Do you know what people are saying about you and your company? Is that something that is important to you that you’re keeping up with? There are a few different ways to find out. First, there are a couple of apps that can help. Don’t worry if you’re not very tech-savvy. There are some other options as well. Here are some tips on how to monitor your brand.
If you don’t have Google Alerts set up for your name and your company name, you may want to consider doing that. It’s a very simple and free way for you to see what people are saying online about you and your company. There are limits to Google Alerts. When you first set it up, if your name isn’t super specific, there’s a tendency to get some weirdness. For example, if your business is “Jon Kapowski Sells Homes in Hoover” then you’re probably only going to get notifications that are actually for your business. However, if your name is something more general, like “John Sells Homes”, you’re likely to get a combination of alerts that are actually about your business and some that are not the first few times you get your Google Alerts. This will make it a bit more difficult at first, as you trudge through the junk to get to the good stuff. Google Alerts is great to use but you need unique terminology that makes it easy for you to monitor.
You can also set up Google Alerts for your industry. For example, you could set up a Google Alert for “homes for sale in Hoover” and see what some of your competition is doing. Any term you want to monitor can work with Google Alerts. It’s a really useful tool for monitoring your brand.
Talkwalker is a free app that allows you to protect your brand and your reputation from damage by following every mention of your brand and sending them to you in Talkwalker alerts, similar to Google Alerts. It allows you to monitor your brand across different websites, blogs, social media platforms, forums, channels- all of it. Google Alerts are great but there are limits where social media is concerned. Talkwalker is set up to be integrated with social media platforms, so all you have to do is set up the app to send the free alerts directly to your inbox. Talkwalker is great for brand and reputation management because it allows you to monitor everything.
It’s amazing how many people don’t check their Facebook mentions and notifications on any level. You’ve got to do that. You can have a total PR meltdown on your hands and there’s a notification right there beside your company name. Why wouldn’t you check that? People will generally tag your company for one of two reasons, either they’re really happy or really unhappy. Checking their mentions is really important. For starters, it gives you great content to share on your own page or social media. User-generated content is one of the best ways to recycle content. If you’re mentioned in a negative way, it gives you a chance to address the comment and work towards damage control. Even if it’s a positive comment, it benefits you to respond. Don’t be afraid to talk to people. They took their time and energy to call you out, by name, in a positive way and spread the word about your business. Tell them thanks and let them know you appreciate their feedback. It looks terrible for your brand when you don’t respond when people talk about your company.
Another thing many people neglect is the Facebook search bar. It may be hard to believe, but there are people who don’t know how to tag on Facebook. They don’t realize that you have to use the @ symbol. Sometimes they can’t find the name of your company so they don’t tag you. Facebook can even be glitchy at times and refuse to let you tag. That’s where the search bar comes in. Like in our previous example, if you search “John Sells Homes in Hoover” it will show you every mention of that name on Facebook. You can search profiles, pages, posts, photos- anywhere on the site. Search the posts.
Make sure you are searching your hashtags on Instagram and Twitter. For example, John would search #johnsellshome, #johnsellshomesinhoover, #johnsmithrealtor, and any other applicable hashtags for his business. Make sure the hashtags are being used in a positive way with no negative connotations or uses. For instance, if someone has a bad experience with a different realtor named John, but they use the hashtag #johnsellshomes in their complaint, this will give you the opportunity to address the complaint and let them know they have the wrong business. If they do mean your company, you have the opportunity to try and make things right for your customer. It’s important to stay on top of this stuff, and hashtags are a really helpful tool to help you do so.
The second app on the list is Mention. It allows you to connect with brand advocates. These are people who are brand warriors. These are the people who love you, who are talking about you and saying awesome stuff about you. The mention app has a ton of comprehensive features. Of course, it sends you notifications whenever you’re mentioned, just like Google Alerts and Talkwalker. However, it really stands out by allowing you to do influencer marketing. That means it helps you identify powerful voices with lots of followers, along with micro-influencers with around 10k followers, as opposed to 20k or more. Sometimes the micro-influencers are the better choice since many of them are heavily connected to and engaged with their followers. Mention then uses these voices to boost your own marketing efforts. You can reach out to them for contests, connections, possibly even paid advertising and nurture those relationships. Mention has a free plan with limited features and a paid plan with full functionality. The paid version is a bit pricey, so start with the free version and see if it can work for you.
Now that you have the tools to monitor your brand, you are all set. Remember, the information you gain is useless unless you do something with it, so respond to those comments. Recycle that compliment as a testimonial. Identify your brand warriors. Follow these steps and watch your brand grow.