Don’t you care what people are saying about you?
Whether it’s your company name or your personal name you need to care online. In the old world people could speak highly or poorly of you without you ever knowing. You would just see sales drop or friends would stop calling. Now, though, customers and friends are making those remarks online.
You need to start listening!
Level 1: Google Alerts
This everyone’s introduction to reputation monitoring – Google Alerts. With no cost and no maintenance, you can easily track all types of keywords and phrases real-time (soft of) as they join to noise of the Internet. One disadvantage is its lack of filtering. For example I have an alert set for “coast dental” where I work. But I continually get alerts for “east coast dental”, “west coast dental” and “gold coast dental”. That’s noise to me.
Level 2: RSS/Subscribes/Feeds
While Google tries to be all encompassing with Alerts, it just doesn’t hit them all currently. When you’re ready to track Twitter and blogs more thoroughly, then monitoring pre-defined RSS feeds is your next step. By searching various properties you can then subscribe to the search results. Using Microsoft Outlook or Google Reader you can then receive an update each time there is a new result for that search query. For example, I have RSS feed searches on search.twitter.com and blogsearch.google.com.
Level 3: Dedicated Services
While you could deploy the first two levels with no cash outlay, Level 3 may require money. Using free services like Trackur.com or pay services like Radian 6 you gain tools that are dedicated and designed for not only reputation monitoring, but also reputation management. For example, Radian 6 provides a workflow solution for tracking issues as you hand them off within your company.
Get Started – It’s Free!
No matter where you want to jump into the monitoring ring, just don’t waste any time. Level 1’s Google Alerts should be done by everyone. Heck, you should at least have an alert on your name.
Once you’ve mastered reputation monitoring you’ll be ready for the next step: reputation management.