Brand Monitoring and Online Reputation Management
MRK634MTBrand Monitoring and Online Rep Management Wed March 28, 2012
What is Brand Monitoring?
Brand monitoring is a task consisting of systematic and strategic investigation via online web-based resources such as ReviewPush, Nutshellmail, Hyperalrert, Grader, and Twilert. There is literally hundreds of other readily-available software online but these are the some of the specific ones that we are focusing on. The intention of this procedure is to discover, and sometimes react to, references of a company, brand, or competitors. The process proves to be necessary and beneficial for firms that are sensitive to consumers perception of them, particularly when negative information surfaces. Companies are gradually realizing the importance of monitoring and sometimes altering or fixing negative publicity. People are talking about your brand both online and in real time, over many different platforms. We are still in an early age of brand monitoring but the progress which has occurred so far has seen exponential growth since its introduction to the market. Primitive brand monitoring tools were mostly only able to track and display mentions of programmed keywords. Today, monitoring software is not only used for tracking, but also in-depth analysis of all things Social Media.
Brand monitoring can also be used by individuals too in a sense. An individual who is seeking a job should be particularly aware of the type of impact he/she has created in his/her name on the internet. It is becoming more and more common for employers to perform Google and/or Facebook searches on applicants often resulting in getting rejected for the job if undesirable content is discovered. What is Online Reputation Management?
Online reputation management is becoming a rapidly growing concern among many firms, considering there are endless methods of interacting with each other over the internet in modern day society. Methods such as discussion boards, forums, blogs, wikis, and video sites are common ways that people are communicating by on a daily basis. Because of the vast amount of outlets there are on the internet, it is difficult to manage what consumers are saying about your brands. For this reason, there are arrays of social media monitoring tools that can assist in online reputation management by helping you interact with the consumers and analyzing trends that they are producing. It is important to listen to where the conversations are coming from, and join the conversations as much as possible. Online reputation is the new word-of-mouth.Benefits to Companies
Although virtually any firm can benefit from brand monitoring and reputation management, it is particularly useful in for-profit organizations as opposed to not-for-profit organizations. Not-for-profit companies tend to automatically have a positive brand image, as they are seen as distinctly different from the companies that are trying to fleece consumers for all their money. Because of this, there is less negative publicity towards these types of businesses, thus making brand monitoring slightly less important. It is the for-profit firms (both B2B and B2C) that are heavily relying on brand monitoring. This technology can assist firms in listening and responding to customers, improving customer satisfaction, and building trust and confidence towards a brand. In addition to the customer aspect, monitoring the social web also lets you manage your competition, be on top of business trends and have a first mover advantage. All in all, brand monitoring and online reputation management will assist in resolving issues quicker, avoiding negative publicity, and improving brand reputation.How Companies Specifically Use Brand Monitoring
The main use that a company is going to have for brand monitoring websites and software is to observe and report on how people and or groups are using and talking about your specific product or service. The best way for a company to use brand-monitoring tools would not just be for their own products its a great tool for tracking the demands of your target markets, what your competitors are up to and changing and evolving shifts happening in the business world. Along with being able to monitor your company, your customers and of course your competition the process of brand management offered by these technologies allows your company to focus and act on any bad trends beginning to form.
When it comes to tracking your brand online its all about knowing whos talking about your product or service, what are they saying about it, when did they talk about it and who agrees/disagrees with what they said. When it comes to monitoring a brand, product or service online there is no special wizarding tool that magically tells you how well your brand is doing, (although a few sites take a good whack at it) it is a matter of tracking comments, posts, mentions and anything else that people could think to do with themselves and the stuff they like online. Companies use these services so they can track not only what is being said about them but also what is being said about their competitors. What is required of a company using these technologies is a constant to immediate updates about the brands and topics that relate to or affect the market that your business operates in. along with monitoring what is being said about yours and your competitors brands these softwares allow you to track the overall consumer feel and opinion of not so much the product but the market and the brand for instance you might find that a product is really liked by consumers but the brand is not so popular or vice versa.
Other things you might be able to find are growing trends that are working for or against your product, an example of a product thats liked that had a growing trend of negative and undesirable feedback from customers was the Sun Chips with their compostable bags, people complained constantly that the bags were to noisy and the company stood by the fault saying its good for the environment and you will learn to live with it, in fact the companys sales saw a dramatic drop I guess they did learn to live with it or in this case without it.
By ignoring the very direct and obvious customer dissatisfaction the company lost potential revenue until the problem had been addressed, had they had the ability to see this trending news they could have taken action earlier and avoided the revenue loss.
For-Profit VS Not-For Profit
There are plenty of companies using these tools and software to monitor their brand or their competition but the majority of the heavy users of these products are focused on the overall aspect of tracking and monitoring consumers to know when they are going to shop and how.
A few for profit organizations that I have found that use brand monitoring services are: Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Macys Target, Sears, J.C. Penney, Kohls, Radio Shack and Toys-R-Us all use the same device called Tweetmeter developed by E.Life.
E.Life, a social media monitoring and analysis vendor, used its Tweetmeter software to track nine of the top retail brands from November 18 through November 25. More than 281,000 tweets were analyzed. The results show that the most-mentioned store was Wal-Mart, with 156,000 tweets over the one-week period. (E.Life).
