12 Most Damage-Controlling Tools to Monitor Your Brand Online
Business often approach social media in one way: as an opportunity to broadcast marketing messages. If they can build a following on Twitter, get “Likes” on Facebook, etc., they will be able to promote their products to more people without having to pay for costlier traditional media.
While using the social web as a platform for marketing campaigns can be very effective if done right, it isn’t the best use of the social web. Many business folks, in a frantic push to get more eyeballs on their ads, view social media as a golden opportunity to promote themselves. What they are missing out on in thinking this way is the most valuable opportunity that social media provides: the ability to listen.
You no longer have to pull a focus group together to find out what consumers of your products and services think of you. They are publishing it online. You simply need to develop the listening ear required to find it.
The social web, more than a platform for outbound marketing, is a platform for gathering insight into what people think of your brand and strengthening customer service by responding to customers’ concerns.
Here are some tools to make you a better listener…
This is a staple for anyone in business. Simply enter keywords you want Google to search for and the frequency at which you want to receive the alerts. You’ll get them in your email inbox. No easier way to find out when people are talking about you online.
This is sort of a search engine for social networks. Just type in keywords, like your business’s name, and you’ll receive a list of links to where it has been referenced.
This tool uses your Twitter profile and information from other social networks to rank your level of influence on the web. It tracks items such as mentions/retweets on Twitter and likes/comments on Facebook to give you a score on the scale of 0 to 100.
Another influence ranking tool, Kred gives two numbers: one on a scale of 0 to 1200 representing a person’s influence on the social web and one on a scale of 0 to 8 representing a person’s level of interaction on the social web.
Twilert is like Google Alerts but for Twitter. It’s a great tool for monitoring the way your brand is talking about on Twitter. A lot of people use Twitter to rant and rave. Use this tool to respond to the rants and show gratitude for the raves.
Not a formal tool, a Twitter chat is a chat held on Twitter using a hashtag. Find a chat relevant to your brand, industry, or location, and jump in. It will give you an idea of what people think of your field.
This too is an alternative to Social Mention, giving you search results for keywords across social media sites, social bookmarking sites, news sites, forums, etc.
Like a Twitter chat, joining a LinkedIn group that is relevant to your brand or industry can give you insight into what other professionals and potential customers are struggling with as it relates to products and services like yours.
This is a paid alternative to Klout and Kred that helps you measure and manage your online reputation, using Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as primary reference points for data.
Probably the most well-known brand monitoring tool, Salesforce.com’s Radian6 provides in-depth metrics and reports regarding your brand and its presence online. Not for the faint of heart, this tool is $600/month on the low end and $10,000/month on the high end.
Pulse Analytics is a paid software service that provides visual dashboards for assessing brand mentions online and insight into how to respond to them. I’m sure 12 Most contributor, Brian Vickery, would be able to tell you more about it.
Sprout is a paid social media monitoring tool that filters for the most relevant and pressing mentions of your brand online. If you receive a lot of attention that doesn’t always need addressing (i.e. retweets of blog posts), then you want to be able to sift through the clutter and find what needs your attention. This tool helps you do that.
Anything I’m missing? How do you track the mentions of your brand online? Are you doing it at all?
Share your experiences with how monitoring your band online has helped you be more responsive to your customers in the comments below.
Featured image courtesy of skyloade licensed via Creative Commons.