Monitoring your name, brand, company, products and key executives will help keep your online reputation safe. Don’t just limit yourself to major search engines, check blog search engines, news search sites, social media sites and forums. Okay it’s a little embarrassing, but don’t forget to look up modifiers like “sucks” and “scam”. Here are a few things you can do to monitor your reputation with minimum hassle:
1) Open up a Google account so you can set up an alert system to track your name and other keywords related to your business. The alerts will track blog posts, news, articles, videos and groups. Google alerts can be set to notify you as soon as they are found: daily or weekly, via email or by RSS feed. At a minimum, you will want these results sent to you weekly. Do the same with Yahoo alerts. You can also use Google Reader to important any relevant RSS feeds of search results or blogs you want to monitor.
2) Create a Delicious account, which you can use for tagging and categorizing sites you have bookmarked. Use your Delicious account to sort and organize sites and blogs that mention your name or organization.
3) If you have a blog, be sure you have claimed it in Technorati. Technorati is the largest blog search engine available, and it helps you by tracking blogs that have linked to you. You can also search for your brand on Technorati and subscribe to RSS alerts (sent to your Google reader). This way, when someone blogs about you or your organization, you’ll be notified.
4) Use several different applications to track comments on blogs and social site such as Digg, Stumbleupon and FriendFeed. Backtype and Yacktrack are some of the most commonly used. Social Mention is a great search site that will let you search all different types of social media sites at once, including microblogs (like Twitter), bookmarks, comments, images, news, video and audio. With Social Mention you can set up an RSS feed for your search results, or an email alert. You can even import your results in the CSV/Excel file. Another cool feature of Social Mention is that it can also give you an idea of the overall “sentiment,” letting you see if the majority of people are saying positive, neutral or negative things.
5) Use search tools within a social networking platform. While tools like Social Mention can be used for searching all types of social media, you can also use the search features of social sites like Twitter and Facebook. Twitter and Facebook will allow you to do real time search. You can set up saved searches in your Twitter account or in any of the many Twitter applications, as well as import results into an RSS feed reader like Google.
Figure out what works best for you and then set up a system that allows for easy monitoring and tracking. Make sure you monitor your results daily or weekly so that you can quickly address any problems or negative comments. Don’t forget to track and respond to positive comments too, this will help you build community and engage with your target market.