is a much more self-explanatory name), it enables you to engage your customers in feedback through different channels, including email and text messages.
It also offers widgets and pop ups for your website to display favourable reviews.
Pricing: plans start at $39,95.
10. Google Alerts
This list would be incomplete without the OG of reputation monitoring, Google Alerts. Launched in 2003, Google Alerts remains a convenient reputation monitoring solution for those who don’t feel the need to bother with a sophisticated reputation management strategy.
If you’re an experienced marketer, then you probably already know and use it, either for monitoring your brand or for content creation. After you put in your brand name, you’ll get email notifications as often as you’d like: as they happen, at least once a day, and at most once a week.