Connecting your business online can bring a lot of benefits. You can reach audiences who were not interested in your business at first, visitors can come in easily when they see your details on your website, and of course, they may even visit you because of positive reviews.
However, for a batch of positive reviews, you may get a negative review. One negative review may be overshadowed by a handful of positive reviews but, negative reviews can pile up if you don't keep track of them. You will need tools to monitor all reviews, good or bad.
Why Should You Care About Your Online Reputation?
As a business owner, your company is connected to the internet in some form. You might even find feedback on your business that doesn't shine a good light on you. Users can simply type in your business' name and they will probably find some form of review.
People put in the effort to write reviews about you only in the light of 2 experiences: either they absolutely loved you, or they absolutely hate you. Whether a review is good or bad will depend on the customer. How do you clean up your business' reputation online? And do you maximize the power of the internet to convert detractors to supporters?
A study by BrightLocal shows how many online reviews can influence a customer to visit a store.
- 95% of Consumers aged 18-34 read reviews about local businesses
- A typical consumer would read 10 online reviews on average before they feel like they can trust a local business
- Reviews older than three months are considered irrelevant by 85% of consumers.
Imagine that! Customers read 10 reviews before they can trust a business. What if the majority of those reviews were negative? Here are a few tools that can help you fix your online reputation.
Tools to Monitor Your Reputation
1. Google Alerts (Free)
Google Alerts is a simple, easy to use tool that can help you keep track of where your business is being mentioned. Simply enter a topic you wanted to be alerted about and, you'll receive notifications any time your chosen topic is mentioned online. For example, I want to keep track of the word Nike.
You enter the term Nike on the search bar and click on the Create Alert button and, you will receive a notification on the topic. Every time you're a business is mentioned in an article, you'll receive an alert from Google. The topic can be positive or, in the worst-case scenario, you may receive a positive review.
Using Google Alerts, you can keep track of where your business is mentioned. You will be able to thank a customer for a positive experience and clarify details with customers who had a negative experience.
2. Talkwalker Free Social Search & Talkwalker Alerts (Free)
Similar to Google Alerts, Talkwalker serves a similar function and helps you track different social trends mentioning your business from hashtags to online reviews. What makes Talkwalker different is that the tool gives you a deep dive on reviews regarding your business. Google Alerts simply alerts when your business is mentioned.
Talkwalker Free Social and Talkwalker Alerts are freemiums with advanced features available to paid subscribers.
3. SentiOne (Paid)
Sentione acts like a social media tracker that you can use to discover what has been said about your business online. You can monitor Brands, Social Media Profiles and, Other topics all on the front page.
The tool can be overwhelming so, you have the option to filter results between negative or positive mentions. Having the option to filter your mentions helps you clean up any negative posts you may have.
All these tools come at a price though. You can start out with a 14 Day Free Trial and proceed with a paid plan that starts at $299 per month.
4. Reputology (Paid)
Reputology is a paid tool that helps you keep track of reviews instantly on different platforms such as Google My Business, Facebook, Hootsuite and more. All you need is Reputology to see the different reviews of your business on multiple websites and respond to them in one place.
This tool is very helpful for businesses with more than one location because you no longer need to scour different review sites to respond to complaints.
The tool mostly caters to businesses in the hospitality, dining, health, fitness and, real estate industries. Pricing for Reputology starts at $29-$49/month/location for businesses with only one location and $10-$49/month/location for businesses with multiple locations and more.
The best feature of the tool is that it allows you to manage your reputation all in one place versus having to log in to different listings to reply to your audience in each platform.
5. Review Push (Paid)
Similar to Reputology, Review Push also helps businesses with multiple locations monitor their reviews on social media and popular review websites such as Yelp and Foursquare. What makes Review Push unique is the fact that you can respond to reviews immediately from the inbox.
The tool also helps you keep track of ratings in one place. Say you have multiple branches of your business. The example below shows the different ratings for each store. You can see what you can improve on for each branch and determine what to do next.
However, like Reputology, the data comes with a price. You can get a 21-Day Free Trial or a Price Quote that you have to inquire directly from the website.
6. Reputation Ranger
While previous tools serve a multitude of industries, Reputation Ranger focuses on a specific niche catering to restaurants and bars, hotels and travel, automotive sales and services and, plumbers and home contractors.
Other tools monitor more than one social media site while Reputation Ranger focuses only on Facebook and industry-related sites for making reports and alerts for business owners. The tool mostly serves small businesses while tools such as Reputology cater to large-scale businesses like gyms and restaurants.
Like the previous two tools, it allows you to respond to feedback right within the platform so no need to login to your different listing accounts.
There is no information available regarding pricing on their website.
For the bigger businesses looking to fix their online reputation, Meltwater caters to large-scale companies such as the Changi Airport in Singapore and Fred Perry clothing. Other tools only track company reputation from social media and review websites.
Meltwater tracks entire media sources because the tool began as a service that looks for press clippings about clients. The tool isn't just used to fix online reputation, Meltwater is a total Public Relations service.
Because Meltwater is catered to large companies, there is no direct pricing available. You will have to contact the company for a demonstration and price details.
If you've put your business online, it is inescapable that both customer (people that pay you) and users (people that interact with you but haven't necessarily paid you yet) will eventually leave their opinions about your business or your brand.
The internet has made the voice of the customer stronger than ever. If you're brand genuinely adds value to your customers and offers value first to your users, then receiving and responding to comments will as a general rule benefit your business.
But if you're online and you're not ready to interact with your customers in the digital space, you may need to question your digital readiness.
The internet has made 2 things true: 1. The customer's voice has gotten stronger, and 2. only the brands that are ready to accept and adapt to this will thrive in the new digital economy.
Dan Smink is the founder of C1 Partners , a Denver SEO company that helps small to medium enterprises with their digital marketing strategy. Dan comes from a background of 20 years in business leadership and has a track record of helping businesses achieve million dollar revenue values. He is an active community leader and a contributor to the Forbes.com's Agency Council spreading the word on how digital strategies can make a positive impact on today’s businesses.