Now comes some of the “fun” parts of what you have to do in terms of maintaining your personal brand and online equity: Reputation Management!
Essentially the goal is to actively monitor what’s being said about you so that you can respond well to those voices, both good and bad. Remember, people are already talking about you and you have the opportunity to jump into those conversations and steer them in the right direction.
One of the most important things that you’ll have to create after you take a look at all these options is create a method and schedule of use – in other words, some way of managing the tools that are managing your reputation! You see, the challenge that many people ultimately bump up against is having these tools interrupt their busy day with notifications, either through email, social networking sites, or even text messaging!
How annoying and how disruptive! Here’s what I do:
- Decide a time in my daily calendar where I’ll walk through all tools. This is typically in the early morning of each day.
- Block out a explicit length of time where I’ll analyze the results and respond to them. Stay true to this time commitment and don’t go beyond it!
- Have other “check points” during the day just in case there are “fire starter” conversations that need to be addressed. I scan the tools or alerts in my inbox quickly and don’t respond to anything that’s not urgent.
You ultimately have to be comfortable and at peace with not responding and not reacting to the conversations you’re reading but set aside a specific time to engage. It can be tough but you need the discipline in order to stay focused and productive on the many other responsibilities you have during the day!
1. Google Alerts
This is one of the best and easiest to get started as well as most manageable tool that you’ve got: Google Alerts. Just input a few keywords around your brand, especially your name, and you can get email updates (or digests) about all the conversations that are being had about you.
This is a must-have tool! I love it and use it daily.
I really like SocialMention because it’s free and it quickly shows the “sentiment” (positive, negative, neutral) of the conversations. If I see numbers overly negative I’ll dive in deeper and see what the fuss is all about.
Twilert is like Google Alerts but from Twitter. Simple concept and highly functional.
Not completely well-known but still a good one for those on Twitter and Facebook and who want minimal disruption unless something “interesting” occurs: TwentyFeet.
Although there’s been a lot of ups and downs in terms of Klout and what it’s really about it still is a tool worth checking out. Much less about reputation management it can help you see your influence via Twitter and other tools. It’s worth keeping around or at least in your toolkit.
I use Hootsuite daily. That’s all I’ll say about that.
With email alerts this things pretty neat. Topsy is free too. Win.
Hubspot’s Grader Tools are incredible. Although they are much less about “active” monitoring you can get in-depth analysis on many of your properties including Facebook, Twitter, your “personality,” and your blog.
9. Twitter Search
Some people swear by Twitter’s Search and use it daily in their workflow. I say go for it if that makes sense for you!
10. Hyper Alerts
If you’re a big Facebook user than Hyper Alerts might be for you.
In addition to the 10 free tools listed above I’ve got three well-priced tools that you might want to check out:
Even though ViralHeat isn’t a free service it’s a really decently priced system, much more cost-effective than a lot of other players out there (how about $10,000 per month?). I’ve implemented this for many clients and businesses with great results.
And since I mentioned ViralHeat I might as well mention SproutSocial which isn’t free but also have a competitive “Pro” plan for the same price.
And yes, a third paid service that’s pretty neat as well. A number of bloggers have used this with great success as well. Postling‘s price is pretty affordable as well.
Hope this helps!
[This is part of the Personal Branding Series.]