The official definition of reputation management is the process of identifying what other people are saying or feeling about you or your business; and taking steps to ensure that the general consensus is in line with your goals. (BusinessDictionary.com)

Knowing what your customers are saying about you and your business is part of any good marketing strategy. With the explosion of social media networks, news sites, blogs, and forums, monitoring all of them manually could be a daunting task.

The good news is that there are a lot of online tools, both free and paid, that are available to automate this task. (But we will get to the list of tools in a little bit).

First, let’s go over some of the key items you should consider prior to choosing the right reputation monitoring tool for your small business:

1. What should you monitor?  When starting on the path of reputation management it is important to decide what you want to monitor. Here are a few areas to consider:

– Your company name
– Your name (or the name of the company’s CEO, leadership team)
– Your product name (if you are selling a uniquely named product)
– Your competitors (if you want to do a little competitive analysis)

2. Who will monitor the conversation and on what cadence? Knowing what to track is half the battle. The key to a good reputation management strategy is consistency. That’s why it is important to allocate this task to a dedicated employee (if it isn’t you) and decide how often this task should be performed. Sticking to a regular schedule can also help you spot any trends in customer feedback.

3. How will you react to found feedback?  Once you know what you wish to monitor and who will accomplish the task, determine your course of action based on the type of feedback you can potentially encounter. Having a rough outline of how you wish to respond to both positive and negative feedback can streamline the process and increase your response times.

Once you have identified all the items from the list above, it’s time to pick a tool that best matches your needs (and budget). Here are a few tools you can utilize to monitor mentions of your business via social media networks and moderate your online reputation:

– Google Alerts
– SocialMention
– Blitzmetrics
– Trackur
– SocialBakers
– Mention
– Beevolve
– TweetBeep
– Reputation.com
– Rankur

Have we left any tools off the list that you enjoy using on regular basis? Post below for everyone to see.

About the Author: Irina Kabigting is Pagemodo’s Marketing and Social Media Manager.
Get more from Irina on Pagemodo’s Blog and Google+.

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