Online reputation is a brand’s prestige or perceived value on the Internet. We understand “brand” in its broad sense: it could be a product, service, company, organisation or individual. They all require online reputation management.
Online reputation management has become an area of growing interest in marketing since the Internet became one of the preferred methods to search for information about products and services. The online world has a great influence upon consumers’ purchasing decisions.
We should keep in mind that online reputation management is a continuous process of data collection, monitoring and analysis that allows us to follow changes in a brand’s perception over time and helps us to make marketing decisions. It should provide quantitative data (for example, number of positive, neutral and negative mentions over a specific period) as well as qualitative data (for example, strengths and weaknesses mentioned by customers when reviewing the product).
How to manage online reputation
There are many tools, paid and for free, that allow us to monitor our brand online reputation. Here we mention the most basic ones, which we consider everyone should know. In addition to being quite easy to use, these ones are also for free.
One of the most well-known tools is Google Alerts, a service that allows us to choose specific keywords or strings and will notify us via email every time a new mention has been indexed on Google. Google Alerts can be configured by language or region, as well as by content type (news, blogs, videos, books, discussions). We just enter our brand name and we will start receiving email alerts. Yahoo has a similar tool, called Yahoo Alerts.
If we have a Wikipedia page, it is a good idea to receive automatic notifications every time the page is updated. This can be done very easily, since every article has a RSS feed we can subscribe to and get the updates via email.
Regarding social media, TweetDeck and Hootsuite are the most popular tools for managing multiple accounts and monitoring mentions and trends in real time. If we want to know what people are saying about our brand without mentioning us, we can do it just by creating a new timeline with our brand name as the keyword.