Your users or consumers have become that much closer to you with the power of social media. Collectively speaking, it's a tool that allows you to reach out and engage with your users, speak to them on a personal level and develop brand awareness. The end goal is to drive sales or conversions, making your social media efforts the conduit between your consumers and your product.
If you don't have a dedicated team managing your social media marketing, it can get a little overwhelming. There's a lot to manage between your likes, re-tweets, comments, shares and queries. Heaven forbid you get a disgruntled consumer using your Facebook page as a soundboard for their woes. The bottom line is that you need to stay on top of it in order to maintain a positive online reputation. Negative press spreads like wildfire on social media, but so too does the news about a brand that managed their negative press really ethically. Bottom line is that you need to interact and you need to be able to respond quickly. The good news is that with the right tools, you can maximize your time productively and still engage with your followers while conveying a prominent message for your brand.
Enter a host of delightful free online reputation management tools.
Let's start with the most simple of all. You can create Google Alerts for absolutely anything, most importantly for your business. If you're following campaign mentions or simply want to hear the buzz about your brand, set up a few Google Alerts with specific phrases that can either be sent to your inbox or into a feed. It takes a few seconds to set up but can provide real time mentions that you can act on immediately.
Social Mention is another exceptional free tool that offers you brand mentions within seconds. Type in your brand name and you'll get a host of links that relate to your brand. It's possible that your brand name will overlap with a lot of other similar named themes, so be very specific about what you want to find mentions about. You'll also get details on the sentiment of the mentions - negative, positive or neutral - so that you can respond accordingly. Mentions are also categorized by the social network they originate from and searches can also be performed by #hashtag.
Topsy is very similar to Social Mention in that it offers searches by hashtags or key-phrases. It trawls Tweets, links, photos, trending topics and videos for any relevant info. You can also set up an alert that will notify you of any real-time updates to your search, giving you that opportunity to jump up and respond to any users who're talking about your brand online.
Commun.It involves a little bit more effort in that you having to register an account using your Twitter details as well as terms relating to your brand and industry. Make sure you use highly relevant terms and you mention all your online entities because the site will create a customized dashboard based on your information. The dashboard is a treasure trove of stuff that you can learn from. Your most influential followers are listed, as are the users who are engaged with your brand. It gets really clever by recommending people to follow based on the key terms you selected, highlighting new followers and allowing you to interact with them from the platform. It also suggests who you should unfollow based on your level of engagement - or lack thereof - with these users.
Any other incredible FREE tools that you think are worth mentioning for online brand reputation management? Let us and our readers know.
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