You’ve just launched online - a major undertaking - a new website, revamped social media, updated, content-driven platforms in a shiny and gloriously expensive package. Now you have to invest in monitoring what’s being said about it all? Why, you ask?
It takes time, effort and an elaborate strategy to build a solid company reputation but everything you’ve worked to build can be undone in just a few hours. It’s unfortunate and true - a lot of hard work can be easily derailed by a few disgruntled or unsatisfied customers. So let’s examine how you can stay ahead of the game and turn those negatives to positives before they have any affect - by monitoring your media mentions.
By ‘monitoring mentions’ we simply mean scouring the internet for the mere mention of your business name - the good, the bad and the ugly!
To start with, there are three major categories of online content that need to be monitored: social media, blogs / websites and news articles / outlets. For the most part there are programs out there that can provide this service for you - the most common being Google Alerts.
In the event that you have never used GA, the essential functionality is that you enter in phrases, words, lists of things you want ‘flagged’. When Google tracks one down, it alerts you.
Many experts agree the GA has fallen a little bit behind some major innovators in the field who are providing a more specific and timely service.
Some examples of these are Tweet Alarm, Social Mention, Hyper Alerts and Topsy. Check them out! They all offer slightly different, customised experiences, so evaluate which is best for your business.
Once you have a system set up to monitor and notify you of mentions, you must decide how best to handle this invaluable information (there may be a lot!). So you’ll want to be prepared.
Positive mentions should always be answered back with a thank you, an offer to work together again, a genuine and appreciative offer to reciprocate if appropriate. Responding to your positive mentions can send out a whole new message to a whole new group of potential customers and presents a committed and dedicated front.
Negative mentions can appear in several maleficent forms. Comments and reviews are the most common you will need to address. First rule of thumb - NEVER engage in an argument!
When you come across a review on an external site that is negative in nature, attempt to reach out to the administrator privately to find out how you may remedy or change their opinion. Stress that you don’t expect them to change their opinion just because you asked but because you want to have the chance to change their mind by improving upon your product or service.
You could end up with a new mention, one reviewing how positively you handled the negative review! See! It’s all related on the internet - every action ties to the next, which is why staying on top of mentions is a vital task in monitoring a positive online reputation.