Although this is a great site this isnt even a drop in the bucket of the amount of companies constantly using, upgrading and developing new and better brand monitoring sites. One major challenge when it comes to finding companies that use brand monitoring is just the simple fact of whether they use it or not, however Im sure that at this point in time of the technological development of society that any company that is online is being monitored in some way. With almost every company online being monitored so that the companies can track product anticipation and better understand their own resource allocation it leaves a large window in tracking not-for-profit organizations as well as current global concerns, issues and needs. One not-for-profit organization that I was able to find that uses these technologies is the American Red Cross, using software called Radian6 that is used as a Social Media Monitoring and engagement tool another not-for-profit organization I found was Global Giving utilizing a site called Thrive another site that seems to be widely used by many organizations both for-profit and not-for-profit is the web based service already talked about by another group called Hootsuite. Although I was unable to find many names of organizations that use this type of specialty brand monitoring and management technology there other sites that allow for charities/not-for-profit organizations to use primarily. Brand Monitoring and Online Reputation Resources
1. ReviewPushSlogan: Monitor, Protect, Engage.
Summary: ReviewPush allows users to keep an eye on their brand(s) without being time consuming. Alerts are transmitted through SmartPhone devices, and since the link is mobile friendly, it can be viewed conveniently at any time throughout the day. Whenever the business receives a new review, an email alert is sent to the account user to indicate that a review has been posted. The business owner is then able to respond to the review from the email.
Purpose: Help local businesses manage their online reviews efficiently and effectively. Reviews are searched for on websites such as Google Places, Yelp, Trip Advisor, Urban Spoon, Bing, Insider Pages, City Search, etc. Neglected reviews tend to scare away potential customersPrice: $29/month. Free 30 day trial if you would like to test it out first.Features include:
Multiple Location Monitoring
2. NutshellMailNutshellMail is a resource aimed towards small businesses. Created by the company Constant Contact, the tool transforms your own email account into command HUB for your entire social network.
Slogan: Free, easy, and secure.
Set-it-and-leave-it tool for social media monitoring
Dont need to log into multiple services
Brings together Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace updates right into your email inbox
Price: Free3. Hyperalert
Hyper Alerts is a feature for either companies or individuals who want email reports of posts and comments on a Facebook Page. Slogan: The best way to get email alerts. Provided by Hyper Interaktiv You dont have to be an administrator of the page to get our email alerts Have as many subscriptions as you want Get alerts within minutes, or a digest every hour, day, week or month fully customizablePrice: Free4. HupSpot Grader
HubSpot has created a variety of graders that serve different purposes.
Marketing Grader ( Learn how well your company or brand is doing across 3 areas of marketing. Get found, convert your leads, drive conversations and improve your marketing as a whole. Top of the Funnel (Is your company doing enough to bring traffic to your website? This feature will grade your content creation, optimization, and website promotion efforts
Middle of the Funnel (What is your companys conversion rate of turning leads into customers?)
Analytics (Which marketing activities are working and which arent? Success and failure metrics)
Tweet Grader ( How influential are you on Twitter?
Free tool allowing users to check the power of their Twitter profiles
Retrieves full name, bio , location, followers, following, much more5. TwilertTwilert is a free web application that enables you to receive regular E-mail updates of tweets containing your brand, product, service and any other keyword you desire.
Use Google or Twitter to create an account
Customize your search and customize when and how often to receive alerts Filter your search by languages, tweeters, locations, and even attitudes
6. Google Alerts Simple
General or specific searches
Get alerts for topics or discussions via email updates
Google alerts is a very interesting and simple search engine instead of just searching something or searching for different results day by day this service will allow you to create alerts for your specific query. So now instead of having to searches for something that might not even be relevant anymore due to when it was released this site will allow you to get the newest most up to date postings. By using this site alerts will allow for updates whenever you want them be it right away or in a week later go on vacation and have Google still doing your research.
7. Social Mention
Array of statistics
Categorized results makes for easy search of found content
Searches content from across the universe
Social Mention doesnt seem to be anything different from a Google search except for the fact that with each search you are given several different statistics. The first sets of stats that the searcher will find are a box of four different numbers that include; Strength percentage, Sentiment Ratio, Passion percentage, and Reach Percentage. Each one of these numbers is calculated using mathematical formulas. Along with actual percentages and ratios of how influential the topic you are searching is there a list of categories to allow the searcher to be very specific about the search results, from the sentiment in which the commentary was said, who said it and what key words were also part of the results that you had originally searched for.
8. TwentyFeet Tracks information
Graphs tracks dips and rises in use and other functions and uses of social media sites
Facebook and twitter only free services provided the rest must be purchased
Online activity monitored over period of time
TwentyFeet is much more of a professional site then the other two that I have previously mentioned. Up until now all sites and services have been free, in order to really get the full benefit from using this website you would have to pay to use the other services. This site tracks in a graph format not so much content of your Facebook and twitter it is more of a way for consumers to keep track of their friends, comments, #hash tags, re-tweets and anything else that consumers can do using these sites. This site measures the importance and priority of the need for social commentary and action tracking from what you or your friends do on a day to day basis.
9. Klout Highly interactive
Keeps and influence score
Shows who you influence and who influences you
Tracks your influencer score over a period of time
Can earn free perks and unlock achievements
Klout is by far the brand monitoring system that I find not only the most interesting but also the one that is the most functional and intriguing of all the sites so far. It seems to be a cross of Google +, Twitter, Facebook,...