In an increasingly digitized business and consumer climate, online reputation management (ORM) is more important to brands than ever. While the internet provides limitless opportunities for positive initiatives (such as marketing and relationship building), it also opens companies up to possible widespread reputation damage.
Regardless of your brand’s size or industry, ORM is crucial to providing yourself with an advantageous online climate. The benefits of ORM include:
- Directing the conversation. Knowing (and sometimes addressing) what others are saying about your company keeps you in control.
- Measuring your impact. When your brand pops up in publications or conversations among competitors or consumers, finding out early and often helps you leverage the attention.
- Damage control. Whether your company made a mistake or someone is spreading unwarranted slander, identifying the source and severity of the criticism helps with mitigating efforts.
Top ORM Tools to Consider
With so many conversations going on all over the internet, an increasing variety of tools and checkers exist to help companies monitor their online reputations. The most useful and timely websites for ORM include:
- IceRocket. This easy-to-use tool helps users identify chatter on blogs and social networks using specific search terms. It also allows searchers to filter results by format, such as links, hashtags, and text.
- KnowEm.com. A free service, this “checker” scours over 550 different social media sites to determine whether anyone else has set up an account in your or your company’s name. For affordable fees, the website also provides profile registration services to prevent other entities from hijacking your brand’s social media identity.
- Social Mention. Better understanding of the online sentiment toward your company becomes easy with this application. Simply enter a search term, select a channel (questions, images, videos, microblogs, blogs, and bookmarks are options), and the tool returns a list of the most recent mentions your brand has received within a specified time frame.
- ImageRaider.com. Are you concerned about other entities using your logo, headshots, and other images for unapproved purposes? This site allows users to upload their applicable photos, then uses web crawlers to identify sites utilizing them. Unlike the reverse image search from Google, individuals can set ImageRaider up to scan the internet for photos on a regular and ongoing basis.
- Topsy. For those interested in the Twitter commentary of thought leaders in their industries, Topsy is a go-to tool. Simply enter a term in the search box, then click the Influencers tab to discover who has been talking about your brand.
- Complaint Site Search. This simple tool allows businesses to search among over 40 consumer complaint websites to find out whether customers have posted negative information about them online. Viewing and responding to such unfavorable reviews can help businesses restore consumer confidence in their brands.
As you plan your ORM strategy, consider which audiences you most hope to impact and what areas of liability most open your brand up to reputation damage. By understanding these areas of vulnerability, you can choose the best ORM tools to meet your monitoring needs and use them to your greatest advantage.
Which ORM websites best help you track and evaluate your brand’s online reputation?