Online reviews are a boon and a bane at the same time! They work better than any word-of-mouth publicity with positive reviews. That’s because 84% of people who access them, also believe everything that is said and readily base their decisions on them. But what if these reviews are negative? They can be the bane of existence for a business, especially one which does not offer the quality needed to survive against its competition. As Darwin said a long time ago, it is the nature of things to have the fit only survive. The rest have to improve or perish.
Reviews come in very useful for growth and businesses bent on surviving and succeeding in a competitive atmosphere must pay due attention to them to learn about their own areas of improvement. Unless the reviews are malicious and fraudulent, no one can question the right of a reviewer to voice any opinion, however defamatory nor can the comments be expunged. This makes managing our online reputation with due attention an important component of our competitive strategy. Potential customers watch every comment we make in response to such reviews and make their own assessment of us.
Our online reputation is spread over a number of platforms, some of which maybe unknown to us we find a review of our products or services posted on it. Let’s try and list some of them.
- Your own blog/website
- Online Retailers (ex. Amazon)
- Trip Advisor
- Yellow Pages
- Angie’s List
These are only representative of the number of places where someone can go and vent their frustration with us (or appreciation of us). There are many more forums, support groups, specialized websites etc. which invite people to share their thoughts too, all of which just help to expand the scope of our anxiety, if not night terrors. The increasing adoption of mobile devices makes it even more easy to spread the reviews, given how prominently they are displayed on a mobile.
Online reputation management today is a science and an art, combined. It requires you to establish a set of techniques and strategies to monitor and resolve negative reviews/feedback, get the fraudulent ones removed or promote yourself positively. How do you keep track of all the reviews and ratings which mention you by name, across online directories, search engines and social media channels? You can use some of these free tools which can help you to track and manage your online reputation.
Let’s see what some of the more popular ones have on offer.
This tool offers a simple dashboard which brings content sharing analytics and influencer identification together. You can search for the most popular and shared content on a given topic and even identify the influencers who shared it. Another helpful feature lets you find influencers based on keywords and hashtags. Using this tool, content marketers can identify the content that is working well and know the individuals whose endorsement can help them to market their own content better. The influencers can be filtered by type as bloggers, journalists and companies, allowing a content marketer to engage with the group most relevant to their needs.
This tool allows you to search through Twitter users and their bios using certain keywords. You can find the individuals with the greatest reach and followers as their word will carry the most authority. Then you can try and get them to review your product or services. The tool also offers some free analytics features which enable you to compare the followers of two or three different Twitter accounts, to enable you to see which of the social media influencers are following your competitors but not following you.
This is a search tool which shows you the negative reviews for your keywords from over 40 websites to help you respond to them, flag them or have them removed. Offers some paid services too.
This free tool helps you automate simple online tasks like sending text messages or turn on or off the lights in your smart home. People can also set this up to respond with a direct message when an RSS feed alerts them of a new mention of your name.
This tool helps you target influencers by filtering them using a number of qualifiers and to identify power users against novices to broaden your reach by choosing right. The tool’s demographic features allow you to see the types of followers the influencers are attracting to choose the right group to target. The tool provides you with detailed reports on each of your campaigns, ensuring a high ROI.
This is a basic tool which helps users to measure the metrics around influence like mentions, retweets, replies and followers on Twitter. It offers an outreach score which is based on mentions, retweets and replies. Both together help us to measure how active and influential an individual is with a given community.
Using this tool, you can get an analysis of the latest 100 tweets on a specific subject, using keywords and hashtags, to identify the top 100 contributors and the most retweeted tweets to find the influencers on a given topic. You can also get an estimate on the reach and exposure of the search term you are researching.
This tool identifies influencers based on their ability to drive conversations and actions, instead of just the volume of content shared by them or even their follower count. Start finding the real influencer voices on a range of niche topics.
Their search function is excellent and they let you save your searches, and see them get updated in real time. Build lists of accounts and create updating columns, create segments to get a collection of curated timelines as you track the tweets of all the influencers on your list.
This is an AI tool which allows you to hide or delete comments you do not want on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. It helps you monitor the buzz around your name for $199/month.
This free tool lets you monitor specific brand keywords and lets you see the top keywords, top users, sentiments, hashtags and networks. It searches blogs, microblogs, social networks, images and videos.
This tool enables social media management by tracking brand mention on any part of the web, to get analytics, social scheduling, a smart inbox with task management, keyword monitoring, automated responses, custom reports, and API integrations. You can have a free trial, after which it’s $49 plus per month.
This tool offers a range of solutions which help businesses manage their influencer marketing campaigns, communicate with influencers easily, track and validate your campaigns, compares your social influence with that of your competition and measure your growth over time.
This tool proactively helps you improve your reputation by encouraging customers to provide positive reviews by sending review requests immediately after a purchase. Its paid version provides superior results in customizing reviews and deriving more feedback from customers.
You can also check out other tools like AgoraPulse, BirdEye, Broadly, Customer Lobby, Future Solutions, ImageRaider, Podium, Reputation911, ReviewBuzz, Rocket Referrals or ReviewTrackers.
It’s important to note here that although these tools are all really helpful in many ways, the free models are never robust enough for you to be assured of a full control over your reputation as the features are provide only basic support. Of course, it’s up to you to decide if you want to upgrade or somehow manage with an inefficient version.