If people are talking about you and your business online, wouldn’t you want to know about it? As a small business, it’s important to monitor your online reputation. Gaining the trust of consumers can make or break your company.
Positive reviews and word of mouth marketing equate to trust, and most people flock to online sites to review a business or get the opinion of friends and acquaintances. It’s essential to your business that you monitor what customers are saying so that you can promote the positive reviews and make amends with the negative.
Monitoring what people say about you and your business may seem overwhelming, but there are quite a few free or low-cost tools to help you monitor your online reputation.
1. Google Alerts
Google Alerts can be thought of as a customized Google search that sends you notifications when new content is added for keywords that you’ve specified. The service scans and pulls information from relevant web pages, blogs, research or articles within the Google network.
Setting up a Google Alert is free and can be done in only a few steps. Simply enter the search terms you want alerts for, choose the type of results you want Google to send you and then select how often you want to receive alerts and where the alerts should be delivered.
Naymz is a tool that can help you track and manage your social influence, which is closely correlated to your online reputation. The higher your influence, the more positive your reputation will be.
RepScore is Naymz’s program that rates your online influence across different social networks in a relative comparison to other members. It assesses what your peers think about you, whether or not others listen and engage with you, and what makes you unique and valuable as an influencer. From there, it gives you a score between 1 and 99 (with 99 being the best) and ranks your influence level as builder, established, top member or elite member compared to other Naymz members.
Yext is a helpful site to visit if you want to manage your online listings on location and review sites (such as Yellow Pages or Yelp) to make sure the information posted is correct.
The PowerListings tool will tell you the error rate of the information posted, where those errors occurred and where information about your business isn’t listed at all, so you can have it corrected to ensure customers will have the means to reach you. All you have to do is enter your business’ name, phone number, address and zip code, and the program will scan all of the local listing and review sites in its database.
Hootsuite is a social media management tool that allows you to maintain all of your social media networks in one place. You’re able to schedule future messages, listen and engage with your followers and view in-depth social media analytics in order to see how your content is being perceived and make improvements where they’re needed.
You can connect three social profiles, schedule messages and receive basic analytics report for free. But if you’re willing to upgrade for just $10 a month, Hootsuite Pro will give you the ability to connect up to 50 social profiles, schedule your messages in bulk and receive more enhanced analytics reports.
For about $25 a month, Reputology is a site that provides analytics for customer service management and alerts you with time-sensitive emails about any negative customer experiences. It sends you a detailed summary report of consumer feedback that will help you to respond quickly to your customers and identify any areas of improvement within your business. It also integrates with Hootsuite and other social media management tools.
6. Complaint Search Box
Created by Go Fish Digital, Complaint Search Box is a website set to perform a specialized Google search on over 40 complaint websites. It’s a quick and easy way to perform free daily searches to make sure customers aren’t having negative experiences with you or your brand.
While all of these tools can help you manage your online reputation in-depth, sometimes daily maintenance of your online reputation can be as simple as searching for your name on Google or a social media site.
Try also associating a hashtag with your brand, and encourage your customers and followers to use it as well. It gives you another option to search for when you’re monitoring your brand mentions.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.