As an entrepreneur, growing a new business is hard. But it’s a lot easier when you have a good reputation and, in today’s online world, you’ll need good reputation management tools to help you achieve just that.
Research shows that the customer experience will soon be more important than price and product. And a big part of the customer experience is their perception of the person, people or brand they’re buying from.
In other words, reputation is everything.
With the growth and evolution of the internet, anything that you or others post about your brand online stays there and has the potential to influence your reputation for years to come. This means any casual comment, controversial meme or insult tossed around could one day come back to bite you. Big time.
That’s why it’s important you track your reputation on the internet, taking care with what you write and what you publish as it can all go downhill quickly.
It also means safeguarding your reputation by tracking the conversations other people are having about your brand before putting in place measures that can turn negative opinions into positive ones.
Fortunately, there are tools to help you do all of this. In this blog post, we’ve covered the five reputation management tools that will put you in control of your brand’s narrative.
Looking after your reputation should be near the top of your list of priorities in this digital age of ours. And the good thing is that you don’t need to leave your reputation in the hands of others. Instead, you can sway public opinion and craft a positive reputation all by yourself.
This is what is meant by reputation management. It’s all about doing the right things, saying the right things and acting in the right way so that people start to see you as a trustworthy, awesome brand that they’d like to do business with.
It’s super important, too. After all, 95 percent of people read customer reviews before making a purchase, which basically means they want to see what other people think of a brand’s products before they make a decision. Moreover, 91 percent of customers want brands to be authentic on social media.
It doesn’t matter how good your products or services are because your reputation will always precede you.
If people don’t trust you, and if you’ve shown evidence on social media that you’re dishonest or inauthentic, they simply won’t buy from you.
And then you have to work hard to recover from your startup failure.
The thing is, it’s not always so easy to maintain a strong reputation.
Knowing what to communicate about your business (as well as what not to communicate) can sometimes be a minefield.
This is where reputation management monitoring tools come in handy. These tools help you to stay on top of the conversations people are having about your brand; they allow you to react in real-time, and they also arm you with crucial feedback that you can then use to improve your products and services.
They also give you the chance to atone for any wrongs you have done, quick-smart.
Here are the top five you need to know about.
With all the thousands of websites out there, each with the potential to act as a platform for negative discussions about your brand, it’d be great if there was some way of being automatically notified every time you get mentioned.
Well, here’s the good news.
Google Alerts is a simple yet effective keyword monitoring tool. It’s also completely free.
It works like this: you enter the keywords or phrases (such as your name, your brand or just about anything you like) you wish to monitor and each time someone mentions them, Google Alerts will let you know.
This means you are among the first to know whenever your name or brand is being attacked or applauded, giving you time to strategise around either leveraging the positivity or dampening negativity.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of semi-private platforms that Google isn’t able to check for mentions. These are primarily the social networks, which require a different monitoring tool.
SentiOne gives you past and present insights into what your customers really like about you and your brand…as well as what they don’t like.
Because you’re shown historical data, you can go back in time and find comments and opinions that you would otherwise have missed.
For entrepreneurs launching a new startup, this can help them to repair their reputation if people have said negative things about them in the past.
You can also use SentiOne to track mentions, as well as social profiles and keywords.
One of the potential problems with SentiOne is that it gives you access to a heap of information. To make sure you don’t get overwhelmed by it all, just filter out certain keywords.
You can also use the tool to filter results so that you only see the negative mentions or the positive ones.
It’s important that you don’t overlook the negative mentions, though, because these are the ones that you need to resolve quickly so that they don’t turn into a full-blown crisis for your brand.
As we stated earlier, reviews matter a lot to your customers. They read them, take them to heart and often base their buying decision off them.
The problem for you as a business owner is finding reviews about your business and staying on top of them – especially the negative ones.
Reputology is a review management tool that helps you monitor online reviews about your brand. It also lets you analyse them and respond to them.
Negative reviews can be converted into customer service tickets to safeguard your reputation, and because the tool is location-specific, businesses with a local presence should find it particularly useful.
Perhaps its most useful aspect is that it sends you automatic emails at the time you get new reviews. Meanwhile, a ‘semantic analysis’ feature makes it easy for you to turn content into actionable data.
Like SentiOne, YouScan is a social listening tool that lets you find the conversations people are having about you, before highlighting their broader impact.
But it also shows you the conversations people are having about your niche, so that you can spot trends as they’re happening (and sometimes before they happen).
Even better, it allows you to get involved in the conversations people are having about you. This is key because one of the fundamentals of digital marketing is the ability to engage with our followers.
Think of it like this: if you go to a party but don’t make the effort to chat to anyone, you recede into the background and eventually everyone forgets you were even there in the first place. This means missed opportunities and a reputation for being disengaged and perhaps even boring.
Mention is a pretty big deal, primarily because it lets you monitor billions of sources each day so that you stay on top of branded keywords/mentions across various websites, blogs, forums, and social media sites.
What really sets Mention apart from a lot of other tools, though, is that, as well as monitoring your own reputation, you can use it to monitor your rivals’ reputation, too.
This means you can find out whether you’re viewed more positively or negatively than your competitors, and it also gives you insights into how they’re safeguarding their reputation (which could give you some great tactics to try in your own reputation management processes).
Earning yourself a great reputation takes time, effort and hard work. Once you’ve got it, the last thing you want is to lose it.
Use the tools in this article to help you maintain your burgeoning reputation as an entrepreneur, as well as the reputation of your business.
You may also want to share your brand philosophy with all new employees so that everyone is on the same page, and hold everyone accountable regarding what they say on social media and anywhere else online.
The success of your business depends on a positive reputation.