Let’s face it, in today’s digital age everyone uses Google. Wondering about the best way to write a cover letter? Google it. Can’t remember the last film Brad Pitt was in? Google it. Want to know how to patch a hole in drywall? Yes, Google it.
But, what’s important to know is that the power of Google translates beyond being able to get answers to topical questions. Indeed, Google, and internet search more broadly, is no longer just a knowledge resource — it’s become a reputation resource.
More and more people are using the internet’s power and convenience to decide what products to use, what businesses to support and what businesses to avoid. If you consider changes in consumer culture, nothing over the past two decades has been quite as significant as internet search and the ability for everyone to type a brand name in Google and gain a host of information — good and bad — on that business.
Step away from businesses and consumer culture, and individuals and their reputations have also become deeply impacted by what appears on their Google search results. A single negative item on the first page of a person’s Google search results can yield very harmful, very real consequences in their offline lives.
Given the impact of search results on reputation, it’s little surprise that a new industry centred around improving one’s search results, an industry known as online reputation management, has appeared and quickly expanded over the past five years.
To address that need companies have now started to develop tools that can help individuals and businesses monitor and track their search results and what’s being said about them online, a reputation management practice that is definitely recommended in today’s digital age.
Here are the top 5 tools.
Trackur is a social media specific monitoring tool that provides instant notifications whenever your business or brand is mentioned. This tool works well for smaller businesses that can’t afford to hire a social media specialist to monitor various accounts daily.
Featuring built-in analytic capabilities, Trackur subscribers can also gain a detailed analysis of the how their brand name has been tracked on a variety of platforms, thereby revealing any important trends.
Rating (out of 10): User Friendly: 7 Reputation Management Tools: 6 Performance: 6
Cost: A basic online management plan with Trackur costs $97 per month; Trackur also offers a free trial.
- Social Mention
Social Mention is a free search engine that searches the internet, particularly social platforms, for mentions of brands, business names or any key phrase that you type in the website’s search bar. Offering detailed results, Social Mention provides a breakdown of the number of mentions of a given keyword, as well as a measurement of how positive or negative the social conversation about the keyword was.
While Social Mention is not a stand-alone online management tool, it can be a valuable asset to one’s social media monitoring strategy.
Rating (out of 10): User Friendly 8 Reputation Management Tools 4 Performance 6
- Reputation.ca’s Online Reputation Management Software
Developed by reputation management firm Reputation.ca, this free software offers a comprehensive online management strategy. Utilizing a unique strategy of depersonalizing search results, Reputation.ca’s reputation management software gives users with a non-biased, non-personalized view of how they appear online.
What many people don’t know is that when they use Google to search the web, Google algorithms play into their search results and tailor their search results based on their search history, where they are located, and a host of other factors.
This can cause skewed Google search results and can frustrate anyone trying to gain an accurate, unbiased view of how they appear online.
Reputation.ca has created a one-of-a-kind software that not only provides non-personalized Google search results, but can also track search results – and the ranking of particular websites – over time.
Our team found it really useful for keeping an eye on how search results are changing over time and it’s FREE so we would definitely recommend it.
Rating (out of 10): User Friendly 9 Reputation Management Tools 9 Performance 9
As one of the first online management solutions to offer a social listening tool, Hootsuite allows users to monitor all of their social media networks in one place. Users can also use the tool to schedule the posting of future messages, listen and engage with customers and followers, and view comprehensive social media analytics to gauge how their content is being perceived online.
The free version allows users to connect three separate social platforms, schedule messages, and receive basic analytics reports. Hootsuite Pro, which costs $10 a month, is more nuanced, allowing users to connect as many as 50 social profiles, schedule messages in bulk, and receive more enhanced, in-depth analytics.
Rating (out of 10): User Friendly 7 Reputation Management Tools 6 Performance 6
Cost: Free; Hootsuite Pro: $10/month.
- Google Alerts
The name Google has become synonymous with searching the internet, so it’s little surprise their online management tool is popular. Google Alerts sends users a customized notification whenever new content is added tagging or mentioning keywords they specified.
Google Alerts, like Social Mention, is not meant to be a stand-alone service. It is, however, a vital tool when it comes to online reputation management and is free to use.
Rating (out of 10): User Friendly 8 Reputation Management Tools 3 Performance 6
If you still aren’t convinced that online reputation management is important, take these two last statistics into account: 48 percent of consumers will go to a company’s website after reading positive online reviews; even better, 23 percent will travel directly to the company’s store or shop after reading a good review.