The explosion of blogging, social media, and online review sites has provided brands with unprecedented opportunity for exposure through authentic customer advocacy.
But this proliferation of (often unfiltered and unvetted) content presents significant risks for brands as well. Marketers need to constantly be on the watch for fake reviews, trolls, and unanswered customer complaints.
Social media monitoring tools are an excellent first line of defense for tracking brand mentions, and in some cases brand sentiment as well, from sources across the web.
But to make sure nothing gets missed, marketers often deploy a second layer of tracking tools. Here are nine of the best tools for monitoring your brand, key topics, influential bloggers, focused news sites, and obscure social media networks.
Reputation Management Tools
Google Review Count: 312
Manage, monitor, and track your name, business or brand’s online reputation across online reviews, business listings, and social media to improve customer service and encourage advocacy. Conduct customer surveys, create reports and analyze results.
Sample review: “Reputation.com…allows you to view search engine results and select if a result is positive, negative, or not you…you have access to the top 20 links, plus you are given the top 20 links for both Google and Bing. Another key feature that Reputation has is the MyPrivacy tool. This tool will notify you if any of your private data that you wish to not have exposed, is in fact exposed.” — The Social Media Hat
Pricing: contact vendor for pricing
Showcase reviews: The Social Media Hat
Google Review Count: 192
Tools to help businesses and individuals track and managage their online presence; get more control over search hits and supress negative results. The company offers technology, resources, and (if necessary) services for online reputation repair.
Sample review: “BrandYourself offers a great way to view and manage search engine results about yourself…Once your (social) profiles are connected, you are given a score as well as a list of suggestions on how to improve your score. Improving your score will actually boost your link in search engine results…You are also given a profile that is always SEO ready and will improve your results.” — The Social Media Hat
Pricing: contact vendor for pricing
Showcase reviews: The Social Media Hat
Online Topic Monitoring
1) Google Alerts
Google Review Count: 418
Enter any word, phrase, brand or product name, or boolean string, and Google will send you periodic email updates of all mentions it finds. Set up multiple alerts to track different topics and brands.
Sample review: “Maybe it’s me, but Google Alerts seems popular with journalists and publicists but rather unknown to the rest of the world. That should change because Alerts is probably the best way to track any topic…Alerts are easy to set up, simple to manage, and Google will push them to your email whenever you like.” — iMedia Connection
Showcase reviews: iMedia Connection, Kissmetics, Shift Communications, The Social Media Hat
2) TalkWalker Alerts
Google Review Count: 227
Free, easy alert tool: enter any search phrase or brand/product name, specify the types of results to track (news, blogs, discussions, or everything), set you preferred language, and select how frequently you’d like to receive alert summaries.
Sample review: “Combine a blog reader with a coverage monitoring service like…Talkwalker Alerts…to make sure you’re staying on top of client news.” — Shift Communications
Showcase reviews: Shift Communications
Google Review Count: 224
Create a curated stream of news and posts from any number of RSS feeds, including publications; blogs; YouTube channels; topics, competitors and brand mentions (through Google Alerts); and internal business content. Organize content into collections, search within your feeds, and share selected posts to major social networks.
Sample review: “I love Feedly for several reasons (including) its beautiful and clean magazine-type layout, and the seamless integration with Buffer…Feedly is a cloud based RSS aggregator and reader that is available for web browsers and mobile operating systems. For someone like me who spends a considerable amount of time scanning the web for shareable content, a reader like Feedly is a must.” — Rebekah Radice
Showcase reviews: Anders Orsander, ArCompany, BuzzBlogger, Entrepreneur, Katie Lance, Marketing Insider Group, Maximize Social Business, Rebekah Radice, Shift Communications, SmartBug Media, Social Media Today, StoreYa Blog
Google Review Count: 183
Digg Reader is a tool for keeping up with sites and blogs. Enter a site or blog you like or browse categories to discover relevant content.
Sample review: “Digg is my go-to RSS reader and social bookmarking tool.” — PR Daily
Showcase reviews: PR Daily
Google Review Count: 124
Feedspot is a modern RSS Reader. If you’re trying to keep up with news and content on multiple web sites, there’s no need to visit each of those sites to check for new content. Feedspot allows you to put all of your reading in one location.
Sample review: “(One of the tools) I can’t live without when working (is) Feedspot.com – (an) RSS reader, I pay for the gold level. Privately aggregates webpages by keyword and domain.” — Robbie Richards
Pricing: free or contact vendor for gold level pricing
Showcase reviews: Robbie Richards
Social Search Tools
1) Social Mention
Google Review Count: 358
A real-time social search engine that finds mentions of brands or topics acrosss blogs, social bookmarking sites, videos, and online forums, plus more than 100 social media properties including Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, and Google+.
Sample review: “This tool has lots of cool features that focus on blogs, video, and social (all the ‘cool’ stuff). You enter in a search term, either a keyword or a company, and the tool will tell you what’s being said about that term across blogs and social platforms.” — Kissmetrics
Showcase reviews: Catherine Pham/SlideShare, Lilach Bullock, Kissmetrics, MarketingLand, Perception System, RazorSocial (Technology), SnappApp, Visually
2) Whos Talkin
Google Review Count: 144
WhosTalkin.com is a social media search tool that allows users to search for conversations surrounding topics, keywords, products, or brands. The tool’s search and sorting algorithms combine data taken from over 60 of the internet’s most popular social media gateways.
Sample review: “Find out what people are saying on social media about any given subject, by simply entering your keywords in the search bar.” — Lilach Bullock
Showcase reviews: Lilach Bullock
Google Review Count: 79
Search for brand, topic, or keyword mentions across more than a dozen popular social networks. Filter results by sentiment and post type (link, photo, video). View a variety of analytics including sentiment by network, most active users/followers, and keywords associated with your brand. And that’s all free. With a paid account, get the ability to save history, view advanced analytics, and receive real-time alerts for brand or keyword mentions.
Pricing: free or $4/$9/$21 per month
Marketing Insider Group
Maximize Social Business
Social Media Today
The Social Media Hat
This was the 40th post in the Best Online Business Tools series.
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