How many of you have not heard the word ‘viral’? It has traditionally meant ‘a virus attack or infection which if not treated well can spread rapidly’. However, the emergence of social media has popularized a different meaning of this word, albeit a hugely accepted one i.e. the ‘process of rapidly spreading of a particular piece of information in the form of video, text, images etc. with potentially far reaching effects’.
Why online brand reputation management is necessary?
The dawn of the age of internet and social media has totally revolutionized the way how people communicate with each other. More importantly, the masses have been suddenly endowed with the powers to mass communicate; and who have been more than happy to encroach in what has been a traditionally strong hold of the mass media organizations.
Just imagine the nightmarish scenario when an unhappy customer complains about a faulty product or a service of a brand on social media and it goes insanely viral. This is a situation if not controlled or solved at the right time can seriously raise questions on the integrity of the brand and thus endanger its business future. Here is an example of one such crisis – Dominos YouTube Crisis 2009 . This necessitates brands to dedicatedly have an online brand reputation management process in place.
Online brand reputation management tools and tips
Paid tools to manage your brand’s online reputation are of course available and are quite effective and potent in their trade too. But if you are tight on a budget or just want to try the waters of managing and monitoring online reputation for your brand, here are some tools and tips which cost you only your time and dedication:
- Google alerts : An amazingly useful tool, Google alerts can automatically send you emails based on predetermined but researched queries that you set up. For example, you can add your brand name, possible prefixes or suffixes with your brand name like ‘your brand name complaints’, ‘your brand name cheated’ etc.
- Yahoo alerts : Works much like Google alerts; you can receive notifications via email by setting up queries which can be sent to even your Yahoo Messenger.
- Social mention search : Social Mention also works like Google Alerts, but is custom made for social media. As the name suggest, Social Mention not only tracks your mentions, but also examines, identifies and categorizes the data according to their sentiments.
- Complaint search : Frustrated and angry customers turning to complaint sites to register their grievances are a hugely common phenomenon; the reason why a careful search of the complaints sites about your brand name is certainly advisable. This complaint search tool by Gofishdigital searches through a number of complaints sites and fetches you data for you to take the necessary corrective action.
- Q&A searches: Searching for your brand’s mentions in popular Q&A sites like Yahoo Answers and Quora (You have to register in Quora to carry out a search) is also an effective way to track any discussion relating to your brand.
- Twitter search : With over a billion registered members on Twitter, it naturally becomes imperative to carry out an independent and thorough search on this social media network. Twitter Search is a simple and clutter free tool to search Twitter for any mentions of your brand. You can also carry out the search for your brand’s mention using the available advanced search parameters.
Using the above mentioned online brand reputation management tools should be a regular mix of your brand’s risk management efforts. The discovery of negative mentions or potential crisis situations should be tactically managed and carefully handled for the greater good of the brand’s business future.