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It’s 8:00am. You’ve just walked in, coffee in hand, and turned on your computer—only to find that someone has written a nasty comment about you on Twitter. Others have reacted to it, and now it’s made its way to your Facebook Page for all your existing customers to see.
In a world where consumers look first to the Internet before interacting or engaging with local businesses, it’s imperative to keep a keen watch on what’s being said about your business. If you were able to see the comment when its author first posted it, you could have responded—and probably prevented the snowball effect from kicking in. But how can you know everything that is said online about your business the minute it happens? If it were all up to you, it would never happen. Luckily, there are tools to help you monitor your reputation online.
To properly cover all your bases, I recommend setting up alerts for specific keywords that are tied to your business, such as the name of your business, owner name(s), manager names, and even the names of your employees.
Here are 5 tools that can do this for you:
- Google Alerts sends email notifications any time that Google finds new results on your keywords. It’s a great way to see what people are saying about your business, you personally, and your employees on the web. You can tell Google what kind of news and media outlets you are interested in monitoring – or have it monitor everything. You can also set the frequency of these emails to reach you as they happen, daily or weekly.
- MonitorThis can hook you up to 22 different search engine feeds at the same time.
- If This Then That (IFTTT) allows you to set up scans of web content that mentions your company then send you a daily email alert with the results. For instance, your scan could be “IF [website] mentions your company, THEN receive an email alert.”
- Google’s Me on the Web tool is especially useful if you want to monitor mentions of your name (as business owner and manager) or of an employee’s name. It’s also flexible in that you can set up as many search terms as you like and you can choose how often to receive alerts for each term.
- Social Mention can monitor multiple websites in one place and identify which keywords people use when talking about your company.
The Bottom Line
As a local business owner, your time is limited—but monitoring your business’s online reputation isn’t optional. You can quickly and easily set up alerts to keep tabs on what and how people talk about you online. With this information in hand, you can address concerns quickly and resolve any complaints before they turn into a crisis for your business.
For even more online reputation tips, check out our guide.
About the Author
Deb began her career working on product public relations for large companies like Sony, Canon, and Samsung. She then migrated to the tech start-up world where she helped build Vimeo from a 12-person product to a thriving company. She's now Director of Brand & Reputation at Booker Software, where she's helping to build media visibility and grow their social media program. In her spare time, Deb is an avid yogi & martial artist.Follow on Google Plus Follow on Twitter More Content by Deb Szajngarten