When talking about our Reputation Clool we talk a lot about web monitoring (or web listening, same thing, different name). It simply means ensuring that you are listening well to all the noise out there on the web to ensure that you pick up any mentions (horrible, nice and indifferent) about what is important to your company (business name, brand names, names of key figures associated with the business/brand etc.). As we have explained, the Reputation Clool is a neat way to make sure that you store all those links in an orderly manner, and then undertake some or all of several actions;
- assign a sentiment to the mention
- respond directly to the mention
- post the link to one or more social media channels
- email the links to the boss/client/anyone other interested parties
- assign a task to someone else to undertake any of the above.
And voilà, at the end of the year you have a nice archive of what you found and you can track with how you dealt with it.
But how exactly do you go about finding those links?
Ah, now that is a tricky question. So here is a tricky answer! Let’s start with a look at some of the various payable services that are available. Let someone else do it for you.
This is a payable service which does a lot of the hard work for you, by identifying the mentions on your behalf and then by manually assigning sentiment (computers assign sentiment really badly as computers generally are not really great at irony or sarcasm!). The results are delivered to your doorstep in the format of a handy interface.
Another totally affordable service, even for the very small among you! It has some cute concepts such as keyword, topic and word-cloud monitoring, plus allowing you to share your results with your team from within the platform. A tiny plan will cost you US$49 a month for 5 mentions, which is probably enough for a small company.
Mention takes things a step further, not only finding your links for you, but also offering the possibility to manage them from within the platform (such as assigning tasks to colleagues) and even allows you to hook up your social media accounts so that you can react directly from the dashboard. Neat. It’s a sophisticated little tool, but rocks in (for a small business) at US$99 per month, and that is just for tracking 5 mentions!
A super-service, including searching of offline sources such as print, media and radio. Just like in Mention you can manage the results of the monitoring from with the dashboard with workflow functions, and even use a tagging system to involve your clients (if you are an agency) in what’s happening. That’s all great. What is not so great is that the basic package comes in at a whacking uS$700 per month. That is for unlimited users and mentions, but it’s not easy access if you are a start-up or small operation.
Another supersonic service that includes a multi-screen display system for all the lovely data they will be recovering for you from around the globe. In fact it’s so amazing, that the under the Plans and Pricing section, there are actually no prices. And that, we find, is always a bit worrying.
But our budget is exactly zero! How do I go about searching out those links for ourselves?
Well first we will point out the obvious, that your budget cannot be zero, as time is money, and someone taking time to search out and manage the mentions is of course a cost, even if the tools represent no direct financial investment. But there are some ways that you can do this yourself at very low cost until you are in position to use one of the services mentioned above (or any others of the hundreds available!)
This is a free web-based application, and is very simple. You just shove in your keyword and send and view the results! As well as conducting manual searches you can also set up alerts (although at the time of writing this article the service is unavailable). Easy and free – a great place to start!
It’s an oldie but it is still a goody. Whilst once upon a time Google Alerts was a great tool, (effectively a way of saving Google Searches that you repeated again and again), this service is all but totally shut, and does not produce the results is once did. But a simple manual search using some simply Boolean techniques will bring you up some good results. No-one searches quite like Google searches!
If you are a small agency/business chances are you are using Hootsuite as a social media management platform. So simply set yourself up some tabs with a search function for keeping an eye on the terms in which you are interested, which Hootsuite will fish from various social accounts. It’s basic but it works.
So take away this!
There are some really awesome services out there, that do so much more than simply crawl for the data. But in order for them to make sense, you will need a relatively muscular budget, and some very constructive and well-defined goals and objectives. If you are a small agency, or a business handling your own web mentions, at least in the initial phases you can get by on the free stuff, so that you can make more informed decisions about what you really need in the future. There is nothing like learning to understand something by getting your hands really, really dirty.
Reputation Clool is just perfect for those of you who choose to “go it alone” and find your own links. Once you have them, pull them into the Reputation Clool via the java booklet and they will sit quietly and wait for you to come back and manage them. Couldn’t be simpler.